All posts by Jeff Fidler

Ideas for a romantic valentines day, 2018 valentines day

11 Unique Ideas to Celebrate Valentine’s Day 2018

11 Unique Ideas to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

For 2018 – Valentine’s Day falls on Wednesday, February 14th.

Valentine’s Day is almost here, and you may have already started planning a special day to show your special someone just how much you care about them. For some of us, however, it can be a real struggle to come up with new ways to make Valentine’s Day exciting and special. Well, fear not! We’ve compiled a fantastic list of fun and unique ways to spend Valentine’s Day with your partner that they are sure to love! And if there’s one day when it’s ok to break your low carb diet, it’s Valentine’s Day.

Let’s get started with our list of 11 unique ideas you can use to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year.

#1 – Take Time Off

With Valentine’s Day falling mid-week this year, Wednesday, February 14th, one of the best ideas you can have would be planning to take time off work.  Spend some quality time together, even if it’s just the Wednesday. Time and attention is the most precious gift you can give to your partner, so plan a day excursion, and get out and do something you both love.

If you can afford to take more time off – and can manage the costs, one of the most exciting and romantic things you could do is take a trip somewhere you both love.  From pretty much every major city in Canada, Mexico makes for a relatively affordable locale, and let’s face it, who doesn’t want a break from the snow and cold by the middle of February?  Choose a nice, well-reviewed, romantic all-inclusive resort where you can relax, enjoy outdoor activities, great food, and down time together. Many resorts have special activities and meals planned for the day to help ensure you and your loved one enjoy the day.

Before you book anything, make sure your partner can take the time off – you don’t want to get stuck with a romantic trip that you can’t even use!

Spend the Day on the Slopes

If skiing or snowboarding is your favourite thing to do in the winter, then there’s no better way to spend a chilly Valentine’s Day than carving some tracks at the local ski hill. Of course, skiing and snowboarding may not be for everyone, so why not give snow tubing a try! Many snow resorts now offer snow tubing as an alternative way to enjoy the slopes, and it’s definitely a fun way to spend a day outside. Whatever you end up doing out on the snow, don’t forget to swing by the lodge bar afterwards for a proper après-ski beverage to warm up.

Road Trip to a New Restaurant

You may have tried every restaurant in your town, but that shouldn’t stop you from exploring something new this Valentine’s Day. Do some looking around on sites like Yelp, or ask for recommendations for unique and unusual restaurants in nearby towns that aren’t too far away. Go on a road trip with your honey, and enjoy a new dining experience in a nearby city. Earn some bonus points for romance if you take the scenic route or explore some touristy places you’ve never seen before. See where the road takes you, and don’t forget to keep track of your discoveries in a special journal just for compiling great restaurants. Any major bookstore will have fancy journals you can buy, and picking one out gives you one more thing you can do together to complete the trip.

Local Culture Experience

Every city has elements of local culture that many of us don’t take full advantage of. Perhaps it’s a local heritage museum, a downtown theater, or stand-up comedy place. Maybe you’ve got a local art gallery or nature preserve that you’ve always wanted to see. Take a look through some local travel guides and discover some interesting new places in your own backyard. Take the day to play tourist and explore your local area. Who knows, you may discover your new favourite spot to picnic, or learn a bit more about your town’s history.

Wine and Cheese Tasting

What would Valentine’s Day be without a glass of a nice vintage red wine? Well, take that to the next level with your very own wine and cheese tasting event. Go to your local gourmet cheese shop and find a selection of unusual cheeses to try. Pick a variety of types and styles so you get different taste experiences to match with some new wines. Pick a soft cheese like a double-crème brie, a firm cheese like a well-aged cheddar, and something bold like a fragrant blue cheese. Everyone’s tastes are different, so pick a couple of favourites and then mix in some new ones that you’ve never tried. Then do some quick research on sites like VinePair.com, which has a great guide to Pairing Wine and Cheese, and find a couple of bottles to sample with your cheeses. Finish the experience with a nice charcuterie plate of cured meats and some fresh fruit, and you’ve got a great way to spend Valentine’s Day.

