Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Low-Carb: the best New Year's Resolution?

Well it has been a while since my last update, but this has been a busy month. I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas holiday. 

It was a little easier than I expected to pass up on some of my "old" favorite foods like dressing, macaroni & cheese, and corn. I'm sure this was because I had some great alternatives (such as cauliflower & cheese casserole) and of course Mrs. LCD's famous low-carb lemon pie.  

December 31 is an important date to me personally; on 12/31/2012 I ended my "old" life and started the low-carb lifestyle on 1/1/2013. 

For the months preceding that date I had researched various diets and decided that "keto" (or low-carb) was the one for me. It offered the most flexibility and did not lock you into rigid portion control rules (which I knew would never work for me). 

So, on January 1st I flipped the switch and dove into a new way of thinking -- here I am 60 pounds lighter to prove that it works if you stick with it. 

As many make new year's resolutions around this time, I encourage you to share this website with your friends and family members -- perhaps there is someone in your life who needs to consider making a change. Perhaps that is you! 

If I can answer any questions, please feel free to ask.  Thanks for a great 2013!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Cracker Barrel - Country Chef Salad

Another day, another salad. You really should like salads if you embark on a low-carb journey. I eat salads only on days that end in "Y". It could be worse; I could be scraping the last crumbs out of my lean cuisine tray and/or wondering how many Weight Watchers points I'd burned. Whatever works for you. 

On this occasion I had the Country Chef Salad at Cracker Barrel. 

From their website

"Our Fresh salad greens are topped with hearty slices of oven-roasted turkey breast, sugar-cured ham, and hickory smoked bacon, along with slices of English cucumber, grape tomatoes, and a wedge of Colby cheese. Comes with two traditional deviled eggs, and our own sourdough croutons."

Look at all that bacon. No croutons, of course, and go easy on the tomatoes. The sugar amount in the "sugar-cured ham" is negligible. I enjoyed this salad with some vinaigrette dressing.

Total carbs: Probably not many

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Firehouse Subs - Turkey Chef's Salad

If you've been to Firehouse Subs, you know that they do things right. Before I eliminated carbs from my diet, I would go here often for their delicious subs. The fact that kids eat free on Tuesdays is even better. 

Luckily, their salads are just as good and HUGE. Here is the turkey salad: 

You can see that there's plenty of turkey, bell peppers, cheese, a hard-boiled egg, and other goodies. Check their dressings carefully; the vinaigrette and ranch are the best choices. You can shave off a few carbs by leaving off the tomatoes. 

Firehouse also has one of the Coke Freestyle machines, which means that I get my cherry mello yello zero or diet cherry ginger ale. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Dark Chocolate - Part II

So, Amazon.com had some great prices on dark chocolate and I stocked up. Make hay while the sun shines! One or two squares of this every day will satisfy your sweet tooth and won't break the carb bank. 

Those who saw my previous post about dark chocolate are already familiar with this.

Here are some links to get you started; this is what I got:

Ghirardelli Chocolate Squares
Ghirardelli Chocolate Bars

The sea salt bars are for Mrs. Low-Carb; it has quite a bit more carbs per serving. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Low-Carb Gumbo

Cooler weather plus great college football calls for some hearty meals. Gumbo is a southern favorite, and it can surely be enjoyed by the low-carb diner. 


1.5 lbs shrimp
1 lb dark lump crab meat 
2 green bell peppers
2 onions
4-5 stalks celery
3 cups frozen okra
8 oz. can tomato sauce
Liquid crab boil (to taste) 
Gumbo file powder (to taste)
Olive Oil

Of course, gumbo is as much an art as a science, and everyone does theirs a bit differently. To bring it into low-carb territory, this recipe does not use a flour-based roux. As always, this just a rough guide; feel free to vary it to taste. 

Chop the onions, celery, and bell peppers (we used a food processor, but whatever works), then stew them over medium-high heat in your gumbo pot with some olive oil for a few minutes until combined. Add the okra along with just enough water to cover.

After the okra has softened, take the back of your spoon and mash it. The okra will help to thicken the mixture. Did you know that the word "gumbo" supposedly comes from an African word for okra? 

Stir in the tomato sauce and boil until thickened. Add water at this point to reach your desired consistency. Add the seafood (it's okay to add it frozen -- break it up with your spoon as it thaws) and continue boiling for a few minutes to make sure the seafood is cooked. Then reduce to a simmer, add your seasonings (file powder and crab boil, or whatever you want), and cover. Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Eat.

