All posts by Jeff Fidler

Low Carb Thanksgiving Meal Ideas

Low Carb Thanksgiving Ideas

Thanksgiving is a wonderful tradition that Canadians from coast-to-coast enjoy every year with their loved ones. It’s an experience that is full of warmth, happiness, and delicious food that makes us truly thankful for all we have. Of course, as with most big holiday meals, this can be quite a conundrum for low carb dieters. Traditional Thanksgiving meals are not exactly light on carbs, but with a little help and some smart adjustments, you can prepare all the classic foods the low carb way!

In this article, we will go through the best tips and tricks for planning a delicious and satisfying Thanksgiving dinner, while reducing carbs and providing healthy options. By making a few smart adjustments, and putting a new spin on some old classics, you’ll be amazed at just how easy it is to pull off a low carb Thanksgiving dinner, without sacrificing taste.

Starters

It’s always a good idea to have some things prepared for everyone to nibble on while the main course is cooking. Preparing a few simple, delicious low carb appetizers is simple. Here are a couple of suggestions!

Cheese & Fruit Assortment

Appetizers don’t get much easier than this! Simply select and arrange a selection of unique and flavourful cheeses, such as a bold blue cheese, a sharp cheddar, and creamy brie. Try choosing some options that are a bit more unusual, and pair them with a nice low carb cracker assortment, a few different nuts like almonds or pecans, as well as some fresh fruit like grapes or strawberries to complete the colourful presentation.

Veggies & Hummus

Keeping things simple and light, why not spread out an assortment of fresh veggies like carrot sticks, celery, mushrooms and cucumbers to dip in your favourite hummus? Hummus is a great low carb dip, and you can get a variety of different types, like red pepper or sun-dried tomato, if you want to try something unusual.

Main Dishes

Let’s be honest – these are the foods that make us love Thanksgiving so much! Here, we will breakdown how to prepare your turkey, stuffing, and other sides with a low carb twist.

Turkey & Other Meats

Preparing your turkey is pretty much the same as it always is, but why not opt for a new poultry rub or seasoning to add a different kind of flavour to the bird this year? There are plenty of options available, like the no-salt spice rubs from Summer Kitchen. Try Rosemary Rush or Twisted Tarragon to give your turkey a lot of character!

Also, be sure to use the correct up-to-date roasting times for turkey, and not those listed in an old or outdated cookbook that will either dry out your bird or leave it raw in the middle. This reference for turkey roasting times from CanadianTurkey.ca will ensure that you’re using the correct times and temperatures to produce a perfectly roasted turkey this Thanksgiving.

Of course, you can always go a different route and roast up a different meat if turkey isn’t your style. If you’re hosting a smaller crowd, you might opt for a roast chicken instead, as they are easier to prepare and take less time due to their smaller size.

Another crowd-pleasing main meat dish you might opt for is a nice ham, which is a great choice for a large holiday meal. We recommend choosing a bone-in ham, as they tend to come out of the oven a bit more moist and tender than boneless hams.

Keep the carbs low by using a sugar-free approach to your ham this holiday, like this recipe from BariatricEating.com for a No-Sugar Pineapple Glazed Ham. Simply delicious!

Gravy

For the turkey gravy, you’ll want to swap out any flour that may be called for in a gravy recipe with a different thickener. Cornstarch or arrowroot mixed with spices such as pepper and salt, are popular options that work well to thicken up gravies and sauces. Just be careful that you don’t add too much, as they will thicken the gravy much faster than a flour based thickener.

Alternatively, you could always choose to serve your gravy ‘au jus’, and skip the thickener altogether.

Whatever approach you choose for your gravy, you can always boost your gravy with a prepared gravy mix. This way, even if your meat doesn’t produce enough gravy to go around, you can simply mix up some more and make sure that all your dinner guests get some.

Stuffing

This is where things can get a bit tricky. The main ingredient in stuffing is bread, of course, so the easiest way to reduce the carbs in your stuffing mixture is to use low carb bread crumbs, or if you prefer using fresh bread, by using something like Bakers Deluxe Dream low carb Bread, but there are even better ways to cut the carbs from this Thanksgiving staple.

