Tag Archives: low-carb

Oopsie For Real

oopsie sandwichI’m not here to add anything to this recipe, just to say that I finally tried it. I baked them up, sliced them in two, and filled this weird little bun with salami, Swiss cheese and mustard. It was a revelation! I was eating a sandwich again! But without any aftermath of insatiable hunger and bloating.

What I’m talking about is this internet sensation called Oopsie Bread. The ingredients don’t seem to add up to anything, and yet by some dark magic they sort of form into flat, airy buns. The reason they exist is to create a case around other foods to make them portable – some people call this a sandwich.

The selling point of the Oopsie Bread over regular bread is that an Oopsie bun has 1g carbohydrate, 3.7g protein and 7.4g fat. This is like a dream come true for the LCHF crowd. In fact, I don’t think I was really “doing” LCHF until I tried this bread.

Consider that a classic slice of bread has 20g carbohydrates, 5g of protein and 2g of fat. Not to keep driving home the point about Lindt chocolate balls and how much I love them, but you could have 4 Lindt chocolate balls instead of that boring piece of bread. And chances are, you were going to have two slices. Just don’t waste your carbohydrates on processed grains. It breaks my heart.

Here is the simple method.

OOPSIE BREAD

  • 3 egg whites
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 oz cream cheese
  • pinch cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

OOPSIE BAKING TRAYPreheat oven to 300 degrees

Beat 3 egg whites with a pinch of cream of tartar until stiff peaks form

In another bowl:

Cream 3 yolks with 3oz of cream cheese

Add 1/2 tsp baking powder

Optional additions to the yolk mixture: 

  • 1/2 tbs fiberhusk, psyllium powder or flaxmeal
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder and 1/2 tsp garlic powder or
  • few drops of stevia or tiny speck of green stevia leaf powder

Now gently fold the whites into the yolk mixture.

Onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, use a spatula to form 6 “bun” shapes.

Bake for 30 minutes in a 300 degree oven.

Let cool, and slice for sandwiches.

These are great with nut butter, or like I mentioned above with cheese and salami.

Now here are some tips. If you don’t have a scale, then use roughly 1/2 cup of cream cheese for 3 eggs. Or let’s say you have 4oz of cream cheese handy, you can use 4 eggs to make the same recipe. 2oz of cream cheese? 2 eggs. Etc. You can also substitute cottage cheese for cream cheese, but I would really want to blend out the lumps. You can’t really add grated cheese to the recipe, because the buns won’t rise. But you can sprinkle some on top at the end and let the cheese get melty. And you can add any sort of powdered spice to great effect.

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Protein Ceiling: Not As High As You Think

Okay so let’s say you’ve made an effort to reduce or eliminate your grain and sugar consumption. Let’s look at what kind of a calorie deficit that might have created for you:

REMOVE:

  • 1 cup oatmeal (250 calories)
  • coffee with 1 tsp sugar (16 cal) – keep the coffee, eliminate the sugar!
  • 2 slices of sandwich bread (200 cal)
  • 7 crackers (65 cal)
  • 1 cup brown rice (210 cal)
  • 2 cookies (100 cal)

= 841 calorie “deficit” by eliminating those foods.

I don’t really rely on calorie requirements, but calories are at least a useful tool. We can probably agree that you are not getting enough food if you eat less than 1000 calories a day, and that you are getting too much if you are eating more than 3000 unless you are doing manual labor or serious physical training. (The early Canadian loggers were said to eat between 5000-8000 calories/day).

But what happens in between those brackets doesn’t necessarily depend entirely on your level of exercise, but also largely on what the calories are from – carbohydrates, fats or proteins (and then it will also depend on the quality of each).  To really delve into this topic, read the authority Gary Taubes’s epic Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health. 

The point I’m getting to is that if you suddenly have a calorie deficit of over 800 calories (or more) from cutting out grains and sugar, you will probably feel compelled to replace those calories with something. In simplest terms: you’re going to be HUNGRY. VERY, VERY HUNGRY. And in general, most people initially fill that void with protein.

