Greek Salad on Baby Romaine

Posted by leannekarella on June 21st, 2013 |Filed Under Recipes | Leave a Comment

It’s what it says it is. *grin

Grape Tomatoes
Red Onions
Green & Red Sweet Peppers
Reduced Fat Feta chunks/crumbles
Baby Romaine

For fat-free/low-cal Greek dressing:
1 package Good Seasons Zesty Italian mix
1/2 cup cider vineger
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup cold water
1 Tblsp dried oragano
2 Tblsp feta
1/2 tsp guar or xanthan gum (for thickener – optional)
mix together well with blender. Let set at least 1 hr before serving for flavors to intensify.

Beef Taco Salad

Posted by leannekarella on June 10th, 2013 |Filed Under Recipes | Leave a Comment

What to do with some really cheap mark-down sirloin? I knew I didn’t want to eat them as steaks. There was about 8 oz between three very thin slices. Beef taco salad!

The veggies:

Iceburg lettuce
Romaine lettuce
Sweet pepper
Red onion

To make the steak:

Thread the steaks onto kabob skewers and sprinkle lightly with taco seasoning and garlic powder.

Grill for about 4 min on each side. Do not overcook or it will be tough.

Slice into very thin strips and put on top of the veggies.

About 1/4 cup sugar-free salsa and 2 Tblsp fat free sour cream to use as dressing.


Ranch Dressing: Low fat/low carb

Posted by leannekarella on June 4th, 2013 |Filed Under Recipes | Leave a Comment

I so, so, so miss ranch dressing!

This still is not calorie-free, so don’t overuse it, and it isn’t QUITE the same as good ol’ Mayo/Buttermilk ranch, but it’s a good substitute that doesn’t taste like funky low-fat bottled stuff.

1-1/2 package (about 5 Tblsp) Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix
1 pint fat free sour cream
1 cup Silk Pure Almond unsweetened (vanilla or original works)
1 heaping Tblsp mayo (for the right flavor)

Whip all this together until smooth. Let set at least 1 hr before using.

For approximately 2 Tblsp serving:  25 calories; 1 protein; 1 fat; 3 carbs

I can’t claim Ideal Protein any longer, I don’t think…

Posted by leannekarella on June 4th, 2013 |Filed Under My Thoughts | Leave a Comment

I have changed the name of my blog from Leanne’s Journey on Ideal Protein to Leanne’s Weight Loss Journey, because I don’t think I can actually claim to be on the actual Ideal Protein diet any longer.

From about 2 months on the diet, I’ve been fiddling with the rules. I use cheese here and there, though try to keep it on the light side. I use condiments that I shouldn’t… (home made low fat ranch dressing, etc…) And I eat way more veggies than the diet calls for.

I have had constant weight and size loss. I didn’t lose any weight (scale weight) for over 6 weeks, but in that time I lost 2 pant sizes. I know the diet I’m dong works.

So here’s an overview of what I’m doing now. The weight loss is slow now, but I am not even worried about that because I have so many medical issues, that any weight loss is a huge accomplishment. I also feel very much healthier eating as I am now, rather than the 750-800 calories a day. I have to active a life to feel so drained out all of the time.

Typical day:

Breakfast: Egg white omelet using about 1/2-2/3 cup liquid egg whites, and about a cup of whatever veggies need to be used up. Today it was a yellow pepper and red onion. 2 oz of protein, usually fat free, no additive ham.

Lunch: HUGE chef salad with about 2 oz of lean meat – ham or turkey or chicken or shrimp. 1/2 oz strong flavored cheese, 3-4 cups of romaine or ice burg lettuce and raw spinach. Other veggies; sweet peppers, onion, tomato (I do take it easy on the tomato amount), cucumber… And for dressing, I make a low-fat ranch and/or Good Seasons mix made without oil.

If this isn’t enough for lunch, I have home made soup. Usually chicken or beef veggie. Fat free, or nearly fat free, with lots of celery and onions, sometimes spinach. Or my salad soup recipe.

Snack: Protein mix of some kind. Nectar fruit drink or a pudding. If I’m super hungry, I use a Fred Meyers brand of Carb Master yogurt added into the pudding. If I’ve missed lunch for some reason and it’s too late in the day to have a bigger meal, I’ll make up one of these pudding/yogurt mixes and it’ll keep me full for 3 hours or so.

Dinner: 6 oz protein. Pan fried (with olive oil) fish, baked or bbq chicken, pan fried or bbq beef, and on occasion some kind of pork. Meatloaf, meatballs, whatever. Depending on the meat consumed the rest of the day depends on the cut of meat I eat in the evening. If it’s been super lean, I’ll have something with more fat like beef or pork. This is also when I eat the heavier veggies. I am in love with cauliflower, portabella mushrooms, cooked spinach, bok choy, zucchini, etc… It’s a fairly big plate of food I have for dinner.

