All posts by Jeff Fidler

Product Insights: Protes Protein Chips

Product Insights: Protes Protein Chips

I love the “stories behind the brand”; they are always so fun and interesting to me. There is always a common theme, which is that there was a need in the market, and someone decided to fill that need.

I recently had a chance to talk with Krik and Ryan, the founders of Protes Protein Chips, and I’d love to share their story with you.

Erin: So Krik and Ryan, you guys were basically sitting on the couch after a workout, wondering why there were no protein-based snacks other than bars and shakes.

K&R: That’s right. We both work out regularly, and don’t have the time to prepare a full meal. We each like to eat something quick, and high in protein after a workout. We were bored of the many bar and shake options, and realized there were no snacks. So we decided to create a protein chip.

Erin: And so, despite being busy with your day jobs, you decided to devote what little spare time you had to this project.

K&R: Yes. We were living in New York (and still do) and were both working long hours in the finance industry. Once we decided to try it, we spent over 6 months testing out recipes late at night, after we got home from work.

Erin: So I guess you didn’t sleep very much.

K&R: (laughing) That’s right, we still don’t…

Erin: What are some of main attributes of the Protes?

K&R: Protes protein chips are a great way to add extra protein to your daily snacking. Each 1.0 oz bag contains 15 grams of protein. As well, they are gluten-free, Non-GMO Project certified, vegan, and soy-free. Add in the fact that they are low in carbs, calories, and fat, and snackers of all diets can enjoy them!

In addition, while there are plenty of protein bars and shakes out there, there aren’t many salty snack options outside of jerky. Our protein chips allow you to munch on chips and still feel good about yourself. With five flavors ranging from sweet (Toasted Coconut) to spicy (Spicy Chili Lime), there are plenty of flavors to try to find your favorite.

Erin: Besides snacking, are there any non-obvious ways to use Protes?

K&R: They can be used for breading chicken, making nachos, or as toppings for salad or pizza.

Erin: Interesting. How else are Protes unique?

K&R: Protes are made of pea protein isolate and are baked. Most other competitors use whey protein and are fried. We also offer two bag sizes, 1 oz and 4 oz, for individual use or sharing.

Erin: What was the criteria in selecting the ingredients for Protes?

K&R: All of Protes protein chips ingredients are gluten-free, Non-GMO Project certified, and vegan.

Erin: Is there anything else that you would like your customers to know?

K&R: Protes is all about functional snacking. We believe that snacking should be truly beneficial and not just “less bad” than other options, while still tasting good. We hope you’ll give our high protein chips a try and continue to follow us as we take snacking to the next level!

Erin: Great, well thank you very much, Krik and Ryan, for taking the time to speak to me today and for sharing your story.

K&R: It is our pleasure!

About the Author: A Holistic Wellness Practitioner, Erin is a proponent for holistic and natural living. Her passion is guiding people to live healthier, happier lives: physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

Quick Low Carb Meals

Quick Low Carb Meals Ready in 20 Minutes or Less

We all have days where time just seems to disappear. Whether our afternoon meeting runs late, traffic on the 401 is backed up for miles, or the kids have soccer practice and dance class on the same night, shortage of time can make it a real challenge to plan healthy & fresh meals.

Fortunately for low carb dieters, there are lots of ways to plan a variety of meals that are simple, fast, delicious and satisfying. Foods that fit a low carb diet plan are some of the most universally useful ingredients that you’ll have in your kitchen, and there are so many ways to combine them that you’ll never feel like you’re eating the same thing all the time.

In this article, we’ll provide you with some tips and tricks that you can use to plan easy and fast low carb meals from simple ingredients, as well as some helpful advice on how to supplement your meal plans with healthy prepared foods for those days where you simply don’t have the time or energy for cooking.

We’ll do our best to show you that planning easy and quick low carb meals doesn’t have to be difficult, so let’s get to it!

Tips for Planning and Preparation

One of the best tips we can give to simplify and speed up your meal planning and prep process is to pre-cook or prepare larger quantities of your base ingredients. Things like meats and proteins can be cooked ahead of time, and then frozen or refrigerated in smaller meal-size portions so that they are always ready to go at a moments’ notice, and just need to be heated up alongside your other ingredients.

