Keto/Low Carb Chili

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I made this up myself so feel free to experiment as you wish and substitute as you desire.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon, butter
  • 1 tablespoon, olive oil
  • 16 ounces, Angus Ground Beef Sirloin 90% Lean/10% Fat
  • 1.75 cup (1 can), Black Soy Beans
  • 1.75 Cup (1 can), Peeled Petite Diced Tomatoes
  • 6 slice, Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon
  • 120 grams, Onion (about 1 medium onion)

I never measure seasoning but this is what I added:

  • Cajun seasoning (I didn’t have chili powder)
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Cumin
  • Mustard powder
  • Onion powder
  • Smoked salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic
  • And then I have this habanero/garlic mix that I added

Frankly you could probably season it as you wish, just avoid things with sweeteners (like taco seasoning)

Optional:

  • I added 1 oz of Queso Quesadilla Part Skim Milk Cheese and mixed it in
  • Topped the chili with Mexican crema
  • avocado
  • picante salsa

The whole pot is 1787 calories, 105 g of fat, 56 g carbs, 30 g fiber (26 g net carbs) and 147 g protein. I personally ate half of this, as my one meal that day, but it could be divided up to 4 people. The optional toppings add 364 calories. Eating half of the chili with the optional toppings like I did would give you a total of 1257 calories and 18 net carbs.

Directions:

1) Saute onions with the butter and oil. Add the bacon (chopped) when the onions are soft.

2) When the bacon is cooked, add the black soy beans.

3) Add the meat, add seasoning.

4) When the meat is basically cooked, add can of tomatoes. Put a lid on it and let it simmer/low boil for awhile. I think I cooked it down for 20 minutes, so that it became more liquidy. Cook until desired.

5) Serve with desired toppings/garnishes. Enjoy!

Keto Snack Review

I’ve been low carbing it for the last few weeks. I think it’s a rite of passage to purchase a bunch of “healthy” junk food when you start dieting. So I’ve gotten tons lately. My diet is pretty simple. 1200 calories +/- 100 calories, low carb at about 30 net grams, although I try to aim for less. I don’t eat any gluten products anymore, or anything super carby (no fruit atm, no breads, rice, or most processed foods). I’ve done keto before where my goal was 20 net carbs a day, and it mostly consisted of me eating a lot of meat and cheese. That seemed super unhealthy to me, and I had a lot of stomach issues with the diet. So when I started up this new diet I wanted to stick to mostly vegetables, therefore my carbs are higher than probably the average keto-er, but pretty exclusively under 30 net grams and usually less than that. Anyway! I thought it would be a good idea for myself personally to throw down some opinions on some of the low carb food I’ve been indulging in (generally gluten free too). So I will update this perodically I guess as I eat more low carb junk! Enjoy! (if there is anything you want me to buy and try, let me know!)

This is a review of all the most recent low carb snacks I’ve been enjoying.

First I wanna review the Adkins shakes I’ve been drinking. I will often have 1 of these a day, I LOVE them. I’ve tried three flavors, Mocha, Dark Chocolate, and Milk Chocolate. I will only be continuing to get the Mocha and Dark Chocolate. The Milk Chocolate is way too milky and not chocolately enough for my bitter tongue.

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What makes these drinks so awesome? 2-3 net carbs in each bottle, 15g of protein and only 160 calories. It’s delicious, sweet, and rich. I don’t really have a sweet tooth to speak of, but these satiate what sweet tooth I do have. SHAKE WELL. Overall, probably one of my favorite low-carb guiltless snack. Half of my entire second shelf in my fridge is just Adkins shakes.

Continuing with a chocolate theme, one of the BEST things I have ever discovered. ChocZero’s Keto Bark. What a remarkable discovery. I love dark chocolate, and before my diet I would eat a bar of dark chocolate probably once a week or every other week. This is the closest and most satisfying chocolate bar I’ve ever tried, low carb or not, it’s unbelievably good.

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2g of net carbs per ounce, 120 calories and chocolate chocolate chocolate. It’s not hard like most dark chocolate, it’s softer and so sweet, but not artificially sweet. I cannot describe accurately how fantastic these are. They are my favorite find of all time, and I dare someone to produce something more satisfying. The only real issue with them is that you will want to eat more. I’ve read in reviews that this HAS spiked blood sugar levels in some people, so if that’s why you’re low carbing it, might wanna pass. For me, it’s all about just meeting and not exceeding a quota so it totally works for me.