Wait a sec, what about rice or crackers? Nope. 

Instead, send some cauliflower through the food processor until it's roughly the consistency of rice, then boil and drain it. Presto! There's something you can shamelessly pour that low-carb gumbo over.

Total carbs: Not many

Monday, November 4, 2013

Tacky Jack's - Grilled Mahi Mahi

Your local LCD had a great lunch yesterday at Tacky Jack's on the causeway. 

Here's the grilled 8 oz. mahi mahi with "double" mixed veggies. 

It was a beautiful day to eat lunch out on the porch!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Lindas Low Carb Menus & Recipes

Here's a site I found with gobs of low-carb recipes. I will be trying some of them for sure! First on my list will be the low-carb protein bars...


If any of these work out for you, or if you have any other recipes to share, please post them! Thanks!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Whataburger Breakfast

If you've wondered what low-carb fare $4.09 gets you at Whataburger, here you go. Not bad, and coffee is included.

Total carbs: Not many (it's eggs and bacon!)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Hickory Pit (Elba, AL) - BBQ Pork Salad

Not so much "southwest" as "south central" Alabama, but here goes: this is the BBQ pork salad at the Hickory Pit in Elba, AL.

This salad was huge, but I managed to eat the whole thing because it was so good.

A+, would eat again. Check out the Hickory Pit if you find yourself in Elba.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Cereal Temptation

Welcome to the LCD pantry. As you can see, there is temptation everywhere. Who knew that they even made a Cinnabon cereal?? Stay strong, friends, and resist.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Jean Collection

Happy Friday everyone! Today's photo shows my collection of blue jeans since I started eating low-carb in January.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Low-Carb Cheesecake Pie Recipe

Many of you have been asking about this, and I finally asked Mrs. LCD to help me with writing this up -- so, without further ado, here's the recipe for no-bake low-carb pie!

- 1-1/2 cup raw almonds 
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter 
- zest of 3 lemons
- 2 tbsp splenda

Put all of this into your food processor; pulse until well mixed and the almonds are crushed. See the photo for the desired texture.

Spread the crust in your pan; you may bake it in the oven, but we never do. You may reserve some of the crust for the top (I like it this way) or put it all on the bottom and sides. Or you can go crazy and mix some of the crust into the filling.

- juice from 3 lemons
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 tbsp splenda
- 2 blocks cream cheese (2x 8oz)

Mix these together until it has soft peaks. Add 2 blocks of cream cheese and mix. Add the filling to the crust that's waiting in your pie dish, refrigerate.

Enjoy with or without some whipped cream.

Total carbs: NOT MANY

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Hardee's Low-Carb Breakfast Bowl

Today I stopped in Hardee's to check out their Low-Carb Breakfast Bowl -- and it was great! 

According to their website, this bowl has only 3g of carbs, and the portion was generous. 

Here are the ingredients from their website: 
Bacon Bits
Cheddar Cheese
Cheese, Swiss
Sausage Patty (pork)
Loaded Omelet Blend
Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
Sausage Patty (pork)
Bacon, Bits
Ham, Diced

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Skillet Pork & Peppers

I dined _in_ yesterday for lunch - this is a quick and easy 1-skillet meal that you can prepare in just a few minutes. 

I started by taking some thawed boneless pork chops and put them on high heat in the skillet with some butter. Once those were getting close to done, I took them out and sliced them into strips. They went back into the pan with salt & pepper. 

Then, I chopped some bell peppers and put those in with the pork. I drizzled soy sauce on the whole works and covered the skillet, dropped the heat to medium, and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. 

Easy, tasty, and low in carbs.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Panera Bread - Power Bowl

I'm sure that a place with a name like "Panera Bread" strikes fear into every LCD's soul -- after all, doesn't bread deliver a lethal dose of carbs to our ketotic state?

The answer is yes, so don't go there for bread. No bread. NO BREAD!

This was tough for me; before I entered the low-carb lifestyle, I would often stop in for a delicious whole grain bagel with their fantastic honey walnut creamcheese. My goodness.

Anyway, Panera understands that some of their customers are trying to shrink, so they offer lower-carb selections on their "Power Menu". I have sampled almost all of them, and can confirm that they are tasty.

Here is the breakfast power bowl with steak. This features eggs, tomatoes, avocado, and sirloin steak. Simple and yummy.

Here is a link to their full nutrition guide. The power menu items are down at the bottom: 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Breakfast Almond Biscuits

These low-carb biscuits were made this weekend by Mrs. LCD and feature sausage, cheese, and almond flour -- I will post the recipe in the comments. She did good!