For example, grilled chicken is one of those go-to meats that works in almost anything. You can use it on salads, with pasta, or wrap it up in a low carb tortilla with some fresh veggies and some light dressing. Simply grill up a pack of chicken breasts all at the same time, slice them up and pack them away in meal-size containers. Then, you’ve always got grilled chicken at the ready to heat up for your meal. This will save you a ton of time, and make sure you’re always getting a healthy amount of protein. According to Foodsafety.gov, cooked poultry is safe refrigerated for 3-4 days.

Beef can also be used this same way, and is a good alternative protein when chicken might be getting a little too frequent on your menu. Simply grill up a steak the way you like it, slice it thin, and store it away for a future dinner. Then just add it during the last few minutes of cooking time to a stir fry for a quick and easy Asian beef dish like Beef with Broccoli, and get it on the table in almost no time. According to Foodsafety.gov, cooked beef (steak, etc…) is safe refrigerated for 3-5 days.

Another tip is to choose veggies that can easily be eaten with just a quick rinse under water, especially those that are already bite-size like baby carrots, green beans, or sugar snap peas. Crisp, cool veggies are a refreshing change as a side dish instead of the typical cooked varieties, especially on hot summer days – plus this ensures vegetables are ready in seconds, saving you even more cooking time.

Fast and Easy Low Carb Side Dishes

If you’ve got your main foods selected for a meal, but are struggling with what to serve alongside them that won’t eat up too much time, there are lots of prepared foods and sides that you can choose from to accompany your meals. Here are a couple of popular examples:

HomestyleSimple Chicken Chili with Beans – This hearty chicken chili is a great side dish option, and is ready in minutes. Our customers love it!

Miracle Noodle Thai Tom Yum Soup – This soup is the perfect accompaniment to any stir fry. It’s low calorie, low carb, and big on flavour!

These are just two examples of fast and easy low carb ways to boost any meal in just minutes, or take them to go as a simple lunch break option when you’re on the run to the office for another busy day.

Quick Low Carb Recipe Ideas

Now that we’ve laid the ground work for planning and preparation, here are a couple of example recipes you can use that are simple to prepare and use these tips.

Give them a try, they might just make their way in to your regular meal plans!

Simple Ginger Beef Vegetable Stir Fry

This simple recipe features a tasty ginger stir fry sauce and a colourful array of vegetables that looks as beautiful on your plate as it tastes in your mouth.

  • Ingredients:

o   Thinly sliced beef strips (you can buy these pre-cut at the supermarket, or simply prep & refrigerate/freeze your beef as described above)

o    Selection of fresh vegetables

  • Sugar snap or Snow peas
  • Baby carrots
  • Bean sprouts
  • Bok choy
  • Mushrooms

o   Low-sodium Ginger Stir Fry sauce from Mr. Spice

o   Light vegetable oil

  • Preparation – estimated 5-10 minutes

o   Place a small amount of oil in a large skillet or wok and set to medium-high heat

o   Rinse all your veggies under cold water and chop the larger pieces. You don’t need them to be tiny, bigger chunks are actually better

  • Cooking instructions – 10 minutes

o   Place harder veggies in the pan first (and sliced beef), and toss regularly for 5 minutes

o   Place softer veggies in the pan (and sliced beef, if cooked and thawed) and continue to toss regularly for another 5 minutes or until desired tenderness is reached

Spicy Chicken Fajitas in Lettuce Wraps

This fresh twist on classic fajitas uses crisp lettuce leaves as a replacement for traditional tortilla shells, and lets you dial in the heat with your favourite salsa.