Nostalgia-Filled Movie Night

Go back in time, WAY back, with a movie night dedicated to your favourite movies from ‘back in the day’. Pick a couple of movies from each of your childhoods, get cozy on the couch, and let the clock spin back. Complete the experience with some snacks and drinks that you used to enjoy as kids, and spend the night laughing and remembering those great moments from your youth. It’s a fun way to reconnect with a piece your own personal history and share it with your partner on the most romantic day of the year. Netflix has a massive selection of new and old movies to choose from, so start browsing!

Get Artistic with a Paint Night

You may not be the next Van Gogh or Jackson Pollack, but you’d be surprised at just how easy and fun it is to create your very own beautiful canvas painting. There are many art studios that offer casual paint classes for adults, as well as for kids, that are easy to follow and definitely a lot of fun. Some even offer special events for things like Valentine’s Day that include a glass of wine to go with your artistic experience, so check around your local area and see what you can discover. If there’s no studios nearby, don’t let that stop you. Swing by your local arts and crafts shop and pick up everything you and your Valentine need, from canvas to paints and brushes, and make your own studio at home. Just be sure to put down some drop cloths for those errant paint splatters!

Pajama and Board Games Day

Who says that Valentine’s needs to be expensive or complicated? This idea is for those of us who just need a lazy day to lounge around in comfy clothes and have some laughs. Get out your fuzziest pajamas, get a nice cup of coffee (maybe even Irish it up a bit), and break out all your classic board games for a day-long tournament! Although, we’d suggest keeping things light and avoid any of those complicated and overly-lengthy board games that can get frustrating the longer you play them. Card games, puzzles, goofy guessing games, and drawing games are all perfect, or you could go digital with your favourite multi-player video game. Whatever you choose, keep the pressure minimal and keep things fun!

Make the Ultimate Music Playlist

Music fans will love this idea! With all the digital music tools we have available, it’s easier than ever to discover all kinds of new music, or reconnect with the tunes from days gone by. Valentine’s Day is a perfect time to set up some great new music playlists that you can curate together with your partner. Maybe you go the obvious route and craft a collection of romantic songs, or maybe you go retro and pull together all your favourite tunes from high school. Check out historical music charts from your younger days to find all those songs you’ve forgotten about, and scan through the latest and greatest new music to uncover new artists from your favourite genres. We love to use Spotify as a place to discover all kinds of music, and organize our favourite tunes in to playlists that can easily be shared on many popular social networks. Check it out!

Explore the Stars and Tell their Stories

If you can manage it, and the skies are clear, take a drive to a secluded spot away from all the city lights and go stargazing with your partner. There are lots of cool astronomy apps you can download, like Planets for example (Download on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store). The Planets app uses the GPS and internet connection on your smartphone to display all the constellations visible in the sky in real-time. But don’t stop there! Once you find a few visible constellations, look up their ancient origin stories and learn about what their names mean. Orion the Hunter is an easy one to spot, as are Ursa Major and Ursa Minor (Big Dipper and Little Dipper), but see if you can also locate Cassiopeia or Draco, too. They really are beautiful to see once you know where to look, and even more interesting once you know their stories.

Valentine’s Day Recipe Challenge

Here’s where you can put your culinary skills to a very delicious test with your partner. Put forth a challenge to them that you each must make a dessert to share, and they have to be made from scratch. They take turns tasting, and see whose creation reigns supreme! There’s nothing wrong with a little friendly competition, and this is one way to have a lot of fun with it, too. If you’re looking for some help to get started, head on over to our article on Low Sugar and Sugar Free Desserts for some great tips and tricks as well as some amazing recipes to try.

Conclusion

We certainly hope that these ideas have given you some inspiration to try something new this year for Valentine’s Day. It’s always nice to take the time to show the love of our lives just how much we appreciate them, and finding new and exciting ways to express our love helps to keep the spark alive and well. It also happens to be a lot of fun, too, so get creative and enjoy this special time with your partner.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

keto dieting - BBQ'd steak

What is the Keto Diet? Explaining How It Works

What is the Keto Diet? Explaining How It Works

The ketogenic, or keto, diet is just a fancy way of saying ‘the low carb diet’, right? Wrong! Many people tend to get the two terms confused, or believe that they are simply interchangeable, but low carb and keto are definitely not the same thing. There is a lot to know about what a ketogenic diet really means, and what the differences are between a low carb diet and a true keto diet. In this article, we will dispel the myths and clear the air about the ketogenic diet to give you the solid facts about how it works. Here we go!

