Category Archives: DIET!

First Spring Harvest – 2017

I spent another couple of hours getting the garden under control, and things are looking a lot better now. I cut off dead stuff, harvested some  broken stuff and leaves that were torn or had bites out of them,  but would still be good to eat. I washed everything carefully in the sink and then patted the leaves. I harvested two gallon bags of lettuce and two of spinach. This is the lettuce I harvested today. It’s mostly romaine.


And this is the spinach. I hoping that the roots are good and strong and that the fact I had to harvest way more than I would have normally won’t hurt the plants.  I got a pretty good workout with the 3-1/2 hours of gardening today, and I feel good that I managed to save a lot of what I had to remove from the plants for us to enjoy.


Filed under Arkansas, DIET!, exercise, Greenwood, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

My Plants are Insulted

No Time for Flash Cards

My poor garden veggies have been/are under triple assault: hail, bugs, and weeds. I just came in from a session of weeding, cutting off broken limbs, harvesting some of the broken/hole-y stuff, pitching the rest. It looks like it will take several sessions to get my plants happy again.

We’ve had a lot of rain (with hail and other severe stuff), then good sun, resulting in all of the problems. I do pretty well for an hour out there, particularly with our new raised beds,  but I think it will take three or four more sessions to catch up. And THEN, guess what! We have more rain forecast for four days next week…



When you first glance at things, it doesn’t look very  bad.



The closer you get, though, the more you see.

Here you see a BUNCH of broken tops on the onions. This doesn’t matter as much on onions as it does on other plants.

The spinach has broken leaves, and someone is trying to eat the spinach before we do. I harvested a BUNCH of  broken leaves that will still make good eating, but not ‘pretty.’

This is one of the spaghetti squash plants. You can see the holes in the leaves. I don’t know if that will kill the actual squash trying to grow or not.

The romaine lettuce is basically really healthy, but you can see  broken and/or eaten leaves, plus little bitty weeds that have sprung up in the last couple of days.

Red lettuce leaf isn’t really a ‘pretty’ plant to my eye, but it tastes good IF it doesn’t get beaten down by hail and eaten by bugs…

The celery plants are still alive and kicking! You can again see the teeny tiny weeds, though.

I’ll try to get back out several times today and again tomorrow. The rains aren’t supposed to start until late tomorrow night – and hopefully, we won’t have hail this time…

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Filed under Arkansas, Challenges, DIET!, exercise, Gardening, Greenwood, Mother Nature, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Getting the Lard Off Report 3/31/2017

Today is DAY 5 our renewed efforts on eating healthier and moving more.

I want to get started gathering ‘goodies’ for the new hummingbird bird bath, but I acted like an adult (at least more than usual :0) ) and did 30 minutes on the elliptical trainer. I’m listing all my food, plus my exercise, on, getting a more realistic idea of the amount I’m eating and making sure it’s 1200 calories or less, and 40 grams of carbohydrates or less, each day.

Later today I’ll do one session of yoga.

World of Female

I’ll report to you on Wednesday of next week. Hopefully, I’ll be able to tell you that we’re definitely making progress again.

If nothing else, I’m feeling better than I’m TRYING.

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, Healthy Eating

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Rodales Organic Life


“Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells, and cockle shells,
And pretty maids all in a row.[1]”


I’ve liked this rhyme since I was a child, but I no longer garden by it. Now my garden is not only the wonderful square foot gardening, started by Mel Bartholomew, allowing people like us to bypass our awful, rocky ridge line soil, having a chance to enjoy a garden, but now I have a RAISED BED square foot garden.

This lady is hopelessly spoiled now. I can plant, water, weed, and harvest – all without having to bend over double or get up and down endless times off my knees. I have SQUARES of plants now, rather than rows, and the plants seem very happy about it.


Our total garden is approximately 25 feet long and 15 feet wide. It’s surrounded by fencing, and then chicken wire around the bottom. We have all kinds of critters roaming around because of living on top of a ridge line, outside the city limits, in a more wooded area, so we have deer, possums, raccoons, rabbits, roadrunners, etc., who need to be kept out of the garden. We have a neon pink surveyors tape around the middle of the fencing to let deer know the garden is there before they run into it.


The garden has six 4 foot by 4 foot ‘boxes’ that are 8″ deep on metal support tables. They’re about chest high. We then marked off sections with stretchy string. I had some little bitty weeds trying to get a foothold in the garden yesterday. I weeded the whole thing in about 45 minutes with little effort, other than trying to make sure I got all the ones I could see out.


We have our irrigation system on a timer that goes for 5 minutes at 5:00 daily right now. We can change this any time it’s needed.

Last year I had some beautiful broccoli and cauliflower LEAVES, but didn’t get a lot of actual VEGGIES from the plants. I have no clue why. I’m hoping for some good eating this year. I’m also trying to grow celery and spaghetti squash for the first time this year.

So, you see why this lady is spoiled beyond repair now, happy as a clam, playing in my plants, and looking forward to eating romaine lettuce, red leaf lettuce, radishes, spaghetti squash, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach and tomatoes this year!

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Filed under Arkansas, DIET!, Favorite Things, Gardening, Greenwood, Mother Nature, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Coming Clean

Jacqueline A. Lyons

Okay. My husband and I have been doing a TERRIBLE job lately on following our low carb diet, exercising, and getting healthier. We have lots and lots of excuses, none of which actually hold water when held up to the light – (to mix a bunch of metaphors and clichés’.)

SO –

Last night we agreed that Monday morning we’re going to start being adults again. To this end, we enjoyed KFC last night, and we’re going to Subway tonight for the condemned  “last meal.”

This morning I started getting ready to be seriously good. I made a careful list of menus for the coming week and a grocery list to go with it. When we returned from shopping, I started cooking.

  • I have a rump roast in the crock pot which is starting to smell really good.
  • I hard-boiled a dozen eggs
  • I cut up a huge bowl of celery to go with the baby carrots and cherry tomatoes we eat with a low carb dip.
  • I made sugar-free banana puddings for my husband
  • And sugar-free chocolate puddings for me.
  • I made low carb sausage balls.


