Monday, April 30, 2007


Well, it's not a movie this week. It's a diet. The Atkins diet. Counting carbs.

Seemed like a good idea about 6 weeks ago.

I don't like meat that much. Don't care for most green vegetables. I got over tuna and mayonaise the first week. And eggs get really boring.

Have I cheated? Nope.
Have I lost weight? Yeah.

Sixteen pounds. (many more to go so don't get all excited just yet 'cause that skinny gal in the green top isn't me!)

Atkins offers me a way to be on a diet without really being on a diet. I can have anything I want as long as I'm willing to spend my carbs on it. More importantly, I can eat a *lot* of whatever doesn't have carbs in it. So, if I'm having a munchie day, I don't blow the whole diet.

I was motivated to try Atkins again when I saw a news report that studies were showing no increase in bad cholesteral from Atkins and lower triglyceride levels. Despite the higher fat consumption. Unfortunately, my husband hadn't seen that same report and didn't know we were going on a diet the next day until I informed him. He was thrilled.

Really. Speechless actually. And I realized I'd made the diet decision in the nick of time because just after I told him life as he knew it was about to end, I also noticed his face was flushed and he looked about to explode. His blood pressure was touch and go there the first few days and then he discovered that scotch doesn't have any carbs. That, combined with the diet, made the pesky red face and about-to-explode look go away.

Atkins does work. It's counter-intuitive, but if you keep the faith, you'll see the number on the scale begin to slide down. If you stay away from high-calorie days the number will slide even faster. But if you're like me, some days you just want to blow some carbs on heavily-buttered popcorn.

What makes Atkins bearable for me has been the discovery of the "lettuce wrap." Many of you may have been eating your sandwiches this way for years. But it's new in the Dixon household. Last week I discovered you could have a real live hamburger (complete with tomato, onion, pickle, mayo, and cheese!) without blowing your carbs for the day. All you have to do is fix that sucker in a large piece of lettuce. The first few leaves off the head of lettuce are the best. Large enough to double as "pocket bread." Or "taco shells."

Atkins is easy to begin. Just type in "phases" in their search engine and you can read up on phase 1, which is the "induction" or jump start phase. But you don't have to start there. You may want to take it a bit slower and start with phase 2.

My hubby is finally coming to grips with the concept that I was really serious about this diet and we're finally looking for recipes so we can feel like we're eating real food again and not just meat and cheese. Here's one my mom ferreted out for us. It's YUMMY! I bet the folks who can eat carbs can even spoon this over pasta.

SEAFOOD BRULEE (makes 4 servings, approx 30 minutes to prepare)
3 strips bacon finely chopped
2 each Roma tomatoes diced (they have more flavor)
2 teaspoons butter
4 teaspoons flour
2 cups whipping cream (Yes! whipping cream)
1 cup basil, fresh chopped (we cut this down to 1/2 cup)
1 cup Parmesan Cheese (extra for topping)

Chop bacon and render in a sauce pan. Add tomatoes and saute for 5 minutes. Add butter and flour and cook for 3 minutes. Whisk in cream and bring to a boil. Add basil and parmesan and stir until smooth.

Add whatever fully-cooked seafood you are using to the cream mixture and heat thoroughly. Divide into 4 baking dishes, cover with Parmesan and broil until brown. (You can place this in a shallow glass casserole dish to bake all at once if you wish.)

Dust with Parmesan and serve. It's HOT so be sure you let it cool.

Anyone else out there on a diet? What's your poison? How are you doin'?


Betina Krahn said...

Deb, you foxy female you! I've been on a modified Atkins (lower fat) for several months now and am stuck at the same weight. Lost 11 pounds (Rex lost 50!) and just haven't had the motivation to get going again. And I've noticed carby things slipping back into the old diet. I'm starting to bounce up and down-- a really bad sign.

Lettuce wraps!! I love them when we go out to eat-- but somehow it never occurred to me to do them at home. duh. So thanks for the tip there and I'll credit you when I'm a slim trim writing machine.

Also-- that Seafood Brulee sounds to die for! I'm going to make it tonight! I think one of the reasons I've been slipping is that I've become bored with the things we eat and don't want to put much thought into the menu. As always, losing weight takes not only dedication, but some creativity and attention-- to portion size and to keeping the menu fresh and inviting!

Okay, I'm back on track.

flip said...

I am trying to lose weight. I lost ten pounds on the fist two weeks of the South Beach Diet. I am like you, I cannot starve myself. Since I have been steady at the same weight for about six months, I am going back on the South Beach for a couple of weeks.

Keri Ford said...

