All posts by Jeff Fidler

Weekly Menu Planning for Low Carb Eating

Low Carb Keto Friendly Meal Organization

Ideas to Make Low Carb Meal Preparation Easier

Make meal planning easier with these tips and tricks for keeping track of your low-carb high-fat diet.

Success with a low carb or ketogenic diet comes from a combination of discipline, patience, and organization. When you drastically change your macronutrient ratios (fats, carbs and proteins), planning can be an essential tool to help with your progress. Creating a meal plan for your low carb lifestyle is very simple, although it may take a while to get used to tracking your net carb and fat intake. However, like many goals, the more you practice the easier it gets.

In this article, we provide some tips for effective meal planning that will help you stay organized and motivated on your new diet. We have also included some simple recipes to help get you started.

Tracking Your Macronutrients

When creating a meal plan for a low carb diet, make sure you keep track of the macronutrients in each meal. This is what makes planning so great; given your desired macronutrient ratios, you can easily allocate them to the meals that make the most sense to you. For example, if you want to save your net carbs one day for a yummy dessert in the evening, then you can balance out the rest of your day with meals containing fewer net carbs. In short: a net carb count is a result of total carbs minus insoluble fibre (because insoluble fibre is not digested at all and is not recognized as a source of carbs or calories).

This is where apps and paying attention to nutrition labels and servings sizes becomes most useful. It may feel like obsessive behaviour at first, but soon you will become familiar with the net carb amounts in foods you commonly eat and be able to easily track your intake. Plus, you will see the benefits of paying close attention to your macronutrient levels which can help you make quicker progress on your diet. You will also learn a lot about different foods, and you might even be surprised to learn about the foods you were eating before!

Meal Planning

You can find several meal planning templates online, or you could even make your own using Google Sheets, or MS Excel and create a table with rows for each meal or snack and leave a small space under each row to track your fat, net carbs and protein. Each column in the table can represent a day of the week. We have created a simple template here that you can follow:

In this template, there are rows for you to jot down descriptions of each meal, as well as two snacks and even a dessert. Of course, you don’t need to use these extra rows if you don’t want to, but it’s nice to have the option to track everything in one place.

It is a good idea to keep your meal planner with you in your bag, notebook or on your phone, so you can easily update it throughout the day and check what you have planned. You could also place it in a highly visible area, such as on the refrigerator or somewhere else in the kitchen where you are likely to see it when preparing food. Having your macronutrient numbers visible to you throughout the day can remind you of your goals and keep you motivated to stay on track. Check out our Easy Guide to Counting Carbs for more information about tracking your macronutrients on a low carb diet.

Tips for Low Carb Meal Planning

Keeping things simple is key when you first start meal planning. This doesn’t mean that you have to eat boring meals or the same thing every day, but rather, don’t be over-ambitious during the first week and stick to recipes that you know are manageable for your lifestyle and budget. There are lots of great tips out there for how to save time and money with weekly meal preparation, and we’ve gathered a few of our favourite simplification techniques to share.

  • Check your pantry, refrigerator and freezer for ingredients you already have.

If this is your first-time meal planning, we don’t recommend immediately taking to the web for a million new recipes to try out. First, see what you already have on hand that is compliant with your diet. Tackling new recipes can be challenging and time consuming and may require a few extra trips to the grocery store throughout the week. Instead, use what you have and budget one or two new recipes each week to keep things simple and manageable.

  • Plan to use leftovers.

Leftovers are great for lunches and quick weeknight dinners, and they can save you a lot of time. You might even consider meal prepping large batches of food at the beginning of the week to help save even more time. You can cut and steam a bunch of vegetables, make large batches of low carb pasta or rice, hard boil eggs or cook a few extra portions of meat. This will make throwing lunches together a breeze and you can easily plan meals with these pre-prepared ingredients for the next few days.

  • Use seasonal ingredients or sale items.

If you prefer to plan your weekly meals before taking a trip to the grocery store, be sure to check out what’s in season or on sale that week. This can be an easy way to find inspiration, and it is a simple way to save money and get the freshest products of the season! Since these items will naturally change, following the seasons and weekly sales are great ways to change up your weekly meal plans without sacrificing a lot of extra time or effort for planning and thinking of new recipes.

  • Break out the measuring cups and kitchen scales.

One of the things that many low carb dieters find challenging when they first start out is portion sizes that are easy to track. It is easier with some foods, such pre-packaged products with servings sizes written on the labels, but things like raw fruits and vegetables and cuts of meat can be a bit more ambiguous. A simple way to make sure you are keeping track of portion sizes is to invest in a kitchen scale, especially if you plan to stay on a low carb or keto diet for the next few months or longer.

  • Incorporate some flexibility.

Creating a complete meal plan for the week ahead can definitely simplify your daily life, but sometimes you’ll find that the meal you planned out several days before doesn’t suit your mood when it finally comes time to make that meal. This is why incorporating a bit of flexibility into your meal plan can help things feel less rigid. One way to stay organized but still incorporate flexibility into your meal plan is to come up with a couple of backup meal ideas. We recommend adding an extra section on your meal plan to jot down these backup ideas. This way, when things don’t go as planned, you’ll still be prepared and able to stay on track.

  • Get creative and try new things!

If you are having trouble filling all the slots in your meal plan, it might be an indication that it’s time to try out some new recipes and get creative! There are lots of different things you can do to add a bit more variety to your low carb lifestyle and working in some exciting recipes to your weekly meal plans can help break up your routine and give you something to look forward to. Here are a couple ideas that you may want to try:

Explore the international foods aisle.