  • Ingredients:

o   Sliced grilled chicken (prepare as described above, or substitute pre-packaged grilled chicken slices)

o   Selection of fresh vegetables

  • Red & Yellow Bell Peppers
  • Red or Yellow Onion
  • Mushrooms
  • Fresh cilantro

o   Simply Organic Fajita Seasoning Mix

o   Iceberg lettuce

o   Shredded cheddar cheese

o   Sour cream

o   Your favourite Desert Pepper salsa

o   Light vegetable oil

  • Preparation – 10 minutes

o   Add a splash of light vegetable oil to a large skillet and set to medium-high heat

o   Slice peppers, onions and mushrooms – use a kitchen mandolin to save even more time

o   Prepare fajita seasoning mix according to package instructions

o   Tear off large leaves from the head of iceberg lettuce and rinse under cold water

  • Cooking instructions – 10 minutes

o   Place peppers and onions (and sliced chicken, if frozen or raw) in to skillet and cook for 5 minutes, mixing regularly

o   Place mushrooms, cilantro and fajita seasoning mix (and sliced chicken, if cooked and thawed) in to skillet and fry for another 5 minutes, tossing regularly

o   Serve along with lettuce leaves, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream and your favourite Desert Pepper salsa to spice things up

o   Build your own fajita and enjoy!

As you can see, quick and easy low carb meals don’t need to be boring! These simple examples are just the tip of the iceberg, too. There are countless combinations of easy to prep foods that you can work in to your meal plans. Get creative, try new things, and we’re sure that you’ll discover just how easy it is to expand your menu with a wide range of 20-minute low carb meals.

Tips for Dining Out on a Low Carb Diet

Tips for Dining Out on a Low Carb Diet

Just because you’re on a low carb diet doesn’t mean the days of dining out are over. Quite the contrary! Savvy low carb dieters know all the tricks to staying true to the low carb diet plan and still having a delicious and satisfying meal out at all kinds of different types of restaurant, and in this article, we share these tips with you.

Skip the Bread

This first one should be obvious, but one of the things you’ll often be offered when you sit down at most restaurants is a large bowl of complimentary bread. Not many restaurants feature low carb options for their standard bread offering, but if you’ve planning your dinner in advance, it’s worth asking when you arrange your reservation. Some restaurants may be able to accommodate your request, but don’t get your hopes up too high and assume they will. Even if they do offer low carb bread options as a complimentary appetizer, it would be a good idea to call and check before you arrive so that the wait staff isn’t caught off guard in case the note on your reservation was missed.

Know the Cuisine

Some types of food are always loaded with carbs, and are just not viable options when choosing a place to eat. It might be something you make at home with your own low carb recipes, but very seldom will you see a low carb pasta restaurant for example, so it goes without saying that you shouldn’t expect a lot of Italian places to have low carb on the menu. However, there are many other types of cuisine that are much lower in carbs and have lots of menu selections that suit the low carb diet. Some of these include:

Asian Cuisine

Many Asian dishes such as those commonly found on menus at Japanese restaurants are traditionally low carb, and include lots of protein, vegetables, and seasonings that are low in carbs and sugars. There are a few carbs you’ll want to avoid when dining Japanese, such as edamame (soybeans), tempura battered dishes, and traditional Japanese noodles. However, there are low carb substitutes that you can swap in for any of these, such as other types of vegetables, non-battered dishes, and seafood options.

Contemporary American Cuisine

Steak restaurants are always a pretty safe option for low carb dieters, as long as you avoid the typical sides that are high in carbs, like mashed potatoes. Pair your steak with one of their vegetable side dishes instead of a giant baked potato, and opt for a nice fresh chef salad and a tasty low carb dressing to kick things off. Even if you’re not in the mood for beef, most steak restaurants also serve delicious chicken dishes or pork chops if you want to go for a different taste.

Mexican Cuisine

While you may not think Mexican cuisine is low carb because of all the tortilla shells and chips on the menu, classic Mexican dishes like fajitas or tacos can be made low carb in a snap simply by requesting the kitchen leave the tortilla or taco shells off your order and dining knife-and-fork style. Other Mexican dishes like Chili Verde (spicy pork stew), or Carne Asada (grilled spiced steak) are good choices, and you’ll always find lots of grilled veggies and fresh salsas to suit your tastes.