Low Carb Diet or Keto Diet?

The term ‘low carb diet’ doesn’t technically refer to any one particular method or set of rules to define what you eat and what you don’t, but rather is a broad generic term that describes several different diets that include an emphasis on reducing carbohydrate intake. It doesn’t necessarily dictate the other aspects of the diet, such as protein intake and other factors. It’s important to keep in mind that when you hear the term ‘low carb diet’, it’s probably being used in a general sense rather than referring to a specific set of dietary rules.

The ketogenic diet, on the other hand, is definitely low in carbs, but it has many other criteria that must be met in order to be defined as a true keto diet. So what are these other criteria that make a keto diet legit?

Defining the Ketogenic Diet

In its simplest terms, the ketogenic diet is a very low carb, high fat diet that is designed to change the body from relying on metabolizing glucose as its main source of energy, and shifts it to use ketones as a power source instead. This metabolic state is known as ‘ketosis’, and this is where the keto diet derives its name.

By its very definition, in order for a low carb diet to be considered a true ketogenic diet, it must result in the body achieving ketosis through a drastic reduction in carbohydrate intake.

Main Advantages of the Ketogenic Diet

The keto diet has many advantages, which is why it has gained such popularity. One of the main benefits, and a primary reason why any special diet is adopted, is the ability to achieve weight loss. The keto diet is an excellent way to lose weight and maintain a healthy BMI. One of the reasons the keto diet works so well at reducing weight is that the foods that are includes as part of the keto diet are very filling. This results in less hunger, less often. In fact, since high carb and sugary foods tend to have such high calorie counts, many keto dieters actually find they have more than enough ability to fill themselves up each day with the food choices they have available.

The keto diet is also effective at controlling blood sugar and insulin levels, making it a popular diet choice for managing diabetes, with many diabetics achieving even greater success with weight loss as a result. Studies have even shown that the keto diet can have such an impact on diabetes that some patients have reported less reliance on medication as a result.
(Reference: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16318637)

There are many other potential health benefits to adopting a ketogenic diet, including reducing risk of heart disease, epilepsy, and even acne. However, whatever your reasons may be for considering a ketogenic diet, it is critical that you consult with your doctor and health care professionals prior to adopting any new diet in order to make sure that it is right for you.

What Foods Fit the Ketogenic Diet?

The basis of a ketogenic diet is two main factors; low in carbs and high in fat. This means that there are several foods that should be avoided as part of a keto diet, and many others that should be focused on. While this is not an exhaustive list of everything that fits on either side, let’s take a look at some of these different types of foods.

Foods to Avoid on the Keto Diet

  • Sugars – Sugary foods like candy, sugary drinks and juices, desserts, etc.
  • Fruits – Most fruits contain more sugar than is allowed on the keto diet
  • Alcohol – Beer, coolers and sugary mixed drinks should be avoided
  • Grains – Starches and flour-based foods such as breads, cereals, and pasta

Foods to Eat on the Keto Diet

  • Meats and Proteins – Beef, pork (ham, bacon, etc), chicken and poultry, fish (salmon, tuna, etc), and eggs
  • Cheese and Dairy – Avoid milk, but cheese, butter, and cream are ok
  • Vegetables – Look for lots of greens, peppers, broccoli, zucchini, etc.
  • Nuts & seeds – Walnuts, almonds, peanuts, cashews, etc.

Sugars – Sweetening Things Up with Sweeteners

Ask anyone who’s been through a Keto diet and 98% will tell you that one of the most craved things at the beginning of the diet was sugar and sweets in general. We recommend that you plan for this and find a good sweetner in advance that you can use in your coffee or tea, and for baking your own homemade treats to have on hand during your diet.   Not all sweeteners are all made the same – many use artificial fillers which in addition to containing carbs, can also cause blood sugar spikes. Avoid sweeteners that contain things like maltodextrin, polydextrose, and/or dextrose.  We would suggest trying Erythritol or Stevia, as they are both naturally occurring, which won’t cause blood sugar spikes, taste really close to sugar, and work very well for baking.

