I’m still unsure why everyone is scared of carbs. It’s like hearing the word sends people running in a panic. Some don’t even understand that the word “carb” really is a shortened version of the word “carbohydrate” which is a staple to our everyday performance as human beings. It’s an important reason why we aren’t just skin and bones in our triangle tops and high waisted bikini.
We need carbs people! Our bodies can’t run on vodka and candy corn alone (Chelsea Handler will always be the exception to the rule). But before you go buttering up your loaf of freshly baked bread Aladdin-style, we’re here to give you a few tips on how to maintain a low carb diet.
Lean Protein Machine
Building your meals around lean protein food sources such as fish, lean beef, chicken and turkey is an important part of maintaining a low carb diet. Sometimes we don’t realize how “carb-centric” some meals can be. Pastas and pizzas and potatoes galore. Cut those out quick for a noticeable change in your body.
Whole Grain in the Membrane
Skip the breads and the refined sugars. Whole Grains and legumes should take up most of your carb choices for the day. You may be thinking: what the hell is a legume anyway? Great question. In a nutshell (ha!), a legume is simply a dry fruit often contained within a shell or pod. So for example you have your peas, your beans, your peanuts and even your alfalfa sprouts. But just because these are approved carbs doesn’t mean you can shovel them down whenever you’re hungry. Moderation is key.
Checkmate those Saturated Fats
Another horror word in our vocabulary is “fat”. Always tied to such negative connotations, “fat” is generally conveyed as bad. BUT, we’re here to tell you that there are such things as good fats! The fats that are bad for you are saturated and trans which will raise your cholesterol and increase your risk for heart disease. But monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are actually good for you. These include olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds, salmon, tuna, and tofu!
Don’t Get Scammed by the Junk
A lot of foods nowadays that we see in grocery stores have the tag lines boasting that they are low carb or low fat. However, they normally are processed and full of chemicals and who knows what. What is acesulfame-K anyway? Our food should not have unrecognizable ingredients, and we need to make healthier, more whole food choices. Skip the Pop Chips and grab some fruit and pistachios! Make some homemade kale chips. Try to cut out all the processed foods and replace them with healthier, whole options.
We wanted to leave on a tasty note, so here are some of our favorite low carb recipes to kick start your carb killin’ campaign:
Salmon with Brown Sugar and Mustard Glaze
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 salmon fillets, 6 ounces each
Melt the brown sugar, honey and butter in a small saute pan over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat and whisk in the mustard, soy sauce, olive oil and ginger. Let cool.
Preheat grill to medium heat. Brush salmon with vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place the salmon skin side down on the grill. Coat the flesh of the salmon fillets with the brown sugar mixture. Grill for 6 to 8 minutes to medium doneness, turning once after 5 to 6 minutes
1/2 cup Italian-style dried bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
28 large (2 1/2-inch-diameter) white mushrooms, stemmed
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Stir the bread crumbs, Pecorino Romano, garlic, parsley, mint, salt and pepper, to taste, and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium bowl to blend.
Drizzle a heavy large baking sheet with about 1 tablespoon olive oil, to coat. Spoon the filling into the mushroom cavities and arrange on the baking sheet, cavity side up. Drizzle remaining oil over the filling in each mushroom. Bake until the mushrooms are tender and the filling is heated through and golden on top, about 25 minutes.
Low Carb Pumpkin Bars
15 ounces canned pumpkin
1 cup Splenda granular, sugar substitute
1/4 cup Splenda brown sugar blend
1 cup natural applesauce
2 cups oat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
Beat eggs in mixing bowl.
Add in pumpkin, sugars and oil; beat well.
Add in remaining ingredients and beat until incorporated.
Spread into a greased 13×9 pan.
Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes.
Cool and then frost.
Any other low carb recipes? Submit below!