Keep in mind that there are dozens more types of foods, with flavours from all over the world, but it’s really the ingredients that dictate whether something is low carb. If there’s a certain type of ethnic food that you’re interested in trying, simply do a quick search online and see what kinds of ingredients that cuisine typically uses. Alternatively, you could just call the restaurant and ask about their menu, and explain your low carb concerns. We’re sure they would be happy to answer your questions to be sure that you enjoy your dining experience enough to come back another time.

Watch Your Drinks

Drinks can be one of the easiest ways to cheat when you’re on a diet. It’s not unusual to choose something you would normally avoid simply because it’s a ‘special occasion’, and we’re all guilty of doing that at one time or another. However, just because you’re sticking to your low carb diet doesn’t mean fun is off the drink menu. It just means you need to be a bit more selective. Start with a sparkling water to add some flair to your meal, and avoid those sugary sodas. If you’re in the mood for an alcoholic drink, then choose a light beer that is naturally lower in carbs, or a small glass of a dry white wine. Just make sure that you don’t turn a small treat in to a big diet mistake by over indulging.

Plan Dessert at Home

Restaurants typically always try to convince you to finish your meal with a rich and decadent dessert, but that’s not usually a good idea if you’re on a low carb diet. Sensible portions of simple dessert options like ice cream or gelato can satisfy your sweet tooth, or try a specialty coffee to cap off your meal. Alternatively, you could always plan to indulge in a special, pre-selected low carb dessert later in the evening after you arrive back home. That way, you’ll still get your sweet treat to cap off the night, but you won’t have to worry about whether it’s loaded with tons of sugar and extra carbs. With all the options for low carb desserts available online and in store at The Low Carb Grocery, including cakes, chocolate desserts and ice creams, you won’t feel like you’re missing anything.

If you’re in the Toronto area, here’s a couple of popular restaurants that suit the low carb lifestyle:

http://liveorganicfood.ca/

If you’re living the low carb lifestyle, or simply have a general focus on eating healthy, then check out Live. Founded in 2002, and currently with two locations in Toronto, they feature a plant-based, organic, gluten and refined sugar-free menu as well as a shop for organic food products.

http://www.thecopa.ca/

Copacabana is a Brazillian steakhouse with multiple locations in Ontario, including Toronto, Niagara Falls, and Vaughan. They have lots of varieties of meat but ALSO an amazing food bar with tons of vegetables including low carb ones such as Brussels sprouts and artichokes.

We hope this guide has given you some inspiration to try a night out at a local dining hot spot, and the tips you need to successfully plan a lovely evening that won’t sabotage your dedication to your low carb diet.

Remember, just because you’ve gone low carb, doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice the simple pleasure of a nice meal at a nice restaurant. It just means you need to do a little planning ahead, watch what you order, and get a little creative with some of your menu choices. We certainly hope you’ll give it a shot, because we’re confident you’ll have a wonderful experience. Happy eating!

Guide to The Perfect Low Carb Backyard Barbecue

Backyard grilling is one of the best parts of summer, but a traditional backyard barbecue includes a lot of carbs that low carb dieters just don’t want. Fortunately, there are lots of alternatives out there from buns and condiments to salads and seasonings that help make sure even the strictest low carb dieters can always enjoy a hot, fresh burger off the grill.

This guide to planning a fantastic low carb barbecue will help you choose tasty low carb alternatives to all the foods that you’d normally find at a classic Canadian backyard barbecue, including buns, sauces, condiments, drinks, desserts and more. So, let’s get right to it, so that you can get grilling!

Meats

Most meat you’d find at a barbecue will be low carb, so this isn’t too much of a concern. However, what may surprise you is that some homemade burger recipes can call for breadcrumbs to include as part of the patty mix. If someone else is bringing the burgers, whether they are beef, chicken, or some other meat, just make sure you ask them to skip the breadcrumbs or use a low carb breadcrumb mix if they’re making them by hand. It won’t really affect the flavour, and it’s one less thing to worry about for you and your other low carb guests.

But burgers aren’t the only meat you’d want to consider. Fortunately, you’re pretty safe with some of the old favourites like fresh pork sausages, hot dogs, steaks, and chicken. Always check the ingredients to be sure, of course, as some types of these products have been known to contain fillers that may include carbs.