The world has so many amazing types of cuisine to choose from! By browsing your local grocery store’s international foods aisle, you can find flavourful seasonings, spices and ingredients that can help transform your routine dishes into something new and exciting. This is also a great way to expose your family to different cuisines and open the minds of picky eaters.

Let the kids plan a meal.

Feeding a family can get tough when there’s always someone who wants something different. Why not hand the reins over to the kids to pick a meal or two each week? Give them a few guidelines to follow and work together to either make the meal low carb compliant or make simple modifications for your portion of the meal. You might be surprised at what they’ll come up with and getting them more involved with healthy eating choices is always a good idea.

Follow these easy low carb recipes! 

Lastly, we put together a list of fun and simple recipes that you can either use as inspiration or add to your weekly meal plan ahead!

Don’t forget to browse our huge selection of low carb foods to find any missing ingredients you may need to make these delicious low carb meals.

Get Started Meal Planning Now!

We hope that this collection of tips, tricks and recipes has helped you kick off your low carb meal planning with a sense of ease and excitement!

Let us know about your experience or if you have any other tips to share with our community on Facebook and Instagram. We also love to stay connected with our Weekly Newsletters for updates on the latest products and special sales. And please leave us a Google Review with your Low Carb Grocery experiences!

Eating better foods for improved mental clarity & mood

How Food Influences Your Mood

Eating Better Foods Sharpens the Mind

Discover the ways that food has an impact on your mood and how changing your food choices can make you feel better.

In this article, we break down 8 ways that food affects your mood. This interesting connection between the mind and body is one to take seriously, as the food you eat can have serious impacts on how you feel day to day and in your life overall. If you don’t always feel your best, your diet could be the answer.

  1. Blood sugar levels are affected by the food you eat.

When you haven’t eaten for a while, or when your body is depleted of energy, your blood sugar levels will drop. This can also occur when you feed your body very high sugar foods, then experience an energy spike and crash that leads to feelings of exhaustion, irritability or tiredness. This occurs because chemicals such as glucose are produced when you consume high sugar, high glycemic foods. Glucose is energy that is burned very quickly by the body, so you experience a rush of energy and then a feeling of depletion shortly after (this could be 1-2 hours, depending on your body’s metabolic rate and what you ate).

  1. Food high in protein releases energy more slowly.

Proteins are made up of amino acids, which our body uses to construct its own proteins. These proteins are used to build and repair tissues as well as make enzymes, hormones, skin, bones, muscles – the list goes on!

Your brain also uses amino acids in the process of regulating your thoughts and feelings. Proteins are used to make certain brain chemicals that send messages to other parts of the body. For example, serotonin is produced when we consume an amino acid called L-tryptophan, which produces feelings of relaxation, happiness and helps regulate sleep, appetite, digestion, memory and sexual function. You can find L-tryptophan in foods such as chocolate, oats, dairy products, meat, fish, chickpeas, sesame, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, buckwheat and spirulina.

There are nine essential amino acids in total, which can be found in foods that contain all nine of them, called complete proteins, or from various sources. It is important to consume all essential amino acids from both plant and animal sources, and from these “complete” proteins such as eggs, tofu, meat, dairy, quinoa, hempseed and blue-green algae.

Protein also plays a role in controlling blood sugar levels, which further contributes to mood regulation.

  1. Eat the right fats.

Eating the right fats is very important to brain health. Healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids, can be used to help the brain function more efficiently. Think of them as the grease for a squeaky wheel. They are important for learning and memory, which is why omega-3 and DHA are especially recommended to pregnant women, infants, children and seniors for optimal brain health & development during these periods of life. Nonetheless, it is important to eat a diet rich in omega-3s to maintain your brain health and prevent a decline in function as you age. Getting into good routines as a younger adult is a great way to ensure healthy routines and habits as you age.

You also need to ensure that you are getting the right ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids in your diet. Unfortunately, the Western diet leans heavily on the omega-6 side of this ratio. We should ideally aim to have an omega-3 to omega-6 ratio of 1:10 or lower. Anything higher than this ratio can throw the body out of balance and increase the risk of disease including cardiovascular disease, cancer and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

Good sources of omega-3 rich foods are:

  • Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, oysters and anchovies
  • Olives
  • Flaxseed and flaxseed oil
  • Chia seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Avocados
  • Eggs
  • Soybean oil
  • Certain brands of eggs and dairy products
  1. Stay hydrated.

When you are dehydrated, you can begin to feel thirsty, tired, experience headaches or even “face restrictions” in the bathroom. It’s possible that these physical conditions can make you more irritable and prone to drastic mood swings, have little energy to put towards:  socializing, exercising and other productive tasks. Hydration is extremely important to the brain, which is made up of 75% water. Decline in hydration as small as even 2% can have negative effects on brain functions. Severe dehydration can cause symptoms such as confusion, drowsiness, memory loss and other symptoms that look like dementia.

Be especially diligent about hydration if you take diuretics (including coffee and tea) or laxatives, suffer from diabetes, experience high blood pressure or diarrhea, and if you follow a keto diet. In ketogenesis, you tend to hold on to less water (hence frequent urination) and lose electrolytes more easily, which means you must work extra hard to stay hydrated all day.