I've had a few for breakfast the past few days; a few seconds in the microwave is just right.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Las Cazuelas - Chicken Fajita Salad

Sunday lunch was a nice chicken fajita salad from Las Cazuelas in Saraland. No chips!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Foosackly's Naked Tender Salad

If you know me, you've probably heard me begfoosackly's to grill some chicken. That just needs to happen. 

In the meantime, the LCD can enjoy some foo goodness and still watch their carbs. Order your tenders "naked" (or "non-breaded" for the modest) and they'll do you right. 

You may have to go inside instead of driving through; it takes a few extra minutes because they cook them special just for you.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Ruby Tuesday

Ruby Tuesday offers some good choices for low-carb meals and is close to the LCD headquarters. 

Yesterday I took Mrs. LCD and our two not-so-LCD kids for lunch. Of course I went straight for the famous salad bar and piled my plate high with healthy fixins. Blue cheese, italian, and ranch are the least offensive dressings carb-wise. 

This is the "veggie trio" salad combo, with broccoli, spaghetti squash, and zucchini. Order the broccoli "plain"; otherwise they put some kind of sauce on it that will cost you.

Interestingly, our server told us that our meal was paid for by a mysterious benefactor. The LCD family would like to thank this kind and generous person; certainly we will "pay it forward" in the future.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Dark Chocolate

I never considered eating one of these "fancy" chocolate bars before I joined the low-carb movement. I always thought that they were too bitter; I could always just gobble up a snickers or hershey bar and get my chocolate fix. 

BUT...the LCD must be much more cautious when choosing a sweet snack. These ultra-dark bars can be had for $2-$3 and can last for days. Limit yourself to one or two squares per serving and you'll be fine. They might taste bitter at first, but that's because you're used to sugar overload. Give it time. 

My favorite is the 86% Ghirardelli, but the Lindt 85% or 90% is great too. Mrs. LCD prefers the sea salt versions, but those have a few more carbs, so maybe only one square per serving of those.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Jimmy John's Unwich

Jimmy John's is a great sandwich shop that has a perfect option for the LCD -- behold the "Unwich". 

You can order any of their sandwiches "unwich style", which means that they wrap them up tightly in big pieces of lettuce. 

This is their #10 "Hunter's Club", which features lots of tasty roast beef. A great choice for a quick lunch.

Total carbs: Not many

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Hacienda San Miguel - Grilled Steak Salad

On Fridays I take my office staff to lunch. Our location in west Mobile means that we have plenty of great choices. Yesterday they chose mexican food at Hacienda San Miguel, which seems to come up every couple of months in the rotation. 

My go-to mexican meal is a fairly obvious choice; the taco salad. San Miguel does a good job with their grilled steak version, which is what you see here. What you don't see is what I did next, which was dump it upside-down on the plate and scoop the guacamole and sour cream on top, followed by a dash of salsa. 

"But why not just order it without the bowl?" you may ask. Often someone uses chunks of it to scoop up their beans & rice or whatever, so I let it come in the bowl.

If you stay away from the chips, the LCD can have a successful mexican lunch. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Friday, August 16, 2013

McDonald's Breakfast Burrito

Sometimes you don't get to pick where you go. 

You're with family, or co-workers, or friends, and it isn't your turn to pick the restaurant. It happens all the time. This page is all about *practical* meal choices that real people can apply. So, I decided to show what might be a good choice at McDonald's for breakfast. Maybe not the absolute best, but this works for me.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Low-Carb "Cheesecake"

Dessert isn't something that often comes to mind when you hear the word "diet", but cutting carbs isn't so much a diet but a lifestyle change. In other words, you are still a living, breathing person, and your sweet tooth can't be simply turned off. 

Having something sweet on occasion shouldn't be a dealbreaker, nor should it be something you are ashamed of. The key is to find things that fall in line with your daily carb intake goals, and being firm with yourself about it.

Here is a relatively low-carb dessert that has become a favorite of mine. This is a no-bake pie that is similar to a no-bake cheesecake, but we use cream cheese, heavy cream, and either lemon or lime zest, along with splenda for a sweetener. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

O'Charley's - Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

Here's a great lunch option at O'Charley's -- the grilled chicken caesar salad. 

I eat LOTS of grilled chicken caesar salads and have seen good, bad, and ugly, and this one is good. Just ask for no croutons, and skip those enormous carb pills (the rolls). Water with lemon completes a nice lunch. 

