All posts by Jeff Fidler

low carb pork & beef chili recipes

3 Low Carb Beef & Pork Chili Recipes

3 Ultimate Chili Recipes

We’re going to let you in on a huge chili secret: the best chili has absolutely nothing to do with carbs. There, we said it! You can check all the carbs at the door when you make chili, because you won’t need them, and here’s why. When is the last time you heard someone raving about how great the beans were in a chili recipe? Or how amazingly sweet the sauce was? We’d be willing to be the answer is never. Beans don’t make the chili, and neither does sugar. It’s all about the spices, seasonings, vegetables and of course, the meat.

This is why chili is such a fantastic option for low carb dieters. You can make tons of different amazing chili types that have almost no carbs in them, and that’s why you’re reading this article. We’ve gathered together three of the best low carb chili recipes we’ve found and want to share them with you. This list has recipes for beef chili, chicken chili, and pork chili, that are easy to make and taste absolutely wonderful. So, without further delay, let’s get right to it!

Ultimate Chipotle Beef Chili

This recipe is a simple modification of a classic no-bean beef chili recipe to bring the carb counts down and adds in some smoky Chipotle flavour to distinguish it from a typical beef chili. It’s colouful and hearty, with lots of vegetables and just the right amount of heat. We’re sure you’ll love it! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1lb ground beef
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 large bell peppers, chopped – one each of green, yellow, red
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ cup sugar-free ketchup
  • 1 ½ tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • ½ tbsp cumin
  • ½ tbsp paprika
  • ½ tbsp onion powder
  • ½ tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp dried oregano

The recipe to prepare is quite simple, and only involves a few steps:

1 – Brown the ground beef, adding the diced onions to soften for the last 5 minutes of cooking

2 – Add all ingredients to your slow cooker / crock pot, and mix thoroughly.

3 – Set timer to high heat for 4-6 hours, stirring occasionally.

4 – Serve topped with some shredded cheddar cheese, a scoop of sour cream, and a scoop of guacamole.

Some additional tips for this recipe:

If you like your chili to be thicker, swap out the can of diced tomatoes for a second can of crushed tomatoes to help thicken it up even more.

If you find the heat from the Chipotle pepper to be a bit too much, or perhaps not enough, you can easily adjust the amount to your taste. Or, if you prefer a different flavour of chili, you can replace it with one of your preference.

This recipe uses a trio of bell peppers to add colour, but if you want to choose a different variety of vegetables, you can easily do so. Some people use zucchini or carrots in their chili to boost the amount of veggies and add a different taste and texture. It’s up to you!

Keto Shredded Chicken Chili

This recipe is one we found while searching for a chicken chili that also qualified as keto-friendly. While many chicken chili recipes out there call for ground chicken to be used, we tend to prefer how shredded chicken tastes, and how it gives a different kind of texture and appearance to the chili. This recipe can be ready in as few as 30 minutes, making it a quick and easy dinner you can prepare on a cold winter weeknight, and it will definitely warm up the whole family! Alternatively, this recipe can be done in a slow cooker, too. Give both methods a try and find out which one you prefer.

Creamy Spicy Pulled Pork Keto Chili

You don’t normally think of the word ‘creamy’ to describe chili, but this recipe is definitely going to change that! Much like the shredded chicken recipe above, we love how pulled pork adds a different feel to the chili when compared to ground meats. This recipe takes things a step further by using coconut milk to give it a creaminess that definitely sets it apart from other kinds of chili. In addition, this particular recipe doesn’t use veggies, so you can easily pile it on a low carb bun or wrap it up in a low carb tortilla if you prefer. Of course, if you want to add veggies in to round it out, you can easily do so with the vegetables of your choice.