Water is always the best option for pure hydration, but you can also try drinking herbal teas, diluted iced or cold brew tea and fruit juices, or naturally flavoured tonic waters. Also check out these revolutionary new beverages from Farmaroot: Empower and Enlight are natural energy drinks that provide you with a full daily dose of ginseng extract for powerful rehydration and a caffeine- and sugar-free boost of energy.  Give our post on homemade sports recovery drinks a read if you’re into working out and are looking for healthy and natural options.

  1. Eat a variety of different coloured fruits and vegetables!

“Eat the rainbow!” is what they should say about fruits and vegetables, not Skittles, unfortunately.  Different coloured fruits and vegetables are indications of the presence of different vitamins and minerals. The fruits with the highest amounts of vitamins and minerals tend to be dark red or dark green in colour. You can also find different vitamins, such as vitamin C and antioxidant beta carotene, in bright orange, red and yellow-coloured fruits and vegetables. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables and keeping track of all the colours you’ve eaten that day is a great and easy reminder to yourself to get a range of nutrients from your diet.

Fruits and vegetables also contain high amounts of fibre, which can again help our bodies regulate blood sugar levels and move digestive processes along. This can elevate our overall mood and feelings throughout the day.

  1. Cut down on caffeine.

Having too much caffeine can make you feel anxious or depressed, disturb your sleep and produce withdrawal symptoms if you cut out all at once. All of these conditions can make your mood worsen and contribute to poor mental health. Remember that caffeine is in things like coffee and tea, but also chocolate, sodas and energy drinks. If you consume high amounts of caffeine during the day, you might want to consider eliminating caffeine all together or cutting it down to the equivalent of 1-2 cups of coffee (100 – 200mg) per day.

  1. Gut health is important.

Your gut is responsible for many aspects of your brain function and mood – hence the sayings “mind-body connection” and “gut feeling”. This is because the stomach and the brain transport a lot of chemicals between each other. This nutrient & brain connection is also what tells us when we’re hungry and full. That is why it is important to take care of your gut by consuming foods that promote growth of healthy and diverse gut microflora.

Gut-healthy foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, yogurt and kefir, fermented foods such as kimchi and sauerkraut, as well as probiotic supplements. Be sure to introduce these foods slowly to your diet, as it can take some time for changes in your gut to occur. The bacteria that currently exist in your gut may not be well suited for the new types of food you start feeding them right away. You can start by eliminating foods that especially upset the gut microflora such as processed foods, unhealthy fats and oils, high sugar foods, excessive amounts of alcohol and caffeine and not enough fibre from vegetables. Then, you can introduce more of these foods for optimal gut health.

  1. Understand food intolerances.

Some people can have subtle or chronic underlying food intolerances that either cause them to become sensitive to certain foods or have serious effects on their mental and physical health. If you suspect that you might be intolerant to something, most clinics will offer some kind of test for food intolerances. Mild intolerances can be treated through elimination of those foods in the diet, which can help relieve symptoms such as bloating, irritability, indigestion and headaches.

Our bonus tip is to be patient. If you make any new changes to your diet, understand that it may take time for you to start feeling the mental and physical health benefits, but please don’t give up! Results tend to lie in consistency and if you notice after a while that you still don’t feel your best, see what other small changes you can make until you have reached your desired goals!

Stay Connected

We hope that you learned something and enjoyed reading this article. If you would like to share your thoughts or experiences, head over to our Facebook and Instagram pages. We also love to read our reviews on Google, so if you enjoyed an experience you had with The Low Carb Grocery, please take a minute to let us know here!

Also, consider subscribing to our Weekly Newsletters for updates on the latest products and special sales!

Eating Keto & Low Carb Foods

Top Ten Tips for Eating Healthy

Ten (Easy) Methods You Can Eat Healthier

No matter what kind of diet you follow, these tips will help you eat healthier and get the most nutrition out of your food!

Eating healthy can feel like a challenge sometimes, with the stresses of school, work, family and the pressure to lose weight (imposed by ourselves, or society) holding us back from giving more attention and care to our diet. Focusing on how you feel instead of how you look is one of the keys to healthy eating. Another important thing to focus on is getting more nutrition out of your food – that is, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that help your body perform, heal and grow.

You may not realize it, but the way you currently cook and prepare your meals might not be extracting the most potential out of your food – or, you could even be damaging the nutritional quality of your food. You may also be missing out on the right amounts of essential nutrients such as fibre and healthy fats that can help with weight loss, blood sugar control and healthy digestion. This article will explain 10 ways you can start eating healthier and feeling better to support your overall well-being and weight loss goals!

  1. Use Vegetables as a Base for Your Meals

The Western diet often focuses meals around some kind of protein, such as chicken, beef or pork. However, meat doesn’t provide everything our body needs to function and this often means that healthy fats, fruits and vegetables take a backseat. For a well-balanced meal, you should aim to have at least half of your plate consist of vegetables. Vegetables are a source of dietary fibre; they are important for healthy digestion, blood sugar control and helping you feel fuller longer. They are also a rich source of essential nutrients and vitamins that help improve bodily functions, slow aging processes, improve your skin and nails and prevent certain diseases.

Vegetables are also a great way to replace refined carbohydrates in your meals, especially if you follow a carb restricted diet. Check out our articles about Low Carb Potato Substitutes and Keto Pasta Substitutions.