Buns

No need to skip the buns at this barbecue! There are lots of delicious bun and bread options available for low carb dieters to enjoy classic burgers and dogs just like everyone else. Hamburger buns, hot dog buns, and sausage buns are all available in low carb varieties, so explore what options you have and pick up enough to cover all the bases for the food you intend to serve. And if you’re in the mood to switch things up and try a new way to enjoy your grilled meats, why not give a wrap or flatbread a try as an alternative to the traditional bun. Who knows, you may even start a trend! You can browse a full range of low carb buns and breads here.

Salads and Dressings

There’s not a lot for low carb dieters to worry about when it comes to vegetables and salads, but there are still a couple of things to keep in mind. Some summer salad recipes call for lots of fruits to be included, but the sugars found in those fruits can add up fast. Be sure to choose salads that are light on fruits and loaded with greens. Spinach, avocados, and olives are great ingredients to think about when crafting your salads, as they are very low in carbs.

Also, when choosing a selection of dressings to accompany your salad, make sure to choose low carb and sugar free salad dressings. They will have all the flavour, but cut out all the things that low carb dieters need to watch out for.

Sauces and Condiments

It’s amazing just how many traditional condiments and sauces have carbs in them. However, this is one part of the backyard barbecue where low carb dieters have just as many options as anyone else. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of delicious sauces and condiments available in low carb varieties, including ketchup and barbecue sauces, mustard, mayo, hot sauce, and many more. It’s always nice to have a lot of options for people to try, so don’t be afraid to pick up a few unusual choices to have on hand in case someone wants to experiment with some new flavour combos. Explore our many sauces and condiments.

Seasonings and Rubs

For those backyard grillers who prefer a dry seasoning to a sauce, there are many choices available for seasoning beef, chicken, pork, seafood, or any other meat you want to throw on the grill. Rubs come in all kinds of flavours, such as garlic, southwest, smoky BBQ, and other savoury styles. If you like things hot and spicy, then why not try a low carb Cajun rub or Island-style Jerk seasoning? They’ll deliver a nice spicy kick to your grilled meats, and keep you coming back for more. Shop our complete range of dry seasonings and spices here.

Drinks

You wouldn’t typically think of drinks to be a major concern for low carb dieters, but lots of drinks that are found at backyard barbecues are loaded with sugar and other ingredients that low carb dieters need to steer clear of. Fortunately, there are many options available for cold drinks that fit the low carb diet. You can get sodas and carbonated drinks, iced teas, mixers for drinks like Mai Tais and Margaritas, and all kinds of other beverage types so that your guests can have lots of choices to enjoy. Plus, even if you’re not on a low carb diet, it’s never a bad thing to cut out some of the sugars found in a lot of common drinks like juice and soda. Check out our wide range of low carb & sugar free drinks and beverages.

Sweet Treats

What backyard barbecue would be complete without some scrumptious sweet treats to have as dessert? The classic summer desserts of ice cream, fudge pops, and other frozen treats can be ok, as long as you’re paying attention to the portion sizes. However, if you want to indulge without the potential guilt, low carb dieters have lots of options when it comes to substituting in a low carb dessert for something that is normally high in carbs and sugars. From something as simple as a sugar-free frozen juice pop, to high-protein diet-friendly ice cream, and even decadent home-made low carb cakes, you and your guests will be impressed at just how many choices there are for sweet desserts. No matter what your guests are craving, it’s easy to make sure that your dessert table has everything they are looking for by checking out our full selection of low carb sweet treats.

So, as you can see, there’s all kinds of fantastic food choices you have available to host a stellar backyard barbecue this summer the low carb way. All the classic barbecue foods are ready and waiting for you, as well as some new and unique twists that you can include on your menu to spice things up and give your guests something new to try.

Low Carb Hot Sauces for Spicy Food Lovers

If you’re a low carb dieter who is in love with spicy food and powerful flavours, then the world of hot sauces can be a very fun place to play. There are so many different flavours and heat levels available, that no matter what you may be in the mood for, there’s a perfect hot sauce out there to kick up the taste and make your food even better.

