Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Low Carb "Polenta" with Soft Cheese, Pork Rinds and Sour Creme. No cornmeal or grains !

Seven ingredients, plus about fifteen minutes is all it takes (if that long) to put this delicious Low Carb "Polenta" with Cheese and Pork Rinds home made/ "Fat Bacon" together (no actual cornmeal or corn involved or any other grain). Of course you’ll need more time to grind the mozzarella if is not already grounded or to prepare whatever else you want to serve it with. Asparagus and a fork perhaps?

Last night I made a new low carb recipe from the internet and I might have done something different or so because I ended up with this "polenta" looking dish that is awesome. 
The original recipe is nothing like this. Any way, this has the same taste, and looks like the Romanian "Mamaliga cu Crema Focsani, Smantana si Slanina", which would be translated something like : "Polenta with Buttery Cheese, Sour Cream and Pork Rinds (fat bacon)
but, like I said, there is no polenta from cornmeal or other grain. 
This just looks like polenta, but tastes better, and it is better for your health.

This is the raw"Fat Bacon" that I'm talking about, and after is cooked is more Pork Rind type of thing, then bacon (see images below).  But this is absolutely essential for the recipe to work, a salty, well smoked (romanian style) one for sure :

above image from : https://paleoleap.com/homemade-pork-rinds/

Ingredients for "Polenta" with no grains :

                                    -  Mozzarella - grounded  : 3 cups ~ 380 g
                                    -  Mascarpone / Cream Cheese - 2 oz ~ 50 g
                                    -  Almond Flour : 1 + 1/4 cups ~ 135 g
                                    -  Eggs - 3 large
                                    -  Baking powder - 3 x 10 g

Other Ingredients to add over the "polenta" :

                                    -  Soft Salty Cheese of your choice
                                    -  Pork Rinds / "Fat Bacon"
                                    -  Sour Creme - optional
                                    -  Green Onion - optional
                                    -  Omelette - optional

Directions :

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, put the mix into a ceramic pan then bake at ~200 C / 390 F for 20 minutes or so. That is about as simple as it gets. But don’t let the simpleness of it to fool you. It’s sneaky satisfying. You’ll see. I promise.

After is done (see picture above) make layers using :
                                   - "polenta" as base, 
                                   -  add your favorite soft salty cheese (branza de Burduf /branza de Focsani), 
                                   -  then some sour cream, 
                                   -  then again "polenta" 
                                   -  then another layer of cheese. 
                                   Serve with fried/ roasted "fat bacon" (slanina) and more sour cream if you like.

Enjoy !

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Sunday, December 10, 2017

LCHF - M E A L P L A N S -


Low Carb / High Fat / Moderate Protein / Lifestyle #LCHF
- MEAL PLANS -     

      -     K E T O G E N I C   D I E T   M E A L   P L A N S     F O R   L O S I N G   W I G H T   -    

(you can skip THE INTRO and go straight to the meal plan and some basic stuff )

           No matter the diet type or lifestyle, any human in order to lose weight, has to burn fat for fuel (body fat stores), a state thais called ketosis (optimal blood ketones 0.7-3.0 ). "A state at which the body has an extremely high fat-burning rate. Even the brain runs on fat, via ketone bodies. These are energy molecules in the blood (like blood sugar) which become fuel for our brains after being converted from fat by the liver."The easiest way to get into ketosis is obviously a ketogenic diet, which is high-fat, moderate-protein, and very-low-carb (under 20 grams net / day is a strict low carb). This will cause the body to use fat instead of glucose / carbs for energy, and that will produce ketones. Only when the carbs and protein are used up, we burn fat. We can not burn both glucose and fat in the same time. Is one or the other.  The low carb, high fat, medium protein, ketogenic lifestyle is adapting your body to go back to the beginning, were like a new born baby, you were using ketones, fat for fuel, fat as an energy source, in a dietary ketogenic state. 