Which brings me to the disappointing chocolate source of happiness. The Chocolate Brownie Quest Bar. No thanks. While the numbers are all good (Gluten free and 20g protein with under 200 calories and 6g fat) it’s just not tasty.

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The Brownie bar is just way too dense. The chocolate flavor is there, but not the sweetness associated with chocolate. Eating this feels like you’re cheating yourself and eating something healthy. Your palate knows you’re trying to lie to it. I couldn’t even eat the whole thing thats how unappetizing it was, however my husband did fully seem to enjoy it (although I think he would enjoy anything that resembled a brownie). For me it’s a hard no, and I will probably avoid Quest Bars in the future.

 

That’s all I’ve got right now, I will update another blog post later when I get the time to review some other treats I’ve had (some nacho replacements and other crunchy goodness). What’s your favorite low-carb junk food?

 

 

 

 

Divorce Rates

I was watching a video about the government dating program in Iran for some unknown reason, and one of the “match makers” for potential married parties gave a startling statistic. Apparently 96% of marriages in America end in divorce. He used this statistic to further his ideology, which is that an ideal marriage is between partners who have considered the logical motivations for marriage and not the romantic or emotional ones. Because I never believe anything at face value I had to look up divorce statistics in the world.

 

Divorce rates in America are 46%, in 2014. Not the leap the Iranian love doctor had in mind, but still a striking figure. And I wonder if the dating culture in America accounts for anything. Since people don’t really date in Iran, or in fact in many places in the world, it seems a bit dishonest to leave out break up statistics from this sort of census. But anyway, if anyone is wondering…

 

Portugal takes the cake for highest divorce rates at 71% (in 2013). 16 countries out rank America in this statistic, including Spain, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Czech Rep, Canada and Sweden. A theme arises when you compare the highest divorce rate countries to the ones under 20%. Under 20% you have places like Egypt, Lebanon, South Africa, Kyrgzstan, Algeria, Mexico, Ireland, Azerbaijan, Colombia, Syria, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, India, Libya, and Sri Lanka (which has so few divorces it doesn’t even scale comparatively). What separates these two groups and makes them different?

 

I think there are many factors, but one glaringly obvious one is religiosity. The low divorce group is full of countries that have high levels of religious belief, many of them being Islamic, or such as Ireland mostly Catholic, two religions that have strictly negative ideas about divorce. Another thing to consider is women’s rights. In most of the high divorce rate countries, women have no issue getting a divorce, getting settlements, getting child support and custody of children. Whereas in many of the lower divorce rate countries women don’t always have that kind of freedom.

 

For example, many of the Islamic countries follow sharia law when it comes to divorce. This complicates divorce for the woman, especially if she has children. Men are almost always considered more fit to take care of a child, if it is not a baby, and are usually automatically given custody. This is especially true if the women is not a Muslim. She is also prohibited from marrying another man, if she wants to keep her children (you remarry in Egypt or most Islamic countries, you lose your kids). Among many other complications, sharia law certainly doesn’t make divorce easy on women. But it also does not make it easy on men, who are forced in many Islamic countries to continue financially supporting their ex wives for 2 years or longer, regardless of anyones financial situation as well as provide financial care for the daughters until they are married. Not to mention the social pressure from not just family, but society, which makes divorce into a taboo.

 

In many places, like Mexico, getting a divorce is legally complicated. There are only 3 ways to divorce in Mexico. One, you agree 100% about everything with your soon to be ex and end the marriage with both parties happily getting everything they want. Two, you never had children and you dont own anything together and no one is asking for anything from each other. Or three, the more likely option, you don’t meet eye to eye with your partner and have to battle it out in court. This usually means there would be to have been some drama as well, such as family violence, abandoning the home, or religious differences for example. The last option is extremely expensive, taking over a year in court to battle out, and ultimately unrewarding as the courts usually rule 50/50 anyway. Divorce in Mexico is expensive and bureaucratic. In many countries, you will find such bureaucracy such as this. In Ireland, for example, a couple must prove they have been separated for at least 4 years prior to filing for divorce.

 

In Uzbekistan, divorce rates work against women, again, another theme. There, you have to go through a reconciliation commission before you can divorce. Even women who experience domestic abuse against themselves or their children, are forced to try and make amends with their husbands before proceeding with a divorce. These committees, called mahalla committees, intentionally try to delay divorces in hopes of keeping families together. All this does is force women to stay in their marriages, so that they do not become homeless or lose their children. Even if women are escaping abusive husbands in these societies, if the authorities are aware they are married, they will do little to protect the women.