Read Up Before You Begin

If you’re starting to think that the keto diet might be the right choice for you, the first thing you should do is consult your doctor for approval. If they give you the ok to proceed, along with some initial guidance, the next step is to dive in to reading as many trusted keto diet resources as possible. We specifically mention the word ‘trusted’, because like any other diet or healthy living change, there’s all kinds of varying opinions on the subject. Look for trusted resources such as authors, YouTubers, bloggers, and dieticians who have a solid following and positive reputation in the community. Weigh all the info you find in order to make informed decisions that are best for you. It’s a learning curve, for sure, but you’ll get in to the groove quickly if you stick to the proven essentials.

Read up on other people’s experiences so that you have some baseline of what to expect when you start out. Here’s a great story from Brigid at MindBodyGreen.com that details her experience on the keto diet, and how her expectations were a bit different from the reality. Everyone will approach it a bit differently, and that’s just the way it goes. No two people have the exact same lifestyle or dietary needs, but take what works from other peoples’ stories and work them in to a plan that helps you most.

Conclusion

Going keto is a big commitment, but the payoff can be even bigger if you do it right. The health benefits have been proven, and there are tons of resources available to help stay informed and learn the tricks of the trade to make going keto easier than it’s ever been. We certainly hope that you’ve found this article interesting. If you do decide to go keto, we wish you the best of luck with it, and know that we’re always here to help deliver great quality food products and helpful advice whenever you need it.

Shopping by Brand at The Low Carb Grocery

Shopping by Brand at The Low Carb Grocery

While you may likely be familiar with some of the biggest brand names in the world of low carb foods, you might be surprised to learn just how many fantastic products are available from a vast number of top-quality brands. It’s not always easy to sort through them all, and sometimes discovering the best new brands takes a bit of guidance and advice.

That’s why we’re here! In this article, we’ll explore the wide variety of brands available at The Low Carb Grocery, including some of the biggest brand names in the world, and the most popular specialty low carb brands that our customers simply rave about. Let’s get started by exploring the wide range of product categories that are available in the world of low carb food products.

Wide Variety of Product Categories

As we’ve discussed in our article, Low Carb Myths: Busted, there are many people who believe that going low carb is as simple as cutting bread out of your diet and going all-in on meats and vegetables. The reality is that the sources of carbs in our diets come not only from breads and grains, but also in the form of added sugar in many of the food products we buy. This is why you’ll find such a diverse array of product categories at The Low Carb Grocery. In addition to essential low carb products such as breads, noodles, and baking supplies, you’ll also find sauces, snacks, beverages, sweeteners, and sweet treats that are sure to keep the carb counts low.

To browse our entire selection of categories, click here. Once you enter a category page, you’ll easily be able to sort or filter by selecting a particular brand at the top of the page. Here’s an example, showing the brands selector for our Hot Cereals category:

brands-1

Simply by clicking on the logo of the brand you’re interested in at the top of the product list, the page will automatically filter the results for you, making it even easier to discover all kinds of great products from your favourite brands.

But that’s not the only way you can find brands at The Low Carb Grocery. You can check out our entire list of low carb brands sorted alphabetically here, and start checking out hundreds of great new products. It’s easy and fun to discover amazing and exciting new brands here at The Low Carb Grocery!

The Biggest Names in Low Carb Foods

The widespread popularity of the low carb lifestyle has made many low carb brands into common household names. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t recognize the name Atkins, for example. As the most well-known low carb brands in the world, Atkins has dozens of great products across categories like snacks, protein shakes, breakfast bars, and sweet treats, to name a few. You can browse our entire selection of Atkins products here.

Dukan Diet is also a very well-known brand to many, and we carry a wide range of their products for many different types of low carb meals, such as noodles, sauces, snacks, breakfasts, and more. Check out the full range of Dukan Diet products here.

In the world of low carb noodles, you’ll definitely recognize names such as Miracle Noodle, nuPasta, Al Dente, Dreamfields, and Fiber Gourmet, along with many more. These brands are renowned for their amazing low carb noodles, perfect for any Italian or Asian recipe. For our full selection of low carb noodles, click here.

Our Most Popular Specialty Brands

It’s not just the giant, international brands that you’ll find at The Low Carb Grocery, however. Some of our customers’ favourite brands are specialty brands that produce absolutely amazing foods that we’re confident that you’ll fall in love with, too.