           We can not lose our stored fat until we get into ketosis, no matter the nutrition / diet we are on, so that is why ketogenic diet or low carb diets are straight forward the easiest, most natural and fastest way if you want to be healthy (less fat stores, less inflammation), while getting fit and lose weight (if there is excess weight that is)

            On the other hand, on a diet that promotes eating a lot of carbohydrates (especially high in fructose fruits and not the healthy leafy green veggies), the body will be using glucose for fuel and when carbohydrates are present in our food, insulin is released and when insulin is released, our body stops burning our fat stores (gets into the fat storage mode). Insulin causes Fat Storage (stimulates the creation of body fat), it Inhibits The Fat Burning Process (stops the breakdown of fat cells) and  for active people it can stimulate muscle growth.  
             Again, when Insulin is released, our body stops burning our fat stores. That is why low glycemic foods, typical for a very low carb diet, ketogenic lifestyle, are so good for burning fat and reverse insulin resistance. 

           That is why low glycemic foods, a low carb lifestyle is so good for burning fat and losing weight while staying healthy and fit. On a side note, there are a few high insulin index foods that are still good for loosing weight like whey protein or lean beef because they also trigger one of the 6 fat burning hormones, glucagon. Knowing the insulin index of a food is very important when trying to lose weight so you can use it for your advantage.  
            Insulin is a hormone, a substance produces by our body and released into the blood by the pancreas (see glycemic index vs insulin index). When eating to much carbohydrates (over 20-50 grams of net carbs a day), the body will be using glucose for fuel with creates the typical carbohydrate ups (sugar rush) and downs (sugar crush = cravings/hunger), resulting in binging or a habit of overeating for most people, people that lack the motivation or will to starve themselves for decades in order to stay slim or fit. Usually celebrities use to do that before the low carb diets were known (and some still do).  Nigella Lawson (low carb / high fat diet advocate) said  'I realized that what I'd always taken to be either hunger or "neurotic grazing compulsion" is carbohydrate craving, "Devil food""            Eating low carb is key for low insulin levels, and also because fat does not raise insulin, eating fat when on a low carb diet will not only keep us from being hungry for longer, make us feel good (the brain functions in particular will thrive on good fats), but by keeping the insulin levels low, will help us from becoming insulin resistant or reverse that to a sensitive state and make us lose weight.  

            A high insulin level tends to lower HDL (“good”) cholesterol and raise levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, it's also a sign of insulin resistance or prediabetes and signify early-stage Type 2 diabetes and now all these are common even in kids or slim looking people. The increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, high glucose, appears are related to Insulin Resistance and The Metabolic Syndrome.               Several studies suggest that carbohydrate restriction has more favorable effects on the metabolic syndrome than a low-fat diet (3233343536). Low-carbohydrate diets tend to lead to more weight loss, less insulin resistance, lower triglyceride levels, and higher levels of HDL-cholesterol.  

But what's wrong with fructose? 

Well, "fructose can only be metabolized by your liver, because your liver is the only organ that has the transporter for it. 

Since all fructose gets shuttled to your liver, and, if you consume high amounts of it, fructose ends up taxing and damaging your liver in the same way alcohol and other toxins do. In fact, fructose is virtually identical to alcohol with regard to the metabolic havoc it wreaks."


- The sours of the calories per day should be divided between the 3 MACRO NUTRIENTS like shown below but this is not how the plate is divided obviously. because fats have more calories in a smaller quantity. You'll need an app and a small scale at first until you get use to this. My Fitness Pal is a good, easy to use app, and it measures for you the percentage for each macro when you add the foods and quantities you've been eating or plan on eating.
 That way you know what macro nutrient is need to achieve this low carb diet plan :

70% FATS 
5% CARBS / 20g net carbs / day = the total of carbohydrates (see nutritional values list- google it) minus the fiber or sugar alcohols / poliolis. The carbs that are not digested (again google "keto net carbs" for details).

