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Hey friends! Do you know how hard it is to stay on a diet during a move when all your pots and pans and dishes are packed? Yeah, it’s not the best. I tried really hard to make some food in advance, but most of the time it was just me trying to find some healthy take-out that was lower in carbs that my kids would also eat. Needle in a haystack. What I realized is finding foods that we all liked (that happened to be low carb) was an option, but in REAL LIFE, it was more like me looking for ways to modify the meals we were ordering and fit them into this lower carb lifestyle I’m trying to get me through swimsuit season. Haha!
So, I thought I’d throw together a list of the foods that have been my life blood on this diet because sometimes you want to treat yourself, but not have all the guilt associated with it too. Balance!
Burgers are great, higher fat and protein options that are low carb (if you don’t eat the bun). Lots of places do wrap burgers in lettuce too, you just have to ask! Mustard, dill pickles, tomatoes and lettuce is my go-to!
I’ve found a few places in the city that make sandwiches with lettuce as well! So, the kids get regular sandwiches and I get a lettuce-bread sandwich. Of course, I’d prefer the regular bread any day of the week, but GOALS.
Choosing taco salad over tacos or burrito bowls over burritos. Never usually my first choice, but totally works, just without or not as many beans, rice or tortillas.
Pasta is a hard one, but more and more restaurants are serving zoodles (zucchini noodles) as a substitute. I’ve tried these at a few places, but no one does them better than at Noodles & Company. They are the best I’ve tried. The Zucchini Romesco (roasted red pepper sauce with almonds, sundried tomatoes and garden vegetables) is positively divine. Normally, I’m not a big fan of zoodles because there is a fine line between underdone and overdone, but these were SO heavenly.
Another nice thing about Zoodles at Noodles & Company is you can substitute the fresh, spiralized zucchini noodles in any dish on the menu if you’re trying out the low-carb thing or just trying to increase your vitamin C or potassium intake. And, of course the normal carb eaters can keep their pasta too! It’s a good spot to go with the family. Find a location close to you here.
Chicken Tenders can sometimes be turned into non-breaded nuggets or just ordering simple grilled chicken over greens is a great thing to order in a pinch.
Ordering stir fry with sauce on the side or a sauce with no sugar added (if you can find one) is also super tasty and feels like a treat. If you could come up with a healthier egg roll, that would be great.
Low carb bread, tortillas and rolls. They taste nearly *nearly* the same and at least it makes you feel like you’re still getting bread.
Almond milk is very low in carbs and I’d mix that with some protein powder for fast snacks or sometimes breakfast. Protein bars that are low in sugar and carbs are super convenient grab and go options when you’re in a pinch.
Cauliflower rice is a pretty well known substitute for rice, though it still tastes like cauliflower, unless you’re pairing it with a stronger flavor. I buy mine frozen so it’s quicker cooking (and less expensive!) than the fresh.
High Protein Ice Cream. Still working my way through lots of brands recommended to me (from you lovely people!), but it’s great to have on hand to really not go crazy.
Sugar free gum. I almost didn’t want to list this because I didn’t want to be “that girl” saying I have gum for dessert because its so satisfying. IT’S NOT. But it’ll get me through the afternoons when I want a peppermint patty (love those darn things).
Baked Cheetos. Yes, this has carbs in it. But again, if I’m going to “cheat” and eat an extra 15-20g of carbs, you better believe that Baked Cheetos are at the top of my list.
Have you tried zucchini noodles before? What are some healthier, low carb foods or indulgences you like to enjoy?