I'm on the Lots-O-Fiber diet plan. After having my little boy, I started taking one Cirtucal (hm, sp?) fiber pill a day while I healed. then doc put me on iron pills and told me to increase my fiber. So two pills a day, and believe it or not, but those things keep me feeling full all day long.

15 more to go until I reach happy weight land....

Debra Dixon said...

Betina-- Yeah, the carbs coming back in really slowed me down until I came to grips with the fact that I simply cannot have more than 25 carbs a day. 30 carbs brings me to a halt. I can have those 30 carbs but I know I won't be losing weight. I'm going to add exercise in at some point and that should let me have a few more carbs and still lose.

I LOVE the lettuce wraps. The hamburger was heavenly. It's made a difference for me.

Debra Dixon said...


That's an excellent way to attack a diet. Lose. Hold steady. Drop down some more. Hold steady. Really helps you maintain your final weight.

I haven't looked into South Beach as much as Atkins. What do you like about it?

Susan Kay Law said...

I'm always on a diet. Sigh. Since I was thirteen. That's just my life.

I've tried everything. Low-carb works for me for about a week, where I'll lose three or four pounds, and then I'm stuck unless I start counting portions, too.

I figure if I have to count calories anyway, I might as well eat carbs.

So I do count everything I eat. Pretty much everday. Except I do take a meal or two a week off, just for sanity's sake.

Susie, who can't remember what it's like to eat whatever I want

Michele Hauf said...

The word diet makes me shake my head. If asked to describe my mother in one word, the first one that comes to mind is 'diet'. It is because I have only ever known her to be 'on a diet'. So I avoid the word like the plague, but I know I need to do the D-word.

I watched some A&E show last week about the world's fattest man. The average calorie consumption for a woman, per day, should be 2000 calories. This guy ate 36,000 calories a day. Yes, that thirty-six THOUSAND. I think it scared me straight.

For a week now I've been writing down everything I eat. It doesn't take much to hit the 2000 mark. And who would have thought a tablespoon of butter is 100 calories!

I love my carbs, and I'm not much into meat. But I don't think a strict diet is for me. Just paying attention to what I eat, and trying to eat more healthy. I hope it works!

Christie Ridgway said...

Lettuce wraps! You can buy the chicken ones at Costco now but they're kind of expensive so I told Son 2 (who really loves them) that we're going to learn to make them at home. Must look for recipe.

I went on Atkins years ago as a teenager. I remember broiling a piece of bologna. I've been on a lot of diets since then. What works best for me is counting calories and lots and lots of exercise.

Diane in Syracuse said...

The food journal really works for me - but I can't make myself do it very often. Exercise is also key - it lets me eat enough to not feel deprived. My weight goes UP, with no effort on my part, I am (depending on how many other will-power-requiring things I have going on) either vaguely or seriously on a diet and it goes down. Slowly.

My best way of dieting that is fun is to choose Cooking Light recipes for the week, cook them on the weekend, then MAKE THEM LAST the defined number of meals. Sadly, I think I'm going to have to spend less time with my King Arthur's Flour Whole Grain Cookbook. I love it, but I a) eat too much and b) don't think they put much credence in the "low fat" thing. You can substitute apple butter for some butter, but it still comes out a few too many calories for serious weight loss.

Geez, Christie, I don't think Atkins had been invented when I was a teenager. I did Scarsborough (?) in High School.

Helen Brenna said...

I can't seem to give up my carbs. Also can't seem to lose that 10 lbs that's been hanging on since turning 40 and my metabolism took a nosedive.

Hmm, wonder if it's all related. LOL

Kathleen Eagle said...

I have the Atkins and South Beach and Weight Watcher's cookbooks (among others) if anyone needs a recipe. I have trouble counting anything. What I can do with numbers is get on the scale and read them. I started doing that almost daily when I decided to take off 50 big ones about 15 mo ago. It took close to a year. I had plenty of plateau periods. I think that's the body saying "Are we there yet?"

I can't count, but I can eyeball. To me it's the portions. Balance, all things in moderation, etc. Also gave up empty calories like sugar and alcohol. In the last few months I started sneaking the sweets back in, and I can tell what an addiction it is. I'm going to have to get off the sweet treats. I love ice cream, and some of the low fat or "lights" is SOME brands are quite good. But I started adding hot fudge. I figured, hey, dark chocolate is health food now. But it's a cold hard fact that the craving creeps back. I'm getting it again same time every night. Night! After 7:00, when you're supposed to stop eating.

I've kept the weight off, but I fell off the exercise wagon a few months ago. For right now I'm getting active in the yard. But it's those habits. Good ones hard to make, bad ones hard to break.