For example, we recently discovered a totally different method for a Low Carb Cranberry and Walnut Stuffing that sounds way too delicious to pass up! Check out this amazing turkey stuffing recipe on sheknows.com.

Vegetable Side Dishes

Potatoes aren’t going to make the cut for a low carb Thanksgiving meal, but there are plenty of other side dishes that you can serve up that are hearty and delicious alongside your turkey and stuffing.

Green beans are always a favourite vegetable to prepare for a big family meal, and they taste great when sautéed with ribbons of finely sliced prosciutto and a light squirt of lemon juice when they are cooking.

Brussels sprouts are making a big comeback as a popular vegetable, and with good reason. They are extremely healthy, tasty and can be prepared in a variety of ways. Try pan frying them with a bit of olive oil, and sprinkle lightly with salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste – mmm!

Cauliflower is a really useful vegetable and works amazingly well as a mashed side dish. Simply boil and mash cauliflower the same way you would potatoes, and serve with a bit of butter and a light dusting of salt.

Desserts

It simply wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie for dessert, now would it? Fortunately, there are a lot of options for making low carb pie crusts. This low carb pie crust flour from LC Foods works really well. For the filling, substitute the sugar for an alternative sweetener such as Sukrin Fiber Syrup, which works wonderfully in desserts like pumpkin pie. Finish it off with a dollop of sugar-free whipped cream on top, and you’re all set!

Conclusion

Thanksgiving is the time of year where we should be thinking about all the wonderful things we have to be thankful for, and not worrying about missing out on all the traditional foods that we know and love.

As you can see, there are plenty of alternative recipes to ensure low carb dieters can enjoy Thanksgiving as much as anyone else. Of course, you’ll still want to moderate your overall carb intake and keep an eye on your portion sizes. Keeping count of your carbs will help you make sure that you get to try a bit of everything, but not have too much of anything. For more info on keeping track of your carb intake, read our article about counting carbs the right way.

We hope that you find these tips and advice helpful, and that you and your family has a wonderful Thanksgiving meal once again this year.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Decoding Low Carb Nutrition and Ingredient Labels

Decoding Low Carb Nutrition and Ingredient Labels

One of the first things you learn as you start the transition to the low carb diet, is just how important proper monitoring of your food intake is. By accurately measuring the food you eat, you will be able to effectively stay on track with your daily carb allowance and make it much easier to meet your goals. When first starting the process of carb counting, it is essential to know how to read and decode ingredient and nutrition labels on the food products you buy. This way, you’ll know exactly what to look for, and how it all adds up at the end of the day.

Basics of Carb Counting

Learning how to count carbs is not difficult, but there is some learning required to do it properly. Essentially, you are looking for three main pieces of information on any nutrition label to tell you how many carbs are in it, and what the number of digestible carbs (also known as ‘net carbs’) that will be in one serving – these three components are:

1 – Total Carbohydrates
2 – Sugar Alcohols
3 – Fibre

For a complete breakdown on carb counting, please refer to our article on carb counting. Fibre and sugar alcohols are not the kinds of carbs that are of concern on a low carb diet, and so can be subtracted from the total carbs to obtain the net carb value. This is the number of carbs that your body will digest and that will impact blood sugar levels most significantly. In a nutshell, the total number of carbs is determined with this formula:

Total Carbohydrates – (Sugar Alcohols + Fibre) = Net Carbs
Or, using a specific product example, such as Atkins Advantage Coconut Almond Delight bars:
Each bar has 18g total carbs, 6g fibre, and 9g of sugar alcohols. Therefore,
18g Total Carbs – (6g Fibre + 9g Sugar Alcohols) = 3g Net Carbs

Once you pull together this quick formula, counting carbs is actually quite simple. But how do you find these bits of critical information on the nutrition and ingredient labels found on food products in Canada? Let’s take a look!

Typical Nutrition Label Information

The Government of Canada has implemented a much more standardized format for nutrition labels than what was available in the past. In fact, nutrition labeling became mandatory for all prepackaged foods in Canada in December of 2007, which has had a significant impact on the ability for consumers to educate themselves effectively regarding the nutritional value of the foods they purchase. By using a standard format and layout for nutrition labels, it is now much easier to decode the potential health impacts of the foods we eat, regardless of the brand or manufacturer. Click here to visit the Government of Canada website page pertaining to nutrition label standards.

