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Healthy low carb meals and low carb snack ideas {Grain-free, Gluten-free}

Healthy low carb meal Ideas

Need to lose a few pounds and want to try some healthy low carb meals or low carb snack ideas? Maybe you just need some grain-free or gluten-free ideas?


(Or see a prettier and more organized list of grain-free/low-carb ideas here!)

I have learned that when it comes to losing weight the healthy way, limiting your carbohydrate intake is where it’s at for a LOT of people, probably not ALL, but for many, decreasing the grains in general is good for your overall health, too. Read how I usually go about all this in a recent low-carb post, and I’m also posting sporadic Twitter updates on my progress.


To do that successfully, first you have to plan ahead, and then do some food shopping so you have everything you need in the house. But even before you can do that, you need good LOW-CARB MEAL IDEAS!

What are YOUR low-carb meal ideas…or snack ideas, breakfast ideas, beverage ideas, etc.?

I can’t wait to get new ideas from all of you so I can stay motivated!

Personally, I also plan to continue running, or walking, and weight training on the Bowflex.

Read more of my LOW CARB ramblings, including a link to Sally Fallon’s weight loss suggestions. I also talk there about my own personal goals.

Or check out this post: Lose your man boobs, your bagel butt, and your wheat belly! (Or this one with more gluten-free/grain-free ideas.) But first…

A little personal news about my latest dieting endeavors.

The more I read, the more I’m finding that losing weight is more about carbs than anything else. (This is assuming you already do the obvious – eating more whole foods, less processed foods, etc.) Carbs, not healthy fats, are what kick in the insulin response in our bodies, which is what leads to fat in all those nasty places. There’s much more to it, obviously, but lowering your carbs is great not just for weight loss, but especially for Type II diabetics, and for our health in general. (Read more at this GAPS post about how no carbs/low carbs can be part of a protocol to heal your whole immune system.) If you do eat grains, make sure they’re properly prepared, but not TOO many of those, either, and avoid refined sugars, breads, pastas, etc.

As I told you about in this post, Does Fat Make You Fat?, the dieting in my life usually consists of keeping an eye on things (the scales, my clothes, etc.) and when I start creeping up a little, I’ll do something before it gets really bad. It takes a few days to motivate myself, and I always have to plan it when there’s nothing big coming up (where there might be a lot of tempting foods). I’ll watch the carbs for a week or two, and step up the exercising some (when I can), and that’s usually all it takes to get me back where I need to be. (If I’m a huge pig, it comes back on, but most of it stays off for a good while anyway before it creeps back.)


Well, recently it wasn’t so much a big change in the scales, and it wasn’t my jeans (you gotta love those low-waisted jeans, even if they do tend to fall down without a belt), it was when I had a dress on that I hadn’t worn since fall. In the fall when Kent & I were in Chicago to celebrate our 20th anniversary, this dress fit great, and it wasn’t tight at all. When I wore it the other day, it drove me nuts readjusting it over and over because it got snug. As much as I wanted to blame it on the dryer, I knew that I’d also gotten that “thick” look in the middle. With bathing suit days here, I knew it was time. So after a few days of “gearing up” my brain for it, making a list, and then shopping for the right foods, I started Thursday on my no/low-carbs diet for a while.

What have I been eating, you ask? Plenty. Here’s the rundown:

