Low Carb Buffalo Chicken Soup

This is one of the better #lchf recipes I've found lately.

First, it's quick. I started with uncooked chicken breasts and it still took less than 30 minutes to make.

Second, it's easy. While the chicken is cooking, mix everything else together, heat it up and when the chicken is done, mix it into the soup. Done. Doesn't get much easier than that.

And if you've been missing buffalo chicken on your #lchf diet like I have, this will satisfy that craving!

From I Breathe I'm Hungry:

Low Carb Buffalo Chicken Soup Recipe
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • ⅓ cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup Half and Half
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup celery, chopped (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp blue cheese dressing (optional)
Instructions
  1. Combine the cream cheese, butter, hot sauce, chicken stock, and Half and Half in a blender and puree until smooth. Transfer to a small saucepan and cook until hot but don't let it come to a boil. Just before serving add the shredded chicken, celery and blue cheese if using. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.
And with an approximate nutrition breakdown per serving like this:
406 calories, 27g fat, 5g net carbs, 29g protein, it's the perfect #lchf #keto recipe.

Enjoy!

Processed Foods - What Is That?

I think the term processed foods is way too generic for a lot of people to understand. I was reading an article the other day that said "it's important to remove processed foods from one’s diet to keep as many toxins out as possible". What do you think of when you hear that term? I just kind of glossed over it like a lot of people probably do.

I like this definition from Healthy Eating SF Gate:

You can determine whether a food is processed by looking at the ingredient list. The longer the ingredient list, the more processed a food is likely to be. Processed foods are usually found in the center aisles of the grocery store and are more likely to contain ingredients that you are not able to recognize or ingredients that you wouldn't have in your kitchen. Avoid foods that you wouldn't be able to produce or make yourself at home. Stick to unprocessed, natural foods, mostly found on the periphery of the grocery store, such as vegetables, fruits, eggs, meat and other single-ingredient foods.

Here is a sampling of what processed foods are:
  • Pasta
  • Cereal (even the healthy kind)
  • Bread 
  • Granola bars (yup, even the healthy ones)
  • Crackers, cookies
  • Dried fruit (unless you make it yourself)
  • Margarine
  • Any mixes or instant foods - any "just add water" type foods
  • Fruit juices, soft drinks, drink mixes, flavored water
  • Convenience foods, pre-made meals, such as microwave meals and frozen meals. (I know, I used to advocate some of these. I've learned!)
  • Candy, candy bars, snack cakes, snack mixes, jerky, chips
  • Microwave popcorn
  • Fast food, pretty much all fast food
  • Salad dressings, sauces
  • Anything labeled “light”, “low fat” or “fat free”
  • Atkins and Weight Watchers foods. Any brand that sells a product to fill a "diet" niche.
  • There are many, many more
Do you know what this list is? It's about 80% of what's available at the grocery store.

Not all processed (read: boxed and bagged) foods are horrible. There are some redeeming items like un-roasted, un-salted nuts. These come in a bag but they are healthy overall.

The main thing to look for is the number of carbs. That's really all you need to check, the rest is sort of irrelevant, even the sugar levels because if it's got high sugar, it will have high carbs as well.

If an item has more that 10 carbs per serving, find an alternative! A ketogenic diet has a max carb intake of 20 carbs per day. A Low-carb diet is 50 or less.

If you have a serving of spaghetti noodles for dinner, you are already at 40 grams! Just for the noodles alone. Instead, you can have a bowl of spaghetti sauce (homemade is best!) with meatballs and maybe some zuchinni zoodles and you're only looking at 10 grams (give or take depending on brands) for the whole meal. All of the flavor is in the sauce anyway. 

I think the more labels you read with this carbohydrate criteria in mind, the more you will see boxes and bagged convenience food as, "not food". Because they are not. They are sugar, fillers, flavoring, and chemicals. That's about it.

Mindset

When I was mainly counting calories as my weight control regimen, there were 3 foods that I had absolutely no problem avoiding because they were waaay to costly in the amount of calories they had:

  • Pizza - 300 calories a slice and it takes a minimum of two pieces to stop my hunger. That's half of my daily allotted calories in one meal!
  • Cheesecake - Just no. About 1000 calories for a decent sized slice.
  • Doughnuts - Calorie count varies depending on the doughnut but it's high and no doughnut I've ever eaten has ever stopped me from being hungry. 
Now that I'm low carb, high fat, I don't eat them because they are sugar. And sugar is poison.

Walking through the grocery store, I now consider 99% of what's on the shelves as "not food" since the majority of anything that comes in a box or a bag contains sugar or carbs (which are the same thing). I find myself seeing advertisements for fast food meals that are "only $5" and saying to myself, "Not food!" If it's that cheap, it can't be real food.

I find that once I'm able to demonize a food, I'm able to not want it any more which makes avoiding it easy and weight loss easier than fighting the cravings.

Do some research on the bad aspects of whatever your weakness foods are and you just may be able to convince yourself how terrible it is and not even want it anymore.

Avoidance is way easier than self control!

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