Here, we can see a typical nutrition label that follows the format required in Canada. This particular label is from a popular national brand of yogurt.

label

On this label, we can see that this yogurt contains 6g of carbohydrates, 0g of fibre, and 3g of sugars. Using the method we described earlier, we can see that the net carbs that you should count as part of your low carb meal plan is 6g, since there are no sugar alcohols or fibre to subtract from the total.

Of course, you should also pay close attention to the other nutrients found on the label, such as sodium and cholesterol. In addition, keeping an eye on the % daily intake of essential vitamins and minerals is also beneficial to understanding the total value of all the foods we eat.

Review the Ingredients

Lastly, it’s always a good idea to scan through the actual ingredients list on the product as well. This way, you’ll be able to determine exactly which ingredients are contributing to the carb counts listed on the nutrition label. For example, while that yogurt we showed above listed 3g of sugars, the specific type of sugar contained in that yogurt was fructose. There are other common sugars that you may find on the ingredient list including corn syrup, glucose, lactose, and sucrose.

If there are sugar alcohols listed on the nutrient label, they will be found in the ingredient list with such names as xylitol, sorbitol or malitol.

Other artificial sweeteners can be identified in the ingredients list by their brand or trade names, or even by spotting their logos on the packaging, and include such brands as Splenda, NutraSweet, or Equal.

About Serving Sizes

Aside from the nutrient facts and the ingredient list, one last thing that you should pay close attention to is the serving size that is used to determine all those values. Be aware that it is extremely common for a single serving, as defined by the manufacturer, to actually be less than what consumers would consider a single serving based on the packaging method or their typical eating habits.

To become accustomed to thinking in ‘grams’ or ‘ounces’ for portion sizes, instead of just eyeballing it, invest in a small electronic kitchen scale and actually measure out the serving sizes listed on the packages of some common foods that you have at home. Once you see how much of the product is actually used to calculate the values on the nutrition labels, you can get a much more accurate view of how much you are actually consuming. The more you do this, the better you’ll get at estimating by sight and by weight, which will help you during those times when you don’t have a scale at the ready.

A Note on Medical Conditions

If you are on the low carb diet for specific medical reasons, such as diabetes or other health conditions that require a carefully structured diet plan, the importance of properly understanding ingredient and nutrition labels is even greater. Be sure to consult your doctor for specific recommendations related to your health, and research using trusted and authoritative resources. For example, this helpful article from EatRightOntario.com contains a wealth of information for diabetics and what they should look for on the food products they buy.

Conclusion

As you can see, there is a lot to think about when you start down the path to a better understanding of carb counting, nutrition facts, and ingredient lists. However, you can take comfort in knowing that the knowledge you gain from these experiences will make it much easier to achieve your short-term and long-term health goals, and will definitely help you get the most from your low carb lifestyle.

We hope that this information has proven to be helpful, and wish you all the best with your low carb diet!

Healthy Crockpot Cooking, The Low Carb Way

Healthy Crockpot Cooking, The Low Carb Way

Cooking with a crockpot, also known as a slow cooker, is a great way to prepare a very wide variety of hearty, healthy meals. They’re perfect for making sure that dinner is ready and waiting when a busy family heads home after work and school. Crockpot recipes are generally very easy, and utilize many fresh foods and healthy ingredients that are ideal for the low carb lifestyle. Slow cooker recipes make a great meal choice in the winter months when it’s cold and having something hot and hearty is appealing.

We’ve put this article together to help you get the most from your slow cooker with some handy tips and healthy recipes for delicious and nutritious low carb meals.

Low Carb Crockpot Tips

Not all crockpot recipes are low in carbs, however. Many common slow cooker recipes include ingredients like potatoes, which are not desirable as part of a low carb diet. In addition, many sauces used in these recipes can be high in carbs and sugars, so it’s important to make sure that the recipes you choose for your crockpot hit all the right points for a low carb meal. When choosing a recipe, be on the lookout for common carb sources like potatoes, noodles, and flour, as well as in the sauces where you’d want to avoid high levels of sugars.

