Monday, December 29, 2014

I Love Making Christmas Cookies!

Once Upon A Time there was a woman who loved coloring sugar cookie dough, cutting out 3" Christmas Shapes, sprinkling sugar on top and throwing them in the oven.  She'd bring the baked cookies to Christmas gatherings.  She enjoyed eating them and sharing them. 

Then one day, this woman was diagnosed with Diabetes.  While sugar cookies were still allowed, she could only eat one or two in a sitting before her glucose would go up.  Having sugar cookies around the house became very difficult for her.  So, she tried to find a way around it.  

One year she got a  set of 1" cookie cutters from her husband.  So, she made tiny little, itty, bitty cookies.  After trying to get the dough off and cut out a dozen of these little cookies, the woman decided it just wasn't worth all the tediousness.

The next year, she didn't make cookies at all.  She saw her cookie cutters sitting unused in the cabinet and wondered if she would ever use them again.  She pondered giving them away, but she just wasn't ready. 

Then, the third year, she was bound and determined to use those dang 3" inch cookie cutters to make Christmas shapes.  She started thinking about it and then it hit her.  One sugar cookie can range from 10-18 grams of carbs.  However, one whole piece of bread is around 15 grams of carbs.  She figured she could get about 2 shapes out of one piece of bread and that didn't use the whole 15 grams of carbs.  Hmmmm....What do you do with shapes cut out of bread?  You make French Toast!!  

So, the woman scoured ideas for cutout French Toast, on Pinterest and found a few recipes for hearts etc...  She formulated a new plan for Christmas this year and made Christmas French Toast instead of cookies.  

The moral of this story is that you can still have your cookie cutting fun and eat more....even if you are Diabetic.  

Below is the recipe with absolutely NO sugar added. 

First off, I used white bread because it doesn't really bother my glucose and most of our family would prefer white bread.  I also wasn't sure how the color would come through.  Maybe next year, I'll do a loaf of wheat and a loaf of white.  If you try wheat, let me know how it goes!

Prep Time: 75 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
(I'm always slow the first time I try something, these times are high estimates.  However, this is a project, so it's not a normal, do this every day, kind of thing.)

2 mixing bowls
Serving container for finished French Toast (we put them in a pyrex portable dish with a hot pack to keep it hot)
A pair of Surgical gloves (to keep your fingers from turning black). 
Two whisks
Large (12") frying pan

2 loaves of sturdy white or wheat bread (or one loaf of each)
1 dozen eggs, divided
1 cup milk , divided
1.5 tsp cinnamon, divided
1.5 tsp nutmeg, divided
red food coloring
green food coloring

1) Cut shapes out of bread, 2 shapes per piece (I did this the night before, storing them flat, 1 dozen cutouts per batch, in single layers, in ziploc baggies to keep them fresh and fluffy.  This saved time and tediousness the next day).

2) Crack 6 eggs into one bowl and the other in the remaining bowl. Beat eggs with a whisk in both bowls. Whisk 1/2 the milk, 1/2 the cinnamon and 1/2 the nutmeg into each bowl.  

3) Whisk red food coloring in one bowl and green food coloring into the other bowl until you have the right color. 

4) Spray pan with cooking spray and heat to medium. Put on surgical gloves.  Cooking one batch at a time, dip, fry and flip as you would french toast, until done. 

5) After each batch, remove pan from heat, stir egg mixture and spray pan again.  Switch out colors as you see fit.  I did all red batches first, then all green.  Just stick to one color per batch.  

6) Serve with sugar free syrup or a little powdered sugar on top.  Personally, I really enjoyed them as is.  The cinnamon and nutmeg were very tasty. 

As you can see they look like cookies, but they aren't.  Best of all, I estimate that I can eat about 5 of these puppies for the price of 2 cookies.  I call that working the system.  

What ideas have you come up with to work the carbs system?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

I have become a carb snob

I do a lot of reflecting at the end of every year, so this post is me reflecting on how far I've come over the last few years.