9pm snack: I need to eat to take my nighttime medications, so this is my snack time. I will make a protein shake and freeze it so it’s like eating ice cream. I will eat a protein snack like the soy chips or my favorite is the pretzels from Health Smart. I am also a huge fan of the chocolate brownie Quest Bar, and that I split 50/50 with my hubby because it’s pretty high calorie on its own.

I keep my calories under 1000/day, try to keep the fat under 30% and keep the carbs under 30 net. This also keeps me in ketosis, so I’m not hungry.

I know all the rhetoric behind Ideal Protein, and I have done Atkins in the past. The ketogenic diet makes your body burn fat before muscle, and also is a natural appetite suppressant. It is NOT (and I’m done my research which is more than “follow the plan”) a fail-safe way to lose weight. You have to keep the calories low, and that’s why Ideal Protein works better than Atkins for a lot of people. For someone like me who has medical issues on top of medical issues, including SUPER high insulin resistance, the low calorie is imperative, but feeling like crap because you’re not getting enough calories to keep you going is just not good for me. At 950 calories (approximately) a day, I can function, I can stay awake all day, and I even have energy to do things like helping decorate for a wedding or going four-wheeling.

I still follow the sheet to an extent. I don’t eat the restricted veggies (almost ever, though I had some carrots in a rutabaga stew last week). I don’t eat junk food (though I did enjoy myself at my brother’s wedding). I don’t believe that living with the restrictiveness of the actual Ideal Protein diet is right for me.

I’ve talked this over with my doctor, and she agrees. What I’m doing now is actually more healthy for MY BODY than following the strictly Ideal Protein diet, using Ideal Protein products, which really aren’t all that healthy (high sodium, processed, and in some cases full of sugar).

So this is still my story, but it’s changed a little. I am glad I found Ideal Protein because it got me going in the right direction.

I’ll still continue posting healthy recipes and photos of our suppers as I make them.

Thanks for your support!

40 Lbs!

Posted by leannekarella on June 4th, 2013 |Filed Under Weigh In Updates | Leave a Comment

Finally, after over 6 weeks, the scale has moved, and I even did it on vacation!

BBQ Pork Chinese style

Posted by leannekarella on May 22nd, 2013 |Filed Under Recipes | Leave a Comment

So I’m in Alaska, visiting family, and my mom pretty much hands me a pork loin and tells me to makesomething with it. So, I made my low-carb bbq Chinese bbq pork and roasted veggies. It was fabulous!

Need to marinade for at least 12 hours, 24-36 is even better.

Marinade recipe:
1/3 cup soy sauce (I use low sodium)
1/3 cup Splenda
1 Tblsp Teriyaki sauce
1 1/2 Tblsp lemon juice (or one packet of True Lemon)
2 Tblsp Worchestershire sauce
1 Tblsp dry mustard
1 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp chayanne
2 cloves garlic, minced
10 drops red food coloring (to make it look like Chinese restaurant’s)
about 3 lb pork loin.

Mix all ingredients well and put pork loin in a gallon size ziploc. Pour marinade over it and squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing. Keep in fridge, turning it over about every 4 hours, until ready to cook.

Place in a baking pan with sides, that has been lined with foil. Place on a baking rack for best cooking, but not absolutely needed. Bake at 425 degrees for about 45 min (use a thermometer to make sure you do not overcook it). Once it’s at 160 degrees, pull it out and let it rest. The temp will continue to rise past 165. Leave it sit at least 20 min. Slice, and eat with some spicy mustard.

The grilled veggies were the same recipe I used on another post.

Place desired veggies on a foil-lined baking sheet. Toss with a little olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt and garlic powder. Place in 425 degree oven until nicely wilted yet still tender-crisp.

Shirataki Style Noodles

Posted by leannekarella on May 15th, 2013 |Filed Under Helpful Hints For Cooking, Recipes | Leave a Comment

I’ve had a few questions pop up about how good are these noodles and how do you cook them.

This is a photo of the package of my favorite brand. I do not care for the Miracle Noodle brand, though the texture is slightly more noodle-like than the Asian brand I buy at the Asian market.

When you open the package, there is a very slight fishy odor. They are sold in the refrigerated section of the store, and they are packed in water. They last a very very long time in the refrigerator unopened.

Miracle Noodle brand actually does not need to be refrigerated, but I find they have a stronger fishy odor and that the taste does not rinse out.

I open a package and unknot them. They are bundled to be dumped into soup, in a fancy little knot, but I like to eat them like spaghetti noodles, not in a clump. I put them in a colander with a very fine mesh (the noodles are very thing) and rinse very well with warm water. I put on a small pot of water to boil, and once it’s boiling, I dump in the noodles, and bring the water back to a boil, then take them off and rinse them in the colander once again. Done. Ready to use.

