The Broke Bloggers Guide To Surviving Low Carb Diets

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‘So here I am, again.’ I think to myself while standing in the food market. A vegetarian on a low carb diet, wondering what I am supposed to do. (OK, ok…before everyone corrects me – I do eat some fish – so I guess I’m a pescatarian (sp?) ) You see, I also tried the Atkins diet (in the peak of its popularity). And I realised during that time that a protein-rich diet was not for the weak of heart nor the light of wallet.  The diet didn’t last long, as my food servers budget was not enough to justify the expense. Healthy food is expensive! ( I am still trying to understand how a package of spaghetti noodles can cost more than 1 kg of wheat powder. I mean, not just the ingredients but the manufacturing process as well – and still less expensive? Can anyone explain this?!)

Let’s be honest here: Low carb diets are expensive! Not for everyone, sure. But for those of us who have to decide whether to eat steak and fish everyday OR keep the lights on (I hope you choose the lights!) navigating a low carb diet can be a delicate dance with your finances.  I am currently on another low-carb diet (1 of many throughout the years), and this time I have learned a few tricks to stretch my money further. BTW – I’ve managed to drop 6 kgs…Yay! So here are some of my money-saving tricks:

  • Establish a close friendship with eggs. I am not a huge egg fan, but I will tell you that this has been one of my biggest money savers. Eggs don’t cost so much, you can make them 100 different ways and they are filling. 1 3-egg veg omelet will carry me for most of the day without feeling very hungry.
  • Swap out your mayo and crème frâiche for unflavoured yoghurt instead. Unflavoured yoghurt is the food equivalent of multi-functional furniture. You can use it for everything! Dips, salad topping, creme sauce, a base for crème salads, a topping for eggs, and an after food delight mixed with your favourite fruit! Being able to have 1 staple that you can use in multiple ways, will save you money, stress AND its much healthier for you!
  • Try the canned options. I know, I sounds like a bit of a hypocrite here. But when you’re on a budget, eating fresh fish or lean cuts of meat just isn’t an option most of the time. Try canned tuna, or canned chicken if that’s your thing. Incorporating this into a salad is what I do, but there are also many different ways that these products can be incorporated into your daily diet. I mean, not every meal has to be instagram perfect…right?
  • Use filler. I’m using these yoghurt based tuna salads as an example, but these can be used in many different ways. For my salads, I use frozen peas and chopped celery. Both of these items are affordable and they can turn a 1-meal salad into a 2-meal salad. Ultimately reducing the money you spend on food. Same goes for stir-fry. If you add chopped cabbage, carrots and onion – it will create a larger amount of food with a lesser price. (Ever wonder why some restaurants load their food with cabbage? My theory is – that it’s to save money on the food)
  • Try surimi. This may depend on your location, but I have found that in many countries, surimi is very affordable. Not luxurious at all, but it will work as both a quick snack (you really can just eat them cold) as well as easily fried with a bit of lemon and sliced onion. Super easy, very affordable, a good option.
  • Broccoli? Yes, broccoli! Broccoli contains protein, as well as many nutrients and antioxidants which are vital for your health. Toss a handful into your eggs or stirfry, or just steam some to go with your main protein of choice. Frozen or fresh, select the most affordable.
  • Drink a lot of warm lemon water. The victorians used to drink tea to fill their stomachs in between meals. (Or at least that’s the working theory I have read.) But we’re talking super budget here. So forget the tea and grab a citrus fruit instead! 1 small slice can actually work well for a quite large teapot full of hot water. This combination is said to work well for the metabolism. It also keeps you feeling ‘full’ so you aren’t hungry constantly.
  • Grab that bag of mandarin’s instead! Mandarin’s are affordable, and research has shown that the family of fruits (orange, mandarin, satsuma) when eaten will quieten the craving for sugar. So if you’re staring at that chocolate bar, grab some mandarin instead. It costs less and will last you days longer.
  • Don’t feel pressured to purchase the specialty items. I have read everywhere that I need coconut oil, some kind of root powder, seed powder, special…. everything! Said items are also accompanied by a rather large price tag – one that could surely cover half your food shopping expenses. So just don’t do it. It really is not going to make such a big difference. You either lose the weight, or you don’t.
  • Step away from the protein bars! Protein bars and shakes are just…marketing, really. Yet another big price tag for an item that really doesn’t help so much and contains tons of sugars & preservatives.
  • Take it easy. You are not the only person trying to figure out how to make it all work. If you are stressing quite badly, just make yourself some popcorn, sit down, pig out and try to forget about the world for awhile!