- FAT  ~ 40 - 50g / meal or 70-90 g / DAY 
-PROTEIN ~ 40-70g/meal or 100-200g/ DAY
- CARBOHYDRATES - less then  20g NET CARBS / DAY for weight lose  (see ingredients on any food label for hidden carbs and calculate the net carbs in advance with an app like this :

My Fitness Pal or My Net Diary 

This example below, is a day when I went too far with the fats (cose I love it I usually am), and the total calories was about 1600 (a bit high for weight lose for a not active women). I still lost some very little weight because the carbs were only about 9 net grams and I did not snack in between meals (at leas 4 hours between) also 3-4 hours before the bed time no more food (so the insulin had time to go down and I got into the fat burning mode, too bad I had too much dietary fat to burn first). I consumed not enough protein also, which in time can lead to hair loss and its not good for (building or keeping the) muscle mass.

2-3 meals a day ONLY, no snacks in between, skip breakfast if you can or gradually skip more meals. This is called Intermittent Fasting (For Better Muscle Growth & Fat Loss).

- preferably wait more then 4 hours between meals for BUILDING MUSCLE on a LCHF   DIET & for weight loss. 

- do not eat 2-4 hours before going to bed for better/faster weight loss.

- drink daily lemon water (no sugar !) from 1-3 lemons/day.

- use plenty of salt (himalayan salt) on your food - electrolytes 

- do not drink water in excess, drink just when you are thirsty (1-2 glasses/day should be fine on a regular day, all depends on how active you are also)

- bone broth soup  once a week , especially when losing a lot of weight 

- do not exceed a moderate calorie deficit (minimum 1300-1500 calories/ day female and minimum 1800-2200/day for an active male) - to little food (calories) slows down the metabolism, better do Intermittent Fasting then just eating a bit now an a bit latter. Just be in a bit of a caloric deficit with plenty of fats and moderate protein and its much better for long term and you stay slim and healthy (=beautiful).

Intermittent Fasting is good for weight lose : more then 12 hours or more (15 is ideal) between the last meal and the first of the next day, but if this seems hard at first concentrate at the task of becoming low carb adapted then try to implement the IF gradually. 

- Fruits (fructose) stops the fat burning and starts the storing fat process (like a bear preparing for the winter). Not even the wild berries which are somewhat low carb friendly, still they are not recommended for weight lose in general and if consumed they should only be in very little amounts and occasionally. 

Notes to keep in mind BEFORE SHOPPING :


See the nutritional values (google it) for every raw unprocessed food you plan to eat and for the processed foods also the ingredients list and avoid foods that contain :  

- added sugar (sucrose not the naturally occurring sugars), 
- hidden sugars (see a list of sugar names) like high fructose corn syrup #HFCS, 
- sodium mono glutamate
- starches
- trans fats/margarine 

and limit to a minimum or avoid the intake of foods that contain soy beans, hidden carbohydrates like "some so called" fibers with in fact are just carbs


There are healthy natural sugar substitutes that have a low glycemic index and are ok for a low carb diet and diabetes patients like : 

- Stevia extracts (but usually it has an after taste. The "Rebaudioside A" extract is the sweetest and has the least aftertaste but is expensive to use only that part of the plant), 

- monk fruit sweeteners (see what is combined with, also usually its expensive) 
- polyols = sugar alcohols like :

- erythritol (excellent 1. because its not absorbed by our body (5 grams net carbs per 100g or so, 2. has no impact on the glycimic index by its self and 3. promotes tooth heath,

- xylitol (also promotes tooth heath but has more carbs that do absorb, has glycimic impact)
- sorbitol, maltitol (not the maltitol syrup which has a high glycimic idex) are usually found in sugar free sweets / chocolate. 

Here is one of the best websites about sugar and sweeteners.

Be careful at the ingredients of this sweeteners, because sometimes they are mixed with bad artificial stuff or even sugars under different names.  