My dessert is a piece of sugar-free trident gum. 

Please share this page with your friends, and if you have low-carb ideas, please post them on the facebook page or share them in the comments.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Shane's Rib Shack - Smoked Wings

If you're a huge BBQ fan like me, you might be surprised when you see what's still on the BBQ menu after clearing off the carby stuff. Out goes the potato salad, baked beans, sugary sauces, and french fries. Fortunately, PROTEIN and FAT are the LCD's friends. 

Good thing there's Shane's Rib Shack (Hillcrest & Airport, where the Copeland's was). 

In addition to the traditional hot wings, which are typically breaded, fried, and tossed in sauce, they also offer what you see here -- their smoked wings. I order them (celery included) with the sauce on the side, although I don't use much. Pair these wings (10 or 20) with a side salad for a complete lunch.

Their beverage station offers the LCD some smart choices including coke zero and unsweet tea (and they have the "good" ice).

Total carbs: Not many

Monday, August 12, 2013

Moe's Southwest Grill - $6 Monday Special

On many Mondays you'll find me at Moe's, where $6.00 gets you a tasty lunch and a drink, tax included. 

I usually get one of their "Earmuffs" burrito bowls, although Low-Carb Diners may choose a salad instead. 

Skip the beans, rice, and any corn-based toppings. I usually add bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, lettuce, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and perhaps some salsa to the chicken. 

A good, filling lunch that won't break your carb count or wallet.

Total carbs: Not many

Macaroni Grill

Yesterday after church I gave the lunch option to Mrs. Low-Carb Dining, and she chose Macaroni Grill. 

See, once you're on this diet long enough, you tend to understand that you'll find *something* to eat pretty much anywhere (salads are usually a safe fallback), so I was undaunted when she made her choice. 

I ended up choosing the Grilled Chicken Spiedini, which came with roasted veggies and some roasted potatoes. I also chose a caesar salad (sans croutons). Don't worry, the carb-laden potatoes are naturally out of the question for me; they went to Mrs. LCD. 

Total carbs: Probably not many (and you get to draw on the table)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Smoked Pork Tenderloin

Here's a low-carb meal that you can cook at home. 

Many who are just starting out on ketogenic diets get worried about cooking at home. The truth is that you can make some wonderful, easy meals that fit your diet. You can even sneak some very low-carb meals past your family without them even noticing. 

Here is a smoked pork tenderloin that took less than 1 hour in my electric smoker/roaster, along with some oven-roasted butternut squash.

Now, as squashes go, butternut has a few more carbs than the more popular acorn, spaghetti, zucchini, or yellow, but it's what I had, and it's yummy. 

Total carbs: Not many

Sonic Happy Hour

Sonic *is* your summer drink stop, especially with happy hour from 2pm-4pm. HOWEVER, instead of getting a cup full of sugar, try one of their flavored diet green teas or a diet soda. 

This is one of my favorites, a cherry coke zero. 

Total carbs: Not many

Friday, August 9, 2013

Waffle House - Cheesesteak Omelet

Waffle House. Who doesn't like Waffle House? 

You, too, can continue to enjoy those late night and early morning meals at the place that's always open. Or you can go at lunch time like I did. 

But -- you won't find me scarfing down those delicious waffles, hash browns, or grits. This photo here shows the best low-carb meal you can assemble at Waffle House, and it is amazing.

This here is a cheesesteak omelet (order it "on the side" to avoid carb-rich toast and grits). I pair this up with a large order of bacon (usually "hold the weight" but I forgot this time). Diet coke or coffee to drink.

Total carbs: Not many

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Chik-fil-a - Cobb Salad

Here is the new Chik-fil-a cobb salad with grilled chicken. 

If you look this up on their website it supposedly has over 20g of carbs, but I throw out the packet of "Charred Tomato Crispy Red Bell Peppers" along with most of the tomatoes and corn. 

What's left is a nice grilled chicken salad with egg, bacon, and cheese. I use the tasty avocado ranch dressing. 

Pair this with some of their diet lemonade for some tangy relief on a hot summer day. Eat mor chikin indeed.

Total carbs: Not many

Mediterranean Sandwich Company - Salad

This is a great low-carb meal from the Mediterranean Sandwich Company on Schillinger Rd in west Mobile. 

This is their house salad, to which I added a portion of their roasted beef & lamb. Lots of good stuff here. 

This was a delicious lunch, and the portions were quite generous.

Total carbs: Not many