Fortunately, most crockpot recipes that contain higher levels of carbs can be easily altered to reduce or remove carbs in order to make them healthier. For example, potatoes can easily be left out of stews and soups without impacting the taste, and substituted with any of your other favourite vegetables. If a recipe calls for flour as a thickener, switch it with cornstarch or another alternative thickener that will do the same job without the carbs. Prepared sauces can easily be swapped for low-sugar or sugar-free versions, or you can even make your own sauces from scratch in order to suit your tastes and fit your diet plan.

Low Carb Crockpot Recipe Ideas

We’ve got a couple of amazing low carb slow cooker recipes for you that we just have to share. These are easy and delicious, with only a few ingredients needed, and are sure to satisfy the hunger of any family.

Pulled Pork Wraps with Colourful Coleslaw

Pulled pork is a favourite of ours, and this recipe is simple to prepare, but big on flavour. We like to combine the savoury pork with a light, fresh coleslaw and serve on low carb tortilla wraps, or use large lettuce leaves for an even lower carb count. Simply delicious!

For the Pulled Pork:

  • Ingredients:

o   1 pork tenderloin

o   1 bottle of your favourite low carb barbecue sauce

  • Try one of Crazy Mooskie’s No Added Sugar BBQ Sauces
  • Preparation & Cooking:

o   Place pork tenderloin in slow cooker and set to low heat for 6-8 hours

o   Pour barbecue sauce over entire pork tenderloin

o   With 1 hour remaining, remove pork from slow cooker and pull apart with two forks on a plastic cutting board

o   Put shredded pork back in the slow cooker & mix with the sauce

  • If the sauce has become too thick or too thin for your preference, simply add a bit more sauce or some water to thin it, or a small amount of cornstarch to thicken

o   Simmer for remaining time

For the Colourful Coleslaw:

  • Ingredients:

o   1 cup shredded red cabbage

o   1 cup shredded green cabbage

o   1 cup shredded carrots

o   ½ cup mayonnaise

o   2 tbsp sour cream

o   2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

o   1 dash of salt

o   1 dash of black pepper

  • Preparation:

o   Simply mix together all the ingredients in a large bowl until thoroughly combined

  • We suggest adding the mayo, sour cream, vinegar, and salt and pepper slowly and tasting every so often to make sure you end up with your preferred consistency and taste of coleslaw.

Once you’ve got the pork and the coleslaw ready to go, simply serve on your favourite low carb tortilla wrap and enjoy. We suggest these low carb Whole Wheat Tortillas from La Tortilla Factory. Alternatively, you might choose to use large fresh lettuce leaves as a wrap to bring the carb count down even more.


Teriyaki Chicken & Broccoli on Noodles

This Asian-inspired slow cooker recipe is so tasty, you’ll be wishing for leftovers so you can have it again the next day! You can easily customize this recipe however you’d like, adding your choice of vegetables in the mix, and serving over your favourite style of noodles.

  • Ingredients:

o   1lb of boneless skinless chicken thighs

o   2 cups broccoli florets

o   1 cup of chopped mushrooms

o   1 cup bean sprouts

o   1 bottle of Seal Sama Sugar-free Teriyaki Sauce

o   1 package of low carb noodles of your preferred style

  • Preparation:

o   Put chicken thighs in the slow cooker and set to high heat for 4-6 hours

o   Pour teriyaki sauce over chicken and mix to ensure chicken is fully coated and simmer

o   With 1 hour remaining, place broccoli florets in the slow cooker and mix up, coating thoroughly with the sauce

o   With 30 minutes remaining, place mushrooms and bean sprouts in the slow cooker and mix up, coating thoroughly with the sauce

o   Prepare your chosen style of noodles as the chicken and vegetables simmer for the last 15 minutes of cooking time.

Once your noodles are ready, simply serve the chicken and vegetables on top of a bed of noodles, and enjoy. We recommend Miracle Noodles Angel Hair Pasta for those who like a longer noodle, or you can always go a different route and serve your meal on top of Miracle Noodles Miracle Rice. Either way, we’re sure you’ll love this dish!

Conclusion

Once you start experimenting with all the different things you can do with your slow cooker, you’ll wonder why you don’t use it more often! We’re sure that with these tips, that is about to change. Crockpot meals are simple to prepare, convenient, and definitely satisfying, especially for low carb dieters.

