Measuring Your Progress
Making Beautiful Eggs!
Cooking With Herbs
Win a Low Carb Cruise!
The Caffeine Controversy
Jonny Bowden Weighs In
Cracking the Nut
To Drink or Not to Drink
Have Silky Hair Year Round!
Make It Low Carb!
Snapshot: Low Carb Pizza
SIGN UP TO SUBSCRIBE
"You have to have confidence in your ability,
and then be tough enough to follow through."
— Rosalynn Carter
Making Success Possible — Stock up!
You're reading this column, so you're at least interested in the idea of a low
carb eating plan. You've seen all the newsmagazine stories featuring steaks
fried in butter, and bacon and eggs. That doesn't sound so bad, huh? But that
could get boring after a while, so what can you really eat?
Or, maybe you've been low carbing since New Year's and just keep falling off the
wagon. There are just too many times when you're hungry but there's nothing
"legal" to eat, or you have allowed foods around, but they all require prep
and you're just too exhausted to even think about cooking. Sometimes, this
business of eating right is so difficult it seems hopeless.
It's not. There are a lot of things you can eat, probably more than you imagined.
And while there are hundreds of low carb specialty items appearing daily, simply
substituting your high carb favorites with low carb imitations isn't going to cut
it. The whole idea behind low carb is to reprogram your relationship with food:
eat real food; eat when you're hungry; pay attention to the food you're eating.
The best route to success is to be sure you always have an answer to the question,
"What's to eat?" You can do that by having a fully stocked, low carb kitchen from
which to assemble delicious and satisfying low carb meals and snacks. With that
in mind, here's how I stock my kitchen. Remember, low carb means never having to
say you're hungry. If you're hungry, eat — but make sure what you're eating is
good for you.
In the Fridge:
In the Freezer:
- An assortment of hard cheeses, excellent for snacking and cooking
- Half-and-half and heavy cream
- Sour cream
- Cream cheese
- Hood's Carb Countdown milk
(or LeCarb low carb milk)
- Sugar free, all natural peanut butter
(keep refrigerated to prevent
rancidity and keep the oil from separating again)
- Sugar free mayonnaise/salad dressing
- Low carb vegetables:
celery, green onions, lettuce, spinach, zucchini,
cauliflower, broccoli, green beans, and cabbage.
Peppers, onions, and shallots, for
flavor and in moderation (since these are higher in carbs.) Try to be reasonable
here, balancing the amounts you buy with how often you will eat them and what
their relative shelf lives are. For example, celery and cabbage will keep for
a few weeks, well wrapped, in your crisper drawer. Onions and shallots have
long shelf lives, too. But the others are perishable, so don't stock up if
you're not going to be able to use them up before they go bad.
- Konjac or shiritake noodles if you are lucky enough to find them in
your Asian market
On the Shelf:
- IQF (individually quick frozen) shrimp, boneless chicken breasts, hot wings
(check the label for hidden carbs, though), pre-formed hamburgers, fish fillets,
and any other protein source you like, if you don't have the time to buy fresh
for every day. Many of these can be cooked without defrosting first, which makes
putting together a quick dinner a snap.
- Frozen low carb vegetables. Don't shun the idea of frozen vegetables.
They can really make your life a lot simpler. Studies have shown that in
some cases, canned and frozen vegetables are nutritionally superior to fresh
vegetables that have been sitting around for a few days, losing their nutrients.
My favorites are spinach, broccoli, and peas (watch portion size with these!)
- Frozen, unsweetened berries: blueberries, raspberries, strawberries. A
few berries tossed into a smoothie or on top of a bowl of custard can really make
it special, and freezing them means you don't have to worry about spoilage or
having to use up a large quantity before they spoil. Always check the labels
and make sure that no sugar has been added!
- Fresh ginger: when you need some for a recipe, just take it out and grate
it up, peel and all. It will grate easily, even while frozen.
- Finely grated parmesan cheese, other shredded cheeses such as mozzarella
and Monterey Jack. Shredded cheese will spoil quickly, but in the freezer keeps
indefinitely. No need to defrost it before using it, either.