Conclusion

Well, now that we all have huge cravings for chili, it’s time to adjourn this article. As you can see, chili is a great fit for the low carb lifestyle, and we’re sure you’ll find that even these three amazing recipes are just the tip of the iceberg. For a fast and easy way to kickstart your own chili creation, or to simplify the seasoning process, try this tasty Chili Sauce Mix from Frontera as a great way to save time.  We love to play around with chili recipes to find new flavours and twists to try, and you will, too. Chili is a fun kind of food to play with, and we always look forward to discovering the latest and greatest combinations!

omelet low carb unusual recipes

5 New & Unusual Omelette Recipes

5 New and Unusual Omelette Recipes to Try

Eggs are an amazingly versatile food, and can be prepared in what seems to be a thousand different ways. One of the most popular ways to use eggs is to craft a delicious and healthy omelette. In this article, we’ve gathered a selection of the most unusual and delicious omelette recipes that we can find that are sure to add some flair and variety to your weekly meal plans.

Omelettes have many advantages as part of the low carb diet. The most basic omelette uses just a handful of ingredients, such as eggs, milk, cheese, and vegetables, all of which are low in carbs. In addition, omelettes are one of the easiest foods to customize, since you can essentially leave out or swap in any ingredient that you choose, except for the eggs of course, and you still end up with a healthy and delicious dish that makes a great meal at any time of day.

There are hundreds of different takes on how to prepare omelettes, from the simple and classic Western to the most complex creations you can think of. However, these particular omelette recipes were selected for a couple of reasons. First, they feature a wide range of healthy and low carb ingredients. Second, they are simple to prepare, and don’t take a lot of time to get them on the table. So, with that said, let’s start exploring this list of 5 exciting omelette recipes you can try!

Chicken Omelette with Sautéed Mushrooms

Even though the most common meat to include in an omelette is some sort of ham or bacon, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other proteins you can include to change things up. This amazing recipe uses savoury sautéed chicken and mushrooms, and a handful of other fresh ingredients as the filling for the omelette, and the results are simply scrumptious! This recipe is quite easy to prepare, and is very low in carbs. This would make a fantastic lunch or dinner option that the whole family would devour.

Greek Quinoa Dinner Omelette

Heading across to the Mediterranean for some inspiration for this recipe, and the results are simply delicious! This omelette uses a variety of traditional Greek flavours including olives, feta cheese, and tzatziki, just to name a few. The ingredient list is long, but the end result is totally worth the effort. This is an omelette with a taste that is robust, and yet still fresh and light. Although the recipe calls this a ‘dinner’ omelette, we’d wager that it would work perfect for a fancy lunch, too. It’s important to be careful with the amount quinoa in this recipe, since too much can easily add to the carb count. It’s not really essential to the flavour of the recipe, so don’t be afraid to simply leave it out to bring the carbs down.

Pesto & Roasted Tomato Omelette

This omelette recipe incorporates some Italian elements to make a breakfast that you will want to serve over and over again. From just a few simple ingredients, the end result is an omelette unlike any you’ve ever had. The pesto and roasted tomatoes complement each other perfectly, and the light and fluffy eggs complete the whole experience. This recipe can easily be customized to use whatever your favourite pesto may be, like this Sweet Basil Pesto mix from Simply Organic. And if tomatoes aren’t your preference, those can easily be changed out for roasted red peppers in a pinch. Either way, the results are definitely delicious!

Breakfast Egg White Spinach Enchilada Omelette

Now it’s time to head to the Southwest for this breakfast omelette, but you don’t worry about carbs from tortillas this time. In this unique spin, the chef uses egg whites to create a zero-carb enchilada wrap that gets loaded with spinach, cheese, avocado, and topped with enchilada sauce. For added convenience, try this Enchilada Sauce from Frontera. The final product is a hearty, comforting breakfast that is extremely low in carbs, and perfect for a big family breakfast. For those of us who like things a bit spicier, try working in a little chipotle pepper for an added zing, without risking the recipe getting too flaming hot.

Omelette Waffles

Don’t put that waffle iron away, yet! You’ll need it for this fun omelette recipe. While the ingredients might all be the traditional omelette fare, the preparation method is what gives this recipe it’s place on this list. Making omelettes in your waffle maker will definitely get the whole family smiling in the morning. And since it’s so fast and easy to prepare and cook using this method, you’ll have full tummies in almost no time. Give it a shot, and don’t be afraid to customize the ingredients to whatever you’d like to include in your omelettes. We’re sure you’ll be sold on this technique!