For example, if you’re a big fan of southwest style foods and salsas of all kinds, then you’ve got to check out Desert Pepper. Their selection of salsa is sure to set your taste buds ablaze with amazing spicy flavours. Check out Desert Pepper here.

For cereal lovers, you’ll find a variety of extremely popular low carb cereal flavours from Nutritious Living. Their Hi-Lo cereal line gets stellar ratings from our customers, who love the taste and the great crunch that they want in a nice cold breakfast cereal. Give them a try by checking out the full selection of Hi-Lo cereals from Nutritious Living here.

Walden Farms is another name that you’ve just got to know if you’re on the low carb diet. They have a huge selection of products to choose from, including fruit and nut spreads, jellies, syrups, salad dressings, and more. Check out the full range of products from Walden Farms here.  If you want to learn more about Walden Farms and their history of low carb products, click here.

Special Deals on Great Low Carb Brands

If you’re interested in checking out the latest offers and special pricing on products from these brands, check out our Sales and Promotions page for what’s new this week. On this page, you can easily sort and filter the deals in several ways, including viewing products from specific brands.

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If you’re on the hunt for great prices on popular products from your favourite low carb brands, this is the place to go! Check out the latest special low carb deals here.

Conclusion

Well, as you can certainly see, there’s definitely no shortage of choices or options available to people living the low carb lifestyle. No matter what cuisine you prefer, or what your dietary needs might be, you can be sure that the top-quality brands you’ll find at The Low Carb Grocery will have whatever you may need. Our team is always available to help answer your questions, too. So, drop us a message online here, or pop in to any one of our locations in Canada and explore the wide world of low carb foods and all these great brands with us. We look forward to seeing you soon!

italian pasta

Tips & Tricks for Great Low Carb Italian Pasta

Tips and Tricks for Great Low Carb Italian Pasta

Low carbers know that pasta can be a bit of a minefield when it comes to hidden carbs. The noodles are an obvious source, but often carbs can lurk in other places, such as the sauce or other ingredients. Fortunately, there are plenty of options and alternatives available for low carb pasta lovers to use in their Italian pasta recipes so that they keep all the great taste they want, and cut out all the unnecessary carbs. In this article, we’ll run through different options for low carb noodles, as well as outline some of the key things to look for in sauces and recipes, and provide a few handy product recommendations that our customers just love.

Let’s get started by looking at the different kinds of low carb noodles you can choose from.

Choosing Great Low Carb Italian Style Noodles

For starters, normal Italian style pasta noodles are primarily made from regular wheat semolina flour, which contains a high number of carbs and will need to be swapped out for an alternative. If you are the kind of pasta chef who goes all-in and makes everything from scratch, you’re in luck! There are low carb pasta flours you can buy to make your own noodles at home. For example, this Low Carb Pasta Mix from LC Foods is simple to use and makes great noodles.

For pasta lovers who need an option that’s faster and easier than making their own noodles, there are plenty of amazing noodles of all styles to choose from. You can browse our entire selection of low carb Italian style pasta noodles here, but we’re also going to recommend some of our customers favourites.

If your pasta recipe calls for a short noodle, these low carb Rotini noodles from Fibre Gourmet are a great choice. Another option for short noodles are these low carb high protein Penne noodles from Ciao Carb. Both of these work really well in a wide variety of Italian pasta dishes, with a great taste and texture identical to pasta made from traditional ingredients.

For recipes calling for a longer noodle, there are plenty of choices available from top low carb brands. These Carba Nada Fettuccine noodles from Al Dente are low carb, high protein, and all delicious. Our customers rave about their great taste in all kinds of Italian pasta dishes. You can also select from low carb Spaghetti noodles from Fibre Gourment or even low carb Angel Hair noodles from nuPasta. No matter what kind of pasta dish you intend to make, you’ll be able to find a really good quality low carb noodle to suit it.

What to Know About Low Carb Pasta Sauces

Choosing a low carb pasta sauce can be a little trickier, since many store brand sauces contain added sugars that you’ll want to avoid. When looking for a tomato based sauce, make sure you check the ingredient and nutrition labels carefully, and be on guard against any added sugars. This is less of a concern with cream based sauces like Alfredo sauce, but it’s still best to be sure. For a great tasting tomato pasta sauce, we recommend trying this low carb organic Tomato Basil sauce from Organico Bello. For a delicious pasta Alfredo dish, this low carb Alfredo sauce mix from Mayacamas will definitely do the trick and keep the carb count low.