If these recipes have got you excited for some more ideas, this collection of 27 low carb crockpot recipes from the blog at LowCarbYum.com is sure to be a great resource for you. We hope that we’ve been able to provide some inspiration, and have encouraged you to fire up your crockpot sometime soon. Happy cooking!

The Guide to Low Carb Snacking

Low Carb Snack Foods – Snacks You’ll Love (and are low in carbohydrates!)

Whether you’re settling in for a TV marathon of your favourite show, or packing up the car for a long summer road trip, you’ve simply got to have the right snacks on hand. Let’s face it, sometimes the time between meals winds up being way too long, and having a good snack on hand to help bridge the gap is important. But how do you make sure that you keep your low carb diet on track, while satisfying the cravings you prefer?

This article will help guide you through the world of low carb snacks, and give you a few new low carb snack ideas that you might want to try.

Low carb dieters can sometimes struggle with finding the right snack foods, since so many of them are inherently high in carbs and high in sugars. Salty snacks like crackers and chips have lots of carbs in them in the form of starches, while sweets like chocolate and hard candy are loaded with sugars. Reading the ingredient labels will give you the info you need to quickly determine whether a snack is a good choice, or if it should be left on the shelf. Counting those carbs is the only way to be sure that you’re not negatively affecting your low carb diet.

When examining any snack food label, you’re going to want to look for the total carb count, as well as the amount of sugars, sugar alcohols, and fibre that makes up the total carb number. Based on your individual diet plan, and your daily target for carbs, you can determine what impact those snacks will have on your daily goals.

For more info on counting carbs, read our article on how to count carbs here.

Fortunately for low carb dieters, there are countless healthy options for snacks available that are perfect for the low carb lifestyle. You can find something suitable for every kind of taste and craving that you might have. Let’s have a closer look at the different kinds of snacks most of us crave, and review a few popular low carb snacks that our customers love!

Snack Categories

Most snacks can be easily categorized in to a few main groups based on their characteristics. Here’s a list of the main groups:

Salty Snacks – Typically crunchy and sprinkled with salt or some type of a salty seasoning, these snacks include things like chips, peanuts, popcorn and crackers. Salty snacks are extremely popular, and are great for a wide variety of snacking situations, since they are usually dry snacks and can be eaten in small batches at a time, which makes it easy to moderate your intake. You just need to watch your sodium intake. These snacks can easily be made from ingredients that are lower in carbs than the traditional versions, and the taste and texture are virtually identical.

If you love salty snacks, we recommend you try Kay’s Naturals Protein Pretzel Sticks. Made from non-GMO lean soy protein and whole grains, these deliciously crunchy pretzel sticks are perfect anytime.

Sweet Snacks – This snack category is usually dominated by one thing: chocolate! However, it also includes things like hard candies, soft candies, licorice, and toffee. Sweet snacks are often viewed as a ‘guilty pleasure’ that we are careful to avoid indulging in too often. We tend to view sweet snacks with a much stricter eye than we do some other types of snacks. Fortunately, there are plenty of sweet snacks available that are low in carbs, low in sugar, and even completely free of sugar. Even peanut butter cups and gummies are available in sugar-free versions!

If sweet snacks are what you crave, we recommend you try Atkins Endulge Peanut Butter Cups They have all the taste of world-famous peanut butter cups, but none of the guilt! These are simply delicious, and very hard to resist.

Savoury Snacks – These snacks run right down the middle between salty and sweet and include cheesy snacks, as well as muffins, cookies, and other baked goods. While cheese is already a common component of most low carb diets, many of the other foods in this category would need to have their ingredients adjusted in favour of low-carb versions. Luckily, there are many different types of low carb flours and bake mixes for virtually any kind of savoury snack you can think of. Whether you choose to bake them yourself, or choose pre-made snacks from popular low carb brands, savoury snacks are filling and satisfying.

If savoury snacks are what you prefer, we recommend trying ThinSlim Cinnamon Muffins. These tasty muffins are free of sugar, and very low in carbs. A great choice for a quick snack to satisfy your cravings.