Conclusion

Not only are these recipes inspirational for a great low carb breakfast, but we’re sure that you’re now considering working omelettes in to your meal plan for lunch and dinners, too! Omelettes provide a lot of benefits as part of a low carb meal plan, including plenty of protein and nutrients, ease of preparation, and so many different flavour combinations that you’ll definitely never get bored of them. We hope that you’ve enjoyed reading about these recipes, and that your next omelette creation is just as fantastic as these.

low carb sauce and gravy for keto dieting

Ultimate Keto Diet Gravy

How to Make Low Carb Gravy & Sauce

A good gravy or sauce adds an extra bit of depth to many different types of foods. A Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner table wouldn’t be complete without a turkey and a gravy boat filled with piping hot turkey gravy, a great steak can be made even better with some rich peppercorn sauce on top, and Hollandaise sauce is essential to making a great plate of Eggs Benedict. Gravies and sauces come in lots of different styles and forms, and many of them contain more carbs than you might expect at first glance. This is where low carb dieters need to be a little more careful when choosing what kinds of gravy and sauce to use on their meals.

This article is intended to help identify the not-so-obvious carbs that can hide in gravy and sauces that are commonly served alongside some of our favourite foods. Making small substitutions and adjustments to the recipes is often all it takes to lower the carb count of gravy and sauces, and still keep them as part of your menu.

Let’s start by breaking down the most common types of gravy and sauces, and how they are typically used.

Gravy for Meats and Poultry

Traditional gravy typically uses a combination of simple ingredients to produce a thick, rich sauce for a variety of different meats. The main ingredient to most gravy will be the pan drippings from the cooked meat being served, such as roasted turkey, pork or beef, for example. These drippings will be collected and mixed with some stock or broth, whatever spices you like, and then a thickener is added to thicken the gravy and finish the process. Most of the time in traditional gravy recipes, this thickener will be wheat flour, which contains carbs. One way to remove the carbs from traditional gravy recipes is to simply serve them in an ‘au jus’ format, which is essentially just a thinner, more broth-like gravy. If this suits your preference, then you can simply proceed without adding a thickener of any kind.

Alternative Thickeners for Gravy and Sauces

If you desire your gravy to have a thicker consistency, you’ll need to find an alternative thickener. Fortunately, there are many other options that can be used as thickeners for gravy that do not contain carbs and perform the job just as well. Many people use cornstarch as an alternative, which has significantly fewer carbs than an equivalent amount of flour, and requires less of it to achieve your desired thickness. For a zero-carb thickener, most people opt for a vegetable gum, such as this Xantham Gum from Bob’s Red Mill. It will effectively thicken gravy and sauces without adding any carbs, but requires careful attention to how its added to the mix, and how much is used.

Other Sauces for Meats and Vegetables

Of course, gravy isn’t the only kind of sauce that you can choose to accompany your meal. There are many kinds of sauces that go exceptionally well with all kinds of meats, as well as other types of dishes. Hollandaise sauce is an essential part of Eggs Benedict recipes, Peppercorn and Béarnaise sauces are common on steaks and beef roasts, and cheese sauce is perfect for smothering cooked vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower.

Much like gravy, these sauces often utilize flour as part of their recipes to thicken them, too. Fortunately, they can also be made with the same alternative thickeners as described for gravy, and achieve the desired consistency without adding to the overall carb count.

Great Low Carb Gravy & Sauce Recipes

Now that we’ve covered the basics of gravy and sauces, let’s take a look at some fantastic low carb recipes that are easy to prepare, and taste absolutely delicious.

Classic Low Carb Gravy

For a classic gravy to accompany your dinner, this recipe works with virtually any type of roasted or cooked meat in order to create a delicious low carb gravy. Laura at VeryWellFit.com provides step-by-step instructions on how to craft a perfect gravy, and offers several alternative thickeners that help keep the carb count low.

Keto Béarnaise Sauce

This fantastic Béarnaise sauce recipe comes from Maria over at MariaMindBodyHealth.com, and is the perfect way to add some extra depth to a perfectly grilled steak. It puts an interesting twist on the classic Béarnaise sauce by using browned butter to give it a unique flavour profile that is definitely a winner.