  • Besides the below, here’s a whole other list of grain-free/gluten-free ideas, which are also low-carb of course. (And that list has been updated more recently.)
  • One of my favorites: Bunless burger bonanza!
  • Stir fry with any meat and veggies you like. Water chestnuts add a nice crunch.
  • My sister likes cottage cheese as a low-carb side dish.
  • Cauliflower with melted cheese is another good side dish.
  • Or Roasted cauliflower with parmesan
  • Crispy Roasted Brussels Sprouts
  • Kent’s Easy Asian Pork Loin – Low carb AND gluten-free!
  • This tasty Fried Fish with Fresh Lemon Garlic Pesto
  • This Yakisoba recipe is SOOOOO good with extra veggies instead of the noodles!
  • Low Carb DELICIOUS Bruschetta Without Bread!
  • Fresh veggies and homemade dip.
  • Kale Chips – these are amazingly delicious!
  • These stuffed jalepeno poppers are one of my favorite low-carb treats. My neighbor friend, Meg, is also cutting back on carbs (read about Meg at this recipe post), so she & I ate a ton of these in the middle of the day yesterday. Besides an egg in the morning, a few veggies and a very little bit of fruit, that’s all I had for the day. My plan worked: I filled up on those, so I wasn’t tempted by all the yummy food and treats at the graduation open house we went to.
  • Another favorite are these ham and cream cheese roll-ups. ham rollups pic
  • I eat a lot of eggs when I’m watching the carbs – here are all different egg recipes, some with carbs and a few really yummy ones without.
  • Joe’s no-carb no-grain Tabouli – yum!
  • I love a good fried burger with sea salt, pepper and melted cheese on top.
  • If I really needed to drop some pounds fast, I’d eliminate ALL carbs for a while (this is not easy, but it’s a good kick-start for a couple weeks, then you could switch to carbs in “moderation” – I hate that word), but I am snacking just a little this time on fruits. (I’m talking about 3 strawberries twice a day, or 5 grapes, so not a lot.)
  • Thankfully, it’s farm market season, so I’ll snack on various veggies that I’ve got all clean and in bowls in the fridge, like pea pods, cherry tomatoes, etc.
  • Tonight we’re having steak for dinner, and sautéing more farm market veggies, like asparagus in one pan, and green & yellow zucchini in another.
  • Salads are always satisfying, especially if you add chicken or steak. I got fresh greens at the farm market the other day, and I may put a couple strawberries on top, a hard-boiled egg, a homemade dressing with less sugar than I’d normally use, some cucumbers, Parmesan cheese, and a few crispy pecans. (But be careful not to eat too many nuts when trying to lose weight.)
  • Here’s another good one that I love all the time, and it happens to be very low-carb (maybe no carb?): Caprese Salad
  • Even though it’s been warm out and it’s not really chili weather, we all still love it. Soon I’ll make traditional chili and a white chicken chili– both are low-carb. (Update: last night I made chili and tonight we had leftovers on the all-natural hotdogs from Cosco. The fam had the homemade buns I made, but I fried up a couple dogs, cut them up and ate them in a bowl of chili – it was so good!)
  • Here are more soup ideas, not all are low-carb, but most are or can be adapted. I don’t know if it’s listed, but a good beef vegetable soup is very satisfying. I usually use round steak (with a bone) for this and add lots of veggies and herbs to give it a great flavor.
  • I’ll snack on celery and peanut butter – it’s filling and sometimes I need the crunch. Or if I need a quick snack, I’ll just grab a spoonful of peanut butter by itself!
  • I’m really missing my sweets, but if I keep myself from getting hungry, it hasn’t been too terrible. Sometimes just two chocolate chips will do the trick. (And you feel like you’re really “cheating” so they taste extra good!)
  • Meg & I are on the hunt for a no carb/low carb alcoholic bevie, does anyone know of any? Keep in mind, while I’ll rarely have a beer, I mostly like the fruity chick drinks, so it can’t be anything too hard.
  • Here’s a fairly low-carb dessert! Homemade chocolate or vanilla ice cream – there’s not a lot of sugar in this, but if you’re trying to lose weight, you may still want to steer clear. (However, if you’re going to have a little treat, this is a good choice, because all the healthy fats in this recipe help slow down the insulin response from the sugar. Here’s another good one for the same reason: Crème Brule.)
  • This pesto chicken or just cheesy chicken is SO easy, SO good and low-carb! This pasta pesto chicken dish is great over romaine lettuce instead of pasta – yum!
  • Organic Broccoli Salad – full of great flavor!
  • Eva told me about these Zero carb crackers for when you need something to eat with dips or for something to spread cream cheese on: Scandinavian Bran Crisp Bread. They didn’t look real appetizing, but I ended up liking them, they just taste like a Triscuit. (They are in a small plastic wrapped package in the ethnic section at our grocery store.)
  • For dipping (because there are a lot of good low-carb dips, but the DIPPERS will get ya) my sister uses low-carb wraps or tortillas, and she’ll fry them in butter to get them crisp. The only problem is that their ingredient labels aren’t great, but once in a while is probably OK.
  • Another good dipper is a Crispy Pecan or a celery stick. (Although nuts can be fattening, so not too many of these. They’re good for you, though!) Both give the crunch that we sometimes just have to have! Other crispy veggies would work, too, like carrots or bell pepper slices. (Sometimes what this still needs, though, is the saltiness of the chip or cracker, so if that’s the case, I’ll add extra sea salt to the dip.)
  • She also makes fajitas with these low-carb wraps. Use chicken or steak, veggies, cheese, salsa, sour cream. Yum. Update: Even better, here’s my recipe for Fajitas, which is so good you don’t need a tortilla!!! Fajitas with grass-fed flank steak
  • 5 minute meal – egg drop soup!
  • Fried cabbage is an easy, filling, tasty treat!
  • I know I’m odd, but I also love to chop up a whole onion and fry it in butter or ghee until nice and golden brown. A very satisfying snack, believe it or not. (I use a LOT of butter!)
  • Chicken Lettuce Wraps like P.F. Chang’s
  • Another idea from my sister: use the recipe above for lettuce wraps, but use cold shrimp instead of chicken, and just eat the filling. Delicious.
  • Low-carb Tuna Delight
  • Shrimp cocktail – cold shrimp on a plate, drizzle balsamic vinegar over the top, and a little dab of fresh horseradish. Good flavor and nice bite, without the carbs in the ketchup. ZERO carbs! (My sister loves this.)
  • Easy Low-Carb Cabbage rolls
  • Low-carb broccoli cheese soup
  • These roasted brussels sprouts are AMAZINGLY yummy
  • Dessert idea: fresh fruits with real whipped cream made with very little sugar.
  • A great artichoke dip recipe I found through a Twitter friend, and there’s even a link there for some no-carb cheese crisps for dippers!
  • No grain recipes from Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist
  • Low-carb sausage balls
  • Try this Buffalo Dip recipe that you could eat with celery, yum!
  • Thai Vegetable and Chicken or Beef Stir-Fry – sooooo delicious and grain-free!
  • ***Crispy nuts – an extra healthy, yummy & easy way to prepare nuts. Or even better, try these chili lime almonds. (These are low-carb, but go easy, I’ve heard that cheese and nuts are the biggest threats to weight loss when doing low-carb.)
  • Halloween pancakes (super delicious: made with squash or pumpkin, and grain-free, too!)
  • Bhurtha” – I love this spicy eggplant recipe from Sonia!
  • I am the Omelet Queen! – This is so yummy and satisfying.
  • More veggie side dishes are here for satisfying ideas!
  • Please comment below if you have other low carb/no carb ideas!

