Low Carb "Mac & Cheese"For the past couple of years, I’ve been experimenting with cauliflower to create filling, delicious low carb meals at home. I think the easiest to make is cauliflower “mac and cheese”. You just swap out the elbow pasta for roasted, bite-size florets, use heavy cream, coconut flour (for sauce) and delicious, ground up pork rinds instead of breadcrumbs.

I’ve tried low carb cauliflower crust pizza, tortillas, burger buns, grilled cheese (bacon-wrapped even!), fried rice, and even cauliflower grits. I’ll be posting favorite recipes with photos on the blog soon, but before that, I think it’s important to share WHY I cook low carb at home.

Basically, I needed to STOP gaining weight.

When I started writing about food and travel back in 2008, I continuously gained weight each month and I needed to make it stop. The fact is, when I started eating mostly low carb at home, I STOPPED gaining weight.

I’m not a fan of desserts, so eating sugar-free was easy. But bacon? I’m never giving up bacon and I CAN eat that on a low carb diet. Stinky, French cheese? That’s okay too. I learned that I could pretty much replace any pasta or rice recipe with spinach (or kale), so it was just about getting creative in my (low carb) kitchen. Here’s a list of low carb foods I keep handy at all times.

Regular exercise helps of course too and my fitbit step counter keeps me motivated. I get at least 10,000 steps per day by going to the gym (usually the treadmill) and walking my dogs. Need some workout inspiration? This 2012 L.A. Times article by Rene Lynch got me started on my daily steps and I’ve STUCK TO IT ever since. I started with an inexpensive pedometer and saved up for the fitbit after a few months. The fitbit app is great because I can challenge my friends and keep detailed tracking each day.

The book Eat Bacon, Don’t Jog (by Grant Petersen) has become my low carb bible. I bought it as a JOKE but after I started reading it, I took it all very, very seriously. From GoodReadsIn Eat Bacon, Don’t Jog, Petersen upends the last 30 years of conventional health wisdom to offer a clear path to weight loss and fitness. In more than 100 short, compelling directives, Eat Bacon, Don’t Jog shows why we should drop the carbs, embrace fat, and hang up our running shoes, with the latest science to back up its claims.

Sure, I still want to lose a couple of sizes, but at 51 years old (52 next month), the fact that I stopped the weight gain is the WIN here. I’m not claiming to be any sort of diet specialist but I do know what works for ME. If you’re thinking of trying a low carb diet, do check with your doctor first.

Full disclosure here, I do allow myself a “cheat day” meal each week and try to save it for eating out, but I can usually work around a restaurant menu and still stay on course. The truth is, at the end of the day, I just FEEL better eating low carb.

If you’re on social media, check out my #LowCarbJo hashtag (on twitter, instagram and Facebook). I post links to recipes I plan on trying and also share photos of my low carb home cooking. Happy eating!


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HoHoHo Food Network!

JoValHolidayEpisodeRedMy husband Peter and I have had so much fun being guests on Valerie Bertinelli’s cooking show, “Valerie’s Home Cooking”. She and her husband Tom are great friends (and neighbors) so we’ve had the privilege of filming several episodes this past year. The show currently airs on Saturday mornings (here in L.A.) on the Food Network.

The holiday “Ho! Ho! Ho! Company’s Coming” episode premiered this morning and it was such a hoot to relive the day. Val’s mom and dad (both hilarious) flew in for the shoot, which included friends Lisa and Dave Dinsmore.

For this holiday segment, Val made lasagna with a deliciously rich béchamel sauce, baked sausage balls, salad and really pretty Neapolitan cookies. Tom is in charge of cocktails and we toasted the holidays with his berry kir royales.

My favorite bite of the night was Val’s scrumptious SAUSAGE BALLS. I love anything spicy and she totally kicked up this updated version. Check out her easy recipe here.

Short intro video clip on my instagram here.

Valerie Bertinelli on Food Network (her main page)

Val aka @WolfiesMom on twitter and on instagram

Valerie Bertinelli FaceBook Page

THANK YOU for the wonderful hair styling Kim Urgel!

Cute picture of my niece Kindal on set. She was also a guest on the “Valerie Gives Back” segment!!

And Joe, you rule.


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