 

The same is in India, where divorce is a social taboo and one that can take years to process completely. Similar to other countries, in India couples must prove they have been separated for some time and are only left with two options: either agree completely with one another, or fight it out. Many of the marriage and divorce laws in India work against women in such a way to make divorce a non-option for them. For example, a childless woman who dies, her property is inherited by her husbands family -not her own. Only the title of property is consider in divorce, not when it was acquired. So if a man is putting his name on everything, even if it’s bought during the marriage, for the wife, or with the wives money, she has no claim to it in the case of divorce.

 

It’s interesting to note that Iran is quite low on this list, at 22% divorce rate (2014). But what’s interesting about this divorce rate is that it’s rising. Since 2006, it rose by more than one and a half times to the point it was at in 2014. And in the decade, it has tripled. (This compared to America, where divorce is at a all time low in the last 40 years). A sociologist in Tehran noted that in the increase was likely due to the fact that, “Women are more educated and have increased financial empowerment. It used to be that a woman would marry and she would just have to get along. Now if she’s not happy, she’ll separate. It’s not taboo.” Another sociologist notes, “In the past, if a housewife left her home, she would go hungry; now there is a degree of possibility of finding a job and earning an income.”

 

However, it’s still hard to get a divorce in Iran. For one, if the husband is against the divorce, the women must prove that the husband is abusive or has psychological problems. In 2015, likely in reaction to the rising divorce rates, Iran complicated divorce even further. Divorce by mutual consent was made invalid. Couples need to undergo state-run counseling before approaching the idea of divorce. The idea of divorce as a bad thing actually seems to be unconnected.

 

Divorce rates did soar in America back in the 70s and 80s, but that correlates with a time when women were entering the work force in droves. Now divorce is decreasing in America, it seems to have a lot to do with the fact couples don’t just jump in anymore, without carefully considering their partner. Living together unmarried has stopped being a taboo, as well as having children out of wedlock.

 

Do couples stay together more now, in general? I don’t think so. But that shouldn’t be a statistic worth worrying about. Issues like domestic violence, women’s independence, and satisfaction of life should be of more concern than the rate of divorce. Falling in love and getting married motivates a person, in my opinion, to work through the tough hands life deals because you ultimately believe this person is worth it. Getting married out of convenience and logical choice, only is strengthen so long as the conditions which brought you together are met. Lose your job? Unable to have kids? In-laws move in? All the the things in life which can be thrown at us at any time can damage a foundation which is built upon certain expectations.

 

So many of these countries with low divorce rates also have challenging marriage prospects. People are looking for a certain type of person in a certain type of situation. To be in love is potentially, and hopefully, to love all things about a person. Including their faults and flaws, their aging skin and thinning hair. To love them when they’re sick, unemployed, or miserable. Love marriages put a lot of choice and freedom in the hands of women, who usually dominate the dating world regardless of cultural standards anyway, which in many ways helps diminish the statistics around abuse. To fall in love and marry for love is to chose faith and hope. Something, which I think, is more motivating for a person to maintain. Anyway I thought it was an interesting topic to spend some time wasting away reading about. Anyone who read this far, go you. You get a sticker. An internet sticker. An emoji. 👩‍❤️‍👨

PS

That video I watched, the guy later went on to say that the average girl in high school in America has at least 10 boyfriends, and by the time she is married, she has had 20 boyfriends at least. I dunno who he was pulling this statistic from, but dang that girl must have been really charismatic I didn’t even know 10 people in high school.

Where have I been?!

So, apparently smelling 2-4 and sometimes even up to 6 or 8 perfumes a day is not a nice thing to do to your nose. I had stopped reviewing perfumes, because I had stopped sampling them, because I had stopped being able to smell them any longer. Thankfully, it’s been a moment and my sense of smell has begun to return to me. However, my immense passion for perfume hasn’t yet returned. I have a bad habit of falling in love and quickly out of it. I will still be sampling perfumes and reviewing them, for yours or my pleasure, but I think since I’ve bought this website, I will now begin to use it more frequently for the sake of having a diary, I suppose. Back when LiveJournal and Myspace were fashionable (when I was in my teens), I kept a pretty diligent blog, even if everything I wrote about was morbidly boring and extremely self involved. I wonder if it helped the creative process though -something which I’ve been struggling with sometime now but didn’t seem to struggle with back then…

 

I think I will just use the website now for whatever purposes I see fit, rather than obsessing about a return to perfume reviews and history. After all, I’m not a one dimensional creature.

