Monday, June 3, 2013

Low-Carb Diet

A friend who works at the hospital told me she was thinking of going on a low-carb diet and for me to write down everything I know about the Atkins Diet.  I have been on this diet since 2004 and know a pretty good bit, but I'm not a dietician.
But I decided to make some notes and post them so she won't have to worry if she loses the notes I made.  Also, this will be a little easier to read than hand-written notes.
There is a good web site for Atkins.  It has tabs for tools, science, and recipes.
I didn't go on the Atkins diet just to lose weight...although I did.  I wanted to control my blood sugar.  It has worked for me.

Atkins Diet: Low carb, high protein, high fiber, high fat (saturated, unsaturated all right; transfat bad).
The simple form to start with is meat and something green (not pistachio ice cream).

When I eat breakfast at the hospital, I have scrambled eggs and bacon.  Sausage would be fine; I prefer bacon.  I put hot sauce on the eggs because I'm seriously tired of the taste of scrambled eggs.

Lunch at the hospital: meat and something green.  The hospital has turnip greens and steamed cabbage pretty often.  A salad is also available.  Ranch dressing is usually there.  The original ranch is lower carb than "lite."
 One day they had baked chicken and spaghetti with meat sauce as their two entre  offerings.  I got the baked chicken and had them put spaghetti sauce on the chicken.  I also had a salad.  All salads are not created equal so stick to green as your guide.  Bacon bits are ok, boiled egg, shredded cheese, raw cauliflower, and cucumbers are the things that aren't green that I can think of that are all right.

It is a good idea to carry snacks: ziplock snack bags of almonds and Atkins bars do not require refrigeration and are filling and "on the diet."

Home snacks: almonds, baby bel cheese balls are available at WalMart in small net bags or Sam's Club in larger net bags.  Strawberries with splenda topped with sour cream with splenda is fabulous. Stuffed eggs are also wonderful. Deli meat/cream cheese roll ups and deli meat/slaw roll ups are good for snacks or a meal.  Be careful about purchased prepared slaw as it frequently contains sugar. I also try to keep a case of Vienna Sausages for snacks.
When I have these snacks available, they sometimes substitute for meals.
A foil packet of tuna turns a bowl of salad into a meal.

Eating Out:
A. Hardees has a low-carb bowl with scrambled eggs, ham, bacon, sausage, cheese
B. Subway: salad
C. Cracker Barrel has low-carb offerings
D. Steak Houses, etc., I look for a 6 oz. steak, buttered steamed broccoli, side's usually about $10.  The salad dressings that are low carb are oil and vinegar, Ranch, Bleu Cheese, and Caesar.
Some places, like Pebble Isle Marina, don't have steamed or grilled vegetables on their menu but they are available.  So ask when you are at a place and don't see them on the menu.  Sometimes they have them.
I order a cheeseburger with no bun and the grilled vegetables frequently.
E. Mexican: taco salad with guacamole salad (don't eat the bowl).
At Home:
Fried stuff: crushed pork rinds for the breading, peanut oil to fry them in...coat with mayonnaise or beaten egg or milk or buttermilk to help the coating to stay on.  This can be done to chicken, squash, whatever.
Use peanut oil instead of olive oil because the olive oil doesn't get hot enough...the fried stuff is limp with olive oil.
An easy meal is to brown some hamburger meat and then put a bag of vegetables (fresh or frozen...fresh I get the broccoli and cauliflower; frozen, I try to get some combination without potatoes, corn, high carb stuff)
Larry likes to stir fry a cabbage with some onions and add cut up slice of ham or brats.
If you like to cook or are willing to cook, search Lindas Low Carb Menus and Recipes.  This is a wonderful site.
Also, you can search Low-carb whatever (creme brulee, baclava, cheesecake cupcakes, anything that crosses your mind that you might like to eat.

When I worked, I cooked and packed up my food for the week...breakfast, snack, lunch and dinner.
I like these containers because they stack nicely in the cabinet and refrigerator.  The small size is for nuts or pudding in a lunch box.  I have larger sizes for the refrigerator which also stack.  Being able to see what is inside is helpful, too. I threw away all my odd-sized containers.

Some recipes I have repeatedly:
Eggplant parmigiana, crustless quiche, tuna salad, pasta using Dreamfields Pasta (available at Krogers and Publix...other places probably, but I got my first from Amazon so I would know what it looked like.

Atkins Products:
The shakes are tasty and filling, but I have to be near a bathroom so I stopped using them.
The bars are good but you'll have to try them to see which you like.
I haven't tried the frozen meals.
Carb Smart Ice Cream (Bryers, I think)
Carb Smart Popsicles
Sometimes I can find these at WalMart, and Kroger.  Sometimes I can't find them at all so I have an insulated bag I keep in the trunk of my car and buy several of each.
Low carb bread 5 or 5 carbs is available at EW James, WalMart, and Kroger.  Probably other places carry it but those stores are handy for me.
Kroger has sugar free pickles and pickle relish.
Pay attention to labels.  Smucker's Sugar free hot fudge topping has the same carb count as the regular.  The store brand cream cheese is higher carb than Philadelphia cream cheese.
Sometimes sugar-free is higher carbs than regular...peanut butter, for example.
Old Fashioned oatmeal (not instant or 1 min) is on the maintenance diet but not the weight loss portion.
Kidney beans are about the lowest carb dried bean.  I like to mix a can into my slaw.

About the vegetables: if you leave them out, you leave out carbs because that is where you will be getting carbs, but your cholesterol will go up.  Eat your veggies. and nuts.
Some people like Almond Milk, unsweetened.  I've used it to cook with and it tastes good, but I drink a lot of water, coffee, and occasionally carbonated drinks made with my Sodastream.
Different stores carry different flavors of sugar-free jello.  I especially like strawberry-banana and black cherry.  I whip cream cheese and add it to either one.
Some diets suggest eating green beans or a can of asparagus when hungry.  I really like it that when I first started this diet and was hungry, I could eat meat, cheese, and drink water until I wasn't  hungry.
I hope this is helpful.

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