Here are some more ideas for how to base your meals around vegetables:

  • Miracle Noodle is a low carb substitute for pasta noodles made from the root of the konjac plant, which has high fibre and water content with few calories and net carbs.
  • Ground or mashed cauliflower can be made with a food processor or bought pre-riced.
  • Kelp noodles are the richest natural source of iodine and are high in other vitamins and minerals, plus they are low in calories and carbs.
  • Spaghetti squash is a low carb root vegetable that resembles spaghetti noodles once cooked.
  • Zucchini, onions, fennel, turnip, kohlrabi, beets and carrots can be made into “noodles” with a kitchen spiralizer.
  1. Add Flaxseed to Your Meals for a Boost of Fibre

Fibre is important to have with every meal to ensure proper digestion and cease feelings of hunger. While vegetables are great sources of both soluble and insoluble fibre, sometimes they are not the best pairing with every meal. It can be easier to add other forms of fibre, such as ground flaxseed, to things like smoothies, cereals, yogurt and home-baked goods. Flaxseed is also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which support heart health and brain function.

It is important to buy ground flaxseed or grind it yourself at home. Breaking down the seed’s protective outer shell makes it easier for our bodies to digest and extract nutrients. Anthony’s Organic Flaxseed Meal comes in a convenient resealable bag which is perfect if you don’t have a food processor or blender to grind your own flaxseed.

Some other natural fibre supplements you can look for include ground chia seeds, psyllium husk powder and oat fibre.

  1. Let Your Vegetables Sit After Cutting Them

This seems like a strange tip, but letting your vegetables sit after cutting them can allow certain enzymes to activate which help convert nutrients into a more usable form. It is a good idea to leave your cut vegetables out for 10-15 minutes before cooking them. You might be thinking that this sounds like a lot of extra prep time for cooking, but you can simply chop your veggies first and prepare the rest of your meal while they sit. Some vegetables that really benefit from this technique are broccoli, onion, garlic and kale.

  1. Eat Vitamin C-Rich Foods Along with Iron-Rich Foods

Another way to enhance the nutritional value of certain vegetables, especially those high in iron (think dark leafy vegetables), is to eat them along with a source of vitamin C such as a squeeze of lemon juice or other citrus fruits. Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron more efficiently, and iron is essential for several important processes in the body including the transportation of oxygen through the blood. This is a great healthy eating tip that is not only easy but also improves the taste of your food! The acidity from citrus fruits can brighten and balance a dish without the use of high carb, high calorie sauces and dressings.

  1. Eat Enough Good Quality Fats

Fat helps with absorption of many fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K, that your body needs to carry out essential functions. Whether you are on a ketogenic diet or not, it is important to ensure you are eating enough fats from good quality sources. Plant-based sources of unsaturated fats are some of the best options. These include avocados, nuts, seeds, coconut and olive oil. Fatty fish and eggs also provide different kinds of healthy fats that are essential to the body. Consuming fats from these sources will improve your hormone health, skin, brain function and balance blood sugar levels throughout the day.

  1. Have Balanced Meals and Snacks

Make sure your meals and snack foods consist of fats, fibre and protein. Having a balance of these different macronutrients will not only increase satisfaction with your meal, but also ensure that you are getting the variety of nutrients that your body needs. This will also help control blood sugar levels as imbalanced meals that are heavy on carbohydrates and low in fat & fibre will destabilize blood sugar.

  1. Smoothies!

If eating healthy feels like a challenge for you, smoothies are a quick and easy way to make sure you are getting enough nutrients in your diet. You can pack them full of different fruits, vegetables, fibre, protein (whey or vegan) and healthy fats. Blending also makes smoothies easy on your digestive system and can be especially great in the morning for a light and nutritious start to the day.

Some superfood additions to your smoothies could include hemp seeds, chia seed, flaxseed, algae and seaweed powder and high antioxidant berries (such as blueberry, blackberry, cranberry, acai and aronia berry). Nut butters and avocados can make your smoothies thicker and more filling. Frozen vegetables such as cauliflower and zucchini are also great low carb additions that you can use instead of ice cubes to really pack the nutrients into your smoothie.

  1. Cook with Good Quality Oils

Good quality oils are an extremely important part of cooking. Choose oils that are stable at high temperatures (often solid at room temperature) and don’t have a high omega-6 to omega-3 ratio (over 10:1). Stable oils won’t produce toxins when heated at high temperatures that can potentially increase your risk of certain diseases. They usually contain more monounsaturated fats, which are one of the healthiest kind of fats to consume. Plus, they won’t produce a bitter or unpleasant taste when cooked.

Some great cooking oils include:

  • Coconut oil (which also has many other uses for home and beauty!)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Ghee
  • Avocado oil

It is best to avoid any oils labeled as “hydrogenated” or “partially-hydrogenated” as these are stripped of their original nutrients, high in trans fats and can raise levels of bad LDL cholesterol. Oils higher in polyunsaturated fats such as sunflower, safflower and flax oils are also better used in dressings rather than cooking.

  1. Steam Veggies Instead of Cooking Them in Oil

Steaming is a quick and easy way to cook your vegetables that preserves more of their natural colour, flavour and nutrients compared to cooking them in oil. Simply add a splash of broth or water to a hot pan with your veggies and watch as the colours intensify and the vegetables soften. Steaming can also help you control your intake of fats more easily as it can sometimes be hard to keep track of how many calories and fat are added to a meal when using cooking oils.

  1. Chew Your Food! 

Our last tip is the simplest one yet of the most effective ways to improve your digestion and nutrient absorption from your food! Chewing your food helps break it down into smaller, more easily digestible pieces. It also increases the surface area of the food in your mouth, which allows enzymes in your saliva and stomach to help break it down and extract nutrients. So, next time you sit down for a meal remember to chew and eat mindfully!