Exercise really kicks things into gear

While it’s mostly all about what you’re eating, of course exercise still has to be in the mix. Until recently I was in a bad streak around here where I felt totally buried under my to-do list, so I haven’t been out in a couple weeks. I finally got out and ran last night…while pushing a jogger, which STINKS I’m here to tell ya. Then I roller bladed today – a lot of it was against the wind, so what I’m saying is that after being good all weekend, I’d better be doing a happy dance after checking the scales and measuring tape in the morning.

photo credit

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  1. Kelly,

    This is the only way that I have ever been able to lose weight. It’s also what helped me to purge myself of processed foods and sugar cravings. When I started losing weight, I took 2 weeks of no starch, no grains, no fruit. I ate eggs cooked in coconut oil and farm bacon for breakfast, huge chef salads (or cobb salads, or lucious tuna and avacado salad w/cashews on a bed of romaine, or curry chicken salad, etc) for lunch (I also did many turkey/ham roll ups with raw cheeses and raw veggies, using a big leaf of boston lettuce for my “wrap” and dipped in various homeade flavored mayos), and for dinner it was meats either broiled or grilled and sweet potatoes and lots of veggies (roasted, sauteed, etc). My snacks were string cheeses, pistacios, celery/pb or carrots and ranch. I was never hungry. NEVER. I lost nearly 14 lbs in the first 2 weeks, and then I started gradually adding in real whole grains (w/w organic couscous, brown rice, whole wheat items made from my fresh milled flour). I have been successful in keeping white flour OUT and sugar OUT. I also drink 20-30 oz of raw milk every day. I do indulge in dark chocolate a couple times a week. Overall, I’ve now lost nearly 30 pounds since November and am very comfortably fitting into a size 6 jeans and “small” tops. I don’t really have to watch my weight, I just need to keep avoiding processed foods and sugar.