Low Carb Hollandaise Sauce

Hollandaise is another versatile sauce that works wonderfully on many foods such as eggs, fish, and vegetables, just to name a few. This tasty low carb version comes from Martina at KetoDietApp.com, and includes helpful tips and advice on how to prepare this sauce, which can be tricky at times.


Premade Gravy Mixes

In the event that you need a faster alternative for gravy that still fits the low carb diet, you can check out our selection of low carb gravy mixes here. These are delicious, healthy alternatives and are ready to serve in just minutes. You’ll find options for a wide range of gravies and sauces including demi-glace, turkey gravy, savoury herb gravy, and more.

Conclusion

We hope that these recipes and tips have proven to be helpful for you, as the right sauce can make a big difference in the overall experience of a perfectly roasted cut of meat.

We’re sure that with these tips you’ll be able to craft the perfect low carb gravy for your next big family dinner – enjoy!

low carb cereal hot and cold cereal

Hot and Cold Low Carb Cereal

The Beginners Guide to Hot and Cold Low Carb Cereal

Did you give up breakfast cereal when you first started your low carb diet? Many people do, simply because the typical cereals that you’d find at any supermarket are inherently loaded with carbs and sugars, making them a poor fit as part of the low carb lifestyle. However, you may be surprised to learn that there are dozens of fantastic low carb cereal options available that can put it back on your menu, and taste great!

In this article, we’re going to explore low carb cereals and take a look at some of the best hot and cold cereals that are available. You’ll learn what makes low carb cereals different from traditional cereals, and what ingredients to watch out for the next time you scan through the nutrition facts and ingredient labels. First, let’s take a look at the basics of low carb cereals.

Low Carb Cereal Basics

Generally speaking, the vast majority of common breakfast cereals are made from some type of grain. Some of the most popular cereals are made from wheat, rice, oats, and corn. These grains all contain carbohydrates and as such, need to be carefully moderated as part of the low carb diet. In many cereals also contain added sugar, either in the form of sweeteners and flavour additives or through fruit-based ingredients. These factors make the cereal aisle a bit of a minefield for low carb dieters, as even the cereals that are stereotypically considered to be healthier options can end up being bad choices for low carb dieters if they contain a high amount of natural sugars.

Ingredient labels should be carefully inspected to be sure that even if a cereal looks healthy on the box, that it will work with a low carb diet. A box that shouts ‘High in Fiber’ doesn’t mean much if it’s also loaded with added sugar. Fortunately for low carb dieters, there are many brands of cereal that have low carb products to choose from. Some of these cereals are made from similar ingredients, just without all the sugars or additives, or they can be made from alternative ingredients such as soy.

Another important thing to note is that the cereal itself is not the only concern for low carb dieters. Milk also contains sugar, in the form of lactose, that needs to be monitored, too. 100 grams of 1% milk contains an estimated 5g of lactose, so to help keep the carb counts as low as possible, you would be wise to choose an alternative option such as almond milk.

Whether you enjoy the cool crunch of cold cereal with milk, or the warm comfort that comes with a nice hot cereal, you can rest assured that there are low carb options for all tastes and preferences. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular and tasty low carb cereal products that are available to choose from.

Best Low Carb Cold Cereals

Kay’s Naturals French Vanilla Cereal

When you choose a cereal for breakfast in the morning, you want one that doesn’t just taste great but will also fill you up and give you long-lasting control over hunger. This delicious cereal from Kay’s Naturals has a subtle vanilla flavour, a great crunch, and will definitely satisfy your hunger. It’s gluten free, low in sugar, and low in carbs. Other flavours include Apple Cinnamon and Honey Almond. Shop all Kay’s Naturals cereals here.

Nutritious Living Hi-Lo Maple Pecan Cereal

Now, here is a cereal that our customers can’t stop raving about! Hi-Lo cereal from Nutritious Living is designed to be the perfect fit for diets requiring blood sugar control and careful carb management. High in fiber, low in carbs, and big on taste, these cereals have a hearty crunch and are available in a range of flavours. Choose from Original, Maple Pecan, Strawberry, and Vanilla Almond. Shop all Hi-Lo cereals here.