Enjoy Low Carb Foods

If you enjoyed learning about these 10 ways to eat healthier, or have any other tips of your own to share with our community on how you cook and eat low carb foods, head over to our Facebook page or tag us on Instagram!

You’ll find the best selection of low carb foods at the Low Carb Grocery, so be sure to look around and see some of the unique products we carry.  And don’t forget to leave us a Google Review with your Low Carb Grocery experiences after you’ve received your order!

lunch ideas the low carb way

Great Low Carb Lunch Ideas

Easy Low Carb Lunch Ideas

Hearty and healthy low carb lunches that are easy to make and will satisfy your hunger!

Lunch can be a tricky meal to get right. It is easy to grab the quickest, cheapest or most appetizing meal from a limited set of options, or simply skip it altogether. But it is important to fuel your body with the right nutrients, even when it seems inconvenient. A healthy lunch can give you enough energy to power through the rest of your day and help prevent you from making hasty decisions around dinner. Lunchtime is also a great opportunity to take a moment to pause your busy day, recharge and relax. Your diet is just as important as your mental health when it comes to your overall wellbeing.

Making healthy lunches takes some forethought and planning. Luckily, we are here to offer inspired low carb lunch ideas that are simple, tasty and will help you stay on track of your diet! The purpose of this article is to encourage you to rethink your lunches if they tend to be scant, and come up with a simple meal plan for the coming week that feels manageable to you. Once you decide which recipes work for you, be sure to browse all our low carb foods to find the ingredients you will need!

The Ideal Low Carb Lunch

Like the rest of your diet, your lunch should consist of the same macronutrient ratios that you have committed to. This should include a focus towards healthy fats such as avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, eggs, nuts and seeds, fatty fish and full fat dairy products. You should also aim to include enough fibre from low carb vegetables. Fibre is important for stabilizing blood sugar and it can help you feel fuller longer, so you can remain focused in the afternoon and stay satiated until dinner time. Lastly, be sure to include a moderate amount of protein at lunch to also help ward off hunger. Try to choose clean sources of protein such as grass fed and pasture-raised meat, dairy and eggs, as well as nuts and seeds or tofu.

Low Carb Lunch Recipes

Below you will find a number of recipes that we recommend for an ideal low carb lunch, which are easy to prepare and taste great!

Spaghetti Squash Bowls

Spaghetti squash is low in carbohydrates and super easy to prepare the night before. Simply cut the squash in half, drizzle with olive oil and seasoning and roast in the oven with the cut side facing down for 45-60 minutes. Then, you can fill the centre with sauces and toppings of your choice! The best part is the squash serves as a vessel for your meal, which you can fit in a reusable container and heat up at lunch time.

Here are some topping ideas for your spaghetti squash bowls:

Cobb Salad

Cobb salad is a great lunch option for low carb and keto dieters. This hearty salad is filled with rich ingredients that satisfy hunger and give you a midday boost of energy!

The traditional cobb salad calls for lettuce, tomatoes, cooked chicken, hard-boiled eggs, avocado and bacon. It is usually served with a red wine vinaigrette and crumbled blue cheese. You can browse our selection of low carb salad dressings, or make your own by following these instructions:

Whisk together the following ingredients in a mixing bowl, or use a mason jar and shake to combine:

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Also check out this article for how to prepare a classic Cobb salad. There are tips for how to make this salad in advance to keep it fresh to ensure the lettuce doesn’t get soggy.

Lettuce Wraps

Lettuce wraps take the carbs out of this classic lunch item – plus, they are fun to build and easy to customize to your liking!

Check out this comprehensive guide to keto-friendly lettuce wraps! It teaches you how to make and fold lettuce wraps perfectly, and provides recipes for different fillings such as avocado chicken salad, tuna egg salad, and easy Mexican-style carne asada. The possibilities are endless with this versatile lunch option! When you’re in a rush you can simply fill your wraps with deli meats, cheese, hard boiled eggs and raw veggies. If you are feeling more adventurous or have leftovers from the night before, you can amp up the flavour with any of these delicious recipes.

The Low Carb Grocery also carries low carb wrap and tortilla alternatives to traditional wheat varieties if you want something more substantial than lettuce. Many of our options are gluten free and high in fibre, which can keep you feeling full and energized throughout the afternoon. Browse our full selection here!


Soups are a great light lunch option if you’re not one to typically eat a big meal in the middle of the day. Plus, you can make a large batch over the weekend and store the leftovers in your fridge for the next few days. Simply heat up a bowl at lunch time and enjoy a warm and comforting meal – especially good for cold or rainy days!

Soups tend to be low in carbs since the base is a healthy and nutritious broth, which you can either make at home or easily find inexpensive options at the store. Bone broth is known for its extensive health benefits including a rich nutrient profile and the ability to improve joint health, reduce inflammation, support weight loss and heal the gut.

Check out these recipes for homemade soups that you can easily make, even if you’re a first-timer:

Also browse our selection of low carb buns, great for dipping in hot and yummy soup!

Bento Box-Style Lunches

Bento box lunches are great if you prefer to snack throughout the day or like to include a variety of food in your meals. You can purchase lunch containers that are divided into separate compartments and easily fill them the night before or in the morning.

