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My Favorite Torani Sugar Free Coffee Syrups…YUM!!

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Y’all know how much I love my Bulletproof Coffee in the mornings!  I’ve written about it several times. I love to change up the flavor of my BPC so when I make up my BPC pods, I use a variety of syrups.  To clarify, I only put one flavor syrup in each pod but I make a few of each flavor and store them in the refrigerator.  I don’t label the pods – I like to be surprised each morning when I take that first sip.

BPC Coffee Pods

When I first began making BPC, I used Torani Sugar Free Classic Caramel and Chocolate Syrups. It reminded me a little of my old favorite coffee from McDonalds – a large Caramel Mocha that I paired with a Hot Apple Pie. I did this almost daily in my old life. I had to look up the nutritition information on this.  Boy, does that make me cringe!  That large Caramel Mocha coffee has 460 calories, 17g fat, 64g carbs (yikes!), 14g protein and 59g sugars.  The Hot Apple Pie has 240 calories, 11g fat, 35g carbs, 2g protein and 16g sugars.  I can’t believe that I would have 97g carbs in just coffee and apple pie. After this kind of breakfast, I can’t even begin to imagine what my total daily intake of carbs used to be.

Anyway, I can have a similar coffee using Torani Sugar Free Syrups.  I make my coffee in a 20 ounce insulated stainless steel travel cup. Granted, my BPC has 360 calories, 39g fat (from Kerrygold butter and MCT oil), 0g carbs and 0g protein. You can find my basic BPC recipe here and here. My second cup of coffee is just coffee, Torani Sugar Free Syrup, one scoop Perfect Keto collagen powder (with protein and MCT oil powder) and Pyure organic stevia blend. I don’t eat anything else for breakfast.


As you can see by the photo at the beginning of this post, we have expanded our Torani Sugar Free Syrup collection. If you like cookie dough, Torani Sugar Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough syrup adds that wonderful flavor to your coffee or hot chocolate. Let me tell you…this is so good! Torani Sugar Free S’mores syrup brings back the flavors of S’mores – graham cracker, chocolate and marshmallow. To bring up the scents and flavors of the Christmas season, try Torani Sugar Free Brown Sugar Cinnamon syrup. The College Girl added Brown Sugar Cinnamon to her Bulletproof Hot Chocolate tonight and said it was awesome. Last but certainly not least, Torani Sugar Free Belgian Cookie syrup is just like cookie butter!  In my old life, cookie butter was my weakness.

There are so many more flavors to choose from that I already have my eye on which ones I want to try next. Let me know which ones you like!

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Taco Stuffed Peppers – Keto Style!

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What is your favorite kind of food? If I had to pick just one, I would be hard pressed to choose between Mexican (or Tex-Mex) inspired foods and Cajun inspired foods. I think it is safe to say that I like savory and spicy foods – a lot! Tacos, fajitas, and enchiladas would have to be my top three Mexican inspired foods. I am always looking for ways to Keto-ize (Keto-fy?) my favorite foods.

I like taco salads with taco seasoned chicken or ground beef, tomatoes, cheese, sour cream, salsa (red or guacamole) and avocado slices. I sometimes make fajita taco salads using seasoned sliced chicken or steak and sautéed onions and bell peppers. I made my own taco seasoning for many years – long before I started my Keto lifestyle. While researching Keto, I discovered that store-bought seasoning mixes have many “bad” ingredients.  Most seasoning mixes have sugar, (the much dreaded) maltodextrin and corn starch, just to name a few. Homemade taco seasoning is a breeze to make using common ingredients. You can check out my recipe below.


Homemade Taco Seasoning – Delta Mama Cooks Keto Style

1 tbsp chili powder

2 tsp ground cumin

1 1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional to make it spicy – adjust to your heat level)

Mix together and store in air tight container.


 

Now to get back to the original post….Taco Stuffed Peppers – Keto Style. In my search of Mexican style Keto foods, I saw many stuffed pepper recipes.  I read recipe after recipe and finally decided to open up my search to non-Keto recipes hoping to find one that I could adapt to Keto. I knew that I had found my inspiration in Reeni’s Taco Stuffed Peppers from Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice.

I was searching for a simple recipe that included cauliflower rice.  While Reeni’s recipe included Minute Rice or cooked rice, I knew that I could substitute cauliflower rice so easily. I’ve prepared cauliflower rice from fresh cauliflower before but quite honestly, I much prefer to use frozen riced cauliflower. Not only is it easier, but I like the flavor and consistency of it better than fresh riced cauliflower. When using frozen riced cauliflower in a recipe, I always steam in the bag according to the directions before adding to my recipe. I replaced the Minute Rice with one bag of riced cauliflower, cooked in the microwave according to directions on the bag.

Another change that I made to Reeni’s recipe is using red and yellow bell peppers.  I prefer red and yellow bell peppers over green bell peppers in almost everything except spaghetti sauce. You can use the bell pepper of your choice – red, yellow, orange or green – or any combination of colors.

You can also mix up the cheese combinations. I’ve used pepper jack, sharp cheddar and colby-jack cheeses – all freshly grated (of course!).  I use my Presto Salad Shooter for that – read more about it here.

One thing that I learned the hard way when I last made Taco Stuffed Peppers – DON’T RUSH when pre-cooking the peppers prior to stuffing.  I was so hungry that I didn’t pre-cook the peppers long enough.  (My oven runs a little cool, so I usually have to raise the oven temperature or add cooking time to get the desired results.) After I stuffed and cooked the peppers, I discovered that the thicker part at the bottom of the pepper was not tender enough. It was good and I ate it anyway, but learn from my mistake!