Now, what you have is something with zero flavor, but these take on the flavor of anything you cook them in. If I’m going to eat them as plain noodles with a little I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Spray and some parm, instead of putting them in plain boiling water, I will do the quick boil in beef or chicken broth. Adds a nice little flavor. I have also, after cooking them in beef broth, drain them and then drop them on a warm (not hot) non-stick skillet until they are dry and serve them with a little soy sauce and sesame seeds for an Asian flair.

I use these in pasta sauce as well. I still boil them quickly, but then put them in a pot of sauce at a low simmer for about 1/2 hour. It tastes the BEST if it sits overnight, but a 1/2 hour is pretty good too.

This brand I use… the Ingredients are: Konjac Flour, Water, Calcium Hydroxide.
Calories for the entire bag (I eat about 1/2 a bag at a sitting) 15 cal; 7.5 carbs; 7.5 fiber (zero net carbs!)

Pie-less Chicken Pot Pie

Posted by leannekarella on May 14th, 2013 |Filed Under Recipes | 1 Comment

So, I think it’s actually called “pottage” but that’s a word that sounds bad in my ear, so I’m going to call this a pie-less pot pie.

Basically, I made chicken pot pie filling in a casserole dish and it was SUPER YUMMY and there’s only 2 servings left out of a 6 qt casserole since my hubby and kiddo had seconds and thirds! Hubby had some rye bread with his.

Fairly easy to throw together too!

Yes, I used some veggies that I’m not supposed to eat, because I wanted to see if it would really taste like pot pie, but I also used a ton of broccoli and cauliflower, so I pushed the corn and carrots to the side.

In a deep casserole dish… I’ll give you what I used, though 6 qts is a LOT for a typical household. Remember that the veggies do cook down though.

First, spray the dish with non-stick spray.

Layer from bottom, everything cut into bite-size pieces

5 chicken breasts
1 onion
1 bag frozen carrots/peas/corn/green beans
4 cups broccoli
4 cups cauliflower
1 lb mushrooms

Set the casserole aside and in a pot on the stove….

1 qt fat free, low sodium chicken broth
a little extra low sodium chicken bullion
1 cup sugar free almond milk (to make it creamier)
garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, crushed dried rosemary (to taste)
1 tsp xanthan gum to thicken

Once this is bubbly, pour over the veggies in the casserole, cover the dish and put in 350 degree oven for about 1.5 hrs or until the chicken is cooked through and the veggies are tender.

For the calorie count, I only counted the things I actually ate (about a cup of cauliflower and a cup of broccoli and 3 oz chicken, and 1 cup of fat free chicken broth)

Yummy, easy, fast-to-make low cal/fat dinner.

Posted by leannekarella on May 6th, 2013 |Filed Under My Thoughts, Recipes | 1 Comment


1/2 pkg shirataki noodles
8 oz chicken breast, sliced think to cook fast
2 portabella caps
2 cups favorite veggies
Seasonings of choice
Grated Parmesan (optional)
Olive oil for frying

I fast fried my chicken, because it was too hot to turn on the oven to broil it, and too much work to light the grill. Using about 2 Tbls oil, I fried each breast piece for about 3 min on each side using a tiny bit of Red Robin seasoning and garlic/herb no-salt seasoning.

In the same pan, using the same oil, I took out the chicken and put in the two portabella caps, face down, and put the lid on to let them wilt a little, but not enough to get mushy.

I prepared my shirataki noodles, while everything else cooked, and put them right on the plate with a little I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter spray and a light sprinkle of parm.

I put my mushroom caps on a plate, put the chicken on top and used my low-carb bbq sauce.

On the side I had 2 cups of steamed cauliflower.

Entire meal: 337 calories; 60 protein; 7 fat; 23 carb; 12 fiber (11 net carbs)

Ham & Egg wrap

Posted by leannekarella on May 2nd, 2013 |Filed Under Recipes | 1 Comment

Hungry today, so I needed a bigger, more solid lunch than just salad, as I usually do. This was today’s creation.

3 leafs romaine
3 slices Great Value 97 % fat free deli smoked ham
1 slice Go Veggie American style cheese slice
1/2 cup 100% liquid egg whites
1 Tblsp fat free mayo
as much deli mustard as you want!
a couple deli style dill spears

Fry up egg whites with whatever seasoning you prefer, cut into 3 strips.
Spread mayo and mustard on three large lettuce leaves. Fold ham slices in half and place one on each leaf. Cut the cheese in 3 slices. Place warm egg over cheese to make it a little melty. Add pickles and YUM!

This plate = 228 cal; 31 protein; 6 fat; 12 carbs; 2 fiber

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