I WANT TO EXPLAIN WHY THAT MIGHT BE A MISTAKE

protein platter

Humans actually have a protein ceiling, a maximum amount of protein that can be effectively utilized before the excess protein is oxidized and excreted through the urine. First of all, generally the body can’t process more than 50g of protein at a time – so definitely space out your consumption. Secondly, the body cannot store extra protein, so the kidneys get overworked and fatigued dealing with getting rid of all the excess. This is manageable in the short term, but fatal if you already have kidney disease.

Although protein is acid-forming, it actually increases the body’s ability to excrete acid. The acids in proteins are not buffered by bone loss (which is the incorrect assumption behind the Alkaline or pH diet), they are buffered by bicarbonate ions in the blood and kept at a very stable pH around 7.4. (You can change the pH of your urine by changing your diet, but you can’t change the pH of your blood. And if you make your urine too alkaline you open yourself up to bladder infections.) This bicarbonate reaction produces carbon dioxide, which we exhale, and salts, which get excreted by the kidneys. Healthy kidneys have their own sustainable cycle whereby they create new bicarbonate ions as they excrete excess salts. But when someone already has kidney disease or previous stones, this cycle is compromised – these people should go really easy on protein and acidic foods. They should also go really easy on green vegetables that are high in oxalates though – so an “alkaline diet” could do more harm than good for kidney stones.

When most people start reducing their carbohydrates by eliminating grain and sugar (and then legumes, beans, starchy vegetables and tropical fruits), they assume the most logical replacement would be protein because people have a misplaced bias against and fear of fat – especially saturated fat. The problem is that if you replace your carbohydrates with protein without increasing your fat consumption, you can end up with “protein poisoning” or rabbit starvation which just means your body starts to literally starve on protein without fat.

CALCULATE THE PROTEIN CEILING

An average person needs about 1g of protein per kg of lean body mass.

So let’s say you are a 125 pound woman. Divide that by 2.2 to get your weight in kg = 56.8kg.

Now let’s estimate your lean body mass, maybe 80% if you are a pretty lean woman but not ripped exactly. See these photos for a quick visual guide to body fat percentages. Google for more photos because people love posting this stuff. Multiply your weight in kg by 80% = 45.5 kg. You need 1 g of protein for every kg of lean body mass.

This is generally how much protein an 125 pound moderately active woman will need every day – about 45g. Now if you are pregnant, nursing, or really into exercise, manual labor or training you will obviously need more. If you are really into sitting, Netflix and knitting you might need a tiny bit less.

But you will never need drastically less. Too little protein leads to malnutrition, mental retardation, fatty liver, flaky skin, edema of the belly and legs so that you look like those hungry African kids.

You can get 45g protein by eating 2 eggs, 2 cups of kale, and a 4-oz piece of salmon.

So you don’t need to also eat a bowl of cottage cheese and a cup of walnuts or whatever. You don’t need to stress about protein shakes. Those are for vegans to worry about! But you? You’re already there.

But then what to replace your calorie deficit with? Hopefully you’re already eating lots of vegetables, so we don’t want to gorge; preparing even more vegetables in new ways gets pretty tiring, expensive and labor intensive quite quickly. Mainlining vegetables is great in-season and when you have the time or a chef, but it’s probably not sustainable – or even necessary. The answer (unfortunately for people who are afraid of fat) is that you must replace your carbohydrate deficit with calories from fat. Obviously I mean non-industrial, traditional fats. Pay attention or something.

HOW ABOUT ADDING ANOTHER 500 CALORIES A DAY FROM FAT?

You could get 500 calories JUST from adding 2 TBS grass-fed butter and 2 TBS coconut oil to your life every day. Go ahead and add the whole 841 calories from fat if you feel like it – all it will take is another few TBS of fat, maybe olive oil this time. But when you eat so much healthy fat, you just won’t feel hungry enough for the extra calories. You’ll see.

You’re still reading? Maybe you should also read this interesting article from Discover Magazine about the Inuit Paradox: How Can People Who Gorge on Fat and Rarely See A Vegetable Be Healthier Than We Are?

Indeed!

BUT BUT BUT WILL IT MAKE ME FAT?

Didn’t you read the Gary Taubes book yet that I recommended 15 paragraphs ago? You need to keep up. He explains it quite simply in under 600 pages.