If you want to bring the carb counts down even further, consider making your own pasta sauce at home. The process is pretty simple for most sauces, and it’s always nice to have the ability to adjust the ingredients to suit your own personal preferences.

For a delicious homemade pesto sauce, give this Lemon and Basil pesto recipe a try from Melissa at IBreatheImHungry.com. In this recipe, the added zest of lemon gives it an unusual twist and a bit of extra flair. It’s definitely a winner!

If you’d like to craft your own homemade tomato pasta sauce, here’s a great Hearty Tomato Meat sauce recipe from Kyndra over at PeaceLoveandLowCarb.com. If you’re looking for your next favourite spaghetti recipe, this will be it for sure.

Low Carb Italian Pasta Meal Extras

For any pasta meal, it’s always nice to have a couple of extra things on hand to complete the experience. We always prefer to have some fresh parmesan cheese on hand to shred on top of our Italian pasta, just so everyone can add a bit more flavour as they like.

It’s also a nice touch to have some low carb Caesar salad as a starter, with the garlicky flavours of the dressing and the fresh crisp romaine lettuce acting as a great complement to a hearty Italian pasta meal. Here’s a great low carb Caesar salad dressing from Walden Farms that we’re sure you’ll love. Just don’t forget to use low carb bread to make your croutons! It can be easy to forget just how many carbs can hide away in little additions like that, so be vigilant even when it comes to salads and other extras to go with your low carb Italian pasta.

Conclusion

As you can see, making a delicious and healthy low carb pasta meal can be easy, and also a lot of fun! Once you start experimenting with different pasta combinations, and making your own sauces at home, you’ll get more enjoyment out of including pasta in your meal plan. One more thing, is that pasta is a meal that usually goes over as a hit with every member of the family, even the kids. This makes low carb pasta an easy and practical addition to the weekly meal plan for a busy family. So, we hope that these suggestions have inspired you to get out your pasta pot and start creating something yummy for your next meal plan. Happy eating!

great low carb sandwich ideas

Tips for Making Delicious Low Carb Sandwiches

Helpful Tips for Delicious Low Carb Sandwiches

It probably comes as no surprise that many low carb dieters shy away from sandwiches, simply due to the fact that their basic construction relies on some kind of bread product, whether it be regular sliced bread, a bagel, or some kind of wrap or tortilla shell. Nevertheless, low carb dieters can safely experiment with all kinds of sandwich recipes and still keep their carb counts low. All it takes is the right products, a few clever tips and tricks, and some creativity. In this article, we’ll give you all the advice you need to craft the perfect low carb sandwich, and become a true sandwich connoisseur. Let’s get right to it!

Start Your Sandwich with Great Low Carb Bread

The basic rule of any sandwich is that it always starts with some kind of bread. While some sandwich purists will tell you that this must mean two slices on either side of the main ingredients, it’s generally accepted that you can take any sandwich recipe and swap in a wrap or tortilla and it’ll still work just fine. With that in mind, we’re going to discuss a few different bread options including sliced breads, bagels, and wraps.

Sliced Low Carb Breads

The most traditional way to make a sandwich is to start with two slices of a loaf of bread. This could range from soft white bread, to flavourful whole wheat, or even a nice firm rye bread. There are all kinds of breads to choose from, and while most of them are completely interchangeable depending on your personal preference, there are a few classic recipes that call for a particular style of bread. For example, the world-renowned Reuben sandwich always calls for rye bread, and many fans agree that there’s no other way to truly enjoy it. Regardless of your personal preference, or what your specific sandwich recipe may call for, you can find delicious low carb versions of virtually any kinds of classic sliced bread.

For sliced bread, our customers simply love Dream Bread from Bakers Deluxe. You can find it in many varieties including plain white, rye with caraway seeds, superflax, and more. Check out the full selection of Dream Bread from Bakers Deluxe here.