  2. Hi Shauna, thanks for sharing your story, it’s very motivating!

    The thought of no sugar ever again is so sad, though. (Pathetic, I know!) I just hope that if I eat it in moderation, I can maintain a healthy weight and a healthy body that will get me through the long haul.


  3. Any “spirit” is generally low in carbs, like a single malt whiskey, vodka, rum, gin, etc., but the alcohol is rather high in calories. And I find, being on a long-term low-carb diet to manage my blood sugar, that my tolerance for alcohol has gone down somewhat. So I like a less potent option anyway, so I don’t have to nurse one drink all evening if I am socializing.

    Consider getting some Shochu or Soju, an Asian (usually Japanese or Korean) clear neutral-tasting spirit that has half the alcohol (24-25%) as vodka (therefore half the “proof” at 48-50).

    Of course, the mixers are often what torpedos cocktails. I try to find lower sugar options, such as unsweetened cranberry juice (hard to find, but Trader Joe’s has it) that I can sweeten enough but not too much, for a nice Cosmopolitan. Campari and mineral water is nice, too, especially after dinner (the herbal tonic Campari is a digestif).

  4. Kelly,

    Have you read Gary Taubes book yet, Good Calories, Bad Calories: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom on Diet, Weight Control, and Disease? If not, I highly recommend it. Weston A Price isn’t mentioned by name until the acknowledgments at the end, but you’ll recognized some of his theories in the book.

  5. Hi Anna,

    Great suggestions on the low-carb alcoholic drinks! I wish we had a Trader Joe’s, hopefully I can find unsweetened juice nearby. Or, I was thinking I could just add some tonic water or club soda (whichever one doesn’t have high fructose corn syrup) along with some 100% juice.

    I haven’t read that book yet, seems I can’t get through the reading pile I have now. But I thoroughly trust your judgement so I’ll add it to my recommended books list and hopefully get to it one of these days. (I’m certainly not going to wish this precious time away, but when our little boy is older, he’s 2 now, I’m sure there will be more time for reading then!)

    Also, I’ll ask my new Book Reviewer (Jenn) to add that one to her list when she can.

    Thanks Anna!

  6. Kelly,

    I don’t do the “no sugar ever again”, but my “sugar” is in the form of whole foods: fruits, dried fruit/nut mixtures (unsulpured), low-sugar homeade jams, and I do make some baked goods with sucanat for me. I also use raw honey on whole grain corn bread, low-sugar homeade apple butter on biscuits, and real maple syrup on pancakes. So – my meals are well rounded out with “sweet” treats. I also keep some of the dark (atleast 60% cacao) chocolate bars on hand, when I just need to break off a bit. I also have desserts *on occasion*. For instance, I did have some fudge when we were on macinac island. And I do have a small piece of birthday cake when there is an occasion. I read once that “desserts are something we should deserve”…… and so that is my guiding principal.

    It’s really the white sugar and white flour that are the culprits. Eliminate everything that has that, and you’ll generally also elimnate high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oil. Those 4 ingredients seem to be present in all processed foods.


    • This is not true. From a biochemical standpoint, all carbs, even natural, break down to simple sugars in your body. It may take a bit longer for carbs with more fiber–which is great–and natural sugars may not be as “empty” as white sugar in terms of vitamin content–but you’re fooling yourself to think that raw or other natural sugars are chemically different after digestion.

      I have had to learn this the hard way after blood sugar testing during pregnancy. A sugar is a sugar is a sugar, no matter if you buy it at whole foods.

  7. Kelly, if you are trying to lower your sugar intake, watch out for 100% fruit juice – it’s nearly always loaded with added sugar and a huge diet torpedo.

    The labeling laws allow the 100% claim because the concentrated (processed) fruit sugars that are added come from fruit instead of cane, beet or corn sugar (concentrated grape and apple juice” are essentially sugar syrup). You may disagree, but in my mind that is unnaturally concentrated sugars that would not be found in nature, so not to be consumed liberally or as a substitute for fruit.

    Fruit juice in general is a really, ahem, “dangerous’ way to “consume fruit”, no matter what the uSDA Food Pyramid says. Squeeze an orange. It makes a tiny amount of juice. Remember how small “juice” glasses use to be?