I do hope at least some of these tips help you to save some money at the food market.  If you have any suggestions of your own to add to this list, please share them!

Thank you for reading!

-Mliae


*Photo sourced via Pixabay

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Getting To Know You 05.02.2019

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I’m on a diet. A quite strict diet. Which makes me fantasize about all the rubbish food I cannot eat. So my question for today is: What is your favourite rubbish food?

Mine? Well, I do love nacho nite! But in this case, I have to say cake batter! I cannot bake a cake, but I will eat an entire bowl of batter! Gross, huh?

What is your favourite rubbish food?

-Mliae

 

Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas

Happy Weekend all 🙂
This recipe for crunchy roasted chickpeas from www.nancy-c.com had to be shared! We do eat a lot of chickpeas in our home and this looks like such a delightful way to try them! We are trying to ‘snack healthier’ and you can’t really get much healthier snacks than this!
I only have 1 question: If you have dehydrated chickpeas, do you still need to soak and then dry them again, or…? Either way, we will figure it out. I hope my dear Husband reads this post. He is our resident chickpea genius 😉
I hope you find this as delightful as I did!
Thank you, Nancy, for allowing me to share this!
-Mliae


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Peaches and Cream Scones

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I am loving this peach scone recipe from www.pottsboilingover.com and I cannot wait to try making these! This dish looks truly amazing as do so many of the dishes on this website! If you love sweets you don’t see anywhere else, you will love this site.
Thank you, Potts boiling over, for allowing me to share this!

Enjoy!

-Mliae


Making Sushi Is No Mystery

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On this happy Saturday, I had to share this fantastic recipe for sushi with a Hawaiian twist from www.chicksonthecase.com
If you haven’t already checked out their great site, please do, its lots of fun!
Thank you Leslie for allowing me to share this delicious recipe!

Keto – 0 / Holiday Food – 1

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I am an idiot. I decided that I would start a Ketogenic diet with intermittent fasting, 1 week before the holidays. I did great. I lost 2+ Kg in that week! And then, I ate. For 3 days I ate like a normal person. It was wonderful. Guess what happened? In 3 days, I gained back 3 kgs! GGGGGRRRRRR!!!

Quite necessary to say that I hit the diet again today.

My question today is: What good is a diet if you gain it all back over a bad few days? Or is there a point when you get kind of ‘safe’?

Back in the ‘fat pants’…

-Mliae

*Photo sourced via Pixabay



Peppermint Chocolate Cake.

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Good day to you all 🙂
I came across this great recipe for peppermint chocolate cake on www.crystalscrazycorner.wordpress.com and I had to share it! This of you who have been with me for a time, are well aware that I cannot bake. Cakes confound me. She made this recipe look simple enough that I think I might even be able to give it a go. Thank you Crystal!

Schezwan Sauce

Good day, all 🙂
I wanted to share via reblog this great and simple recipe from https://www.sheedskitchen.wordpress.com for Schezwan sauce!
If you are anything like me in the kitchen, gorgeous food just seems out of reach. So I look for seemingly complex recipes that have been shared in such a way that it almost seems possible for us commoners to make and beg their writers to allow me to share them. I can’t wait to try this recipe!
Thank you, Sheed for allowing me to share this!

