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Cream of Mushroom Soup

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When I first started this Blog, there was a paucity of Low Carb recipes out there. Today – we are inundated with them. The world has changed. Still, when I come upon a recipe that I made and enjoyed, I will share it. I stumbled upon an easy recipe for Mushroom Soup. Here it is – with my modifications.

Ingredients:

• 9 dried Shiitakes (I used dried Morels)
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1 1/2 pounds (or more) fresh Creminis (Baby Bellas) sliced (about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick)
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 3 cups water
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

Directions:

Combine 3 cups water and the dried shiitakes in a small pot and set on the stove over high heat. Bring to a boil, cook for 5 minutes, then take off the heat and set aside.

Add the butter to a wide, high-sided saucepan and set on the stove over medium heat. As soon as that’s melted, add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes, until the mushrooms are sticking to the bottom and deeply browning.

Season the browned mushrooms with salt and pepper, and stir. Remove a heaping ½ cup mushrooms and set aside on a plate, these will become a garnish for the soup. In the next batch, I am going to fry up more mushrooms and then save a full cup to be added back to the soup. I like having the texture of mushroom pieces.

Add the cream to the saucepan and scrape up the browned bits at the bottom. Simmer for a few minutes until the cream turns the color of chocolate milk.

Add the cream and mushrooms to a blender, along with the soaked dried shiitakes, and mushroom broth. Pour the mushroom broth through a very fine sieve to catch any particles that are at the bottom of the pot.

With the keyhole of the blender lid left open and a kitchen towel held firmly on top, blend on high speed until very, very smooth. This will take some time. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. If you’d like it thinner, just add a small splash of water, cream, or both.

Serve the soup hot with the browned mushrooms sprinkled on top, plus a drizzle of cream if you like.

Note: This makes 4 healthy servings. It can also be used as a sauce over meat or chicken

Also: One ounce of raw mushrooms have one net gram of Carbs – Do the math – 1 1/2 pounds raw have 24 grams. So stick to one serving a day.

911

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It has been a very long time since I updated this Blog which was meant to be my own story of adopting a VLCHF eating style and my involvement with the 52 Day Challenge. The past several years have been a Challenge all their own. It is time to put that Challenge in perspective.

Almost 8 years ago my wife had a significant stroke. Physically it hit her right side. Mentally it left her with a memory impairment, vascular dementia. This impairment limited her ability to hold and manipulate multiple concepts in her mind. That ended her ability to work.

Three months in residential rehab and then several months of out patient Physical Therapy. She made progress but not enough.

We signed up at friendly gym. Yes – I moved away from the one that was more metal. I became her PT – Physical Therapist and Personal Trainer. She worked hard and made progress. Eventually she was able to drive again. It took a lot of effort to get that right foot fully functioning but she got there.

Instead of being her assistant in the kitchen, she became mine. And life went on. She got involved in some social activities. Most of the “Senior” community sponsored groups focused on games – board games and card games. Her impairment prevented her from participating. We made do.

But over the last 3-4 years her mental functioning deteriorated. Dementia was eating away at her abilities. The medications prescribed by the neurologist and the VLCHF diet slowed the inevitable. Month by month I became more and more her caregiver, until it became overwhelming and impaired my ability to work and care for both her and myself.

In January 2019, we spent a week in Florida. Travel was tough but she did it, and helped with the bags. That February 3rd we went to a Super Bowl party and she functioned well. And then her world came unraveled.

On February 12th, we were hold up in the house due to a severe Ice Storm. Her functioning was deteriorating quickly. I called the neurologist. He said – take her to the ER. I said – I can’t – the roads are not drivable. By late afternoon, she literally stopped functioning.

I dialed 911. The Police, EMTs and Ambulance came. They packaged her up and took her to the hospital. I ended up driving on the icy roads to the hospital.

Ten days in the hospital. They did every test under the sun. No explanation. I watched as she continued to deteriorate. The neurologist told me that although the speed of her deterioration was unusual – it was not unknown.

On February 22nd, she was sent to Rehab. Her functioning continued to slip away. On April 29th, she was transferred to the Nursing Home floor. She has been there ever since. She has virtually no functioning – at all. She has to be fed. Luckily – she will eat – especially if it is ice cream, chocolate or any other sweet. Years of eating Low Carb – out the window. I don’t care. Let her eat cake.

I go there each day to spend time with her and feed her dinner.  Now – one year later – she is stable.

What about me?

I go to the gym early each morning. Fridays are my day off since I have a business group breakfast meeting. The gym time has kept me sane and physically fit. I continue to participate in the 52DC. It provides me with goals to reach and a community of like minded individuals.

The biggest change – learning how to shop and cook for one. I eat breakfast at home every day except Fridays. I eat dinner at home every day. Every now and then I have dinner out with friends or at business events. Lunch is tough. I brown bag it or find alternatives. I do not like to eat at a restaurant alone.

Bottom line – eating VLCHF and participating in the 52DC have kept me sane.

Posting this is a bit of a break through for me. I hope to get back in the practice of posting more often.

Thank you for your support.

March 12, 2019 – 12 Year Anniversary

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Woke up this morning and realized that today marks 12 years of living the Very Low Carb High Fat way of life.

12 years ago, I weighed in at 260 pounds. This morning, 180 pounds – my target weight. Hard for me to believe that I have managed to first lose 80 pounds and then maintain the weight loss for over 10 years. Even harder to believe that I have managed to maintain a consistent gym workout for all these years.