Histoires de Parfums, Discovery Kit pt 2

1740: Marquis de Sade

Depiction of the Marquis de Sade by H. Biberstien, 1912

Marquis de Sade was someone I had to look up. Apparently he was sort of a famous erotic kind of fella who dabbled in politics and philosophy, but was really made famous because he was rich and naughty. Reading about him, I didn’t find him to be all that interesting.  He was a rapist and pedophile with ideas that probably publicly may have been unpopular, but were certainly not privately that interesting at the time or even by today’s standards. What is interesting, is that “Sadism”, the pleasure derived out of harming another, is named after him. Fortunately enough for him, time makes history blind and he now has fans and a perfume.

Histories de Parfums lists 1740 as an spicy woody fragrance for men.

  • Top Note: Bergamot, Davana Sensualis
  • Heart Note: Patchouli, Coriander, Cardamom
  • Base Note: Cedar, Birch, Labdanum, Leather, Vanilla, Elemi, Immortelle

A truly unflinching scent for the modern male hedonist. A perfume where Leather and Davana explore the scandalous liberties of the Century of Lights.

My thoughts on the scent when I first applied it to my skin:

Lovely. Leather, smoke, herbs crushed underneath oiled fingers. What’s really lovely about this is that it takes these traditionally hard, brash, masculine ingredients, and it mellows them out into something comforting, warm and inviting. Really feels like you’re in someone’s home and dinner is just about ready. It’s light and mild, not something I’d imagine someone really wearing in 1740, but it’s composed effortlessly. There is a long trail of powder and musk as it sits on the skin. Superb. Between a 7.5 and 8/10 for me.

My thoughts haven’t changed too much, except significant mental disturbance with the awareness of what the perfume is intended to be reminiscent of. And also it’s not as pleasant on paper as it is on skin. On skin with my chemistry, it was way more green herby and much more woodys and leathery. On paper, Coriander is a strong stand out as well as the vanilla which is a nauseating mix. As well as the Bergamot, a note I generally love, makes the whole dish seem tart and sour. It does try to mellow out but it just never evolves into what it is on skin. So maybe a peg down, a 7/10? Maybe even a 6.5. No longer on the higher spectrum of taste for me.

Continue reading “Histoires de Parfums, Discovery Kit pt 2”

Histoires de Parfums “Discover Kit”

So essentially what I intend to use this blog for is to return to fragrances that I have already reviewed via Fragrantica (see my profile here). My initial reviews are always done on skin, either via a towelette sample, carded sample, decadent sample via spray or dab, etc but my second look will be done via paper, to get the fullest understanding of my own experience of fragrance. I’m sure there will be other random ramblings on fragrance and scent throughout as well. Today I am going to revisit the Discovery Set offered at Sephora for Histoires de Parfums essentially from what I loved the most to what I liked the least, so buckle up this is a run down of 10 different scents.

Histoires de Parfums is a perfume house out of France, the face behind the creations being Gérald Ghislain. The collection is, as stated on their site, “An olfactive library that is telling stories about famous characters, raw materials and mythical years.” The perfumes are named after the year their inspiration was born in. 1725 Casanova, 1740 Marquis de Sade, 1804 George Sand, 1826 Eugénie de Montijo, 1828 Jules Verne, 1876 Mata Hari, and 1899 Ernest Hemmingway. 1969, Ambre 114 and Noir Patchouli all are stand alone creations that should be considered separately from the historical figures that are represented from 1725 to 1899. I’m going to start with my favorite, 1899.

Continue reading “Histoires de Parfums “Discover Kit””

Sensory Questionnaire

Located this interesting survey on scent here and determined that this was a good way to introduce myself to this new blog. So enjoy, and consider please that I am merely a novice perfume enthusiast.

1. What does your sense of smell mean to you?

For me, my sense of smell is my vehicle to a different time and place. What motivates me to keep trying fragrance is that each one is capable of telling an entirely unique story. Smells are intended to remind us of all the extremes in our life, our greatest pleasures in sex and food, and some of our greatest dangers which our nose can warn us against before any other sense. But then there is everything in between those extremes. The smell of bread, of metal, of rubber and hot asphalt, of dirt, fresh cut grass, the boastful hyacinth, mildew on wet clothes, the smell of a cat’s tongue licked fur. The plethora of colors that paint our olfactory experience in life. These are what tie us to our sense of self, our sense of time and place, they move us emotionally and guide us instinctively.

2. What are some of your strongest scent memories?

Continue reading “Sensory Questionnaire”