Extreme Lifestyle Experiment: Update #1

Two weeks. It only took me two weeks to completely lose my mind. I’m still going on the challenge, but I’ve already had a major slip-up.

This is how its been going:

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On the first day, I thought I had some potatoes remaining in cold storage. Apparently not, as they had all sprouted in the bag. That wasn’t a great start, but I was able to get to the local store (which only sells local dried foods) and I was happily surprised to find a container of salmon paté so that what was my dinner.

The next day I went to the market where I was able to buy summer squash, small cucumbers, tomatoes, kale and local made habanero mayonnaise (yum!). I felt quite proud of myself and like, Yay I’m gonna do this! However I realized I had made one very large mistake. I embarked on this challenge to save money, to pay off some debt. But guess what! Eating local is expensive! The tomatoes and the mayonnaise each hit me for about €5. ‘OK,’ I thought to myself, ‘You’ve GOT to get this figured out’.

I was eating fresh berried from our bushes for breakfast. A good money saver, can’t get cheaper than free and it fit within my rules. My husband was kind enough to cook rice for a few meals (I can’t make rice…yes, it’s that bad!). Rice is also on my list, so we’re good there. Just fry some summer squash and call it a day. Hubby also made some slow cooker pea soup, which I really enjoy for some reason, so we ate a lot of that.

I did tell my husband that he didn’t have to do this challenge with me. I knew it was a major lifestyle change and I figure since he didn’t actually sign up for it, it wouldn’t be so nice to force him into it. He’s been really great trying to make meals which include things I can also have and then I only have to make whatever I want with it. However, it’s proved extremely challenging to sit there and watch the man eat bread or drink fizzy water without pulling sad puppy dog eyes.

I did manage to tell a couple friends what kind of crazy thing I had set for myself. I was invited to join on a berry picking trip. So this happened…

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I got a whole bucket! 🙂 This went promptly into a jam making session. I’m not so great at jam yet. It turns out kind of watery. But, this turned out really well (for me to eat, at least) and I’m looking forward to having it on cabbage casserole and hopefully some bread too (if I can ever figure out how to make it).

I managed to get some info on local farms that might sell directly to me.  I went, I bought, I  will go back! With this place I now have access to peas, cherry tomatoes (OMG – SOOOO GOOD!), kale, potato, onion, summer squash and turnip. This alone is enough variety to do some canning, eat fresh and make some soups for freezing.

And then it happened. About 1 week in and I got hungry. Not normal hungry, but eat the chair kind of hungry. I don’t actually understand what happened. I have been eating. Quite a bit, actually. But maybe not having all the instant food and whatever in it to make it instant, threw my body into some kind of withdrawal or something? I was so hungry. I would eat and snack and eat but I was still as hungry as if I hadn’t eaten anything. So weird.

So when I got together with a longtime friend of mine the other day, I went off my balance. I cheated. I cheated in a major kind of way. I ate restaurant food (which actually wasn’t outlawed if I was away from home) but then I did it like 2 more times in the span of 7 hours and I got whatever my little heart desired. She was horrified, I’m sure. I don’t feel embarrassed though, because she had been sufficiently warned. And then I shopped. I bought gas water, donuts, cheese bread, mini pizza. Which I kind of hate myself for now because it’s like I’m having to start all over again. I also wonder – how in the hell did people do this? Are we really so spoiled that I thought I was going to die after only 2 weeks?! Two weeks not of dieting, but of eating whatever I wanted, as long as it was locally sourced/made/grown. You know, one really wonders about these things. 50 years ago, eating like this was the norm. Now? Not even remotely normal. Areas are growing singular crops, instead of the formerly diversified ones, because most of those crops are going into the processed food we eat. People were satisfied eating locally. People knew what to do, how to make it work, how not to get bored, what to mix it with so as to maintain healthy systems. Us in modern day? Hah.