When we started this trip and this blog, eating VLCHF or a Ketogenic diet were considered in the Realm of the the Crazies. Today – almost every Personality is living the Keto Life. Still the battle over eating this way continues. I no longer challenge every new article damning Keto or VLCHF and the errors in each new study. It just gets wearisome.

Here are some thoughts and ruminations:

  • TNT Plan A is a Ketogenic diet disguised for the young guy looking to lose weight and get strong.
  • During my weight loss period, 25 grams of carbs was the sweet spot for weight loss.
  • Now, to maintain my weight, less than 50 grams per day is the goal.
  • I no longer care if I am in Ketosis or not. It doesn’t matter. My body does not seem to care.
  • Protein – I try to keep under 140 grams a day. This is actually the hardest part.
  • When I started this trip, there were virtually no low carb convenience products. This forced me to focus on making my own meals, and avoiding all the highly processed foods – which contained carbs.
  • Today – there are a ton of low carb convenience foods – but they are all highly processed foods – I limit them to an every now and then item.
  • Bacon and other processed meats – I don’t avoid – but I don’t over indulge.
  • My Doc tracks my blood work every 6 months. My numbers – for what they’re worth – are real good. HDL over 90, Triglycerides below 50 and LDL in the no worry zone. My Doc has just stopped talking about my way of eating. He may not be convinced but he is not messing with the results.
  • My fasting blood sugar – in the mid 90s.
  • My clothing fits – from season to season and year to year. I buy new clothing to freshen up my wardrobe and not because I need clothing that fits.
  • Do I Cheat – NO. Do I allow myself a Treat – Yes. I try to be a Carb Snob. If I am going to eat Carbs – they had better be Top-Shelf – otherwise – Why bother? Never feel guilty. We eat healthy and exercise so we can treat ourselves every now and then.

Perhaps the two biggest lies that are told – This way of eating is unhealthy – and – No one can maintain this way of eating for long.

I’m living the lie.

BTW – the Spring 2019 – 52 Day Challenge starts tomorrow. Being a part of this group has kept me focused on living a healthy life. Sign Up today.

 

Protein Threshold – Another View Point

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The July/August 2018 Men’s Health Magazine on page 34, has an Article entitled: “Heed the New Protein Threshold.” 

The Article reports on a McMaster University research that:

“determined there’s a limit to how much protein your body can effectively use for muscle growth. They discovered that people who took in more than 1.62 grams of protein per kilogram of weight daily didn’t build additional muscle.”

Weight in pounds/2.2 Kilograms per pound x 1.62 gram of protein per day.

180lbs/2.2 = 82 kilograms x 1.62= 133 grams of protein per day. This includes all protein sources including that scoop of protein powder.

I have been maxing out at 140 grams based upon 1 gram of protein per pound of Lean Body Mass.

Interestingly, the Article concludes: “Any excess will feed the toilet, not your biceps.”

BUT – if you are eating VLC – ketogenic diet – that excess will in part be turned into glycogen by your body. End result – limit your protein as above.

Summer 2018 52 Day Challenge Ends

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The  Summer 2018, 52 Day Challenge ended this past Friday, July 20th. Here are my final numbers:

Clean Eating: 98/104/96 (102.08%)
Resistance Training: 18/15 (120%)
Cardio Training: 20/15 (133.33%)
Personal Goal 1 (Push-ups): 2600/2600 (100%)
Personal Goal 2 (Chin/Pull-ups): 1240/1080 (114.81%)

I’m pretty happy with the final results. Had a slow start with a week away and no ability to exercise. Made it up in the end.

Still – not real happy with the level of intensity. Need to work on that.

The next Challenge starts on Wednesday, August 8th. Hope to see you there.

The Protein Wars – the Battles Continue

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There have been numerous articles recently which claimed that a High Protein diet increases the risk of Heart Failure. Perhaps one of the fairest reports came from the University of Eastern Finland where the study was done. “High protein diet slightly increases heart failure risk in middle-aged men.

Researchers studied 2,441 men, age 42 to 60, at the study’s start and followed them for an average 22 years. Overall, researchers found 334 cases of heart failure were diagnosed during the study and 70 percent of the protein consumed was from animal sources and 27.7 percent from plant sources. Higher intake of protein from most dietary sources, was associated with slightly higher risk. Only proteins from fish and eggs were not associated with heart failure risk in this study, researchers said.

At the bottom of the article was a link to the actual study report. That report actually speaks to a number of variables that really impact the results.

Table 1 shows the baseline characteristics of the study population. Men with greater total protein intake were younger, more likely to be married, had longer education, and higher income than those with lower protein intake. On the contrary, they had higher BMI and were more likely to have diabetes mellitus. They had higher intake of fiber, polyunsaturated fatty acids, fruits, berries and vegetables, and processed red meat. High animal protein intake was also associated with more favorable socioeconomic factors, but with higher BMI, higher probability of being smoker and having diabetes mellitus. Those with higher animal protein intake had lower intake of fiber but higher intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids. High plant protein intake was generally associated with healthier lifestyle and dietary factors (Table 1).

Two questions unanswered:

(1) What amount protein is actually a high protein diet? If you are eating a VLCHF diet, you should be eating “normal” levels of protein – whatever that amount is. For me – it is one (1) gram per pound of lean body mass.

(2) Can you eat healthy if you are eating VLCHF? Yes – No Question. You merely need to know how to eat. Eating the way we do has put me on the healthiest food path of my many ill spent years. Knowledge is everything.

The Summer 2018 52DC Starts Wednesday

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The Summer 2018 52DC Starts Wednesday – May 30th. Have you Signed Up yet?

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