Best Low Carb Hot Cereals

Dixie Diner Carb Counters Peaches N Cream Hot Cereal

When you’re looking for a different way to start your day, this delicious warm cereal from Dixie Diner is definitely a great choice. Ready in 5 minutes with hot water, you’ll love the sweet taste and the hearty blend of oats and soy that satisfies your appetite and keeps you full all morning. Our customers recommend mixing with a splash of cream or soy milk, or topping with a sprinkle of cinnamon for an added bit of flair. Shop all Dixie Diner cereals here.

LC Foods Toasted Almonds & Coconut Hot Cereal

For a paleo-friendly option that is low carb, gluten free, and very high in fiber, look no further than this tasty hot cereal from LC Foods. This is a great cereal that you can add fruit or nuts to in order to customize the taste and add some more variety to your mornings. There’s no sugar added, and it’s definitely a solid way to start your morning and give you energy for the rest of your day.

This list is just a start, however. There are dozens more great cereals to check out at The Low Carb Grocery. Check out our full selection of hot and cold low carb cereals here.

Conclusion

If you’ve been missing out on cereal since you started your low carb diet, there’s no need to deny yourself this breakfast option any more. There are plenty of great tasting low carb cereals you can use as part of your weekly meal plan to keep things healthy and satisfying. Cereals are a quick and easy way to have a healthy breakfast when you’ve got a busy schedule, so it’s always handy to have a few options in your kitchen to choose from. From hot cereals that are perfect for a chilly winter morning, to a nice bowl of crunchy cold cereal to start a sunny summer weekend, you’re sure to find a cereal to fit your mood, as well as your lifestyle.

low carb diet challenge

2-Week Low Carb Challenge

A Different Kind of 2-Week Low Carb Challenge

As anyone who has had success with the low carb diet will tell you, making the change to a low carb lifestyle can have a huge impact on your health and well-being. The benefits are well documented, and include weight loss, more energy, blood sugar control, and a reduction in the symptoms of many health conditions, such as diabetes for example. However, many people become apprehensive about starting the low carb diet because they feel it may be too restrictive, too difficult to follow, or that the food won’t be satisfying. The reality is that the low carb diet is pretty simple, allows you to eat a vast array of different foods, and definitely won’t leave you hungry!

To prove this, we’ve developed a simple 2-week low carb introduction that is designed to showcase the wide variety of different foods you can choose from, as well as shatter the typical stereotypes that many people have about going low carb. This introduction is a bit different from some of the other low carb challenges that you’ll find online, but it’s very simple and straightforward for anyone to follow.

Breaking the Stereotypes

As we’ve mentioned in one of our previous articles, Low Carb Myths Busted, there is a lot of misinformation and assumptions that surround the low carb diet. You’ve probably heard musings from other people who think that the low carb diet is nothing but vegetables and meat, or that you end up hungry all the time. Nothing could be further from the truth, and this challenge is designed to address all the common low carb myths.

You can still have pasta, sandwiches, cereal, candy, snacks, crackers, and more on the low carb diet. You simply need to be more informed and make smarter choices when it comes to the ingredients in the foods you buy and eat. You’ll learn that most of the meals you eat today can easily be made in a low carb way with a few simple substitutions.

Food doesn’t need to be loaded with sugar and carbs in order to taste good. Quite the contrary, actually. The more fresh foods you start to eat, the more you’ll start to appreciate the natural tastes and flavours that they possess, which often get overpowered or pushed aside in traditional processed foods by added sugars or artificial flavours. Going low carb is all about shifting to a more wholesome diet, and realizing that you can live without sugar and carbs quite happily and healthily, and not feel like you’re missing out on anything.

Exploring Low Carb Cuisine

This challenge is a way to start to explore new types of foods and cuisine that you have perhaps never tried before. You’ll find amazing low carb dishes in virtually any kind of cooking style or type of cuisine, from classic American recipes to vibrant and colourful Asian dishes, and everything in between. It’s time to open up the door to trying delicious foods from a variety of cultures that are easy to prepare and full of healthy, filling ingredients that the whole family will love.