  1. I’m going back to listing everything I eat on, trying to stay under 40 carbs and 1200 calories per day. I’m building in a reward of an orange dream bar each evening into the count, as I did before.
  2. I’m going to start drinking a lot more water, trying for at least 48 oz daily.
  3. I’m going back to doing whatever amount of time I can on the elliptical every day.
  4. I’m going to do at least one lesson in yoga daily.

I KNOW I can do this. NO MORE EXCUSES! NO MORE WEAKNESS!  Wish me luck?

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Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, Healthy Eating

How Does Your Garden Grow?



Here is one row of our garden. You can see three ‘boxes’ from front to back tied together by the irrigation system, which is on a timer we can control. Most of the garden is in now.


This is the second row of the garden with another three boxes.

I just went over and hugged my husband again, thanking him (1) for the idea of our building a raised garden (when he saw how very hot, tired, and achy I got getting up and down, planting, weeding, and harvesting the garden on the ground), (2) for all the time and energy he spent building and installing the boxes, cutting and welding the support tables that hold up the wooden boxes, designing the irrigation system, (3) for encouraging me to spend what I needed to get – and keep – things going in the garden.


I visit the garden at least once a day – covering or uncovering the plants in protecting them from freezes, pulling the weeds that install themselves even up in the air, pulling off dead leaves on the plants, taking pics, and – the best part – when I can actually start harvesting what we’ve grown!


I’ve planted Georgia Sweet Onions, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Red Lettuce, Romaine Lettuce, Spinach, Radishes, celery, and spaghetti squash. Probably next month, when the stores have a good selection, I’ll get three tomato plants. In another three weeks, I’ll get three more, making a total of six. We have two brick planters on the east side of the house converted to square foot gardens, filled with Mel’s Mix, ready to receive the plants.


We’re off to a good start!

Do you like to grow veggies? I would love to hear from you, comparing notes on how you do it.  I would love to hear about tips you have on getting a healthy crop, suggestions you have so that I can do a better job. I’m a real novice and appreciate all the help I can get. :0)


Filed under Arkansas, DIET!, Gardening, Greenwood, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Getting the Lard Off – Progress Report 3/15/2017

Funnyblogs – Funnywebsite – Funnypictures

Awhile back I fell off the wagon. Even though I’m eating good, low-carb food most of the day, ‘something happens’ once dinner is over. I feel I’m starving (you can see from the pic above how I’m wasting away) and I keep eating. I’ve been talking to myself, trying to change my ways, but it’s not working yet.

So – I’m at a weight loss of 35 lbs and 20 inches and I can’t seem to get on a downward path.

I have all kinds of excuses, but none that holds any water. I’m giving in to my weakness and stuffing my face. I AM trying to reread the books that got me motivated in the first place, and I’m hoping I’ll find the way to NOT get up and get something to eat after dinner!




I was happily doing my elliptical trainer and yoga until my back started acting up, to the point I’ve been on a heating pad in my chair and in bed, plus taking Ibuprofen and wearing a pain patch. I am almost back to normal now, so I’m promising myself I’ll get back on track with my exercising, too.

Promises, Promises…  Though THIS I will definitely try to do –

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Our Garden is Officially Started!

This is the first time we’ve had all six raised bed square foot garden boxes in our garden! We have SIX 4′ x 4′ x 8″ boxes on legs connected by an irrigation system so that we can water everything on a timer. Each box has a sprinkler in the center. The timer is between the house and the garden, and we can either just turn it on to water manually, or use the timer so that all gets watered for a specific amount of time daily.


We have fencing plus chicken wire around the garden to keep critters out. The pink tape is to keep deer from running into the fencing at night. We can put bird netting and shade fabric over the top of the garden, if needed.


I found SPINACH plants!  Hooray!!!!!!!



These are romaine lettuce plants.


This is red leaf lettuce.


Georgia sweet onions.





I have moved some of my window sill plants to the back porch in preparation for moving them out to the garden. I have some celery plants and some spaghetti squash plants. My spinach seeds have tiny sprouts on the window sill now. I may have some more spaghetti squash plants.

I’ll probably get more plants tomorrow. I want the local co-op guy to REALLY know how much I appreciate his getting spinach plants this year.

We have some issues with water pressure right now on the irrigation system. After messing with things for quite awhile this afternoon, we think we must have a hose blowout somewhere between the well house and the garden, but we were too tired to tackle the problem today. Tomorrow is another day…



Filed under Arkansas, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, Gardening, Greenwood, Healthy Eating, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Yet Another New Regimen…

I’m STILL  trying to come up with an exercise regimen with which I can stick. Yesterday and today I started out with a session on the elliptical trainer. Yesterday I pooped out at 16 minutes. Today I did better, doing 30 minutes.

I was doing yoga 3 days a week, the elliptical twice a week, and one day each of upper and lower body strength exercises.  I discovered I was blowing it off mid week for some reason, and didn’t feel as well as I did when I did a session of yoga each day.

So I’m going to try doing a session of the elliptical trainer in the morning and yoga in the afternoon. I’ll also try to work in the strength exercises if I’m feeling sassy.

My weight and inches loss remains a challenge. My husband and I are using lots of excuses to eat things we shouldn’t. (Last night it was fried rice from Lin’s House. )  I told him that I was really having trouble staying on my diet and that we can’t celebrate “National Pickle Week” every night.

I had stopped using MyFitnessPal for some reason, and I started it up again yesterday. I left my motivation in one of the piles around the house, but I AM finding it, bit by bit. Once I get my act together – firmly shutting my mouth after I enjoy my orange dream bar after dinner –  I hope to again enjoy weight and inches loss. Fingers crossed!!!!!



Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise

Getting the Lard Off Progress Report 2/1/2017

I told you last week that for some unknown reason, I can eat a week’s worth of carbs and calories after dinner.  Part of the reason is that we’re staying up late. My husband has trouble sleeping. We used to go to bed and read until we were sleepy. He read that he would sleep better if we quit doing that, so we’re downstairs until we’re sleepy now – leaving about 5 hours or so after dinner when we’re close to the kitchen.

Yesterday I put my foot down hard – telling myself I was finished gorging myself and would look forward to my orange dream bar after dinner and THAT WAS IT! Last night was the first night in ages I’ve actually done it. My scale even noticed the difference. So – I’m starting day TWO of acting like an adult on my eating.

Since I’ve been shoving everything in the house into my mouth, my weight and measurements have fluctuated. I’m determined to get back on track, eating low carb and as little sugar as possible. I’m trying to stay under 40 carbs of carbohydrates per day and under 1200 calories. AND I’m trying to exercise regularly. To date I’ve lost 34 lbs and 19″.

I’m doing better on my exercising than my eating. For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been doing yoga three days a week, the elliptical twice a week, and upper and lower body strength exercises. My poor old body has had sore muscles to show for my efforts, but I’m feeling better overall, and I feel that I’m working my body from head to toe, in different ways so my body doesn’t get used to anything.

Now that I’m finally on track on my after dinner eating, I’m hopeful I can continue to report actual progress to you.


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Getting the Lard Off Progress Report – 1/25/2017

No more poundage off yet, though my eating after dinner is getting better. I’m now concentrating on drinking a bottle of water after dinner, then eating my anticipated-all-day-orange-dream-bar, then sipping water until bedtime, if still tempted. I’m hoping that if I concentrate on this, I’ll build a habit again…

To date, I’ve lost 21.75 inches and 40 pounds.

The biggest change I have to report is that my exercise routine is getting to be much more to my liking.  I’ve read that your body responds better if you change up what you’re doing.

Now I’m doing yoga three times a week. I’m doing one session for a part of the body, such as ‘legs,’ and then a ‘yoga flow, for a total of an hour.

Two days a week I’m on the elliptical. I’ve found that I’ve lost ground since not doing it in a long time. Yesterday I did 15 minutes and will try to add time each day until I’m back up to half an hour. I’ll also add speed and difficulty as I get better. (You can change it from flat to quite-a-hill, requiring more effort)

Two days a week I’m doing strength exercises with my 5 lb. weights.  Even with the stretches I’ve been doing with the yoga, it’s not the same as working with the weights, so I think this will add a good thing

So, here’s my schedule –

  • MONDAY – Yoga (1 body routine plus one flow)
  • TUESDAY – Elliptical
  • WEDNESDAY – Yoga (1 body routine plus one flow)
  • THURSDAY – Strength Exercises (Upper Body)
  • FRIDAY – Yoga (1 body routine plus one flow)
  • SATURDAY – Elliptical
  • SUNDAY – Strength Exercises (Lower Body)

I think this will be a good mix, working my whole body each week, with a different emphasis each day. I’ll report back to you on how it works. Fingers crossed!



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Getting the Lard Off Progress (?) Report – 1/18/2017

Amazing Creatures

Amazing Creatures

I’m trying to remain positive, but I’m still having trouble not eating after dinner.

My newest track on this is going back to the orange dream bar I ate each night as my dessert – something I can look forward to every day. THEN, if I’m up in the middle of the night (as I was last night for an hour or so)  I’m TRYING to content myself with a sugar-free chocolate pudding or veggies and dip. Last night my husband came downstairs, too, and we both felt potato chips calling to us…. :0(

To date I’m down 35 pounds and 20 inches.


Funny Image Collection

Funny Image Collection

On my efforts to move more, I’m doing much better, having found yoga for old broads.  Sometimes I run out of time and energy and don’t practice my yoga every day, but most days I’m on the mat.

I’m using 2 programs: “Gentle Yoga” and “Gentle Yoga Flows,” both by Sixty & Me, with the same wonderful instructor. I’m concentrating now on the Flows, planning to do Practice 3 today. My goal is to do one session on a particular part of the body, such as “Hips,” and then one of the ‘flows’ each day, making an hour.

If I continue to do well, I’ll add strength training and my elliptical a couple of days a week.

I am the poster child for couch potatoes, doing lots of work on my computer or trying to create something in my art room, so this is a HUGE change for me. My problems haven’t gone completely away, but I’m feeling more in control of what’s happening in my body now.


I’m hoping that the continued exercising and trying not to chow down after dinner or in the middle of the night will finally get me off my plateau-from-Hell on my weight. My main goal remains –

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Recipe Riot


Remarkably Domestic

I’ve gotten recipes from EVERYWHERE since I started my low carb lifestyle a little over a year ago, and then even more when I added low sugar or no sugar or diabetic recipes to our staples list. I’m now buried alive in recipes in cookbooks, on my Kindle, printed from the net, etc.

I’m trying LOTS of new recipes. Some are keepers, some are not. The ones that are good are now all over the place. I spend more time now trying to FIND a recipe than cooking it. :0(

I have a three ring notebook where I’m trying to organize the printed recipes from the net, but I still can’t remember if I got a recipe from that notebook, from a book… ARRRGH!

I finally decided to organize differently so I have ONE PLACE to check on a regular basis in order to make menus for the next week, grocery lists from the menus, and then to know where to go for directions on how to make the food.

I got an index box, much like this one.



I just got divider recipe cards so I have a way to organize stuff in the box.  I have 3×5 index cards.

Now I’m going through things, using a card to list some of our favorite recipes, listing it by category, such as snacks, appetizers, etc., and then writing the name on the card and the source (cookbook and page number, or printed out notebook and where it is).

This will definitely be a work in progress, but I should be able to get most of what we’re enjoying lately in the box relatively quickly, and then add to it as we find another recipe we like.

I’m trying to work through stuff in our freezers, too. I can find something, such as a pork loin, and should be able to quickly find the recipes we like the best using that cut.

At least, that’s the plan. Wish me luck!

