Saturday, January 26, 2008

BLT Wraps

BLT Wraps (Level 1)

1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
½ cup. ranch salad dressing (see recipe below)
1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
6 slices bacon, crisply cooked and chopped
½ cup celery, finely chopped
2 tablespoon onion, . finely chopped
1 teaspoon. Sugar substitute
Lettuce leaves

Place cream cheese in a bowl. Gradually stir in the dressing and mix well.

Add tomato ,bacon, celery, onion and sugar subst to cream cheese mixture; mix well. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours to allow flavors to blend.

To serve, spread onto lettuce leaves. Roll up and eat..

This is my favorite Ranch Salad Dressing:
Ranch SALAD Dressing
6 ingredients. 3 minutes to make. So, how can a salad dressing so easy to prepare be so delicious? Well, it just is. Thick, creamy, and full of that zesty ranch flavour we all love, you will never go back to bottled dressing again. This dressing is very versatile. Use it as a salad dressing, vegetable dip, or even a sauce on your favourite cut of meat. After a taste of this, I was suddenly filled with an overriding urge to go round up some cows. Now that's ranch!
Serving Size: 3 cups of salad dressing
Preparation Time: 3 minutes
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise (I use Hellmann's Best Food's Mayonnaise)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup heavy cream (33-35% milk fat)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
Directions: Place all ingredients in a blender, mix on high speed for 2 minutes, until thouroughly mixed and creamy. It may not seem thick enough, however, the salad dressing will properly thicken after it is allowed to chill. Store in an airtight container (such as an old salad dressing bottle) in the refrigerator for up to two weeks

A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.

What to do if you're not losing weight, or hitting plateaus

What to do if you're not losing weight, or hitting plateaus

Suzanne Posted

Most of you Somersizers out there are having wonderful success eating the Somersize way and losing weight. I love getting your testimonial letters sharing your stories. Unfortunately, I have also received a few letters from people who say they are following all of the Level One guidelines but still are not losing weight. Others have lost quite a bit of weight, then hit plateaus and don't know why. This question came up in the live chat, but it's difficult for me to give lengthy answers with so many people waiting to ask questions. Here is a more comprehensive explanation.

There are a multitude of reasons why you may be having trouble getting started or getting jump-started.

#1. Cut back on your Fruit and Carbos meals. With Somersizing there is no portion control; but if you are eating too much fruit and too many carbohydrates, even whole grain carbohydrates, you may be giving your body more energy than it needs to get through the day. If your body is getting too much energy from fruit and carbos, it will not burn off your fat reserves.

For 98% of Somersizers, we do not have to tell you how much Fruit and Carbos you may eat; but if you are having trouble losing weight, or if you have hit a plateau, the first thing I would recommend is to cut back on these two food groups.

One woman told me she was faithfully following all of the Level One guidelines and still was not losing. She sent me a list of everything she ate for a few days. Every day she would have a Fruit, then Carbos breakfast, then Pro/Fats & Veggies for lunch and dinner. Sounds good. After reviewing her meals, however, I saw that she was eating fruit, then waiting 20 minutes and following up with a bowl of shredded wheat with non-fat milk and 3 pieces of whole wheat toast. Does it follow the Level One guidelines? Yes, but for her, it was more carbohydrates than she needed to get through the day, so her body never turned to her fat reserves to burn as fuel. My recommendation to her was that she have the fruit, then either the cereal or two pieces of toast. In addition, I told her to eat Pro/Fats and Veggies for breakfast 3-4 times a week, instead of the Fruit, then Carbos breakfast.

Each of us has a unique metabolism. What works miraculously for one person may not work for another. As I've said, it took me two months before I started losing weight. Others see results in one week! Remember, the general rule of thumb is that the more Pro/Fats and Veggies you eat, the more weight you will lose. In fact, you could eat Pro/Fats and Veggies at every meal and snack and stay perfectly healthy and slim. As long as you are eating plenty of fresh vegetables, your body will get the necessary carbohydrates, nutrients and fiber it needs in the form of low-starch vegetables. Limiting your fruit and carbos will help you to release the stored sugar in your cells and turn your body into a fat burning machine rather than a carbohydrate burning machine.