    Now think about how much OJ you see people drink at one time and try to add up all the oranges that made that huge glass. Who sits and eats 6-8-even 12 oranges at a time? Even if they did, there would be fiber in the whole fruit to slow the sugar down a bit. The pulp in OJ is minimal fiber. I’ve tested with my glucose meter – OJ raises BG lickety split, which isn’t what you want when you are trying to lose weight.

    It’s really, really hard to find truly no sugar added cranberry juice. Read the labels with a magnifying glass and a marketing manual. And it is tart!!!!! It’s one of of the few times I add a tiny amount of Splenda. You may want to experiment with stevia or just add a tiny amount of sugar to taste (It’s still likely to be less sugar than commercially sweetened CJC). BTW, any juice labeled “cocktail” has added sugar and just a small % of juice.

    Tonic water is also loaded with sugar (like soda), unless you get the diet version with artificial sweeteners (sigh).

    Then again, if it is a now and again thing and your sugar overall intake is low, have your drink and enjoy it and don’t listen to me. Sheesh, I get too serious about sugar sometimes.

  8. Anna,

    Being “too serious about sugar sometimes” is much better than how most of us are with sugar, and that is waaaay too relaxed about it.

    Great info on 100% juice, and that makes sense that some unsweetened juice with a little of my own sugar, is probably still less than what’s in the packaged “juice box” and of course a MUCH better choice than anything with HFCS.

    As always, thanks for your comment full of easy-to-understand and important information.


    • Just a quick suggestion for those who would like to use REAL 100% juice on occasion (yes, there is very little fiber, but it does help with sweetening and those yummy occasional cocktails). Use a juicer. Simple, right? Just choose your fruit, wash well, and run it through the juicer. You know EXACTLY what is in it and there is no added sugar, just the natural sugars that are already in the fruit.

      So – don’t have a juicer, and can’t afford one? Take a look at your local goodwill and/or thrift stores. I bought a juice tiger in excellent condition for $3.00 a couple months ago. Fabulous. I make fruit-veggie juice combos and add them to plain non-fat yogurt, pour them into freezer pop molds and presto! A cold yummy, and healthy treat. You can also reduce the resulting juice until it is a thick syrup, then dehydrate them (either in a 200 F oven or a dehydrator), cut them into strips and you have fruit leathers, yum!

      Good luck and have fun!

  9. Hi Kelly — wow! Sometimes reading the comments section is as helpful as your blog! Great info on the 100% juices. I do allow a little bit of 100% juice for Grace, but I’ve been buying 100% juice that’s labeled not from concentrate. I was hoping this was better.
    Anyway, you can find the unsweetened cranberry juice at Meijer. For the life of me I cannot remember the brand. It’s in the juice aisle in a separate section at the East end of the aisle. It’s expensive, and as noted above it is tart.

  10. Liz,

    I agree with you about the comments – it’s always great when people much more knowledgeable than I am comment here! (Doesn’t take much!)

    What brand of juice do you buy that is not from concentrate?

    Thanks for the scoop on the cranberry juice, it’s on my list now!


  11. Here’s part of an e-mail that a reader sent to me:

    “My second question is about your recent weightloss. I saw you had posted on Twitter that you had lost 4# and 2

  12. Question for Anna from another post:

    So without eating grains, what do you serve for side dishes? That is one thing tricky for me when doing no grains/low carb – well, not so much for me, I can eat more veggies, but for the kids, bread seems to be how they fill up. Or buttered noodles, or rice, etc. Potatoes are another typical, yet starchy, side dish that everyone gobbles up well…I know they aren’t a grain, but they’re high in carbs – do you eat those?

    Thanks, Kelly

  13. "So without eating grains, what do you serve for side dishes?"

    The quick answer is more non-starchy veggies, with lots of seasonal variety. If you were to look at our plates most evenings, our plates are most often about 1/3 protein and 2/3 veggies of some sort. I mean thirds in terms of space on the plate, not calories, weight, etc.

    The detailed answer:

    I usually make a main course with some kind of animal protein – meat, fish, eggs, or poultry, etc., sometimes one that incorporates veggies, too. I might add a small quantity of beans, lentils, etc., now and then because we like them, but I don't rely on them for protein because of the starch content and lower protein quality (especially if grains are absent). I also add a handful of quinoa now and then to thicken soupy meat stews, but again, not so much as to be too starchy or a significant protein source.