Chewy Snacks – Granola bars and fruit leathers are typical examples of snacks that fit the chewy category, as are dried fruits like raisins, dates and apricots. While at first glance, these kinds of chewy snacks may seem like perfect options for a low carb dieter, they can be loaded with high levels of sugar. Fruits contain varying amounts of natural sugars, so it’s a good idea to do a bit of research first on what fruits are lower in natural sugars and more suited to a low carb diet. For example, raisins and dried mangoes are very high in sugar, but dried berries and plums have lower amounts of sugar. Be cautious when choosing fruit-based snacks and make sure you opt for products that are low in sugar, or sugar free.

If you’re hunting for a new chewy snack, try Extend Anytime Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars. These delicious chewy snack bars have a great chocolatey-peanut flavour and contain zero grams of sugar.

Fresh Snacks – Fresh fruit and vegetables are great snacks and very healthy. This includes things like carrot and celery sticks, as well as apples, berries, and melon. While vegetables are generally safe for any low carb dieter, there are certain fruits that contain higher levels of natural sugars, as we mentioned in the previous snack category. These fruits should be carefully moderated, or swapped for a fruit with lower natural sugar content. Some examples of fresh snacks include celery sticks with peanut butter, carrot sticks with hummus, or peaches with yogurt. These are simple and tasty snacks that are fresh and filling.

If fresh snacks are your style, then you’ve got to try Wild Garden Jalapeno Hummus along with your carrot and celery sticks. It’s got a great spicy kick to it!

Conclusion

Choosing snacks can be a fun experience, especially if you like to explore new taste experiences. Low carb brands are coming up with new and exciting flavour combinations all the time, so trust us when we say that low carb snacking is definitely not boring!

If you prefer to prepare your snacks yourself from fresh ingredients, check out this handy low carb snack reference article from http://www.dietdoctor.com that lists lots of options for low carb snacking, and many links to recipes you can try today.

However, like anything else you eat on the low carb diet, it’s very important to track your intake and count those carbs, so make sure that all of your snacks are factored in to your daily tally.

We hope that you’ve found this information helpful. Happy snacking – get started with the full selection of low carb snacks.

Marinades and BBQ Sauces, The Low Carb Way

Marinades and Barbecue Sauces, The Low Carb Way

It should come as no surprise that grilled meats and vegetables are absolutely perfect for the low carb lifestyle. Grilling foods is a very simple cooking method, relying on very few ingredients to result in a delicious and healthy low carb meal. One thing that grillers do tend to rely on however, is their favourite marinades and BBQ sauces to enhance the flavours of their foods and deliver a wide range of taste experiences.

Like many other sauces and condiments, there are many times you’ll encounter a marinade or BBQ sauce that is loaded with extra carbs, extra sugars, and excessive salt, which are some things low carb dieters need to be wary of at all times. Fortunately, there are also plenty of healthy, low carb and low sugar marinades and BBQ sauces to choose from. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you could even tackle making your own sauce and get really creative! Let’s take a look at some typical challenges low carb dieters face when choosing marinades and BBQ sauces, and then we will get in to some of the most popular options for delicious low carb marinades and BBQ sauces you can try today.

Marinade and BBQ Sauce Ingredients

Most marinades and BBQ sauces start with a base ingredient which defines their general flavour characteristics and what they’ll be best suited for. The three most common are:

  • Tomato Based – These marinades and BBQ sauces tend to be the typical thick, rich sauces you’ll find at most cookouts. These come in a huge variety of flavours suited to meats like chicken, beef, and pork. These are generally not ideal for seafood and fish, but there are some special blends that work well for these purposes.
  • Soya Based – Most marinades and BBQ sauces that use soya as a base are Asian-style sauces and tend to have sweeter and spicier characteristics. Soya based sauces are usually not very thick, and tend to have a lighter texture.  These sauces have a lot of utility, and work on all meats including a wide range of seafood, and even on vegetables.
  • Spice Based – Most of these will fall in to the marinade category, but they can also be used as brushed-on BBQ sauces as well. Using some type of oil as a main ingredient and made from a wide variety of spices and seasonings, these work best when marinated for long periods of time so the flavour really soaks in to the meat.