Once you are in full swing and losing weight steadily, then you may start incorporating a bit of fruit and whole grains. Use your body as a guide, and you will be able to determine just how much your body can handle.

If you've hit a plateau, your body has found the perfect amount of carbohydrates it needs to get through the day. You have stabilized. The ratio of fruit and carbos that helped you lose weight in the past, is no longer working for you. I saw on the Discussion Boards that some of you were recommending limiting your cheese intake. NO! Cheese causes no insulin response. Fats are an important part of the program. Eat your fats, proteins and veggies. Just limit your fruit and carbos. These foods do cause an insulin response. Take a few weeks and try this more extreme version of Somersizing. It should help; but if it does not, check the other points below.

2. No cheating! Especially for those who are more resistant to losing weight, you must not cheat at all. That means not even one bite of sugar. You must be diligent when you are converting your body to burn its own fat as fuel. My sister complained to me that she was eating perfectly... perfectly and still not losing weight. Then the truth came out and she told me that she'd have just a bite of cake, but not eat the whole piece. You cannot Somersize a little. A little cheat means a little insulin. That insulin can send your entire meal to the fat reserves. As long as there is no insulin present, you may eat full fat, high calorie meals; but a little insulin can spoil all your fun and set you back to your starting point.

#3 Exercise a little! If you are having problems getting started, or if you have hit a plateau, please try to incorporate a moderate form of exercise at least 3 times a week. Exercise is another way that we release the stored sugar in our cells. You don't need to become fanatical, just find a way to get yourself active for about 30 minutes, three times a week.

#4 Give up aspartame! Chemically laden soft-drinks and food products, especially those made with aspartame, can inhibit weight loss. Dr. Schwarzbein has read reports that aspartame can cause an insulin response. Do you body a favor and eliminate this harmful chemical from your life. It may be damaging you on a cellular level and it may be keeping you from losing weight.

#5 Have your hormones checked! You very well could be experiencing a loss of hormones related to menopause or pre-menopause. Somersizing helps balance your hormones; but in some phases of life, adjusting your eating habits is not enough. You may need to consider hormone replacement therapy. I highly recommend you see an endocrinologist and ask to have a blood test to check your hormone levels. If you need hormone replacement therapy, you must insist that your doctor prescribe natural hormones and not the synthetic kind created by the billion dollar pharmaceutical companies. Synthetic hormones only take away the symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes and lack of libido. Why would we need a synthetic version of hormones when natural estrogen, that has been evolved in a woman's body over millions of years, is readily available?! Natural hormones actually replace the lost hormones and restore your system to hormonal balance. With balance comes weight loss, increased health and longevity.

#6 Have your thyroid tested! Some people have problems losing weight because they have problems with their thyroid. Check with your doctor to make sure your thyroid is functioning well.

#7 Are you taking medication? Medication can interfere with your hormones and, therefore, may inhibit your weight loss. Ask your doctor if there are any natural alternatives to the medication you are taking.

#8 Be patient! Give your body the chance to heal. We all have varying levels of metabolic resistant. Your metabolism may need more healing than the average person's metabolism.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Lil Tastings Bon Bons

Lil Tastings Bon Bons (Almost Level 1)

Well, I got a feeling for something different so I experimented and WOWZA~

I took a piece of cheesecake out of the fridge, used a melon baller (a cookie scoop would work better) and made round balls of cheesecake. I dropped these on to a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and popped into the freezer for an hour. After an hour, I took them out of the freezer one at a time and covered with tempered chocolate - I guess you could call them cheesecake bon bons - and returned them to the freezer.

Take them out of the freezer about 30 minutes before serving and - well words cannot describe.

This came out so yummilicious, I tried the same thing with a piece of Upside Down Chocolate Cream pie I had in the fridge. Same process, and I must say exceptionally great tasting results. The chocolate covered chocolate mousse was fantabuloso.

I imagine this would work well with any flavor dense mousse.

This just may be my New Years dessert platter - lil tastings.

A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Chocolate P-nut Butter Cookies (Level 2)

1 cup sugar free peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar substitute (I use Whey Low Gold)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 oz sugar free semi sweet or dark chocolate chopped

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare cookie sheets by lining with parchment paper. If not using parchment paper, do not treat or grease the pans.

Combine all ingredients except chocolate and mix until smooth. Then stir in the chocolate.