    Over the last year I've been making more soups, too, either as a starter to dinner, or as the main dish if it's a substantial soup with lots of veggies. Cream of "greens" soup is a great, very palatable way to use up the the greens from the beets, carrots, turnips, radishes, etc. that come in my CSA veggie box, not to mention the kale, chard, and bok choy or leftover cooked veggies. An immersion (stick) blender is very useful to quickly and easily puree the soup in the pan, rather than dealing with a conventional blender (also being alone in the kitchen without anyone looking over the cook's shoulder as the veggies are going in is good, too). I use homemade chicken broth, lots of cream and butter (or our raw milk that has gotten a bit old and sour), and we garnish with fermented cream (creme fraiche – doesn't "curdle" or separate with heat), yogurt, and/or parmesan cheese. My son will eat a lot of things if he can "garnish" generously with grated parmesan (good stuff – raw & aged, NOT from the green can, though not always imported).

    Most nights I make a salad for my husband and I (my son goes in spurts with salad interest so he might have some raw veggies instead, perhaps with some homemade hummus or some dip if I have it, or just plain). My husband likes to eat his salad first, as an appetizer. I like to eat the hot foods first, so I usually finish off with salad.

    Sometimes all our veggies are in the salad; other times the salad is a bit simpler (though nearly always more than leaf lettuce) and I make another veggie dish or even 2 or 3, such as winter squash, tomato-caprese salad, steamed veggies with butter, roasted veggies, eggplant caponata, etc. Making several days worth of coleslaw or marinated kale salad (improves with sitting a bit) is a great way to save labor on busy nights. I also love baked gratins: leek, turnip, cauliflower, or a combo of veggies, etc. Leftovers go into frittattas or omelets.

    A couple times a week I make some sort of cauliflower dish that resembles a "starch" side dish, especially if I make a meat dish that has a rich sauce. With the cream cheese, cream, butter, and/or cheese that I add to these "faux" dishes, they are quite filling. Main keys to success with these is draining excess moisture and cooking the cauliflower enough (not to crisp), but not too much (too mushy and sulphur-y). Then let the great flavors of your other ingredients take over, such as good parmesan, garlic, etc. I also add cauliflower florets to soups & stews near the end of cooking instead of potatoes.

    I know that kids will easily go for the filling starchy stuff and resist non-starchy veggies – I was one of those "starch-lovin'" kids and even ate like that as an adult except the last third of my pregnancy and for the last 5 years.

    So without being a too much of a short-order cook, I'm trying to orient my son towards a less starchy diet NOW, while his food tastes are developing, so that he doesn't have to retrain his tastes later in life like I did. I don't really tell him all that, of course (though we do talk about how health is dependent upon real food and he is noticing that in some of his classmates, too). Mostly I've just gradually changed what shows up on the table and in the pantry, and no, it doesn't happen overnight or with 100% acceptance. It helps a lot that I made many of these changes while he was still quite young (around 5-8 yo), he still eats most of his food at home, and he's the only kid. Some of his friends like what I make (or don't notice that it's different) and some of them don't. Oh well.

    I can see how suddenly changing menus on pre-teens or multiple kids could be a significant challenge and require a lot more patience and creativity. But if they don't cook or buy the groceries, I still think they should have less say about the household menus. I also know it helps a lot that my husband voluntarily joined me in the LC way of eating after I had lost 8# that first month. But he had been eating that first month of dinners without realizing they were LC. When he dropped the starch and sugar at work (eggs instead of cinnamon buns, salads with meat instead of sandwiches at the work cafeteria), he lost weight, too, actually faster than I did.

    One of my "techniques" is to "run out" of something that I am trying to cut back on or eliminate, like bread (I do get a loaf of sprouted, soy-free, with no added gluten to freeze once or twice a month, but I don't restock it right away so if my son chooses bread too often, he goes a while without it). So he has to have his grilled burger on the plate with utensils instead of in a bun if the frozen burger buns are gone or chicken soup without noodles more often than with. His lunches for school are just as often often chunks of cheese and salami, leftover chicken, roast pork, roast beef, BBQ meat, etc. (I try to make them easy to eat with just a fork), raw veggie slices, nuts, fruit, etc. Today he had a couple leftover bacon slices sandwiched in leftover plain coconut flour pancakes for lunch (he liked that and asked for more after school). He also likes hard boiled eggs dipped in homemade mayo. HB eggs are very filling. When he is "dying" for food while I am preparing dinner, there is always cheese, sliced prosciutto, or cutup raw veggies in the fridge, so if he's less hungry at dinner, so what?