M E A L   P L A N S 

B r e a k f a s t :

- LEMON WATER and Vitamins (Magnesium, Potassium,  Himalayan Sea Salt, D3, B vitamins, .....) / lots of cruciferous vegetables/green leafy vegetables (3-5 cups / day)

- double expresso -coffee medium roast or 2-3 tsp (tea spoon) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 50-100ml heavy cream ~35% fat /unsweetened  - optional
- 50ml coconut milk (the 90% coconut) or a total of 100-200 ml heavy cream) - optional
- 1 tsp (tea spoon) coconut oil (optional*/ depends on the meal plan and fats needed/day)
- 1 tsp (tea spoon) butter (grass fed 82% fat) - optional* or add gradually
- a pinch of cinnamon - optional, just if you like it
- 1 tsp - low glycemic natural sweetener like Erythritol - optional / not recommended but ok 

*Increase the fat (coconut oil, butter) amounts gradually into the diet plan and the amount depends on the meal plan (how much fat you need to lose) and the fat needed per day (to fit the macros %). At first start a little then go a bit more the next time until you become fat adapted and you can go as high (2-3 TBSP of fat / cofe) as needed or like but to fit the macros for the day

**Buletproof coffee is the keto coffee for black coffee kind of guy !

- single or double espresso - coffee medium roast (depending on your style)
1 TBSP (table spoon) butter/grass fed 82%fat or MTC oil-gradually from 1tsp to 1-2 TBSP
- 1 tsp (tea spoon) coconut oil (optional/ depends on the meal plan and fats needed/day*)
1 TBSP heavy cream ~35% fat /unsweetened - optional depends if you like it or not
- 1 tsp - low glycemic natural sweetener like Erythritol - optional / not recommended but ok

- 20 - 30g butter 80% fat 
- 20 - 30 g coconut oil (no flavor type) or 40-50 g butter in total and no coconut oil
- 4 - 6 eggs (medium-large) - 3-4 eggs for girls /5-6 eggs for man (depends how big you are)
- plenty of Himalayan sea salt iodine (very important on a low carb diet) and peeper (...)
- 50 -70 ml heavy cream ~35% fat /unsweetened - optional
- 30-50 g cheddar cheese or other maturated cheese (full fat) in the omelette or on the side
- 70-100g bacon on the side

- 2-3 tomato cherry, 1 cucumber (small)
- or 2-3 cups of lettuce (iceberg, Chinese l or Roman l.) & olive oil /salt & pepper
- or pickles (cucumber and / or cabbage) 

L u n c h 


- Ground beef or beef/pork stake or chicken legs /wings cooked in 30 g butter + 30 g of coconut oil unflavored (the non hydrogenated kind)
- also add 20 -30 g of butter on the plate* (to make sure you got the fats you need)

*Increase the fat amounts gradually into the diet plan. At first start with 10 g and go up next time until you become fat adapted


- 3-5 cups green leafy vegetables : 1 or 2 of these : kale, asparagus spinach, broccoli, green peas, cabbage,sauteed in plenty of healthy fats :
- 30-50 g of butter & coconut oil 

or 2-3 cups of lettuce (iceberg, Chinese l or Roman l.) & olive oil /salt & pepper
or pickles (cucumber and / or cabbage) 

D i n n e r : 

** Eat at night, only if you are hungry or if you did not finished your previous meals (macros / calories) and if you did not achieve the no. of calories/macros required for the day. 

NOTE : If you are on a big calorie deficit for an extended period of time, your metabolism will slow down (you will no longer lose weight !), so do not exceed the recommended deficit for a healthy weight loss. Google to find a keto calculator for the ideal wight/calories you need, then use an app (My Fitness Pal or My Net Diary) to set the macros & calories (choose slow weight lose, its best to start at small deficit any way) and on top of that number at first add at leas 200-300 calories for a LCHF ketogenic diet, because is the only diet that is know to be like that calorie wise and successfully still lose weigh while doing it.

In case you are not hungry (that really happens while on a keto diet) but still need to add some more fats / calories always go for a fat bomb (google for keto fat bombs or see below a recepie we like) or a fatty protein meal (a bit of ground beef or lots of green leafy vegetables + lots and lots of butter (you can make a butter dip / sauce for the veggies).