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Promise to Myself

stop domestic abuse via desiree angelique hackett

stop domestic abuse via desiree angelique hackett

Lately, I’ve been ‘good,’ doing my exercises every day. I do well on my eating until after dinner – then spiral out of control. I’m thinking about wiring my jaw shut.

I’ve asked my husband, who keeps us well supplied with cashews, to hide them from me. I’m TRYING to only eat a sugar-free chocolate pudding after dinner and before bed.

The problem is that we eat about 7pm and don’t go to bed until about midnight. In that 5 hour expanse the kitchen calls to me.

This is ridiculous and I know it. I’m NOT starving to death. I could live off my fat for months. I’m trying to drink water after dinner and wait until about 9:30 for my pudding. So far, it’s a downhill spiral, making my poundage removed smaller.

I’m going to print this and hang it up somewhere in the kitchen to remind me, when I’ve answered the call, that I’m heading in the right direction….


Filed under Attitude, Challenges, DIET!, Encouragement, exercise

Concentrating on Shutting My Mouth…

Huffington Post

Huffington Post

There are lots of good reasons for trying to keep my mouth shut.

Most of the time it’s a good idea to keep me out of trouble for saying the wrong thing in the wrong company. This time – keeping the other in mind – my efforts are focused on not eating after dinner time. I made it last night for the first time in a LONG time.

I followed that with an hour long session of yoga this afternoon emphasizing “Joint Mobility” and “Overall Flow.”  I had a talk with my husband about helping me carve out an hour either in the morning or in the afternoon for my yoga practice. He is seeing how much better it makes me feel, and was encouraging about my efforts today.


Michelle Cazares

Michelle Cazares


I’m re-reading The Shift by Tory Johnson


the book that initially got me excited about trying to get the lard off and get in better shape. I’m happy to say that it’s beginning to do its magic on me again, motivating me to stick to my guns and start impressing the scales and my tape measure again. I’m about half way to where I think I would like to be weight-wise. If I’m successful enough to get there, I’ll decide if more is needed or if that’s enough. (I’m trying for the middle of a healthy BMI weight range for my height.)

Our low carb lifestyle and our new low or no sugar emphasis should help both my husband and me feel better.

*2 new finds! –

  • Swiss Miss Sensible Sweets Light Hot Cocoa Mix. (It’s 25 calories, 4 grams carbs and 2 grams of sugar per serving.)  My husband really loves hot chocolate and he says he cannot tell the difference between the awful mixes he WAS using and this. Hooray!”
  • Arizona Zero Peach Tea – My husband used to drink already sweetened iced tea mix, drinking several LARGE glasses per day. This is 0 calories, < 1 gram sugar, <  1 gram carbs. It’s delicious and we both drink it.

In a little over a year I have lost 40 lbs. and 23+ inches. Albeit slowly, I AM making progress on being as healthy as I can be. I look forward to seeing what 2017 brings!


Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Challenges, Changes, Cooking/Recipes/Low Carb Lifestyle, DIET!, exercise



My goals to eat right, lose weight, gain flexibility and strength have a beginning date – August 22, 2015 – but they will have no end.  I’ve made some progress, losing 40 lbs and 23+ inches thus far, eating low carb and trying to move more. I’m about half way to where I would like to be.

Right now I’m concentrating on jump-starting my motivation, which left about the time my husband was diagnosed with Type II diabetes. I dove in, once HE was convinced that he was showing symptoms that were quite bothersome, and could be controlled by cutting out sugar. The symptoms were feet, especially toes, hurting badly; double vision; lots of indigestion, dizzy spells, etc.

He’s done a wonderful job of trying to cut out his sugar. Our doctor is really pleased with his efforts, and we’re hoping that the A1C blood test he gets in February will reflect the same results as we’re showing at home.

In the quest for sugar-free and other things that would take the place of what he was missing most, I lost my motivation to

I used our more complicated eating situation to slide on my own discipline. I’ve discovered that my low carb diet is really good for my husband, too. Watching our sugar is good for both of us, and should be no problem.

I’ve also discovered that folding myself into a paper airplane doing yoga stretches is very helpful. I found a 2-DVD set called, “Gentle Yoga” which is geared to old women like me who have never done yoga before and are a bit intimidated. I have discovered for myself that doing the stretches when I’m sore HELPS. Amazing!

So, if I KNOW what I’m supposed to eat, and I’m DOING yoga most days, what is my problem?

I do fine on my eating until after dinner. We’re eating at about 7pm, but don’t go to bed until about midnight. And then, sometimes, we end up downstairs in the middle of the night, not able to sleep, again providing an opportunity to stuff my face.

I’ve tried moving my ‘dessert’ (sugar-free chocolate pudding) later, to bridge the 5 hours before we go to sleep. That has helped a bit, but even with low carb snacks, I’m craving salty stuff. It calls to me from the kitchen. Incessantly.

I really that I’m engaging in a ‘whine and cheese’ party here, and that I have no REAL reason for stuffing my face after dinner. I realize I’m not really hungry. I have no good excuses. BAH. HUMBUG.

I’ll make a point of

  • re-reading the parts of low carb books that helped me lose the 40 lbs.
  • I’ll be religious about doing my two sections of the yoga DVDs daily,
  • I’ll start drinking more water, as I should have been doing
  • I’ll start trying to have projects to do after dinner that will keep me busy.

Hopefully, by the middle of NEXT week, I can report to you that I’m back on track…

Please cross your fingers for me!



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Superfoods Chili Recipe

Recently I told you about a new recipe book I’m really enjoying: Low Carb Recipes for Diabetics by Don Orwell. He concentrates on Super Foods that boost immunity, promote weight loss and slow aging.

I gave you the recipe for his Minestrone. Today I’m sharing his recipe for Superfoods Chili.

My husband’s first reaction was, “This isn’t chili. It’s a stew.” But then he started eating. Then got a second bowl. Wanted it for dinner the next night – and we finished it for lunch yesterday. And he’s requested more…

This recipe is Sugar Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free,* Egg Free, and Nut Free

SuperFoods Chili


  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 3/4 pound beef sirloin, cubed
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cups cooked kidney beans
  • 4 fresh hot chili peppers, chopped


Put all ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on low for 4 hours.