It’s important to be aware that carbs aren’t just limited to the main foods on your plate. You can also find carbs in many condiments and sauces that you might decide to add to enhance the flavour of your food. Fortunately, most hot sauces are already very low in carbs, and several have none at all. In this article, we will look at the typical types of hot sauces and their ingredients, what kinds of foods are best suited for them, how they measure heat levels, and more.

Hot Sauce Ingredients

While there are thousands of different hot sauces on grocery store shelves around the world, the vast majority of them have one thing in common: The Chili Pepper. Most hot sauces from around the world use some type of chili pepper as their base ingredient, and then add other spices to change up the flavour and texture.

There are many different types of chili peppers, and each one has a unique flavour and hotness level that gives each hot sauce its own characteristics. Here are some of common chili peppers used in hot sauces:

  • Cayenne
  • Poblano (Ancho)
  • Jalapeno
  • Tabasco
  • Habanero
  • Chipotle
  • Ghost Pepper
  • Scotch Bonnet

In addition to the base ingredient of chili peppers, many other common hot sauce ingredients include vinegar, onions, tomatoes, citrus juice, garlic, carrots, and several types of herbs and spices such as salt, cumin, mustard powder, and oregano.

The vegetable ingredients are generally where carbs can add up in hot sauces, so a quick scan of the ingredient list will tell you where the carbs are coming from. Actual carb count of most hot sauces is typically very low, but there are some out there that actually achieve a zero-carb count, and so you can see why hot sauce is such a great fit for low carb dieters.

A couple of things to be cautious of when it comes to hot sauce is sugar and sodium. Some hot sauce varieties will have fruit ingredients such as honey or mango to add sweetness along with the heat, which adds to the sugar content of the hot sauce. In addition, some hot sauces can contain a lot of salt, so it’s important to pay attention to the sodium level when examining the nutrition labels of hot sauces. Too much sodium can be a bad thing, so it’s best to be sure before you buy.

Matching Hot Sauces and Foods

Sometimes hot sauces go wonderfully well with certain types of foods. Here are some of the best combos we know about:

  • Milder hot sauces made from chipotle or ancho peppers are the perfect way to spice up a slice of pizza or for dipping your French fries, especially if the sauce happens to include garlic as one of its ingredients. Try this Garlic Hot Sauce from Hot Mamas.
  • If Asian food is on the menu, pick up a bottle of Sriracha. It pairs well with all kinds of beef, pork, and seafood stir fry’s and is also great for dipping spring rolls and dumplings to add a nice kick.
  • Buffalo wings wouldn’t be Buffalo wings without the sauce, but don’t limit this tasty sauce to only wings. Buffalo Wing sauce is really great on grilled chicken, or to add some spice to chicken sandwiches and wraps, too. Here’s a nice mild Buffalo sauce from Wing Time.
  • Tabasco is renowned around the world as a universal hot sauce, and is great on almost anything. If you happen to be mixing up some Bloody Mary’s or Bloody Caesars, Tabasco is a great choice to add some heat to these drinks.
  • Habanero and Jalapeno hot sauces are fantastic on meat from the grill. If you’re cooking up some burgers, try spreading a spoonful on the burger while it’s still cooking, or pile it on a sausage or hot dog for a spicy treat. This Jalapeno Hot Sauce from Sinai Gourmet is a great option.
  • Common chili sauce is an excellent choice for foods where you don’t want too much heat, but instead are looking for a milder spicy flavour. Try adding chili sauce to things like scrambled eggs or mac and cheese for a new flavour experience. Try this Chili Sauce from Jok’N’Al

Rating the Heat of Hot Sauces

If you’re really interested in learning the science of hot sauces, then you need to know about the Scoville Scale. This measurement system was developed by Dr. Wilbur Scoville and measures the power of spiciness by the amount of ‘capsaicin’ chemicals, which are what actually gives the peppers their heat, and represents them as Scoville Heat Units (SHU).