I finally got it together and worked up the nerve to try a bit of ‘baking’. Bread is far too complicated at this point, but I did find a fantastically simpler recipe for wheat tortillas. I will be posting the recipe at a later date. I made the tortillas today and it turned out well! Not so pretty, mind you. But they work. You can put stuff in them and they wrap. Best yet, I’m not the only person here who will eat them. Win!

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So that’s how that’s been going. What do you think, is a occasional fall down acceptable in a challenge like this?

I still feel like I’m in for the win though. My husband bet I wouldn’t last 2 days, and I beat that wager by a long distance. (Although he’ll try to argue that I’ve been begging for food gifts from him all along. Don’t believe a word he says about that…). This is harder. Much harder than I actually thought. I’m hungry and I’m cranky but there’s also some weird sense of pride that I feel. Like somehow anyone but me cares that I’m eating berries for breakfast instead of diet shakes. I feel like I’m doing something healthy and constructive for myself (and I know hubby is glad I’m at least trying to learn to cook something). And I feel like I’m doing something good for the local economy. Not just wasting money, but actually investing in something that local people have poured their backs into creating.

To be continued…

Any thoughts on this?

-Mliae

A Small Love Poem + A Great Lemon Drizzle Cake — Nigro’s Kitchen

Hi there 🙂

I really wanted to share this great post from www.nigroskitchen.com

He has some really awesome stuff there, so I highly recommend you stop by for a visit!

Don’t worry if you see some ingredients here that you may not have access to. I already asked about Castor sugar and self raising flour. He explained it to me in a way where I think I can find (or create) a suitable substitute that will work the same 😉

Enjoy!

-Mliae

A small and beautiful poem about love along with a great lemon drizzle cake recipe. What’s not to like?

via A Small Love Poem + A Great Lemon Drizzle Cake — Nigro’s Kitchen

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with creamy Mushroom Sauce

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Hello there 🙂
I HAD to reblog this Sweet Potato Gnocchi with creamy mushroom sauce recipe from www.ezentiallyfit.com This site is really new, but if this recipe is anything to judge by, there will be many great things to come.
The story behind this reblog is: I was traveling in Israel years ago and as a mostly vegetarian / quite finicky eater finding the perfect meal proved challenging in some cases. Until that is, I discovered a dish a lot like this recipe! I think it was more sweet potato cheese ravioli with a cream mushroom sauce – but with a thick gnocchi -like texture, but it was SO GOOD and I’ve been on the hunt for a simplified version of this recipe that I actually have a chance of making myself. So you can imagine how excited I was when I came across this post!
I hope you enjoy this as much as I am!

Hot Hot Mustard

I had to share this awesome Mustard recipe from www.browniesandbeer.wordpress.com I made a scaled down version of this recipe yesterday and it turned out really well! I think I’ll be making this for Christmas gifts this year 😀 I hope you enjoy this as much as I have, and if you have a moment, check out Brownies & Beer – Good peeps!

Fried Okra…

Hello 🙂
I had to share this fab fried okra recipe I found from www.camelliascottage.com I was so happy to see this! When we were in States this summer, we fell in love with okra. Good thing too, because it was in everything! I can’t wait to find some okra and try this recipe. I’ve been told the key is to make sure the oil is hot as molten lava.
Thanks, Camellia, for letting me share this!
Enjoy!

Does your breakfast pack a punch? Try my veggie packed masala breakfast eggs!

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Greetings all 🙂 I had to share this awesomely unique breakfast recipe from www.goindikitchen.com This site is packed with cool stuff, so feel free to check them out! Thanks for letting me share, can’t wait to try this recipe!

Tossed Egg Noodles with Pan-fried Shrimp Dumplings

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I came across this delicious looking post, another experiment I want to try, on www.jncookingchannel.com The set-up on this dish alone makes my mouth water. After spending an entire day trying to make dumplings with a girlfriend, I tip my hat to anyone who can make it look this easy. If you like creating gourmet dishes at home, check this recipe out! A big thank you to J.N. for letting me share this recipe post 🙂