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You can cook these in a casserole dish like I did the first time and then I had the idea of cooking them in ramekins so it would be easier to keep the stuffed peppers upright.  I placed the peppers in the ramekins before stuffing, then placed the ramekins on a baking pan for ease of getting in and out of oven. This was so much easier!

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After baking the stuffed peppers, serve topped with sour cream and other toppings, as desired.

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Reeni’s post says these freeze well.  I *thought* I was going to have 2 peppers to freeze and emailed Reeni for freezing instructions. Reeni said that you can freeze them before or after baking.  Personally, I would flash freeze them then wrap in Saran Wrap, then double wrap in foil and place in a Ziploc freezer bag. Reeni said to remove from freezer and thaw in refrigerator overnight.  At this point, if stuffed peppers were frozen before baking, you would then bake as the recipe states.  If the stuffed peppers were frozen after baking, you can microwave or bake for a shorter time. You will notice that I said I *thought* I was going to have some leftovers to freeze – but that didn’t happen!  I plan to double the recipe the next time I make these and freeze some for later.  I like having things in my freezer that I can pull out when I don’t have time or feel much like cooking.

I hope you like these Taco Stuffed Peppers – Keto Style!

 

 

The Day My Life Changed…One Year Later

Watermarked(2018-12-02-0636)My Keto Before and After Photos are shown above so you can see the outward difference that Keto has made in my life.  I want to share a little bit of my journey with y’all for accountability and in the hope that some of y’all might find a little encouragement in the ups and downs of my new way of life.

My sister took the photo below on November 23, 2017 at our family Thanksgiving lunch.  When I saw this photo, I almost cried.  One look and I had one of those “lightbulb” moments – and not in a good way. I realized just how overweight I was that day.  Actually, at my height (5′ 5″), I was actually considered obese.

 

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At this point, I made the decision that I was going to “go on a diet” and lose weight.  I told myself that I would start after the holidays.  I told myself that January 1 sounded like a good start date. Over the next few days, I kept looking at that photo.  It haunted me.  It was all I could think about. Then, I came to a decision – I would not wait until the first of the year.  I would do a little research and decide which diet I was going to do, and start.

I did the Atkins Diet about twelve years before and had great success, so I decided I could do it again. I started doing a little reading to refresh my memory on what was allowed and not allowed on the Atkins Diet. The more I read, I decided that I would just eat “low carb” and call it a day.

The day my life changed forever was December 2, 2017. On this date, I started my new way of eating (WOE). This next bit is a little difficult for me to share – because I am embarrassed for everyone to know just how much I weighed and what my body measurements were. However, I feel that it is important that y’all see where I started.

  • Weight – 198.8 pounds
  • Waist – 41.2 inches
  • Hips – 43.8 inches
  • Clothes size – XXL or 18/20

Looking at those numbers now still makes me shudder. I can’t believe that I let myself get that overweight.

I began following a low carb diet on December 2, 2017.  As I continued reading I learned about Keto and decided that Keto was really what I needed to be doing.  So about two weeks after I began, I made the transition to Keto.

I had a lot to learn and found two great sources of Keto information – Amy Smith and Dr. Ken D. Berry.  I am sure there are many other sources, but these are the two places I head to first.

Amy Smith and her Facebook group Push for your Better has taught me so much.  This group and the admins are very knowledgeable and supportive.  In the beginning, I searched Facebook for Keto groups and pages and I followed them all.  This was not a good idea! A lot of the other Keto groups and pages had members who were not supportive and some even made fun of questions being asked by new members.  I left almost all of the other groups because of this very thing.

Dr. Ken D. Berry is a medical doctor who tells it like it is.  Dr. Berry is a straight talker and is not afraid to go against the flow.  You can find Dr. Berry on Facebook here and on YouTube here.

When I began Keto, I started out eating the basics – meat, eggs, cheese, and certain vegetables.  Then I began to branch out and prowled Pinterest and Facebook for Keto recipes.  Some of the recipes we liked and others not so much.  It took some trial and error but I have a large number of go-to recipes now.  I have even Keto-ized some of our favorite recipes from the past.

Along the way, I made mistakes – like eating things that had what I call “Keto No-No Ingredients” (maltodextrin – I’m looking at YOU!). Here again, I just had to learn from my mistakes and move on.  One year later, I am still learning new things about Keto.

Remember the photo that started it all?  At our family Thanksgiving lunch on November 22, 2018, my sister took another photo.  The top photo is 2018 and the bottom is 2017.  This comparison really shows what Keto has done for me.  As you can see, Keto has worked for my College Girl, too.

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These photos only show the outward changes but the most important changes have been on the inside.

  • My health is so much better.
  • My attitude and outlook on life have taken a much-needed change for the better – actually, they are both vastly better than before.
  • I started walking 2.5 miles a day in May 2018 and joined a gym that same month.
  • I am now going to exercise class three days a week.
  • I participated in my first 5K Walk in September 2018 and currently I am at the end of week 6 of Couch to 5K training for my first 5K Run.

As far as the outward changes go, my current weight and measurements are below. I have been in Keto maintenance for about two months.

  • Weight – 127.6 pounds – loss of 72.2 pounds
  • Waist – 26 inches – loss of 15.2 inches
  • Hips – 33 inches – loss of 10.8 inches
  • Clothes size – Small or 4

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As I close out, I want you to know that Keto is my way of eating forever.  I love that I can have great food and not be hungry.  I also want you to know that you can do it too. It does require a little effort to do research and cook, but it is so worth it!