There are many resources online that list different peppers and brands of hot sauce by their Scoville Scale ratings. Here’s one that lists hot sauces as well as hot peppers:

ChiliWorld.com – Scoville Heat Scale for Hot Sauces and Hot Peppers

The mildest sauces that can still be officially called hot sauces will typically come in at around 1,200 to 1,500 SHU. Hot sauces made from Habaneros climb up to around 8,000 to 12,000 SHU. The sky is the limit though, and hot sauce aficionados around the world continue to crank out crazy recipes to see just how hot their sauces can get. One of the hottest sauces in the world sits at a ridiculous 16 million SHU. At that level, the sauce is basically just pure fire!

Hot Sauce and the Low Carb Diet

Interestingly, it’s been reported by many newcomers to the low carb diet that they experience a stronger craving and affinity for spicy foods when they start cutting out carbs from their diets.

Considering that hot sauces are typically low in carbs anyway, this makes them a perfect fit as a part of a low carb diet. Spicy food lovers don’t need to worry about whether going low carb will mean cutting out the heat, because hot sauce is well suited to low carb foods. In addition, hot sauce is one of those products that you can really explore a wide variety of choices since it is so easy to order online, try new flavours, and read up from other foodies on their favourite hot sauces.

Check out our wide range of hot sauces today, online or in store at The Low Carb Grocery!

The Complete Low Carb Shopping List

 

The Complete Low Carb Shopping List

When you’ve got the perfect meal plan all lined up for the week, the last thing you want is to find out that you’re missing one essential ingredient or product that you forgot to pick up on your last trip to the grocery store. Nobody likes to waste time with multiple trips to and from the supermarket, so how do you plan out your weekly shopping list so that you can make sure that you’ve got everything you need? It’s pretty simple actually, and this article will give you a bunch of tips you can use to make sure that you stay efficient during your shopping trips, and make your low carb meal plan a success. Here we go!

Plan Your Stops

Regardless of what kind of low carb diet you may be on, there’s really only two stops that are required to make to ensure you’ve got everything that you may need to complete your meal plan, and make sure that you’re not wasting time running all over the city.

Stop 1 – The Low Carb Grocery

When crafting your shopping list, start first with all of the things that you need to be absolutely sure fit a low carb meal plan, and there’s no better place to go than one of our store locations. You can find us in several locations in the Greater Toronto Area including Markham, Mississauga, and Etobicoke, as well as Newmarket, ON and Burnaby, BC. Our brick and mortar locations carry all the low carb items you’ll find online, so if you’re in one of these cities, add it to your shopping runs to complete your weekly or monthly meal plans.

Here are the key product categories that need to make their way on your Low Carb Grocery shopping list:

  • Grains, Breads, and Cereals – The low carb section at a typical grocery store won’t have nearly the selection and variety of a specialty store. This is where you’ll find all of the following products:
• Bread, Pita & Wraps • Biscotti
• Bagels, Buns & Rolls • Donuts
• Muffin, Cake & Brownie • Macaroons
• Cookies • Cheesecake
• Hot & Cold Cereals • Pancake & Waffle Mix
• Granola • Breakfast Bars

Any of your meal plan ingredients or products that fit these categories are available instore or online, and you can be confident that they are the best possible choice for your low carb lifestyle.

  • Spreads, Dips, Dressings, and Condiments – Products like this can often be a hidden source of carbs, as it can be easy to forget just how much sugar and other ingredients can be found in things like ketchup or peanut butter.  All of these types of products can be found in wide varieties at The Low Carb Grocery.
• Nut & Butter Spreads • Hot Sauce
• Jams, Jellies, & Fruit Spreads • Ketchup, Mustard, & Relish
• Mayo & Dips • Salsa
• Salad Dressings • BBQ Sauces
• Seasonings & Spice Rubs • Asian or Mexican Sauces

The carbs found in the typical supermarket brands of these products can really add up fast, so if you use any of these types of products, be sure to get the low carb versions instore or online to keep your low carb diet on track.

  • Pasta, Noodles, and Sauces – Low carb pasta is something you won’t find typical supermarkets. Fortunately, specialty stores like The Low Carb Grocery have a huge variety of noodles and pasta products. Your list should include any products that fit these categories:
• Italian Noodles • Pasta Sauces
• Asian Sauces • Asian & Shirataki Noodles

We carry all the top brands of low carb pasta and noodles, so you know you’ll be getting quality products with all the great taste.