I hate using half a cap of something, only to have to throw away the remainder several days later, so I used

  • one can of diced tomatoes
  • one can of tomato paste

We don’t like ‘hot’, so I eliminated the cayenne pepper,  and hot chili peppers, substituting some regular ground peppercorns and some chili powder.

I used 2 cans of kidney beans, draining and rinsing them in a strainer before adding to the slow cooker.

*We sprinkled on some shredded cheese, so our version was not dairy free.

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Low Carb Minestrone Soup Is a Winner!



My husband’s firm opinion is that Campbell’s Soup is the best and that no one should even try to compete. He ate his words – as well as the soup – last night! :0)

The recipe is for “Minestrone” and the source is Low Carb Recipes for Diabetics by Don Orwell.

He looks as food as medicine. He promotes what he calls Super Foods that boost immunity, promote weight loss, and slow aging. This is the first of his recipes we’ve tried, and we’re really impressed.

The Minestrone Recipe serves 8 to 10. It’s sugar fee, gluten free, dairy free, egg free, and nut free. So what’s left? Really good soup!


  • 3 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup tomato sauce*
  • 1/2 oz red wine (optional)
  • 1 cup raw cannellini beans*
  • 2 cups green beans*
  • 2 cups baby spinach, rinsed
  • 3 zucchinis, quartered and sliced*
  • 1 tbsp. chopped oregano
  • 2 tbsp. chopped basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil or cumin oil


Put all ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours


  • I used a whole can of tomato sauce
  • I used a CAN of cannellini beans
  • I used a CAN of green beans
  • I used ONE zucchini
  • I went lighter on the herbs and spices
  • At my husband’s request, I added some cut up roast beef (about one cup, diced)
  • I added some xanthan gum thickener about half an hour before serving

I really liked this soup, but I’m much easier to please than my husband. HE liked it, too. He requested we eat some of the leftovers tonight, along with garlic bread made with our new low carb bread.  He sounded surprised when he told me it was “good – really good,” and then mentioned it again when we were cleaning up. I have two large glass bowls of soup left. I’m thinking that I’ll serve one of them for us tonight and freeze the other to enjoy later.


Filed under Cooking/Recipes/Low Carb Lifestyle, DIET!

Getting the Lard Off Progress Report 12/15/2016

AnimalWallpapers - DesktopNexus

AnimalWallpapers – DesktopNexus

I’m finally getting my eating after dinner until better control, though I have to admit it’s a fight, one night after the next.

I’m doing a combination of

  • re-reading the books that got me motivated in the first place
  • finding better low carb snacks to eat
  • finding more active things to do to distract me before bed
  • drinking more water after dinner

My scale is beginning to show a downward movement again, although I’m still re-losing the weight I thought was gone.

I’m feeling good about my yoga practice.

Most every day I’m doing two 1/2 hour sections of the DVD set “Gentle Yoga.” Today I just finished “Legs,” and “Overall Flow.” I’m beginning to feel looser. I’m beginning to be able to sit with my knees bent, feet under me, without my feet cramping so much, and without the tops of my thighs screaming. I may never be able to bend over and touch my fingers to the floor, but I’m stretching the right muscles to do so. When my back is hurting, I now know that doing yoga will make it feel better. I’m also learning to relax at the end of the sections for 5 minutes, something I feel REALLY hard to do at the beginning. AND, I can now lie on my back on the floor and put my hands over my head and touch the floor behind me – something that was impossible in the beginning.

I’m pairing the yoga practice with some exercises for my abdomen. I’m hoping all this will come together gradually to impress my tape measure, too.

Today I made a new recipe for dinner – Low Carb Minestrone.  My husband came in while I was avidly chopping up veggies and said he thought it was good I was making Beef Stew. I told him it was Minestrone. He said, “But it has beef in it, doesn’t it?” I told him it didn’t have ANY meat in it. He looked disappointed, and asked, “But COULD it have some beef in it?” At that point I relented and added some leftover roast beef to the mix. I’ll let you know what we think tomorrow.

I hope your day has been fun.

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise

Getting the Lard Off Progress Report 12/7/2016

Funny Animals Pictures Images

Funny Animals Pictures Images

I’m actually moving backwards lately on trying to get the lard off.  :0(   I’m having problems not eating after dinner. It used to be that I would eat my orange dream bar and that was it. Lately, it’s like I have a tapeworm or something. I’m hungry.

My weight loss right now is 35 lbs.

I’m now doing better on adapting to trying to cook for my low carbs and my husband’s diabetes. I’ve decided to basically serve low carb meals and then make sugar free puddings for dessert. I’m trying lots of different recipes. We’re experimenting with a lot of low carb, low or no sugar foods. Some of them are good, and we’ll incorporate them into our eating plan. Others we try and try to forget. We’re working our way through, resulting in many mistakes and resulting hunger.

Sometimes my husband is being strong and eating only what he should. That helps ME do better, as well. Sometimes we both fall off and indulge.

We’re concentrating on figuring out what we’re doing wrong and making changes that will work for the long run. If we figure we can NEVER eat bread again, we tend to obsess about it, feeling sorry for ourselves. We found a wonderful low carb, sugar free plain bread recently. It’s expensive, but we found it great for turkey sandwiches – one of our favorite parts of Thanksgiving, and then enjoyed it with sugar free jams and jellies as toast with bacon and eggs. We won’t eat our weight in it, but it’s terrific for the morale to be able to eat bread occasionally again.

So, with all the above excuses, I gained 5 lbs of the weight I lost. :0(

The good side is that with the exercise I’m doing, there are 26 inches less of me!

The new concentration is continuing the exercise and controlled snacking after dinner. Hopefully, next week I can report another weight loss!

I realize that each day is a new chance to do well. Each meal is a new chance to make better choices. I’ll concentrate on my mantra –


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Find – Low Carb Bread!

