Five Low Carb Staples You’ll Love
Whether you’re going full keto or just cutting carbs because your doctor said it might be a good idea, there are plenty of tricks to staying satisfied with a low carb diet. Eating lots of protein is key for staying healthy on any of these diet journeys—it keeps you full and it’s healthier than loading up on all fats (even though avocado is delicious). You can also find low carb alternatives to delicious foods that will make you happy.
My personal journey found me on a low carb, high protein diet to combat PCOS—a disorder that affects 1 in 10 women. Changing my diet helped me manage symptoms and feel better. It also resulted in weight loss. My husband does most of the cooking for us, so he embraced the change as well. Now his clothes don’t fit. Do we miss donuts? Not really. We’re eating more whole foods and trying various alternatives to our carb-loaded favorites.
Any diet or meal prep blogger will include chicken, and that’s because it’s the quintessential meat. Grilled chicken breast is low in fat and high in protein. It’s a blank canvas for flavor, too. Grab a low carb 30-minute marinade from the supermarket (or try one of these marinades) and you’re ready to top a salad or add a veggie for an easy lunch. Not grilling weather? Aldi makes amazing Indian simmer sauces that pack flavor and are relatively low in carbs. Season the chicken with typical spices (turmeric, cumin, garam masala, coriander, garlic powder, smoked paprika) while sautéing for an extra flavor boost.
Shrimp are basically little protein bites. They have virtually no fat and no carbs, so if you’re trying to eat high protein, they are a great addition. Once a month, I’ll get a shrimp cocktail tray from Costco and turn it into three lunches. The cocktail sauce has some carbs, but if you’re not keto, it won’t destroy your macros. Our grocery store will also steam shrimp with Old Bay to order (this might be a Maryland thing), but it’s a great way to get flavor without carbs. Looking for a way to incorporate shrimp into a meal? Consider doing a shrimp-and-sausage skillet with some veggies.
It’s not just for salads anymore! Lettuce is the other bread alternative that you have to consider. Before going low carb I scoffed at its usefulness too. Then I embraced bunless burgers and tortillaless tacos. Need some inspiration for your lettuce wraps? Try Bunless Big Macs or Pineapple Mango Salsa Chicken Lettuce Wraps. Some lettuce wraps have more carbs than others, but it’s still going to be less than if you were wrapping with a flour tortilla. Ideas for lettuce wraps are seemingly endless. You can find them all over Pinterest.
Casseroles are a great way to hide vegetables—I say this as someone who typically hates squash and cauliflower. Including cheese makes everything better, in my opinion, and casseroles usually use it to hold everything together. You can also get the flavors you miss in a healthier form. Missing pizza? Try this pizza casserole. Want Mexican flavors without doing lettuce wraps? Try a green chili chicken casserole. Another casserole we tried included summer squash—and it actually worked really well.
Almond Flour Bread
Going keto or low carb means saying goodbye to bread. There are various keto quick breads you can find on Pinterest, most of them very egg- or cheese-based. But maybe you want to make a hearty loaf of something simple that you can slather with butter and eat like a slice of bread. Almond flour solves that issue! You can make a hearty loaf of gluten free bread using this recipe. If you want to kick it up, add fresh herbs.