  • Bars, Protein, Shakes and Supplements – No need to go to a fitness health food or supplement store to stock up on these items, we have them all. If your meal plan includes any of the following products, add them to your shopping list:
• Weight Loss Shakes • Meal Replacement Bars
• Whey, Egg or Vegetable Protein • Ready-to-Drink Shakes
• Cleansing & Detox • Vitamins & Minerals
• Greens • Energy Supplements

Stocking up on these products can be handy, as you always seem to run out at inconvenient times. On those days where time is running short, having a meal replacement bar, or ready to drink shake on hand, can be a real-life saver.

  • Cooking, Baking, and Sweets – For the sweet tooth, if you don’t want to have to give up your sweet treats, we have everything you need. From cakes and cookies to ice cream and candies, as well as everything you need to make your own from scratch, these items can all be added to your shopping list:
• Candy, Caramel, & Toffee • Marshmallows, Pudding & Jell-O
• Chocolate • Ice Pops & Ice Cream
• Cookie, Brownie, & Muffin Mix • Flour & Baking Mix
• Cooking Oils • Dessert Fillings & Toppings
• Soup & Broth • Baking Aids & Ingredients

All of these products are handy to have on hand for when you need them, as most of them are non-perishable and can keep for a very long time.

Those are the main products from your meal plan that you’ll need to buy online or instore at The Low Carb Grocery.

For people living in Toronto, Newmarket, or Burnaby, you can choose from visiting us in-store, or eliminate a stop and order everything online. We provide free shipping for all orders over $100.00.

Now, let’s take a look at the things you’ll need to get at your local supermarket.

Stop 2 – Your Local Supermarket

Most of what you’ll need to get here focuses around fresh foods and perishables. Many of these fresh ingredients you’ll need to complete your meal plan aren’t available at specialty stores like The Low Carb Grocery, so you’ll need to visit your favorite local supermarket, butcher, fish monger, or other specialty market for these ingredients.

  • Meat & Fish – A core part of any low carb diet, a wide variety of low carb compliant meat, fish & seafood are available at your local supermarket, or butcher if you have one in your area. Find one that offers quality essential proteins like beef, chicken, pork, fish, seafood, and others.

A great option is Costco for buying larger quantities at a time and freezing them in meal-size portions. This helps reduce the number of trips you need to make each month and can save money, while offering higher quality ingredients.
Research the cut of meat or fish your recipes are calling for, and select the best possible ingredient you can afford. Pay attention to fat content for beef, pork & chicken – try to stick to leaner cuts, apart from steaks, which should contain some level of fat marbling, this adds both flavor and keeps the meat tender.

  • Vegetables and Fruits – Before you buy anything in this category, start by reviewing our guide on low carb fruits and vegetables, as they aren’t all low carb and you need to know which ingredients are right for low carb diets. Once you’re aware what’s safe and what isn’t, a farmer’s market is normally the best place to get the freshest fruits and vegetables. Most will also offer the best option to buy local. Locally grown is always fresher, which tastes better, too. If you can’t find a farmer’s market, your closest supermarket will have to do. In Ontario, there’s a range of supermarkets – some catering to price, other’s catering to better quality ingredients and better service. This is true for most of Canada as well. Wherever you are, buy from the grocery store that offers the best selection and normally has the freshest ingredients. While fresh vegetables and fruits generally don’t keep much longer than a week, no matter where you buy them, fresh is always better than frozen.

As you can see, by simply breaking your meal plan into some basic categories, it’s easy to plan and purchase all your ingredients to complete your low carb meal plans.

For those low carb dieters who may not have the luxury of having one of our locations nearby, you can get all the same great low carb products online and have them delivered right to your door. Once you’ve created your account, you can save your frequent orders, making repeat purchases even more convenient!

We also have a weekly newsletter as well, with specials and other deals, so you might want to sign-up for that as well as you create your account.

We hope you found these tips helpful, and happy shopping!