Here are some low carb options that you could fill your bento box with:

  • Raw fruits and vegetables. Berries are low in carbs and vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, bell peppers, greens, tomatoes, and celery are all great choices.
  • Healthy fats such as avocado, olives, hard-boiled eggs, raw nuts and seeds and cheese.
  • Proteins such as cooked chicken or beef, deli meat slices, jerky, tuna, smoked salmon or hard-boiled eggs.

We also found some bite-sized low carb recipes that would fit perfectly into a bento box-style lunch container:

Check out this bento box guide for more great ideas and inspiration!


We couldn’t forget about the most classic lunchtime meal of all – sandwiches! These don’t have to be ruled out on a low carb or keto diet because there are several low carb breads, pitas and wraps to choose from to make your favourite sandwiches compliant with your diet. Check out some of our favourite low carb bread alternatives:

  • Unbun Keto Mini Baguettes packed with nutrients from almond flour, egg whites, flaxseed and coconut flour. Also available in a plant-based version!
  • Nuco Coconut Wraps made entirely from organic coconuts that provide essential nutrients and fibre. Available in Original, Moringa, Turmeric and Cinnamon flavours.
  • Bakers Deluxe Dream Bread that offers 14g of protein, 16g of fibre and just 2g net carbs per 2 slices! Available in Plain, Pumpernickel and Rye.
  • Slice of Life Carb Wise Bread loaded with the natural goodness of flax and pumpkin seeds to add extra nutritional value to your sandwiches. Available in Plain and Cinnamon Raisin.

Get Prepping!

We hope you found some lunch inspiration from this article and have spotted at least one recipe that you are excited to try! We also encourage you to take the foods you love and add a low carb twist with the wide selection of low carb products and alternatives that we offer.

If you try any of these recipes, please don’t forget to leave us a comment on Facebook or tag us on Instagram. We also love to stay connected with our Weekly Newsletters for updates on our latest products and sales! And please leave us a Google Review with your Low Carb Grocery experiences!

healthy breakfast foods

Low Carb Breakfast Foods

Healthy Low Carb Breakfasts

Explore the healthiest low carb breakfast options to start your day off right!

Despite the importance of breakfast, many people start their day with high carb foods such as bagels, toast, cereal and pancakes that lack important nutrients. What you feed your body after a long night’s rest can have a significant impact on your weight loss goals and your overall health. In this article, we will outline the importance of breakfast and how you can upgrade the first meal of your day for optimal health.

Breakfast literally means to “break” your “fast.” While you sleep, you stop eating and your body is able to heal and repair itself. It uses energy that is normally taken up by digestive processes to carry out a number of important and restorative functions. Whether you eat first thing in the morning, or follow an intermittent fasting schedule, the first thing you put in your body after fasting has a big effect on your mood, hormones, gut health, hunger levels and energy levels throughout the rest of your day. Read our Guide to Intermittent Fasting if you want to learn more about intermittent fasting and its health benefits.

Below, we cover the good and bad when it comes to what you should eat to break your fast. We also have tips, recipes and our favourite breakfast products carried at The Low Carb Grocery.

Foods to Avoid at Breakfast

The traditional Western diet often includes a breakfast of high carb, sugary, processed foods that can sabotage your health and your day ahead. Some of the worst culprits are described below.

Low Fibre Cereals

These cereals are often made from simple carbs (refined wheat products) and loaded with sugar, which can cause your blood sugar levels to spike early in the day and leave you feeling tired and peckish by mid-morning!

Instead, look for cereals that contain at least 5g of fibre per serving and low amounts of sugar. Fibre helps to stabilize blood sugar levels which can keep you feel energized and ready to power through the morning. You can also add fresh berries, nuts and seeds (for an extra boost of fibre), protein, and healthy fats for a well-rounded meal.

Check out some of our favourite low carb breakfast cereals below:

Bagels and Toast

These high carb foods again often lack in fibre and consuming them first thing in the morning can cause blood sugar levels to spike. However, many people have a hard time letting go of these foods because they are so comforting and delicious! Opt for healthier alternatives that are high in fibre, protein and contain other added nutrients. The Low Carb Grocery carries a number of low carb bread and bagel replacements.

Some healthy bagel and toast toppings might include:

  • Tofu cream cheese, a great alternative to regular cream cheese which doesn’t have much protein and can contain added sugars. Tofu is a complete protein, meaning it contains all essential fatty acids. Check out a recipe for Herb & Garlic Tofu Cream Cheese here!
  • Nut butter and fruit.
  • Cheese and pesto or red pepper jelly.
  • Hummus, tomatoes and herbs.
  • Mashed avocado and egg.

Pancakes and Waffles

These beloved weekend breakfasts are unfortunately some of the worst things to feed your body for the first meal of the day. Besides the batter, which usually contains simple carbs and sugar, the loads of syrup and other unhealthy toppings can really wreak havoc on your gut!

Luckily, pancakes and waffles are pretty versatile and customizable. Replace wheat flour with a healthier, fibre-rich alternative such as nut flours, flaxseed meal or coconut flour. You can sweeten them with a mashed banana, natural sweeteners, or save the sweetness for the syrup. For low carb pancake lovers, Lakanto Maple-Flavoured Syrup is a heaven-sent alternative to high sugar, processed pancake syrups. It is zero calorie and zero glycemic.

Check out HoldTheCarbs pancake and waffle mixes made from almond and coconut flour – they are a great low carb, high protein alternative to traditional batters. The Low Carb Grocery carries these great low carb pancake and waffle mixes worth trying out!