Ideally, you’ll want to select your marinade or BBQ sauce first and foremost based on what kind of food you are preparing, and what style of meal you’re going for. For example, if a classic backyard BBQ is what you’re planning, then a bold tomato based BBQ sauce for your grilled chicken would be a good fit. If you’re going for a more sophisticated grilled pork tenderloin with a side of grilled vegetables, then perhaps a soya based sauce such as a schezwan sauce would be a good fit. It’s important to not think of these as strict rules, however. These are just general guidelines, and everyone will have a different idea of what works best. Play around, and have fun to discover what might be a delicious new combination.

Making Your Own Low Carb Marinade or BBQ Sauce

Sometimes you just have an urge to get creative, and making your own BBQ sauce or marinade can be a great way to explore unusual and unique flavours, as well as ensure that you know exactly what’s in your sauce. Making your own is actually very simple, and just requires a few basic ingredients along with whatever special flavours you want to add. First, we’ll list the steps for a basic low carb Greek marinade, and then the steps for a basic low carb chipotle BBQ sauce.

Basic Low Carb Greek Marinade with Feta Cheese

This simple yet flavourful Greek style marinade is perfect for pork or chicken. The lemon juice gives it a refreshing citrus flavour, while the feta cheese adds an unmistakable savory element.

Ingredients:

o   1 cup extra virgin olive oil

o   4 cloves of crushed garlic

o   ½ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

o   2 tablespoons oregano

o   1 tablespoon rosemary

o   1 tablespoon thyme

o   ¼ cup finely crumbled feta cheese

Directions:

o   Simply blend all ingredients together in a large bowl, and pour over pork chops, pork tenderloin, or chicken.

o   Marinate in the refrigerator for 6-12 hours for best results.

o   Grill and serve.


Basic Low Carb Chipotle BBQ Sauce

This simple BBQ sauce recipe delivers a rich, smooth sauce, the smoky chili flavour of Chipotle peppers, and a taste that you won’t forget. This BBQ sauce is simply perfect for grilled chicken or as a condiment for burgers.

Ingredients:

o   1 can of tomato paste

o   ¼ cup white vinegar

o   ½ cup water

o   2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

o   1 tablespoon of Chipotle powder (add more or less to adjust heat)

o   1 tablespoon onion powder

o   1 tablespoon garlic powder

Directions:

o   Combine all ingredients in a medium pot or saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

o   Reduce heat and simmer on low for 30 minutes to an hour.

o   Remove from heat and refrigerate until meat is ready to grill.

o   Brush over chicken or burgers on the grill, and serve.

These two recipes are sure to get you excited to try your own flavour combinations. The methods are pretty much the same, just swap out any ingredients you choose to try new taste experiences.

One way to make these recipes even easier is to use a pre-blended seasoning like these ones from The Garlic Box available online and in store at The Low Carb Grocery. You can use these in place of all the spices in a marinade or BBQ sauce recipe, or simply use them as a dry rub on your meats for a different style of grilling:

Popular Pre-made Low Carb Marinades and BBQ Sauces

The sheer variety of marinades and BBQ sauce on most supermarket shelves is enough to get your head spinning. While it is great to have so many options, it can be hard to finally settle on just one. Here, we’ve listed a few of our most popular marinades and BBQ sauces. Give one of these a try and we’re sure you won’t be disappointed.

Guys BBQ Sauce – Bacon – As if Guys BBQ sauce wasn’t already good enough, in this version they added bacon flavour to kick things up a notch.

Crazy Mooskies Crazy Hot BBQ Sauce – Just like the name implies, this is the BBQ sauce for people who love all things spicy.

Mikee Chicken Marinade & Low Sodium Stir Fry – Delicious Asian-style marinade great for grilled chicken.

Hot Mamas Mango Mango BBQ Sauce – Sweet and spicy is what this sauce delivers. Perfect on chicken, pork, or anything else you want to grill.

So, there you have it! We hope you feel inspired to check out these new flavours, or even experiment with some low carb marinades or BBQ sauces of your own. Who knows, you may just create the next great taste sensation in your neighborhood!

Happy grilling!

Low Carb Dieting – An Introduction

Introduction to The Low Carb Diet

You’d be hard pressed to find any dietitian, doctor, or health professional anywhere who would agree that the typical North American diet is ideal. As a population, we tend to eat a lot of junk, mostly out of convenience but also just out of habit. We’ve become accustomed to a lot of foods that unfortunately have some negative impacts on our health, especially when eaten in excess. What most people don’t realize is that a healthy diet is tied just as closely to WHAT we eat as it is to HOW MUCH we eat. Simply reducing portion sizes isn’t going to cut it.