Making Low Carb Fast and Easy

One of the most important things to keep in mind when going low carb is to not make things more complicated or difficult than they really need to be. Many people who start new diets tend to go all-in right at the beginning, choosing elaborate recipes and completely purging their life of everything they enjoyed before. In this challenge, we encourage you to simplify things wherever possible.

One of the most obvious tips we can offer that illustrates this is to simply cut up a bunch of extra veggies the next time you make a stir fry. Peppers, carrots, broccoli, and mushrooms are all very common vegetables that can easily be sliced up and then tossed in the fridge to be included in lunches the next day, or as handy snacks that are ready to go whenever you feel hungry. Finding shortcuts like this in your everyday routine help save time and make it easier to make good food choices.

In addition, we don’t feel that you need to break up with all of your favourite snacks or treats all at once. A less drastic approach is to carefully moderate these foods and perhaps find alternatives that are lower in carbs. Having the occasional treat, while keeping a close eye on carb counts, helps make it easier to adopt a gradual change in your diet and eating habits and make you more likely to stick with it in the long run.

For example, if your typical mid-afternoon snack is a bowl of salty crackers or chips, why not go with half the amount you normally would and supplement it with a small Greek yogurt in your favourite flavour? This way, the carb count of your snack gets immediately cut in half, but you’re not ending up any hungrier as a result. Another step in that direction would be to only have those crackers or chips every other day, and alternate with some crisp cucumber slices and cream cheese to change things up. You get the idea, but the general concept is to be more aware of what you’re eating, pay closer attention to where carbs hide, and find alternatives to satisfy your hunger without relying on sugar and starches to do it.

2-Week Low Carb Introduction Guidelines

This simple plan is a guide that you can use to test out the low carb diet in a gradual way over 14 days, starting with some simple substitutions to help lower the carb counts, and working in a few exciting new low carb recipes that we’re sure you’ll love. The intent of this challenge isn’t necessarily to get you fully-invested in counting every carb and analyzing your daily intake in full detail, but rather to get you accustomed to looking at foods differently and calling out typical sources of carbs in our diets. Now, let’s get to it!

Things to Do Every Day:

  • Drink More Water – Your favourite re-usable water bottle will be your best friend for the next two weeks. Take it with you everywhere, and keep it full. This won’t be the only thing you drink, but increasing your water intake will help you stay hydrated, reduce hunger, and eliminate the need to hit a vending machine for a sugary drink if you’re thirsty.
  • Switch to Alternative Sweeteners – If you take sugar in your coffee or tea, make the switch to an alternative sweetener like these Ideal No-Calorie Sweetener packets. Ideal sweetener is made from Xylitol, a sugar alcohol that tastes like sugar, but is not processed by the body as a carbohydrate. Learn more about alternative sweeteners here.
  • Track Your Food Intake – If you’ve got a smartphone, which these days we all do, then download a meal tracking app and start logging your food intake. This article we wrote on Low Carb Tech and Apps should help you find one to use. This will help you get a much clearer picture on what your total nutritional intake looks like, and help you understand the changes that are occurring in your diet.

Meal Planning for the 2-Week Challenge:

Breakfasts

For breakfasts, choose three days in the first week and two days in the second week where you will allow yourself to eat your normal breakfast. For all other mornings, focus on high protein items such as eggs, bacon, and sausage in a variety of combinations. Go scrambled one day, then fried, then poached, and then go for an omelet, perhaps one full of cheese, peppers and onions. Skip your usual high-carb items like toast, bagels, or cereals and swap them out for yogurts, berries, avocado, or a high-protein low-carb smoothie. For more low carb breakfast ideas, check out this list of 18 Delicious Low Carb Breakfast Recipes from Kris at Healthline.com for plenty of inspiration.

Lunches

You’ve got plenty of options for healthy and delicious low carb lunches. Try to plan a selection of four or five lunch options you can choose from throughout the 14-day duration to help keep things easier, but not totally repetitive. This list of the 50 Best Low Carb Lunch Ideas that Will Fill You Up from Andy at LowCarbLab.com is a great resource to draw ideas from. If you just can’t live without your daily sandwich, we suggest buying a loaf or two of low carb bread, such as this Superflax Dream Bread, so you can still have a nice deli sandwich with far fewer carbs in it. If you find yourself without the time or ability to prepare your own lunch for your workday, choose a place to eat that offers plenty of salads and soups, or a restaurant that serves a cuisine that is generally known to be low in carbs and high in protein and vegetables. Asian restaurants are a good choice, with plenty of stir fry or soups to choose from. Just remember to avoid dishes that use overly sweet sauces or are served on traditional styles of noodles.

