Tag Archives: Virtual Weight Management

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Low Carb Easy Recipe: Mole Chili Con Carne

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One of the most frustrating things we have to deal with during any diet is the feeling that you’re being deprived from eating good food. Depending on the type of diet you’re on, what we would typically consider really good tasting foods are now forbidden to us, while we watch family and friends happily enjoying them all around us.

When I started my current wellness plan, the limitations on sugar, carbohydrates and sodium prescribed by Dr. Sam felt like torment! So many foods were instantly removed from my list, and my list of potential ingredients seemed to dwindle every time I visited the grocery store.  What I really wanted was to make something that was great tasting and felt like it was off my diet, but it actually wasn’t.

I wanted a low carb easy recipe, so I started experimenting with what possible ingredients I could still use to make a really good pot of chili. Personally, I can eat chili year round, and it’s one of those meals that will have plenty of leftovers – a great thing if you’re trying to stretch your grocery dollars!

My final recipe draws elements of mole style cooking, combined with Texas style no-bean chili. Going bean-less really lowers the carbs!

Mike’s Mole Chili Con Carne

  • 2.5 pounds of lean ground sirloin (optionally, you can use a 50/50 combination of ground round and lean ground turkey)
  • 1 large green pepper – diced
  • 1 large yellow onion – diced
  • 4-6 oz. of fresh chili peppers – diced (I usually use a combination of 3 serranos, 2 jalapeños and one habenero – I like spicy!) Note: When dicing the chili peppers, latex gloves are recommended to avoid burnt fingertips.
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 large can of low sodium crushed tomatoes (28 oz.)
  • 1 large can of low sodium stewed diced tomatoes (28 oz.)
  • 2 cups of water

Spices:

  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of thyme (dried)
  • 1 teaspoon of oregano (dried)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar substitute

Preparation:

  • Brown the ground beef in a stew pot in the olive oil, breaking the meat up into fine pieces.
  • Add the diced onion and green pepper, cooking it in the meat until the onion starts to turn a little translucent.
  • Add the chili peppers and all the spices, mixing them into the meat/veggie mixture until everything is well coated with spices.
  • Stir in the canned tomatoes and crushed tomato, and then add the water, stirring everything together well and continuously until the pot comes to a light simmer.
  • Reduce heat to medium/low, and let it cook uncovered. Simmer the chili for 4-6 hours, stirring once every 30 minutes while the chili reduces.
  • Serve with shredded cheddar cheese on top.

Yields approximately eight 10-12 oz. servings.

Estimated Nutritional Statistics

Calories: 411 | Carbs: 29 | Fat: 18 | Protein: 34 | Sodium: 610 | Sugar: 14

I’ll be sharing more from my low carb easy recipe files in the near future!

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Weight Loss Success: How I Learned to Change My Eating Habits

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This is a letter I received from my patient, Annette Wright, who wanted to share her weight loss success story. 

Dear Dr. Sam,

I would like to thank you for everything you have done for me. I have struggled with my weight for many years. I heard about you from a coworker who is seeing you, as well. She had lost a lot of weight under your guidance, and I thought it would be worth talking to you.

After my first visit, you encouraged me and taught me what foods I should stay away from and gave me ideas of what to eat and when. I understood from the very first day I wouldn’t have to go hungry, but just change what I was eating. I started by cutting out a lot of starchy carb-based foods because you said this was what had been causing my issues with my sugar dropping. The first week, I had withdrawals, even though I still had some breads. By the third week, I was ready to cut them out all together.

My husband was a huge help with my weight loss. He gave me many ideas on what to do and try. In the warmer weather, I had a lettuce wrap sandwich for lunch at work. As it got colder and I needed more substance and warmth for the cold, I used beans as a base and added as many veggies as I could, along with seasoning and some cheese. Dinners became a variety of meats and veggies, including homemade sausages.

Early on, I knew I would need to eat some of my old favorites. I decided to see what I could do to make them healthier. I searched the Web and asked you about different food and what would be good bases to start with. That is when I learned how good beans were for me. I started using bean flour in more recipes. It is great as a thickener for soups and stews. My daughter made banana bread with it, and it turned out pretty good! I used it to make bean noodles for lasagna.