Bacon and Sausages

Processed meat products such as bacon and sausages are usually made with low quality meat and contain harmful preservatives such as nitrates. Although they are often synonymous with the keto diet, be sure to limit your intake of these foods and opt for grass-fed and pasture raised meats instead.

Granola Bars

Granola bars are usually the quick grab-and-go solutions for busy mornings. But, a lot of them don’t offer much in terms of nutritional value and can contain sugars and other additives. Be picky about your bars – remember they’re replacing an entire meal so make sure they live up to the standards of a healthy breakfast!

Some great options for healthy bars include:

  • Love Good Fats Keto-Friendly Bars. These are made from plant-based healthy fats and also contain a good amount of protein. Available in a variety of crave-worthy and satisfying flavours!
  • Good To Go Snack Bars are keto-friendly and free from allergens including gluten and peanuts. They are high in fibre, protein and healthy fats from plant-based sources. Plus, they taste absolutely delicious!
  • Dang Foods Bars are made to share culture for a healthier, and more flavourful world. These bars were designed for the keto diet and made entirely from plant-based ingredients. Plus, they contain 9-10g of protein per bar for a great start to your morning!

Breakfast Foods that Promote Health

Besides the alternatives to common breakfast foods listed above, there are some other foods you might want to consider adding to your morning meal. These foods will promote elevated moods, stable and healthy hormone levels, optimal gut health, manageable hunger levels and sustained energy throughout the day.

The best foods to eat first thing in the morning or after a longer period of fasting are whole foods that are easily digestible and high in fibre and other nutrients. These include:

  • Raw fruits and vegetables (juices too, but they contain less fibre).
  • Steamed vegetables for easier digestion.
  • Leafy greens.
  • Healthy fats such as avocado, olive oil and coconut oil.
  • Bone broth.
  • Fermented foods such as unsweetened yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut and kimchi.

The following foods are a little bit tougher to digest and might be best suited for a second meal, but they are still great sources of nutrients for your day ahead:

  • Eggs (pasture-raised are the best quality).
  • Nuts and seeds such as chia, hemp, flax and almonds.
  • Grass-fed or pasture-raised meat.
  • Wild-caught fish.
  • Tofu .

You can try starting with a small medley of vegetables or fruits and then having a larger meal a couple of hours later. This strategy can help kickstart your digestion and metabolism after longer periods of fasting while still providing you with all the nutrients and satiated feelings you’ll need to take on the day!

Healthy Recipes to Break a Fast

If the list of foods above seems daunting – don’t worry! We’ve gathered a list of healthy recipes that you can try out to break your fast.


Omelettes are a great way to load up on veggies and leafy greens, plus eggs are packed with protein, vitamins and minerals! Try this recipe for a Mexican Omelette for a little extra flavour and heat, or go for a classic veggie omelet loaded with healthy fats like this one!


Smoothies are very easy on your digestion, since the blender does most of the work! You can add in leafy greens, raw fruit and probiotic yogurt. Add protein from nut butter or your favourite protein powder for a well-balanced, nutrient-packed smoothie.

Breakfast Salads

While salad may not be the first thing on your mind when you wake up, try doing this for a few days and see if you notice a difference in your digestion, energy and mood. You can start with a small salad and enjoy a larger meal 1-2 hours later to allow some time for your body to digest all the fibrous goodness! Check out this guide to making keto-friendly breakfast salads that features some great recipe inspiration!

Other Tips for Breakfast

  1. Plan meals ahead. This can save time and help reduce the number of decisions you have to make in the morning. You can prep meals in bulk, such as steaming a bunch of vegetables and saving the remains in the fridge or freezer for later.
  2. Listen to your body. Try out different meals and observe what seems to work best for you. Monitor your overall feelings, mood, hunger levels and energy levels.
  3. Go easy on the caffeine in the morning. Matcha, tea and ginseng are better alternatives to coffee as they contain less caffeine and can provide more sustained levels of energy throughout the morning. Check out these very exciting products by Farmaroot Ginseng Natural Energy Drinks! These all-natural, keto-friendly beverages harness the power of adaptogenic ginseng root that helps to repair, energize and sustain the body while you go about your day.

Explore Low Carb Breakfast Foods 

If you liked this article, learned something new, or found some inspiration for your next healthy breakfast meal, let us know on Facebook or tag us on Instagram.

We also love to stay connected with our Weekly Newsletters for updates on the latest products and special sales. And don’t miss leaving a Google Review with your Low Carb Grocery experiences!

Healthy meal tips & ideas for the family

Low Carb & Keto Friendly Meals & Recipe Ideas

Family Meal Foods. The Low Carb

Discover how to stay on track of your diet when planning weekly meals and how to make low carb dishes that the whole family will love!

Getting your family to eat healthy can be tough. Between work and home life, making healthy meal choices not only for yourself but also for your family members can seem like a lot of extra work. But eating healthy does not have to be difficult. It will take a little bit of thought and planning ahead, but you can easily create a healthy meal schedule that works for you and your family. You can always make low carb modifications to familiar recipes for yourself by substituting the carbs for some of our low carb bread, pasta, rice and other alternatives.

It is important to understand that children have different dietary requirements from adults, so speak with a health care provider before cutting carbs from your family’s diet. That said, meals that are focused around a variety of fruits, vegetables and healthy sources of proteins and fats can still be a great addition to your weekly meal plan. Most Western diets involve an imbalance of macronutrients, placing more emphasis on carbohydrates than protein and fibre. Health professionals often recommend that half of your plate should consist of fresh fruits and vegetables, one quarter protein and one quarter carbs (if you are not following a diet that specifies otherwise). This balance is important to keep in mind for growing children and maintaining optimal health later in life.