Great Low Carb Plain Bread

Great Low Carb Plain Bread

I switched to a low carb diet about 16 months ago. We discovered that my husband has diabetes and that his body could use wheat to MAKE sugar in his body, even if he’s not eating any added sugar. So it’s been a shorter time for him and a LONG time for me without having any bread.

Imagine my joy to find a company who specializes in making low carb, 0 sugar bread!

I have to admit I tried some from another company earlier and it was awful. I just figured I would have to do without except when I splurge on really special occasions.

We received the two loaves of Great Low Carb Plain Bread I ordered yesterday morning. We had turkey sandwiches for dinner last night. I won’t say it’s the best bread we’ve ever tasted,  but it’s good enough that we’ll look forward to eating it again. (In fact, we’ll have bacon, eggs, and TOAST with sugar-free jelly tonight!)

The bread we tried is called Great Low Carb Plain Bread. It has 0 sugar, 8 carbs per slice, 7 carbs fiber per slice – for a net carb of 1 per slice!!!!  For those interested, the bread is Kosher and non-GMO, too. Calories are 60 per slice. Fat is 3 grams per slice, and sodium is 140 mgs. per slice. Protein is 7 grams per slice.  Has Vitamin A, C, Calcium, Iron, and Folic Acid.

The next time we order, we’ll try the “Everything Bread,” and the “Sourdough Bread.”

They suggest you freeze the loaves on receipt (though we’re going through the first loaf too fast to freeze much. :0)

We still won’t be eating bread all the time, but it’s such a comfort to know that when we DO want bread, this is bread we can enjoy without ruining our day’s good efforts. HOOOORAAAAAY!

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Jaw Wired Shut?

My ‘progress report’ for the week is I gained some lard back and didn’t lose any inches.  ARRRGH!!

I could use the excuse of Thanksgiving, but it would be a lie. I do fine until after dinner, and then I seem to be unable to stop stuffing my face. I’m not sure what the problem is, but I’m going to have a serious talk with myself and see if I can stop.  Otherwise, I’m considering having my jaw wired shut until further notice….

I’m about half way to my goal. I’m exercising every day, either with projects that require a lot of movement, my new yoga practice, or both. I still WANT to lose another 40 lbs, but my motivation seems to have gotten buried.  I floundered a bit – not knowing what to cook for sure in the wake of our discovery that my husband has diabetes. We’re doing well on that now, learning that my low carb lifestyle is really good for his diabetes, as well. We’ve been searching all over the place for sugar-free alternatives for the sweet drinks, candy, and desserts he loves. Mostly, we’ve been successful, although we’re now searching for a low sugar hot chocolate mix. (The latest one we tried was a failure for him.)

I don’t really know why this caused my efforts to derail, but I’m going to concentrate on finding my motivation again.  If you’ve fallen off your good habits and then found a way to get back up and going again, I would appreciate your sharing your experiences and what worked for you.



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Getting the Lard Off – Progress Report Nov. 21, 2016

I’m happy to say that I am FINALLY back on the getting the lard off road! I lost my way for a bit, but – with the addition of yoga poses done daily – I’m starting to lose again.

My husband – who is a newly-diagnosed diabetic – and I are eating a low carb diet, substituting sugar-free candy, pudding, and tea for the things he’s missing the most.


Bored Panda

Bored Panda

The biggest change is that I’m doing two sections of my yoga DVD set daily. Today, for example, I’m doing “Joint Mobility” and “Overall Flow.”

Yesterday I ALMOST skipped the yoga because I had some sore muscles. I went ahead, grimly, and found that my soreness disappeared! Let this be an ongoing lesson for me!!!!!

I’ve been doing the two sections daily for a bit over a week now, and I decided to see whether my measuring tape was impressed or not.

It was! To date, I’ve lost 21.75 inches and 40 pounds. (Some of these pounds have been regained and now lost again. I’m looking forward to breaking into new territory soon.)

Yesterday I was doing the ‘fold-yourself-into-a-paper-airplane-and-twist’ pose. I end up with my leg bent and twisted over to the side across my body with my knee on the floor. The opposite arm is stretched up above my head. See what I mean about folding yourself into a paper airplane?

Anyway, you get into the pose, holding it while you breathe in deeply into the stretch, and then exhale several times. When I was doing the last deep breath, my fingers touched the floor! Just barely – but they did!!!!! Only on one side, and only for a second, but HOOORAAAAAY!

The only other exercise I’m doing right now is sitting on the exercise ball while watching TV.  This is supposed to be good for building up my ‘core’ muscles and strengthening my balance. Since I need both, I spend some time bouncing around each evening.

I’m going right now to do my yoga sessions.

Hope YOUR day is good, too.





Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, DIET!, exercise, getting the lard off


Ryan Fitness Professional -

Ryan Fitness Professional –

For two days in a row I’ve been really, REALLY good – eating what I’m supposed to eat, and NOT eating what I’m not supposed to eat. I’ve done two sections on my yoga DVDS for two days in a row – the first day was “Joints Mobility” and “Overall.” Yesterday was “Head, Neck & Shoulders” and “Overall.” Today my day got away from me and I didn’t do my yoga.

My scales are laughing at me.



I realize that the scales may be showing water weight, increased muscle, etc., but right at the moment, it seems I’m making excuses for myself.  I’m going to be sure to get my yoga for the rest of the week, but it would be SO NICE if the scale would at least PRETEND to be impressed….

By the way, I tried a nice low carb recipe for chicken, broccoli and pimento cheese that we liked. I’m going to tweak it a bit before I present it here, but this will definitely be a keeper!


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Susan’s To Die For Low Carb Meatloaf




I told you that I cooked a lot  yesterday.

My husband asked me today if I had put more Jello Sugar Free Banana Pudding on the shopping list. :0)

He also raved about the meatloaf!  He asked me to put this recipe on the ones we do over and over again.

I got this recipe in the Low Carb section of a website called, “Christy Jordan’s Southern Plate.”