This is where the low carb diet comes in. Going low carb isn’t simply about cutting out bread from your diet, but understanding very clearly where all carbs come from in our diet, and making sure that we are managing our carb intake along with maintaining a healthy lifestyle including exercise and other habits for general well-being.

Why Choose the Low Carb Lifestyle?

The number of carbs in the average North American diet is much higher than what is nutritionally required, and the impacts of this kind of diet has had some drastic impacts on the general health of people. Excessive carbohydrate intake has been linked quite clearly to weight gain, but carbs also affect blood sugar and insulin levels, cholesterol, uric acid levels, blood pressure, and more. Some people experience more significant effects than others, but the implications are not something anyone should ignore.

Now, this isn’t to say we need to have a knee-jerk reaction and say that all carbs are bad. Some carbs are actually essential to maintain a healthy body, and a balanced diet needs to have some carbohydrates in it. However, the key is understanding just how many carbs are in the food we eat, and what kind of carbs they are. This way, we can develop better eating habits and begin to make healthier food choices so our bodies are getting exactly what is needed, and not loading up too much on one thing or another.

Types of Carbs

There are three main categories of carbohydrates that we need to be aware of. Each one has different characteristics, and when you begin down the path to a low carb lifestyle, you’ll understand how to manage each one through smart food choices and carb counting techniques. Here are the three types of carbs:

Sugars – Also known as simple carbohydrates, sugars are found in an extremely wide variety of foods. Sugars can either be naturally occurring, such as the sugars you’ll find in fruits or dairy, or refined sugars that have been added to foods as part of a process. Simple sugars are easily broken down and digested by the body.

Starches – Another common name for starches is complex carbohydrates, and these are found most commonly in grains like wheat and in wheat products, vegetables like potatoes, and different types of beans. Complex carbohydrates are converted during digestion in to simple carbohydrates (sugars), and so these are typically absorbed more slowly in to the body.

Fibers – Although essential to having a healthy digestive system, most of the fiber we intake is actually indigestible by the human body. Nevertheless, it is a critical part of your digestive health, keeps the body regular, and also contributes to helping you feel full when you’ve eaten enough.

It’s important for beginners to the low carb diet to start paying closer attention to the nutrition labels of the foods they eat and taking note of the amount of these three carbohydrates. The amount of carbs you’ll find in some common products may surprise you, as there are often more than you’d expect. For example, most people would agree that fresh mangos or some ripe cherries would be a great healthy snack, but they are fruits that contain some of the highest counts of sugar, and so should be eaten on a low carb diet only in careful moderation.

Different Low Carb Diets

While we won’t go in to the detailed specifics of each type of diet plan here, and you should always consult your doctor before starting any new diet plan, there are several popular low carb diets that you may consider if you feel that this may be right for you.

Here are some of the common plans that low carb dieters are following:

The Atkins Diet – You’ve probably heard of this one. The most commonly known low carb diet, the Atkins Diet focuses on restricting carb intake and switching the body’s metabolism to burn more stored fat instead of glucose.

The Dukan Diet – This diet takes a slightly different approach and advises a more moderate approach to carb restrictions as well as moderation of fat intake. This diet consists of four phases to gradually adjust carb intake.

Dr. Poon’s Metabolic Diet – Focusing on low carb, low sodium, and moderate fat intake, this diet was created with the goal of achieving weight loss to ease the effects of medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol.

The G.I Diet – Also known as the Glycemic Index Diet, this diet categorizes carbs by how quickly they are digested by the body and how fast they increase blood glucose. It recommends which foods to reduce, or cut out entirely to achieve weight loss.

Check out our full list of different low carb diets here.

Success on the Low Carb Diet

Many people have achieved their health goals through a low carb diet. Whether for weight loss, easing the effects of diabetes, or combating high blood pressure, there are inspirational stories from around the globe that show the difference a low carb lifestyle can make. Simply check out our extensive collection of customer success stories for examples on what our very own customers have achieved with their diets.

If you think the low carb diet might be right for you, talk to your doctor and start taking steps down the path to a healthier and happier future.

We look forward to serving you soon!