My Personal Journey to a Better Life

Real Health in a Real World

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It can be very tempting to use smoothies as meal replacements, or in between meal snacks.  While they can certainly have a place in a healthy diet, they are often high in sugar and lacking in fat and protein, causing you to over consume, not feel full, and be hungry shortly after.

I personally don’t recommend that you focus on caloric reductions in the first stages of changing your eating habits.  You will be hungry at times, no argument here.  It will help tremendously to have meals and snacks premade so they are available in a pinch.  Being hungry and having a sugar crash can cause bad dietary decisions as we try to quickly get rid of the uncomfortable feelings.

The information on this website is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only.  It is an opinion blog based on personal research and experimentation.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult with a licensed professional healthcare provider before undertaking any diet or lifestyle change.

Click pic for my Deviled Eggs recipe

WithorWithoutBacon Copyright 2015

john@withorwithoutbacon.com

Charlotte, NC  United States

A collection of recipes and guides to some of my favorite meals, sides and snacks.  Real ingredients, satisfying and healthy. 

Deviled Eggs

Hard Boiled Eggs

It’s going to take a lot of work, desire, willpower, planning and preparation to transition away from a lifetime filled with carbohydrate-loaded processed foods towards a diet filled with real, whole foods.  As I’ve mentioned before, there will be a lot of roadblocks along the way, external and internal.  Friends, family, colleagues, media and your own body will try to sabotage you every step of the way.  The best way to counteract these saboteurs is to be aware of them and plan ahead.  

Tunacado

Snacks

A really easy snack is to just mix some canned tuna with an avocado or a cup of Wholly Guacamole.  This snack provides a nice source of both protein and fat to help you get through an afternoon.  

Beverages

Cucumber Tuna Boats

Green Apple/Green Tipped Banana w/ Almond Butter

From photography, to gardening, to martial arts, to technology and entertainment, we all need to relax and take time to enjoy things that make us happy.  Here are some of my interests.

These cups have been a life-saver for me on some days.  Use these to dip vegetables or turkey slices to spice up what might be a rather bland snack. They are loaded with healthy fats, and the spiciness helps curb hunger and raises metabolism.

Fruit

These can be a lunch or a snack if you have premade tuna.  Again, be careful of what mayo you choose, or just use mashed avocado if you don’t have healthy mayo on hand.  Halve a cucumber long way and scoop out the watery/seed center.  Fill with tuna, top with avocado slices, mixed greens, jalapenos and/or sprinkle with salt/pepper or your favorite herbs and spices.  

Most often the Jerky available at grocery stores has added sugar which you will want to avoid.  Making your own jerky isn't hard.  Partially freeze your steak of choice to make it easy to cut.  Slice into very thin strips and marinate for 12-24 hours.  Bake on a metal rack over trays with lips to catch the drippings.  Bake at 200 degrees for 2 hours or until very dry.  

Plantain Chips

Smoothies

Remember to make the majority of it from vegetables, and just use a small amount of fruit as a sweetener.  If you’re trying to go mainly sugar-free, I would avoid smoothies altogether and eat the vegetables whole.  But if you are dead set in making a smoothie, remember to add some healthy fats.  An avocado can thicken a smoothie without overpowering flavor.  Nut butters can do the same. Coconut cream is a good liquid base for most smoothies.  Tossing in some almonds can up the protein and fat content.  Try and make a well balanced smoothie, or eat some hard boiled eggs, salmon slices, bacon or deli meat with it.  

More to come soon!

Peel a green plantain and slice into thin chips.  Fry in coconut oil until golden brown on both sides and dust with sea salt or any herb/spice you like.  You can also sprinkle cinnamon on them to help curb sugar-cravings. The cinnamon satisfies sweet-tooth without initiating excessive insulin production.

In the beginning, you should expect some adverse reactions to reducing your carbohydrate intake.  You may experience headaches, lack of energy, foggy-head, overall lethargic and sluggish feelings.  You may be quite hungry in the beginning and notice stomach “hunger pains”.  This is all normal and will pass in a couple of days.  

I am going to suggest that in the beginning, for at least the first month, you avoid eating fruits that are high in sugar.  They can have negative effects on your stomach and insulin production, which we are trying to heal and regulate.  There are 2 fruits that can satisfy a sweet tooth without having harmful effects; those are a green apple, and a green-tipped banana.  Either of these can be eaten once a day as a snack.  

Make sure that when you need a snack, to drink plenty of water along with it.  Either before you start eating or right after you finish your snack as to not eat too much.  We don’t want you going hungry, but we don’t want you over doing it in the middle of the day when you might just need some hydration.  

Snacks and Cravings

Fruit can be a tricky subject.  Yes it is a completely natural food item.  Yes it is packed with beneficial vitamins, minerals and fiber. But it also comes with a lot of sugar.  Technically this sugar is processes slower in our bodies.  When packaged with the fiber and vitamins, and eaten not drunken, it takes longer to digest and doesn't have as strong of an effect as table sugar or carb-heavy foods like bread and pasta.  However, when you are trying to train your body to not rely on sugar and carbs, fruit can be an enemy in disguise.

Wholly Guacamole Spicy individual cups

DISCLAIMER

These are easy to make in large batches and good on the go as they can be stored in the fridge and eaten cold.  Make sure to use a mayonnaise free of canola/soybean oils and other harmful ingredients.  Primal Mayo is a good investment.

Can’t go wrong with having some hard boiled eggs always on hand.  You can spread some guacamole or pesto on a halved egg, or sprinkle with favorite herbs and spices.  My method is old, I put the eggs in a pot with cold water, bring to boil, cover pot, remove from heat and wait 10 mins. Steph Gaudreau swears by her steam method which I'm eager to try.  

It is important to stay hydrated during this dietary change as well.  Often times our bodies confuse thirst for hunger, and we are quick to eat something when in reality if we drank a glass of water we would be fine.  Have good water around, and make sure to continuously sip it.  When hunger pains hit, or when eating a small snack, make sure to drink a full glass of water at the same time.  This will help fill your stomach up, hydrate your body and curb hunger pains and headaches.  We also want to help the body flush out the harmful fat and toxins that have built up in it, so continuously drinking water will help train it to use what it needs, and flush the rest out.  

All pictures are property of withorwithoutbacon, jrsphotography, or have been used with permission, and may not be copied, printed or published without written consent. 

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Homemade Jerky

Foods you should definitely be eating to those you should avoid at all costs.  Get to know about Protein, good and bad Fats, and how to manage the very tricky Carbohydrate intake.


These are acceptable low-sugar fruits, and when paired with healthy filling fats like almond butter, provide a wonderful mid-day snack that help to curb hunger and keep you full.  

There are some obvious snacks that are good for you; carrots, celery, cucumbers, hard boiled eggs, turkey/deli meat slices, low sugar beef jerky, handful of nuts for example.  You should always have stuff like that available.  Leftovers from meals will be a great snack or lunch that you can eat at home or bring with you to the office.  

It should be no surprise that most Americans get almost a day’s worth of calories from beverages.  Sodas, flavored coffees, sweat teas, fruit juice, alcoholic beverages, all are super-packed with sugars and calories and have little to no nutritional value whatsoever, and especially for the amount of calories they have.  This is sometimes the change that can have the biggest effect on people, by just replacing these drinks with water and unsweetened beverages, daily caloric intake can be reduced by hundreds if not thousands.  Even one “bad” drink a day can add up to tens of thousands of additional calories per year.