Drop by spoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets about 2 inches apart.

Bake until puffy - they will be lightly golden and still soft - about 10 minutes.

Yields 1 dozen cookies.


A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.

Peanut Butter Crispeez

These are easy and no bake - tasty and nutritious too!

Peanut Butter Crispeez (Level 2)

1/2 cup sugar substitute (I use Whey Low)
1/2 cup light agave nectar
3/4 cup sugar free peanut butter
3 cups puffed brown rice cereal

Lay out 2 pieces of waxed paper on your countertop, and pour the puffed rice into a large mixing bowl.

Put the sugar, agave nectar and peanut butter into a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat. Stir until combined and keep stirring until the peanut butter is melted and everything is combined and just starting to bubble. Pour over the puffed rice and stir to combine.

Drop onto the waxed paper in balls, press down slightly. I made them into medium and small sized cookies and like them both ways. Put them in the refrigerator, still on the wax paper, to chill and set.

It looks like this will yield 2 dozen small cookies, and just over a dozen medium cookies. Store in a ziploc bag - they do not need to be refrigerated for storage.

This is definitely an experiment we enjoyed the first time and I will make them again!


A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.

Stop Blaming Saturated Fat

From Men's Health today.

Saturated Fat
Stop Blaming Saturated Fat
The research is clear: Carbohydrates, not fats, are the foe in
America's battle against heart disease and obesity
By: Adam Campbell & Jeff Volek, Ph.D., R.D.

The recent news that the Atkins low-carb diet works well and improves
health has some people scratching their heads.

If Atkins means eating lots of meat, eggs and cheese, won't all that
saturated fat wreck your cholesterol levels and put you on the road to
heart disease?

Well, no. There's no good evidence of that. And there's plenty of
evidence that the opposite is true--that eating more saturated fat
lowers the risk for heart disease. That's what a recent Harvard
University study found: People who had the highest saturated fat
intake also had the least plaque buildup on their artery walls. The
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition described the findings as an
"American Paradox."

In the Stanford University study that made recent headlines, women on
the "fatty" Atkins diet ended up with the healthiest cholesterol
levels and the best blood pressure readings, compared to those on
other diets, notably the famous Ornish low-fat diet.

Here are a few bullet-points summarizing the current research on
saturated fats.

--We typically eat more than a dozen kinds of saturated fat. Some have
zero effect on cholesterol. Some raise bad (LDL) cholesterol, but all
of them raise good (HDL) cholesterol to a greater extent. That's a net
gain in heart health.
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* Low-Carb Diets Work -- and They're Healthy
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--The nation's top health organizations have for decades called
saturated fat one of the main culprits for diet-related diseases,
including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Problem is,
this blame stems from research that is now seen as incomplete. For
instance, a famous 1953 study took data from six countries,
overlooking 16 countries whose numbers provide contradictory evidence.
(Like France, for instance, or native cultures in Africa and Canada
where high amounts of fat and saturated fat are eaten but heart
disease is practically unknown.)

--Since the 1970s, American men have decreased their saturated fat
intake by 14 percent and increased their carbohydrate intake by 23
percent--yet rates of obesity and heart disease are increasing. You
might say that carbohydrates make people fat, which leads to heart
disease. Or that more carbohydrates you eat, the greater your risk for
a heart attack.

--But these simple numbers only suggest a cause. To prove something,
you need a controlled experiment. There have been many such clinical
trials, and not one has shown has shown that cutting back on saturated
fat reduces heart disease risk.

--When you look at the effect of saturated fat on health, you must
also look at the intake of carbohydrates. Many studies have shown that
if you replace carbs with fat, your triglycerides levels go down and
your good cholesterol goes up. And your bad (LDL) cholesterol
particles get bigger, which means they're less harmful.

--Here's a paradox for you: A high saturated fat intake decreases
blood levels of saturated fat. How can this be? Here's how: The
saturated fat in your blood comes from both the food you eat and from
your liver, which produces saturated fat. The more carbs you eat, the
higher your insulin levels climb, which signals your liver to produce
saturated fat. If you go on a low-carb diet, your insulin levels drop,
and so does production of saturated fat.

--A bonus: with low insulin levels, your body can burn more fat for
energy, decreasing your sat-fat levels even more.