Susan’s To Die For Low Carb Meatloaf


  • 1 envelope Onion Soup Mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup No Fructose Ketchup ( I used reduced sugar)
  • 3/4 cup crushed PORK RINDS (crush, then measure)
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 lb. ground chicken


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Using clean hands, mix together all ingredients in a large bowl until well blended.
  3. Place two ends from a loaf of bread, end to end, onto the surface of a 9″x13″ baking dish (I used hamburger buns)
  4. Form the meat mixture into a loaf, on top of the bread slices.
  5. Squeeze a little more ketchup on top of the meatloaf.
  6. Bake for 1 hour.
  7. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.


Susan’s Tips:

To take this meatloaf over the moon, heat each slice on a sizzling hot cast iron griddle skillet, putting a crusty sear on both sides! Peel off the bread from the bottom of the meatloaf and give it to your 4-legged children. Tails will wag and they will love you forever!


I used ground turkey instead of ground chicken. It came in a 3 lb. package, so I divided it roughly into thirds, freezing the other two pounds separately. I was a bit worried because the meat mixture was much softer than I’m used to having when forming the loaf. I went ahead and followed directions and it was REALLY, REALLY good. :0)

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Getting the Lard Off – November 9, 2016

I’m still trying to curb my after dinner eating. I’m getting better, though the problem is not yet completely solved.  For some reason, it’s almost as if I had a tapeworm. I feel hungry soon after eating dinner, though our dinner is low carb. That’s some kind of emotional hang-up that I’m determined to stop.

Yesterday I cooked up a storm.

  • I hard-boiled a bunch of eggs for my breakfast and our snacks
  • I made a batch of sausage balls for lunches and snacks
  • I made sugar-free banana pudding for my husband (He loved it!)
  • I made a low carb meatloaf that my husband raved about (I’ll share the recipe later today)

In-between I was cleaning up and running the dishwasher again, plus washing clothes, stripping our bed and working in the flower beds. I had a really full, satisfying day.

Today I tried two new sections of my 2-DVD-set of “Gentle Yoga.”

The first was for “Legs” and the second was for “Balance.” I’m feeling a lot more relaxed now and I’m happy I bought the set. Tomorrow I’ll try the “Overall Flow” section, the last in the set. My goal is to do some yoga each day. My body is feeling looser and more relaxed and this will improve as I practice. I really like and trust the teacher of these poses, and I feel that I’m getting in touch with my body in a way I have never done before. It’s wonderful.

Doctor appointments for both me and my husband tomorrow afternoon. We’ll see how we’re doing, discuss where we’re trying to go and ways to get there, and keep on keepin’ on.


Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise

Getting the Lard Off Progress (?) Report – November 2, 2016

Amy Adenoro

Amy Adenoro

I’ve been on a roller-coaster since about the middle of October. At that time my husband finally got serious about trying to avoid sugar. That might sound easy, but it’s been pretty traumatic around here. He LOVES sugar and was in denial about his problem and its inevitable consequences. I’ve been scrambling to figure out what we’re eating while trying to find something he can drink instead of soda, something to eat besides candy, and then some kind of dessert for him to look forward to.

I’ve also found, in my research so far, that simply trying to get sugar-free everything isn’t the answer. First my husband is REALLY sensitive to any alternative for sugar aftertaste. This week we’ve finally settled on Arizona Peach Sugar Free Tea, after buying and trying at least six other things. We found sugar-free hard candy easily enough, but he’s finding out the hard way that eating too much sugar-free candy has its consequences. He’s cutting that back on his own now. We’ve found ‘no added sugar’ pies that are good, and he likes a kind of cobbler that my wonderful cousin-in-law/friend Murray gave me.

I also discovered in my reading that, even if you cut out all the sugar you can, your body uses carbs to manufacture its own sugar! He tried giving up his cold cereal, but was unhappy, so we’ve done the next best thing – Special K is the best one for diabetics, since it’s not made from wheat.

Since low carb eating is also good for diabetics, I found a low carb for diabetics cook book. This is an ongoing process, but it took my attention and motivation away from my own challenges. In the past week I’ve gotten serious again, trying desperately not to eat after dinner, except for my orange dream bar as I used to do. This has been remarkably hard to do, since I’m staying up until at least midnight because my husband’s restless leg problem is better if he goes right to sleep, rather than our reading in bed as we’ve done for a hundred years or so. I found that delaying our dessert until 10:30 or so helps with my eating anything in sight…


I’m finished with the excuses now. I’m back on my “low carb and exercising” horse again. With all the flailing around for almost a month, my weight loss is now 41 pounds. My inches loss is now 18.25″.

I started yoga (for old broads, 60+) about a week ago and I have to say I enjoy it. I’m not in any danger of becoming a gym rat, but I don’t dread doing yoga and really do feel relaxed afterward. Today I’m planning to do the last two sections on the 2nd DVD: “Legs” and “Overall Flow” (I think it’s called.)  The DVD series is called, “Gentle Yoga.”

We’re supposed to get rain late tonight and into tomorrow morning, so I’m planning to do weed eating across the back yard where we have to clean up a bit after wonderful Shane cut down a bunch of stuff to open up our view again and create a fire break. I also plan to create a lot more leaf mulch while the leaves are dry, harvest lettuce, etc.

I’m disgusted with myself that I allowed myself to be thrown for a loop over the changes needed in our lifestyle. I excuse myself a bit because I’m very fond of my husband and want him to live – feeling better and better – for a good, long time. That involves finding replacements for the important luxuries in his life. He seems to be adjusting pretty well now after some depression. He still threatens to stop all the good efforts if his sugar numbers don’t get lower as fast as he would like. That’s an ongoing discussion as well…

I feel good that I’ve stayed on my low carb plan really well the past two or three days now, and some of the regained lard is coming off. The yoga is making me feel looser and stronger, though I did have a bit of leg aching last night. I think I’ll feel better and better as I continue my practice.  The last two sections today, plus my day doing yard work, will be a really good amount of exercise for me today.