*** Do not eat fats more then before starting this diet/lifestyle if for some reason on a day you exceed the carbohydrate intake above the recommended amount for a low carb diet (20-50 g depending if you want lose weight or to gain muscle) ! If you eat carbs like someone on a regular American diet (the famous wrong pyramid) and add fats like for a keto diet, its a complete disaster !! You will not only gain weight, feel sluggish and bad, but you will be in trouble more or less depending on how bad and for how long you do that. This is how people miss understand the "fats are good" while not knowing the low carb part !


FAT  BOMB - Chocolate mousse

- 1 tsp (tea spoon) sugar free chocolate creme or 2 cub of SF chocolate
1-3 TBSP (table spoon) coconut oil (depending on how much fat you need)
1-3 TBSP (table spoon) heavy cream ~35% fat /unsweetened
- 1 tsp - low glycemic natural sweetener like Erythritol - optional /not recommended but ok

Add all of the ingredients in a tea cup and microwave for 10-20 seconds until the mixture is smooth and ready. You can serve it cold or hot (microwave for 1 minute more or refrigerate) topped with whipped cream (unsweetened obviously)  and shaved sugar free chocolate, if desired.

L u n c h  / D i n n e r   i d e a s :


Steak with sauteed white mushrooms (champignon mushrooms)
- both cooked separately in 20-40 g butter  + 20-30 g of coconut oil unflavored 
- also add 20 -30 g of butter on the plate*

*Increase the fat amounts gradually into the diet plan. At first start with 10 g and go up next time until you become fat adapted

This is a basic day, but you can see that the food you’re going to eat doesn’t seem like that of a different diet you may have tried. You get to actually eat and enjoy what you’re eating the entire time.


- half of the recipe above  + hot water( or almond milk unsweetened ) using decaffeinated coffee or less cacao powder



- cheese plates of different maturated cheese like Cheddar, Gouda, Camembert, Parmigiana..
- pickles - optional


4. BONE BROTH SOUP with PEPPERS + heavy cream, butter and lots of green leafs like dill, celery leaves ... 

- 2-3 Kg of beef bones, about 1 kg of chicken legs with bones, 0.5 kg of beef (but you can use all the meats you like + bones (beef, chicken legs, pork,...)
- vegetables whole not chopped (yet ): 2 onions, 2-3 carrots , 1-2 parsley root,  1/4th of one celery root, 1 parsley 
- salt 1 table spoon for every 5 L of whater, peppercayenne pepper or hot paprica,
- fresh or refrigareted dill, celery leaves, parsley, more papper or salt if you like
- heavy cream 50-100 ml/ bowl of soup  + (optional) egg yolk
- butter 10-50 mg/ bowl of soup 
- (optional) Chopped green / red peppers - 2-3 and one hot green pepper 


-Put all the meat, the vegetables (carrots, parsley..) and the seasoning (salt, pepper...)  in a big pot (8-10 L depending on how much meat you use) and bring to boil. 
-When the meat is done, take a new pot, a smaller one (6-8 L) and transfer the meat into the new pot. If it's needed make smaller pieces
- Chopp all the vegetables (except the onions and parsley) and then transfer them into the new pot 
- Add the fresh seasoning (or refrigareted) : dill, other green leafs like celery leaves, parsley, lovage... 
- (Optional) you can add more salt and papper
- (Optional)  Add the chopp the green /red peppers to the soup
- Add heavy cream and butter (you can add heavy cream and butter only when searving, this way you can keep the soup in the fridge for longer). Also if adding the heavy cream only when searving you can add to the heavy cream one egg yolk for 2-3 bowls of soup.

Enjoy !
5. Different Green  VEGETABLES and other good choices :



FIND OUT here your ideal weight and your ideal MACROS if you need to lose weight or build musle :     https://ketodietapp.com/Blog/page/KetoDiet-Buddy