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No Carb Challenge, Day 1

Rice crackers, all purpose flour, graham flour, white rice flour, brown rice flour, steel cut oats, grits, rice, pasta, quinoa, beans, lentils, granulated sugar, powdered sugar, brown sugar, molasses, honey, almonds, pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, chocolate chips, and potato chips…whew!  After I cleared all the high carbohydrate foods from the pantry, there was nothing left but salt, coffee, tea, and spices.  Wow.

I’ve never been much of a dieter, but after this holiday season, D. and I are probably carrying around a combined excess of 50 lbs.  We got started early this year, with a gastronomic week-long vacation in Chicago.  As a chef, it’s great to have a partner that is an equally adventurous eater. But when you’re working 60-80 hours a week with little time to exercise, it’s not so great for the waistline.  So, until the weather improves and I can throw my running shoes on, we’re using the Atkins plan to help us get back on track.

I’m excited to see how this will change the way we cook.  The popularity of the Atkins diet and the South Beach variation have really changed the way people eat.  For some time, restaurants have been getting requests for low carb or no carb options.  It is especially important for casual neighborhood restaurants to make sure the are able to offer suitable menu options. It will be good to add some Atkins friendly dishes to the repertoire.

In the first two weeks of Atkins, the induction phase, you are only allowed meats, fish, dairy, fats, and low carbohydrate vegetables. This still leaves a good variety of options for flavorful meals.  For dinner our first day, I was able to use kale salad and chicken tenders leftover from Superbowl Sunday. I marinated the chicken tenders with some olive oil, black pepper, rosemary, and fresh oregano and set them aside as I boiled a few eggs and blanched some green beans. Instead of making a vinaigrette for the kale salad (which usually contains honey, lemon juice, and wine vinegar, all not allowed) I made deviled egg salad from the boiled eggs, dijon mustard, mayonnaise, chopped cornichons, pickle juice, and a little hot sauce. It was creamy and tangy, and tossed with the kale and green beans, made a good substitute for salad dressing. The chicken tenders took just a few minutes to cook in a grill pan, and finished the salad.  Simple, easy, flavorful.

Oh, and all the carbs from the pantry? Stored away until we are allowed to have them again.

3 thoughts on “No Carb Challenge, Day 1

  1. so your a chef and work 80 hours per week? and you don’t have time to exercise? what? your on your feet for 12 hours or more a day, what do you call that? a leisurly vacation?lol formal exercise is not necessary some peoples jobs require a lot of physical work, so I wouldn’t worry your pretty little head about exercise, now if your talking about training for a body building contest or marathons then maybe you would need to make time, but really is’t being on your feet all day marathon enough?lol

  2. Lol. Thanks for your comments. You would think so, but I’ve known my fair share of fat chefs! We are around food all day, after all and aren’t always able to stop and healthy make food choices. I’ve been known to nibble on nothing but french fries and bacon while working :). Standing in place hunched over a work table or stove all day also wrecks your body – legs, hips, shoulders, neck. I always feel better if I can fit a run in before work to loosen up those muscles.

  3. I would think working around food all day would make you fed up with food? not unless your starving yourself caloiric and nutriental wise? frankly I reach of point of saturation even eating even my favorites, would think that would happen to you as a chef, being fat however for some chefs is not because of being around food all day (heck I am overweight and am not around it all day)but rather what they are doing to themselves by not eating enough eating late or eating to many lower quality foods.believe me I have been there and done that with weight loss programs of every kind, none of them work because they do not address the underlying cause. anyway try nibbling on healthier stuff or lower carb high quality stuff and see if that helps you any. for me trying to stick to a s/low carb diet (I have no choice my weight went up from last year at the doc and I am like time for birdie, my nickname in the family, to go on a diet) yikes when I couldn’t breath right and my ankles were killingme for the little walking I did it is time to just do this diet (since all others always failed me) because I did low carb in past and it worked only I couldn’t stick to it as I kept the carbs to low and tried to rely on animal protein to do it, now I am going to try to rely on veggie low carb stuff, ,and allow myself controlled amounts of carbs as long as they have protein, fiber minerals and phytochemicals with them (like not using flours and reducing or eliminating desserts even if they are very low carb) and upping my vitade3 and other vitamins to see if that helps heck I have tried every thing else, mind as well give it one last shot since this diet is my only option of doing it without hunger or my bodys resistance.

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