I hope that you, also, will try to


Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, getting the lard off

Bullets, Spaghetti Squash and Cauli-Rice


It’s important to my husband that I am able to defend myself if the need arises. To this end, he built this set of metal ‘falling plate’ targets. We shoot at the plates, knowing that if we miss the bullets go into the high hill of slag behind the targets.  (This pic was taken about a week ago, when I hadn’t taken the fabric shade off the garden behind the slag pile.)  When you hit a plate, it falls back and down. When all the plates are down, you stop shooting, set the plates up again, then go back to kill them again. :0)



Here’s another view of the targets. Today he added half a brick to each of the plate rods, making a nice counter-weight. I hit more than I missed, but need practice again soon. He wants to work on the targets more, since the small one on the end fell down if you hit any of the other three plates.



Beyond Zucchini

I’ve gotten lax about eating, my excuse being I’m trying new things to satisfy my husband’s sweet tooth now that he has to avoid anything with sugar. I’m trying to get back on track, so I bought a spaghetti squash and a head of cauliflower at the grocery today.

I split the spaghetti squash in half long-wise, then put the halves face down on a tray lined with aluminum foil. I baked it for 45 minutes at 350 degrees, then pulled it out and let it cool. When it was easy to pick up without burning myself, I took a fork and scraped out all the squash inside. The one spaghetti squash yielded 4 cups of nice spaghetti-looking squash. I put a cup into each of four sandwich bags and then put the bags inside one gallon freezer bag, labeled it and put it in the freezer. That will be good for four dinners for me, while I make some actual spaghetti or elbow macaroni for my husband, topped with spaghetti sauce, Alfredo sauce, or other goody.



Yup! It’s Vegan

I cut up the cauliflower into chunks. I put the chunks through the food processor, pulsing. I measured out the cauliflower into one cup increments, putting them into sandwich bags, then into a gallon freezer bag. I got 5 cups of cauliflower, meaning 5 meals for me, when I make rice for my husband.

My husband is really turned off by eating spaghetti squash or cauliflower, but that’s okay. He’s trying to avoid sugar and I’m trying to limit my carbs. This works well because I can make the starchy stuff for him, heat up the squash or ‘rice’ for me in the microwave, and make one sauce to go over both.



Filed under Cooking/Recipes/Low Carb Lifestyle, DIET!, Healthy Eating

Sugar-Free, Low Carb Blueberry Muffins


I’m not sure there IS such a thing as sugar-free, low carb blueberry muffins, but the mix is in the oven as I type. I’m making them for my husband, primarily, since his sweet tooth is very appreciative. I’ve been scouring the net and our stores for things he’ll consider a treat even though he’s having to really watch his sugar these days. If these pass muster, I’ll write more about them tomorrow. Fingers crossed!

*P.S. Judgment – Pass

They smelled wonderful, both while I mixing it up and later, when I took them out of the oven. I was hopeful. I served us each one hot, with a small pat of butter.

My husband ate one half of the muffin. He thanked me for trying, but gave the other half to our pit bull, who thought it was wonderful. I wasn’t enthusiastic, either. It wasn’t worth the 8 carbs. Sigh.

At least the doggies can have a healthy treat mixed in with their dog food for several days. And the search goes on…

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Laila Ali via Akiva Huber

Laila Ali via Akiva Huber


I’m going to print this one and hang it up so I see it over and over.  I’m impatient by nature and have to really talk to myself (I know – I’m nuts) to keep going, whether I’m trying to lose weight and build strength and flexibility, undo several years worth of ‘stuffing’ things into drawers or onto shelves in our master bath, or get our garden and yard under control.

I’m looking at this as a character-building exercise, something that will make me a better person in the long run. I AM making progress on learning my own limitations as I age and modifying my expectations of what I can now do in a day. I still tend to overdo, spending the next day trying to recover. I’m learning to do projects in ‘sessions,’ stopping when I’m feeling overwhelmed, then doing another session until the job is done.

With my weight and strength, there is no time limit. This isn’t a ‘diet.’ It’s a lifestyle change. Now things are complicated because we need to do low or no sugar for my husband. It’s a worthy goal to achieve because it’ll do both of us good. I want my husband to live as long as he is able, feeling as good as possible. Scrambling to learn what I can do to help is something I really want to do. An example, I’ve discovered that avoiding gluten for him is counter-productive, since the gluten is offset by alcohol sugars and other additives. We MUST do a good job of reading labels!

On the master bathroom going through/throwing out/reorganizing/cleaning project – right now it looks as if a bomb exploded in there again, since I’ve emptied out my three large drawers and put things on the step that goes around or bathtub. I’ve already thrown a bunch away and plan to do more of that before deciding what do to with what’s left. Assuming I can finish that today, I’ll plan on the last session tomorrow – pulling out the rugs and doing a deep cleaning of the whole area, including the tub, shower, vanities, floor, and rugs. If I falter, I’ll reread the reminder above…



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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Challenges, Changes, Cooking/Recipes/Low Carb Lifestyle, DIET!, Healthy Eating, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob

Crock Pot Roast Chicken Recipe

NYT Cooking

NYT Cooking

I found a nice recipe for crock pot roast chicken at Spark Recipes .  This one was submitted by JESSYLOO.  The picture above shows a regular roasted chicken. This recipe is more of a poached chicken, but it’s delicious. It called for a whole chicken, but my husband doesn’t care for the dark meat, so I simply used six chicken breasts. To have my husband asking if we have some leftovers is quite a compliment around here –


Crock Pot Roast Chicken, Spark Recipes, submitted by JESSYLOO

Crock Pot Roast Chicken, Spark Recipes, submitted by JESSYLOO

We’ve already had one meal of this and we both liked it a lot. Tonight we’re having leftovers so that we can enjoy the chicken with the new sugar free BBQ sauce we found. I’ll have enough that I can fix some chicken salad, or chicken alfredo, as well. I will be using this recipe often. Thank you, JESSYLOO!


Filed under Cooking/Canning/Recipes/Low Carb, DIET!