Low Carb Bagels and Wraps

For those sandwich crafters who like to try something a little different, bagels or wraps are great options that add some variety to your sandwich creations. If you’re a fan of breakfast sandwiches, bagels are a tasty alternative to sliced breads, and come in several different flavours that add a bit more flair to your breakfast. We’re huge fans of Everything Dream Bagels from Bakers Deluxe. Alternatively, you could wrap up your sandwiches in a nice soft tortilla shell like these from Mama Lupe’s. Tortillas are fantastic for wrapping up the ingredients of your breakfast sandwich, or any other sandwich for that matter. Of course, if you’re making quesadillas, then a nice tortilla shell is essential.

Low Carb Sandwich Ingredients

Choosing great low carb sandwich ingredients is often really easy. For deli sandwiches, you can pretty much go with whatever meat you prefer. Roast beef, chicken, turkey, ham, pastrami, and many others are all fair game. Cheeses are also generally no problem for the low carb diet. The typical sandwich cheeses such as cheddar, swiss, mozzarella, and others are perfectly fine. Vegetable ingredients such as lettuce, spinach, onions, and others are all safe bets, too.

For some types of sandwiches, you’ll want to be sure to pick up low carb versions of their ingredients. One great example of this is the timeless peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Since normal peanut butter and jelly spreads are loaded with sugar, they need to be swapped for low carb alternatives. Fortunately, there are some great low carb spreads available to make your own, healthier version of peanut butter and jelly. For example, pick up a jar of Buff Bake Chocolate Chip Peanut Spread for a new twist on the classic PB+J. Pair it with our customers favourite Strawberry Spread from Walden Farms, and prepare yourself for an amazing sandwich experience!

Finally, it’s not unusual for carbs to hide in some common condiments that we sometimes like to include in our sandwiches. Many people enjoy the sweet taste of honey mustard on their sandwiches, but several popular supermarket brands contain added sugar. We suggest trying this Honey Mustard Mayo from Walden Farms, which combines two great sandwich condiments in one low carb spread. Whatever condiment you require for your sandwich, make sure you do a quick scan of the ingredient and nutrition labels to make sure you’re not adding more carbs than you’re expecting.

Low Carb Sandwich Recipe to Try – Classic Reuben

Since we mentioned it earlier in this article, we can’t stop craving a nice Reuben sandwich, so we’ve decided to share this great recipe we’ve found for a fantastic low carb Reuben. There’s something about the tangy flavour of the sauerkraut combined with the saltiness of the warm corned beef that just works. Although we still prefer to make it on top of a nice low carb rye bread, this recipe will still work amazingly well even if you decide to skip the bread entirely. Lori over at CrabbyHousewife.com put her own spin on the classic Reuben in this sandwich recipe, and we are sure you’ll love it, too. Give it a try today!

Conclusion

As you can see, getting in to the groove with low carb sandwiches is actually pretty easy. You can still make all the classics, such as PB+J, or get really creative and invent your own sandwich concoction that will become a legend in your neighbourhood. Whichever way you prefer to craft your sandwiches, making them the low carb way is simple, and with a few great products at your disposal we’re sure that you’ll be working some new creations in to your meal plans very soon. Happy eating!

low carb salad dressings

Guide to Delicious Low Carb Salads & Dressings

Guide to Delicious Low Carb Salads & Dressings

It should come as no surprise that salads play a very important role in the low carb diet. By their very nature, most salads are inherently low carb and therefore are a perfect fit for any low carb meal plan. However, as with anything else you eat as part of your diet, a few tips and some helpful advice will equip you with the knowledge you need to take your low carb salads to the next level. In this article, we’ll talk about how some salads can have carbs in unexpected places, as well as run through some of the top ingredients for great salads. Lastly, we’ll talk about some amazing salad dressings that our customers just love, and cap it all off with a fantastic low carb salad recipe that you’ll want to try today. Let’s get to it!

Hidden Carbs in Salads

While it may seem obvious that salads are low carb, what many don’t realize is that there are certain ingredients that can lurk in the mix that contain hidden carbs. If you’re not paying close enough attention to them, their carbs can really add up fast and set your diet progress back. Sometimes these carbs are easier to see, such as croutons or tortilla crisps. In other cases, carb counts can increase in more subtle ways, such as dried fruit such as raisins or cranberries that can raise sugar levels.

Other times, the kind of salad also dictate how high in carbs it can be. For example, even though coleslaw is virtually made entirely of cabbage, many common coleslaw dressings are loaded with added sugars. Pasta salad, potato salad, and many types of bean salad also lie on the higher end of the carb spectrum. While they certainly can be made in low-carb versions, they are not very common at restaurants or supermarkets. Be sure to keep this in mind when browsing the salad bar and making your choices.