Dinners

For many people, dinners are the meal that changes the least when they switch to a low carb diet. It’s quite easy to find plenty of dinner recipes that are low carb, focused on meats and vegetables, while generally being light on starches and sugars. Most of the time, it’s the side dishes that are most affected, with things like potatoes, rice, and starchy sides being substituted for more vegetables or other low carb alternatives. Here’s a massive list of The 150 Most Delish Low Carb Dishes that was compiled by Sienna over at Delish.com. Here, you’ll find a vast array of dinner ideas that cover cuisine from all over the world. For the two weeks, we encourage you to try two or three dishes from cultures or cuisines that are different from your typical dinner routine. Take this opportunity to explore the world of foods, and have some fun while staying healthy.

Snacks

Snacking is probably the one area of your daily menu that will be changed the most by going low carb, but not in a bad way. On the contrary, what many people discover is that by choosing healthier snacks that are higher in protein and lower in carbs, they actually snack less often and are more satisfied with smaller portions. We recommend picking up a couple of new low carb snacks to try during these two weeks that showcase just how tasty low carb snacking can be. For example, if you have a sweet tooth, try some of these Atkins Endulge Peanut Butter Cups as an occasional treat. They’re very low in sugar, but taste amazing! If salty snacks are more your style, we recommend Hardbite Vegetable Chips. They’ve got a great crunch, and are a much healthier snack option.

At the End of the 2 Weeks

Now that your 2-week low carb experience has ended, start asking yourself some questions, such as:

  • Was the food tasty, filling, and satisfying for me?
  • Did I find it easy to work in more low carb foods in to my routine?
  • How do I feel after changing my diet to a lower carb intake for two weeks?

If you find yourself thinking that you enjoyed the process, that you felt good while doing it, and that you didn’t feel hungry at the end of the day, then you are well on your way to living a healthier low carb lifestyle. Of course, there is a lot more to know about living the low carb way. Fortunately, we have many resources for you to explore. Take a look at our Intro to Low Carb for more information on the diet and how it works, and be sure to read up on how to count carbs correctly using our guide on Carb Counting here.

We hope that this has encouraged you to give the low carb diet a try, and we’re sure that you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the outcome. You’ll undoubtedly discover that the world of low carb food has a lot more to offer than just meat and vegetables. Happy eating!

great blended drinks and smoothies

Smoothies and Blended Drinks

Guide to Great Smoothies and the Best Blended Drinks

Smoothie shops are everywhere these days, and they all claim to be an amazingly healthy option for a quick pick-me-up or even as a full meal replacement. What many don’t tend to advertise, however, is that a lot of their smoothies and blended drinks can contain way more sugar than you’d think. These sugars add up fast, and for low carb dieters who love the taste and convenience of a smoothie, that’s not great news.

Fortunately, there are plenty of simple things you can do to make incredibly tasty and very healthy smoothies that are low in sugar and carbs. Most of the time, all it takes is a few small substitutions to cut out the sugar, but keep in all the nutrients and protein. Here, we will take a look at some of the essential smoothie ingredients and techniques that make them so tasty and so popular. In addition, we provide some great tips to help pack in even more goodness in to your smoothies and blended drinks, as well as a couple of fantastic recipes that you’ll simply love.

Smoothie Basics

Smoothies are extremely simple in their concept, which is probably why they’ve become so popular. In a nutshell, smoothies are simply a big pile of fruits and vegetables, all blended together with things like juices and yogurts, to make a delicious and convenient drink that’s packed with plenty of nutrients. They’re a fast and easy way to work in more fruits and vegetables when you’ve got a busy schedule, and they’re so easy to customize you never need to worry about having the same old thing all the time.

