Two years back, I bought a book from amazon.com that changed my and my husband’s perspective on diet and lifestyle. “The Metabolism Miracle” by Diane Kress changed the way I cook and the way we eat. Before, I cooked meals with lots of meat, fats and tons of carbs! After reading the book, I realized that each and every one has her own unique metabolism.
The most eye-opening part was on carbs. As an Asian, I grew up eating rice 3 times a day and I did not feel full if there was no rice in my meal. Rice, as we all know, is packed with carbs, so having 3 cups (or more) a day can really load your body with lots of carbs. Well, it turned out that too much carbs was the reason why it was extremely difficult for Alvin and me to lose weight, no matter how hard we exercised.
Carbs, of course, is not something that we should totally abstain from. In fact, we need it to provide energy for our muscles to work, fuel for our nervous system and avoid protein from being used as energy source. Carbs in the form of fibers is also needed to keep our digestive system fit.
The important thing that we must watch out is our carb intake because of what happens to the excess carbs. Here’s what I found out… After eating carbs, it is broken down into sugar (including glucose, fructose and galactose) and enter in our bloodstream where they travel to our liver. The liver then converts the more complex sugars into glucose and this will be transported to various tissues and organs, including the muscles and the brain, where it will be used as energy. Here’s the worst part: if we take in lots of carbs and don’t use them up (because of sedentary lifestyle), the excess glucose will be converted into FATS!
This is an example of my daily intake of carbohydrates during my carb-addiction days:
There a many online resources that you can read to know more about carbs. Below are a few of them:
How much carbohydrates do you need? www.healthcalculators.org
If you want to control your carb intake in order to maintain your weight or to lose some:
How much carbohydrates or calories do you need for your height and age: carbohydrate calculator
To see the carbohydrate content of what you eat:
By specific item
By recipe content
Before Starting A Low-Carb Diet
Before starting a low-carb diet, you may need to consider many things. The most important one is your health. Can your body tolerate the changes without going haywire? To be safe, you can consult your doctor to see if your body can cope with the diet.
Finally, The Recipe
When we started our low-carb diet, I still wanted to eat the food that I like. One of them is lasagna. To lower its carb content, I substituted the lasagna pasta noodles with eggplant slices. Viola! This recipe is a low-carb keeper in our home!
- 300g minced lean beef
- 2 large eggplants, sliced lengthwise 1/4-inch thick
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- ½ cup basil leaves, freshly chopped leaves
- 1 green bell pepper (small) , finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 1 cup shitake mushrooms, sliced thinly
- 250g mozzarella, grated
- 1 can tomato puree
- 1 can diced tomato
- 50g parmesan cheese, grated (optional)
- Olive oil
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 175 degrees C (350 degrees F).
- Roast the eggplant until half cooked using olive oil, about 5 minutes each side.
- In a medium skillet, drizzle them with olive oil and add the minced garlic, onion, bell pepper, carrot and mushroom. Saute for 5-8 minutes. Add the beef, basil, pepper and salt and cook until well browned. Add tomato puree and diced tomato. Simmer for 25 minutes in low heat.
- Brush an 8-inch baking dish with oil.
- Spread the sauce liberally on the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese & mozzarella cheese.
- Lay the slices of eggplant. Spread liberally the sauce on the top of the eggplant layer. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese & mozzarella cheese. Repeat.
- Bake until golden brown for 25-30 minutes.
Have fun and happy cooking!