Great Ingredients for Tasty Low Carb Salads

Now that you know some of the common things to watch out for when crafting a great low carb salad, let’s dive in to some of the best ingredients you can select from. Let’s start with the foundation of any salad and examine the most popular greens that are available.

Lettuce

While many salads call for the classic iceberg lettuce, it tends to lack some of the flair and flavour of some other lettuce varieties. Romaine lettuce is the standard for Caesar salads, and has a great crunch and slightly bitter taste that works well with all kinds of other salad types and dressings. Green leaf lettuce and red leaf lettuce are popular options for many garden and chef salad creations, since they have a nice, mild flavour and a bit more colour to add some visual appeal to salads.

Spinach and Other Greens

Lettuce isn’t the only option as a base for your salad. Spinach is an extremely popular option for many salad eaters since it’s got a different flavour than lettuce, and is packed with great vitamins and nutrients. For those of us who like a little of everything, a spring mix is a great option that combines multiple types of greens in one salad to provide a colourful and unique taste that’s different from a typical lettuce or spinach salad.

Meat and Proteins

For low carb dieters, loading up their salad with their favourite meat is a great way to turn a side salad in to a satisfying and filling meal. The most common choice here is grilled chicken. It’s a great source of protein that works well with virtually any salad dressing and combination of vegetables, and can be served on top of a salad either hot and fresh off the grill or cold from the refrigerator.

Steak salads are very popular, too. Many restaurants have a steak salad option on their menus, and will cook the steak to the doneness of your liking. Steak can also be served cold, if that is what you prefer, much in the same way that chicken can be used.

Seafood salads are increasing in popularity, which is great news for those of us who crave crab, shrimp, and lobster. Making a cold seafood salad is a great way to add variety to your salad selections, and keep things from getting too repetitive and boring.

Other Vegetables and Ingredients

Once you’ve picked your base ingredients, it’s time to get creative with all the other stuff you want to include. Making a low carb Caesar salad is pretty simple, since you just need to use a low carb crouton, like these amazing low carb garlic parmesan croutons from Harper and Annissa at SimlySoHealthy.com. These are low carb and keto, and they taste amazing with a great crunch. Finish you Caesar with some mushrooms, bacon bits, low carb Caesar dressing, and some shredded parmesan and you’re ready to go.

Chef or garden salads are even easier to create, since they can really include any combination of ingredients that you prefer. Red, yellow, and orange bell peppers are tasty ways to add a flash of colour to your salads. Radishes are popular, as is red onion and shredded carrot. You can always add a Greek taste twist to your salad by throwing in some olives and feta cheese. Fresh strawberries or raspberries are also a nice addition to garden salads, since they add a little sweetness in to the mix. Just be cautious not to go too wild with sugary fruits, since this is a way to increase the carb counts if you’re not paying close enough attention.

Low Carb and Sugar Free Dressings

Choosing a salad dressing to go with your creation can be easy, such as with a Caesar salad, but sometimes the massive variety of dressings you’ll find on an average grocery store shelf can be hard to choose from. Oil-based dressings or vinaigrettes are generally pretty safe options for most low carb diets, just be sure to check the label to make sure there aren’t any hidden carbs that you may have missed. Things start to get a little trickier when looking at creamier or sweeter dressings, since these can often contain a great deal of sugar.

Fortunately for low carb dieters, there are many amazing salad dressings to choose from that are specifically crafted to be low carb and sugar free. For example, Walden Farms has a great selection of salad dressings of all kinds that are healthy and delicious, and are a favourite choice among our customers. You can choose from such flavours as Bacon Ranch, Balsamic Vinaigrette, French, Italian, and more.

Browse the full range of Walden Farms salad dressings here.

Get Creative with Salads

Even though salads may seem boring at first, once you start to explore all the different options, try some new dressings, and experiment with some unusual ingredients, you’ll find that salads can really be a lot of fun. Making delicious and unusual salad creations can be an exciting part of your weekly meal plan, and since it’s so easy to customize your salad however you want, you’ll find that the whole family can get involved and have fun together. So, start experimenting with some new low carb salad ideas today, and enjoy!