I am also a chocoholic. That being said, I needed something I could eat without disrupting my new healthy eating plan. That is when I found an awesome recipe for black bean brownies. These turned out great, and I made sure I had some all through the holidays so I could enjoy these while not feeling left out or being bad with my eating habits. I also made some almond cardamom cookies as a variation.

Other helpful weight loss tactics I have tried include making veggie smoothies in the morning in order to increase my veggie intake. I knew I wouldn’t keep up with it daily, so I cut veggies for three days and keep them in a glass container so they are ready and I don’t have to do it daily.

I am on a tight budget, so I follow a local coupon site to see what is on sale and when to plan my shopping around the best prices. When dining out and the servers bring that big basket of carbs, I send it back so I’m not tempted (after clearing it with my husband!).

I am not big on keeping up with calorie counters, but every so often I enter everything in for a few days to make sure I’m still in the range I want to be. I have also found a few exercise videos that I enjoy, and I walk whenever I can. I work on my feet all day, so some days and times are harder for exercise, but I keep trying to push myself a little more.

Thanks again, Dr. Sam, for all your help, and I hope this letter helps someone else to achieve weight loss success!

Sincerely,

Annette Wright

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How to Manage Your Weight Loss With the Power of Negative Thinking

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We hear it all the time from friends, family and co-workers telling us there is power in “positive thinking.” And when you’re dieting and trying to reach your weight loss goal, thinking positive is great advice. It helps keep us upbeat when our goal seems far away and helps us to envision how good we’re going to feel when we reach a healthy weight.

Positive thinking leads to a positive attitude, and when making a major life change, we need to have a good mental outlook.

But you don’t hear much about how to manage your weight loss with “negative thinking.” This mindset can be a powerful tool in our weight loss arsenal to help keep us motivated and strong willed.

After I was diagnosed with non-diabetic insulin resistance as one of the main causes behind my trouble losing weight, I asked Dr. Sam what sort of diet I should be on. He gave me some fairly general guidelines, allowing me the latitude to make my own menus and food plans. But one guideline he gave me was the hardest to wrap my head around: No starches and no carb-heavy foods.

That meant I would have to give up bread, rice, potatoes, chips, pretzels, candy, sugary pop and a whole list of other foods that, let’s face it, are really great to eat and snack on. And the carbs I did allow myself to have had to come only from vegetables and low sugar fruits. But when you’re diagnosed with insulin resistance, high carb foods are completely counter to the medication you’re taking and will push back against all your diet and exercise plans.

The first few days after I gave up carbs were terrible! I felt deprived and angry. It felt unfair, especially watching other people around me enjoying “normal” foods without a care in the world.

But then I had a realization about how I needed to change my attitude about carbs, an attitude which would put some perspective on my new reality: an obese man with a dangerous disease that could kill me if left uncontrolled.

I needed to have a negative attitude about high carb foods and see them for what they truly were to me – TOXIC. I resolved to think about high-carb foods in exactly those terms.

From that point on, every time I saw a basket of bread, cake, pie or loaded baked potato, I thought to myself, “That’s toxic… if you eat that stuff, it’s as deadly to you as eating rat poison. Don’t do it!”

It may sound harsh to think like that, but it was also a very empowering. It allowed me to quickly push away temptations to snack on chips, or eat candy, or even think about making a sandwich with bread. It made those foods feel dangerous and risky to eat, which they are when you’re trying to control your blood sugar and insulin resistance.

Every meal I ate with no high carbs made it easier to eat my next meal without heavy starchy foods. Every day that went by that I succeeded in keeping my total carbs low, it became easier and easier, until I didn’t even think of carb-rich foods as anything I would want to eat regularly.

It’s not easy to live a low carb life in a world filled with high carb foods, but with the right negative attitude, you can put those carb-heavy foods in their place and give yourself the power to control what you eat and how you manage the food choices you make.

Have feedback or questions for me on how to manage your weight loss with negative thinking? Share in the comments.