- Butter. Still wrapped in its original packaging, butter will keep for
weeks in the freezer, not that it ever has a chance to do so in my house!
In the Pantry:
- Roma (plum) tomatoes. Please, do not refrigerate your tomatoes. Plum
tomatoes are a good size to keep you from over-indulging, and they taste better
than the typical supermarket tomato. Food scientists are making great strides
with the new grape tomatoes and tomatoes-on-the-vine, too, which are delicious
but tend to be a lot more spendy than the romas. Tomatoes should be bright red.
Under no circumstances should you bother eating a tomato that looks and tastes
like pink cotton. Why waste the carbs?
- Garlic. Don't refrigerate it, it will get damp and moldy. It keeps
better on the cupboard in a little terra cotta garlic keeper.
If you like to Bake:
- Cans of tuna, salmon, crab
- Low carb shake mix in a few flavors you actually like (my favorites are
- Canned low-carb veggies: baby corn (read the label, make sure it's not
sweetened), Eden Organic Black Soybeans, any other LC canned veggies you
like — I've heard that rutabagas come in cans but have yet to find them!
- Lowest carb, no-sugar-added tomato/pasta sauces (look for no more
than 4 grams per 1/2-cup serving)
- Lowest carb-per-seving cocoa powder you can find (if you like
- Nuts, both whole and pieces, for snacking and baking; almonds, walnuts,
and macadamias are high in fiber and low in carbs; watch out for pistachios
and cashews, which have a much higher carb count.
- Low carb tortillas and/or bread (they seem to be ubiquitous these days.)
- Sugar free syrups from DaVinci or Torani, in whatever flavors you like.
- Splenda, stevia, liquid saccharine (liquid Splenda or cyclamates if you
can find them) — it's nice to have sugar free sweeteners on hand even if you
don't bake much.
- Flaxseed, if you have a grinder, or flaxseed meal, if you don't
- Trader Joe's Soy and Flaxseed Tortilla chips
Of course I don't always have all of these things on hand. But I do try to keep
them stocked, so there's always something to eat. For example, a quick
broccoli-cheddar omelette, or crab-spinach dip make very tasty dinners when
inspiration fails or time is short. One of our current favorites started out
as a clean-out-the-fridge recipe, featuring zucchini, tomatoes, and shrimp with
- Designer Whey protein powder, French vanilla and natural flavors
- Almond flour and other nut flours
- Bob's Red Mill products:
vital wheat gluten flour, oat flour, and xanthan gum
- If you like soy and have no problems with side effects, soy flour and
soy protein isolate are excellent low-carb products
- Sugar-free pure vanilla extract
- Other flour substitutes: sugar free dried shredded coconut, ground
shelled sunflower seeds, and ground shelled pumpkin seeds.
We'll explore the possibilities of off-the-shelf cooking in upcoming columns.
In the meantime, if you have a question about converting a recipe, or if there
is some aspect of low carb life you're really struggling with, just send me an
email, and I'll do what I can to help. You can see
previous responses from my mailbag too.
Copyright © April 2004 Joan Hedman and Low Carb Luxury
Title and inset photos Copyright © 2004 Neil Beaty and Low Carb Luxury
You won't find a more Delicious Low Carb Chocolate Bar than Ross!
Ross Chocolates will help you stick to your diet! All orders for 36 bars or more receive an automatic 15% discount. Start the
new year right with a full supply for when temptation strikes!
Use the coupon code NEWBIE and
get FREE SHIPPING AND HANDLING for all first time customers who
order just 1 Sampler Pack.
Ross Chocolate Bars come in Almond, Supreme, Coconut, Cherry, Orange, Raspberry, Crunchy, Dark, Mint, and White!
Taste-test results are in! Read what your fellow low-carbers are saying about this chocolate!
A Tasty Idea!
Try melting two of our Cherry or Raspberry Ross Chocolate Bars in the microwave;
then dip cold fresh berries in the warm chocolate. The cold berries will quickly set the chocolate and you'll have a low carb treat that can't be beat!
our site for the best low carb chocolates in the world!
| (888) 267-2065|