To help you out with planning family meals, we have put together some low carb meal ideas that children, teenagers and adults will love. There is a variety of flavours and ingredients to choose from, so you can please even the pickiest of eaters.

Low Carb Breakfasts

HoldTheCarbs Baking Mixes

If your family enjoys pancake or waffle breakfasts on the weekends, try switching out your usual high-carb pancake mixes for HoldTheCarbs Pancake Mixes – easy to prepare, low in carbs and deliciously satisfying! These high protein, high fibre pancake mixes are made with almonds, organic coconut and whey protein, providing approximately 4g of protein and 2g of fibre per pancake! Plus, they are sweetened with Stevia, meaning that they won’t cause crazy sugar rushes early on a Sunday morning. Also check out these sugar-free syrups, such as Lakanto Maple Flavoured Sugar-Free Syrup for a delicious, guilt-free topping!

Low Carb Granolas

Granola is a healthier alternative to high carb, high sugar, processed cereals that we so often find ourselves buying to make mornings a little easier. But these cereals are poor sources of nutrition and energy to fuel your family’s day. Granola containing raw nuts, seeds, dried fruit and other sources of fibre are a better way to support your family’s health. There are a number of tasty low carb, high protein and high fibre cereals and granolas available at The Low Carb Grocery that taste great with dairy or plant milk, over yogurt or eaten as trail mix. Check out some of our favourites below:

Low Carb Protein Bars

On busy mornings, protein bars can be a real time saver. You can also make a large batch of your own bars for the entire week to make mornings even more of a breeze. Protein bars are a great snack to pack in your kids’ lunches or when you’re on the go, too. Check out these recipes below for low carb and keto-friendly protein bars:

Most protein bars have a base of protein or collagen powder, almond flour, raw nuts, seeds or nut butter, and low carb and sugar-free flavourings such as cocoa powder or sugar-free chocolate chips. The Low Carb Grocery carries all of these items and more! Check out our low carb baking ingredients and get inspired to come up with your own recipes for healthy protein bars that your family will enjoy.

Low Carb Lunches

Low Carb Sandwiches & Wraps

Sandwiches are easy to put together and the result is always a crowd-pleaser! Browse through The Low Carb Grocery’s selection of low carb bread, buns and wraps for low carb modifications to your family’s favourite sandwiches.

Here are some recipes we found online to give you some inspiration, too:

Low Carb Pizza

Pizza is a fun and simple meal to make for kids (plus, it can be quite enjoyable for adults, too!). The Low Carb Grocery offers low carb pizza crusts that can help you minimize carbs and serve your family a healthier alternative to this indulgent favourite. HoldTheCarbs also carries a line of low carb, high protein pizza crust mixes which are simple to prepare! Just add water and eggs and bake the crust for 20 minutes. This can be a fun family activity on weekends and get your children involved with making healthy meal choices.

Low Carb Salads

Great-tasting salads are the perfect way to get your family to eat their daily servings of veggies. Ditch boring garden salads and try out some of these low carb salad recipes, using low carb vegetables that are still high in fibre and nutrients! You can also serve these salads as side dishes with dinner or keep leftovers in the fridge to have as a healthy snack later in the week.

You can also check out The Low Carb Grocery’s selection of zero calorie, low calorie and low carb salad dressings to add new flavours to your go-to salad recipes.

Low Carb Dinners

Rice-Based Dishes

Rice is a staple ingredient for many dishes, such as stir fries, curries, pilafs, burritos and vegetarian bowls – but it is notoriously high in carbs. Luckily, it is easy to swap out with low carb and high fibre alternatives.

Cauliflower is a versatile low carb vegetable that makes a perfect rice substitute. If you have a food processor, making riced cauliflower is a breeze. You can also usually find pre-riced cauliflower at your local health food store. Check out Keto and Co’s Dry Riced Unseasoned Cauliflower, great to use in any dish with your own spices and flavourings!

Here’s a recipe for Keto Cauliflower Fried Rice, a quick and easy meal to make on a weeknight! This Cheesy Cheddar Cauliflower Rice can also be served as a side dish to meat and vegetables and is sure to be a hit with kids.

The Low Carb Grocery also carries a number of other low carb or high protein rice substitutes, which may be a healthier swap for regular white rice:

Low Carb Pasta Dishes

Pasta is a quick and easy weeknight dinner, too, plus it is easy to load up with vegetables, meat and cheese for an all-around healthy and tasty meal! The Low Carb Grocery carries a number of low carb, high protein and high fibre pasta alternatives that you can your family can enjoy. You can also make your own low carb noodles by spiralizing zucchini into long spaghetti-like pieces. Spaghetti squash is another great substitute, and despite the fact that it is a root vegetable it is surprisingly low in carbs! Check out these recipes using vegetables as substitutes for pasta noodles:

Also check out these recipes for Keto Marinara Sauce and Keto Alfredo Sauce which can save you money and be healthier alternatives to store-bought brands that often contain added sugars, anyways.

Other Great Low Carb Recipes

Finally, try out some of these recipes that can be made for lunch or dinner and are sure to be a hit with your family:

Keep it Healthy

If you liked this article or tried any of the recipes we mentioned, let us know on Facebook or tag us on Instagram. We also love to stay connected with our Weekly Newsletters for updates on the latest products and special sales. And after you order, don’t forget to leave us a Google Review with the ordering experience.