Stella Style: Getting Started
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Simple Steps to Success:

»Carb-proof your pantry.
»Read food labels carefully.
»Shop the outer isles of the grocery store.
»Choose fresh fish, meat, poultry and produce.

 
So you’re ready to make one of the most important decisions of your life: to change the way you look at food and to change your eating habits. For many people who have successfully lost weight, the moment they knew they could do it was the moment when something just “clicked”.

For me, something clicked about five years ago when I realized I could lose weight and change my life by living a low-carb lifestyle. Low-carb was talking my language when it suggested I could get healthy by simply enjoying all the wonderful fresh food that as a chef I had been preparing for others my whole life. While I skipped meals and ate high-carb junk foods on the go, I was pleasing others with my culinary creations.

Today I’m down 265 pounds, and my family of four has lost over 550 pounds collectively. So I’ll tell anyone who will listen exactly how we did it, and spread the word that low carb is really all about fresh foods!


Carb Proofing Your Pantry  
 
Okay, so you’re fired up, armed with at least a basic understanding of the low-carb regimen, and ready to get started on your new lifestyle. If you’re like most people, you need to make quick and easy meals using simple and inexpensive fresh ingredients that you can find in your local grocery store (lucky for us that low–carb is not about processed foods, because processed will always cost more and give you less). Shopping and filling your kitchen with all the great low-carb foods that will keep every meal exciting and interesting is key to successful low-carb living.

Before you start shopping, you need to carb-proof your pantry to make room for all those wonderful low-carb fresh foods you’ll be buying. It’s simple - just pack up all those foods that are high in carbs and low in nutritional value, starting with the white stuff: sugar, flour, pasta, and rice. Put them in a box and drop them off at your local food bank. (if others in your house are not on a low-carb diet, simply separate the foods and assign a low-carb cabinet that’s just for you.)
 

Reading Food Labels  
 
Next you need to learn how to read food labels and get rid of anything that has added sugars. A low-carb diet allows natural sugars, such as those found in canned tomatoes, in moderation, but you don’t have to put up with products that conceal additional sugars, such as corn syrup solids or high-fructose corn syrup. You can find these added or hidden sugars by paying attention not only to the sugars or carbohydrates listed on nutritional labels, but also to the added sugars and starches in the ingredients list. When you get started reading labels, you will be surprised to find out where all that sugar has been hiding – in condiments, salad dressings, deli meats, and even canned veggies.

Once you have the chips, candy, and white bread packed up and moved out, your pantry may be looking rather empty. Don’t despair – there are fresh low-carb alternatives and replacements for almost all those high-carb processed foods. Your pantry will only contain a few staples, and your refrigerator will be overflowing with all the good fresh stuff – and that’s the way it should be!
 
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