I've become a carb snob!  There was a time when carbs were the only thing I really wanted to eat.  I love mashed potatoes, sub sandwiches and crunchy munchies.  I was a meat and potatoes girl.  At the beginning of this year, I would see pictures of carb-filled fast food meals on tv and think "Mmmmm, that looks yummy!"  Something changed this year.  I'm not sure exactly when or how, but I crossed the carb snob threshold.

Now I see pictures of carb-filled fast food meals on tv and think "Ugh!!  That has WAY too many carbs in it."  It's not appealing.  It's not healthy and it doesn't look tasty to me.  I think my tie-dye addiction has moved into food.  I want a plate with lots of color on it.  Not drab white and orange.  I want greens and reds too (Maybe I just like Christmas color foods now...LOL!).

I don't remember where Hubby and I were going, but we were having a conversation about what food would be available.  At one point, I whined and complained that there weren't going to be enough vegetables.  Everything was carb.  I lamented how I was going to be bored with my meal.  That was the moment when I realized I'd become a carb snob.  I now judge every meal by how many carbs vs. vegetables are on the menu.  I don't even want to go eat at restaurants that are carb heavy...unless there's a good salad bar.

Hi, I'm Kristen Beireis and I'm a carb snob.  Do I care?  Absolutely not.  My snobiness is going to point me in a healthy direction and keep me eating yummy, healthy foods.

Are you a carb snob? Or is there some other food you're a snob about?  Come on, share what you point your nose up at when it comes to food.  Admit it.  Love it and let your snobiness reign free.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

I do not diet in December

So, I went to the Endocrinologist yesterday and found out that I have lost another 4 pounds!  Woo hoo!!  This brings me to 18 pounds lost this year and a total of 53 pounds lost in just under 3 years.  I'm only 4 pounds away from a healthy BMI.

I'm going off my diet!

First, let me define what "diet" means to me.  Diet = cutting back on calories.  My diet from July through yesterday, has been 1500/day.

I know, it seems backwards doesn't it?  I lost 4 pounds in a month and I only have four to go...why stop there?  Because it's DECEMBER!  There's a lot of hectic-ness in December which is a bit stressful.  Add to that, I have choir concerts throughout the month, with the Community Choir.  Not to mention I'm auditioning for a musical next week and rehearsals would start right away.  While I love every minute of all the things I'm doing...hectic=stress.  Um, and as a Diabetic...this is not good.  So, I refuse to add any fuel to the fire.

It's a bit stressful to choose to eat less calories.  It takes a lot of thinking, tracking and choosing things that aren't necessarily easy to find.  It's not so hard when I'm going about my normal schedule and eating in controlled environments.  When it comes to family gatherings and home cooked treats, that's not really a controlled environment.  I don't even have the luxury of always choosing restaurants at this time of year.

So, I've decided to make the holidays easy on myself and give myself a gift by not dieting.  I'm committed to counting my carb servings (no more than three at a meal and no more than 2 at a snack).  That's an every day thing and I've been doing it for almost three years, so it's second nature to me now.  I don't care how many calories I eat in and around those carbs though.

In the winter, it's not as easy to get the fresh vegetables and fruits that I love so much.  So, I tend to eat a lot more calories.  So, I'm going to play winter by ear.  I'm going to try a maintenance diet of 1800 calories a day and that may go up to 2000 calories when I'm more active. I may stick to that during the show or I might decide to go back down to my 1500.  I can guarantee once I'm back to hiking next year...I'll be focused on dropping those last 4 pounds.  Next year, I will hit my goal weight (and maybe shave off a few more pounds for good measure) and then stop and maintain from there.  Until then, I'm content to play it by ear based on how I feel and what I want to eat.

I hope you enjoy the holidays and give yourself a gift of some sort to make it easier.  If you do, leave a comment and share what your gift to yourself is.