Obviously I’m not going to recommend something that is going to make you fat! Coconut and pure MCT (medium chain triglyceride) oils actually increase the metabolism and love to burn fat. Adding them to your diet induces your body to burn it as energy, and then to delve into the body’s stores of fat as well. Everyone who switches their calorie ratio percentages from the recommended 10% from fat daily to 50% from fat daily – loses weight (unless they are also eating sugar – then all bets are off and the fat accumulates as fat and the energy burned is only from the sugar and carbohydrates).

Another problem with eating “too much” protein is that excess protein essentially acts as glucose. That’s not to say that it is converted to glucose, because it isn’t. However excess protein will stop fat-burning the same way that consuming carbohydrates will (say more than 50 – 100g of carbohydrates/day will arrest fat-burning potential). Excess protein is converted into metabolites that will enter the KREBS cycle and displace ketones. More on this later.

I consider it a really lean day if I am only eating 50% of my calories from fat. That usually indicates to me that I’ve been hitting the bottle, or else got a little crazy with the fruit and dairy, and also found my way to the dessert trolley. I prefer to keep my calories from fat at about 65% – 80%. Am I breaking your brain?

So just go ahead and absorb this and then change absolutely everything you’ve been doing.

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1 Banana 1 Egg

This is a crazy simple breakfast. Let’s say you’re insane enough not to eat grains or refined sugar, but you can’t live without pancakes. This will solve all your problems.

Pancakes Bubbling

Directions: mash 1 ripe banana, blend in 1 egg. Fry the resulting batter in small batches (diameter of an apple?), and flip very gingerly (I use a non-stick pan and a fish spatula). Because there is no gluten, the pancakes are not as resilient as a grain pancake. But they look great, and taste great! The banana adds so much sweetness that you really don’t need any maple syrup on top. I like to top with some whole fat kefir or yoghurt.

FLAVOR VARIATIONS

I’m going to blow your mind here, but stay tuned. Grate in some lemon zest. Add vanilla. Delicious. Or go another way and add cinnamon. No matter what, add a little sea salt. Maybe melt in some grass-fed butter or coconut oil. Add wild blueberries. Go piña colada style and add grated coconut. Or go monkey-style and spread with peanut or nut butter, and roll up like a crepe.

TOO MUCH SUGAR?

I agree. 1 BANANA 1 EGG has 31g of carbohydrate, 17g of sugar, 4g of fiber, 8g of protein and 8g of fat = 214 calories. Serves 2 essentially.

Why not stretch the recipe a little further and try 1 BANANA 2 EGGS! This variation yields the same 32g carbohydrate, the same 17g of sugar, 4g of fiber, but increases protein to 14 g and fat to 15 g = 308 calories. But now it serves 3.

I’m not afraid of increasing fat, especially if it’s in the form of whole, naturally raised, small flock eggs. The individual serving count on the enhanced recipe is roughly: 10 g carbohydrate (5 g sugar, 1 g fiber), 5 g protein and 5 g fat.

Pancake StackFor a pancake treat, this is pretty good.

It’s also a terrific way to get my daughter to eat eggs for breakfast (she’s in a no-eggs phase).

If you are doubling or tripling the recipe for a crowd (I don’t know where you are going to find a crowd of people who don’t eat grain or refined sugar, but it could happen) try mixing the ingredients in your blender or Vitamix, because then you can pour the batter directly from the blender.

You can experiment with adding any kind of nut flour and milk, but I think the thrill of this recipe is its simplicity.

ONE LAST THOUGHT

Let’s say you want to really supercharge these pancakes with protein, but you don’t like protein powder (I don’t: too processed, rancid, denatured etc). So take the 1 banana, 2 eggs, add 1tbs nut butter and 3 tbs cottage cheese right into the batter. Let’s add 1 tbs of coconut oil while we are at it. Blend it all up! Now it serves 3 more heartily, and each serving has about: 7.2 g protein, 8.3 g fat and 11 g carbohydrate (5.8 g sugar, 1 g fiber). I can’t get the ratios much better than this. They are pancakes, after all.

AND BEST OF ALL…

Delicious.

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