Some of the most common and basic elements of smoothies are fruit, vegetables, juices, and yogurt or milk. Smoothies and blended drinks can be made in a huge variety of combinations from ingredients in each of those categories. Some people prefer sweeter all-fruit smoothies, others lean more towards creamier blended drinks that rely on more dairy ingredients, and still others love smoothies that are packed with greens and vegetables. Smoothies and blended drinks are so easily customized to everyone’s personal preferences, it seems almost as if smoothies are like snowflakes, with no two ever being identical! For many health-conscious people, smoothies are one of their favorite food items.

Be Wary of Store-Bought Smoothies

As we mentioned earlier, it’s not unusual for some prepared smoothie drinks to have way more sugar in them than you’d expect. This can occur for a couple of different reasons. First, it’s possible that they simply added sugar, often in the form of a flavoured syrup, to increase the sweetness of the drink. If this is part of their standard method for preparing a smoothie, ask them to skip the syrup for you or if they can substitute an artificial sweetener instead.

Second, it could simply be due to the particular fruits that were selected to make the smoothie. We’ve covered this topic before, in our article that talks about the Best and Worst Fruits and Vegetables for Low Carb Diets, but some fruits simply have higher levels of naturally occurring sugars than others. Take a look at the different fruits that make up a smoothie, and if they all fall in to the high-sugar category, that’s a good indicator that the smoothie will be high in sugar, too. Opt for some of your favourite lower-sugar fruits as substitutes, and it will definitely help to keep the carb count of your smoothie down.

A Word on Bananas

Once you start scanning through all the different smoothie recipes on the internet, or on the menu boards of your favourite smoothie shop, you’ll notice that bananas are an astonishingly common ingredient. This is because they do a great job of thickening up smoothies, and most people enjoy the taste. Unfortunately, they also tend to be one of the foods that most low carb dieters avoid due to their higher sugar and starch amounts. Fortunately, there are alternative ingredients that can be used to thicken up smoothies just as well as bananas. Some alternatives to consider are chia seeds, yogurt, tofu, or avocado. All are low in carbs and work great in smoothies and blended drinks.

Boosting Blended Drinks

In case the nutrient count in your smoothie is just not as high as you’d like it to be, there are dozens of ways you can power up your smoothies and blended drinks with supplements. Some of the most common add-ons to smoothie recipes include things like matcha powder, hemp protein, chia seeds, cacao, and even peanut butter. These ingredients deliver added protein and other nutrients to your smoothie, and can help take it from a tasty afternoon snack all the way to a full-blown meal replacement. Explore different ways to boost your smoothies with supplements until you find a few favourite power-ups to choose from.

Now that we’ve covered the essentials on smoothies, it’s time to get to a couple of amazing recipes we’ve discovered for healthy, low carb and low sugar smoothies and blended drinks. Whether you love something sweet and fruity for a quick indulgence, or are looking for a smoothie loaded with greens to help you detox, these recipes are a great way to go.

Fresh & Fruity Smoothie Recipe

The low carb experts over at Atkins shared this recipe for a Tropical Raspberry Smoothie that is fresh, fruity, and extremely delicious! It uses a combination of unsweetened coconut milk, tofu, and fresh raspberries to produce a light smoothie that’s not too sweet and makes a great snack for a sunny afternoon or as a convenient breakfast treat.

Green Detox Smoothie Recipe

Green smoothies aren’t typically known for their great tastes, but Melissa over at IBreatheImHungry.com has put together this amazing recipe for a Low Carb Green Smoothie that’s going to change all that. It’s dairy-free, packed with nutrients, and has a slightly sweet taste to make it ridiculously easy to drink. This blend of cucumbers, lettuce, pineapple, kiwi and avocado is extremely healthy and very refreshing. A great way to supplement your low carb diet!

Conclusion

Smoothies and blended drinks are a fantastic way to get more fruits, vegetables, and supplements in a quick, easy, and convenient method. Use them to power up in the morning, recharge after a workout, or help get over a mid-afternoon craving. Load them with protein powder to create a convenient and tasty meal replacement, or make them in big batches as a cool treat to share with a gathering of friends.

Whatever way you use your smoothies, and however you choose to customize them, we’re sure that you’ll find them a fun and delicious part of the low carb lifestyle. Now, go fire up that blender!