The Way of the Turtle - The Slow and Steady Path to Better Health

Low-Carb Menu Ideas

Here are some low-carb menus that are easy to prepare. Of course, if you find that you respond to this way of eating, you will want a lot more ideas, recipes, etc, and I will have plenty of resources on the site, including ideas for converting your favorites recipes.

For Many More Menus and Menu ideas, check out my Low Carb Diet Site with About.com.

Breakfast:

Leftovers from dinner
Eggs, omelets, etc, with breakfast meats if desired - side of vegetables or fruit*
Plain yogurt or kefir (not sweetened, and with as many live cultures as possible) with fruit*, add nuts and/or flaxseed meal if desired
Cottage or ricotta cheese with fruit*, nuts and/or flaxseed meal
Protein Shakes

Lunch:

Green salad with salmon, grilled chicken, tuna or chicken salad
Crustless quiche with salad or vegetables
Meat-and-vegetable soups
Leftovers from dinner

Dinner:

Low-carb dinners are usually a combination of a protein (meat, eggs, or soy) and vegetables - whether cooked as a skillet meal, in a crockpot, a casserole, or just about any cooking method. This can be as simple as grilling a burger and having salad-from-a-bag, or as gourmet as you want, and from any cuisine on the globe. Often your own favorite recipes can be easily converted. As for the usual starch on the plate, you can either skip it altogether, or try one of these substitutes.

Takeout Options - When you can't face cooking, try these :

Deli - Salads (not pasta or rice), meats, cheeses. Roasted chicken. Lox (some delis sell the "ends" of the lox less expensively) - for appetizers, lox goes great with some cream cheese atop cucumber slices.

Mexican - Platters which don't include tortillas, chips, or rice. Go easy on the beans**. Examples: Carne asada plate or fajitas, without the tortillas.

Greek - Order a "platter" that contains meat and salad but no bread. Including hummus**,baba ganoush, etc, is OK. Or get Greek chicken and some vegetable side dishes. Most sit-down Greek restaurants can provide you with cucumber slices for dipping instead of pita bread.

Fast food - Salads (no croutons), burgers without the bun. Avoid deep-fried items, shakes, and sodas (except for sugar-free types). Happily, many fast food chains are beginning to offer better low carb choices.

BBQ - The meats are fine, but most of the traditional side dishes are loaded with carbs. Even cole slaw typically is made with sugar, as is BBQ sauce. Use you judgement.

Chinese - Nothing deep-fried, no rice or noodles. Surprisingly to some, most Chinese dishes are just fine without rice underneath them. Many Chinese sauces have starch and sugar in them, so you'll have to use your judgement. If you find that these sauces trigger cravings, or you are on a very low carb allotment, you can ask for the sauce to be made without sugar or just use soy sauce.

Special Note for Vegetarians:

Vegetarians can eat low-carb! Soy products, seitan, many dairy products, and eggs are all good choices for the protein part of the meal, together with lots of veggies and some fruit. The Vegetarian Resource Page contains low-carb options.

*Mostly low-sugar fruits, such as berries.

**Legumes are fairly high in carbohydrates, but they have a fairly low glycemic index and load, so many of us find we can "get away" with small portions of these without problems. As in everything, this varies from one individual to the next. Soy beans are the lowest carb bean, and black soy beans don't have as strong a "soy" flavor as the yellow varieties.

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Copyright © 2003-2004 by Laura Dolson. All rights reserved. Please submit reprint requests to turtleway@skyhighway.com

The material on this page and Web site is for informational and educational purposes only, and should not substitute for medical advice. Anyone having questions about the application of information appearing here to a specific person or situation should obtain advice from a qualified health care professional.

 

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