Thursday, May 21, 2009

Eating & Thriving, the Low Carb Way

The first time we went to the grocery store to stock up on low-carb food items, we were flummoxed and frustrated. We didn’t understand enough about the do’s and don’t’s – the good foods vs. the “bad”. What freaked us out is that we knew we couldn’t eat the way we had been eating for years.

1. Eat three meals a day, or four or five smaller ones.
2. For the first month consume only a total of only 20 carbs a day. As your body learns to burn fat more easily, you can re-introduce a few more carbs. (Get a carb counter guide for frequent reference.)
3. Read nutritional information labels on any prepared foods! Look for how many grams of carbs are in a serving size. Be sure they are what you would really consume in a sitting, because some serving sizes are ridiculously small.
4. Supplement your fiber intake using Psyllium Husk Powder - a taste-free additive to salads, eggs, or sauces.

1. Protein is good. Most proteins have no carbs. Eat steak, chicken, seafood, and eggs guilt-free.
2. Berries are the best fruit to eat. A half cup of raspberries is 3 net carbs.
3. Fiber is good. A gram of fiber negates a gram of carbs. But beware - a gram or two of fiber in a “healthy” snack bar won’t help much if the bar contains 23 carbs that mostly come from sugar.
4. Many veggies are high in nutrients and low in carbs. Go for lettuce, broccoli, asparagus, eggplant, cauliflower and cucumber. (See the bad news veggies.)
5. Get your dairy via cheese (5-6 oz per day).

1. Avoid bread, pasta, rice, potatoes and cereal. Sorry.
2. Most fruit is fairly high in carbs (e.g. a medium-sized apple has about 17 net carbs).
3. Corn, peas, carrots and beans are starchy veggies higher in carbs.
4. Some “healthy” snacks are loaded with carbs. A quarter cup of raisins has 30 carbs.

Now for some ideas about how to change your eating habits:

Instead of a Cheeseburger, have a bunless Beef patty with cheese
Instead of Potatoes, have Mashed Cauliflower (we use butter & cheese & a touch of cream)
Instead of French Fries, have sauteed Eggplant
Instead of Potato Chips, have "Soy Crispettes”
Instead of salad Croutons, have Parmesan Crisps (add Psyllium Husk Powder for more fiber)
Instead of Crackers & Cheese, have Salami & Cheese
Instead of sugary Desserts, have Sugar-free Candy or Berries
Instead of a Milkshake, have an Atkins shake blended with ice
Instead of Pizza...well, if you find a replacement – let me know!

It’s not always easy, but it works! In restaurants, ask for extra vegetables in place of potatoes or rice. And send the busperson with the bread basket away forthwith! Sometimes it’s just best not to be tempted.

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