    I've been reducing his consumption of grains, sugars, and starches, both in amount and frequency for almost five years (nearly half his life), with this past year finally being quite easy as his taste for veggies, meats, and mixed-up foods with sauces has expanded tremendously and after some initial resistance and transition to other options, he's now used to mornings and after-school snacks without cold cereals or daily sandwiches. By the way, he's growing quite well and has no cavities, is a great weight for his just-above-average height, and has plenty of energy for soccer, recess, and play, so I don't think he is missing anything from not eating all the starches his friends eat (he gets plenty of natural fats at every meal for energy).

    I used to set aside a small amount of steamed veggies and plain unseasoned meat for his dinner because he wasn't interested in more complex dishes, but I do that far less now; I've reduced my "catering" and because his tastes are expanding (chicken or the egg?). If I'm making something I know he won't try, I nearly always have chicken broth and cooked chicken in the fridge for a quick easy soup (I use a vegetable peeler to add thin carrot strips, cauliflower florets, etc.). If he's still hungry after dinner he can always get himself some apple sauce, cheese, whole milk yogurt with fresh fruit, frozen fruit or berries with cream, or something like that. Or he fixes some orange slices, berries, or a banana, etc. He's getting much better with a knife and self-sufficiency this year.

    I have my days when I don't want to cook much or time won't allow, too, so I might grill or saut

  14. Anna, thank you so much!

    You have got my WHEELS TURNING. First thing I’m going to do: make hard boiled eggs tomorrow. I forget about those, but everyone likes them – great way to get more eggs in!

    Next, I’ll do more with cauliflower.

    Then I’ll read your comment again, and add 2 more of your good ideas.

    OH, I’d love to hear more about the creamed greens soup! Is it just a creamy soup base, with the greens pureed? How do you make your creamed soups? I use flour to thicken, so what do you use? Is Arrowroot something you also avoid?

    I could think of many more questions, but I’ll leave it at that for now.

    I really appreciate your sharing your knowledge with us here!


  15. Kelly, for my super easy and fast cream of greens soup, I saute onions (sometimes celery, etc.), add some broth and bring to a simmer, then add any herbs I'm using and a bunch of coarsely chopped greens (they'll cook down into practically nothing) and simmer a few minutes.

    Then I take it off the heat and puree well with the stick blender, and then add a cup or two of heavy cream at the end cream to thicken the soup, with just a bit of gentle heat to get the temp right (too hot or boiling and it will curdle the cream, which doesn't make it inedible, just less appetizing looking).

    Sometimes I add cr

  16. Anna,

    I’ve been thinking about all this as I read more of Weston A. Price’s research, and would like your take on something else…

    I know your opinion on the best grains being NO grains, and how you say that people haven’t actually been eating grains for THAT many years back in history – this is the basis for the Paleo Diet, correct?

    …so what do you say about the WAP view that WHOLE grains, if PROPERLY PREPARED, have been a part of the diets of some very healthy traditional cultures? For some it has been a big part. I believe it was a community in the mountains of Switzerland who ate whole rye bread daily (among other things) and meat only once a week, since that’s as often as they could get it. They were extremely healthy, with none of the “modern diseases”.

    Lastly, do you eat locally grown, organic potatoes?


  17. Anna,

    A couple more comments for you, whenever you get a chance…

    I have to say, I’m not saying I disagree with you, just that I’m on the fence. I definitely think that if people drastically reduced their carbs (myself included) we would be much healthier people.

    I’ve changed even in the time since I began the blog – I’ve learned a lot (a good share from YOU!), and now when I look back at posts like our “family favorite meals”, I see how carb dependent we are! Not that I’ve improved all that much yet, but it is at least on my radar more these days and that is how things start, for me anyway.

    Thanks again for everything,
    Kelly BTW, I’m going to do a “low-carb recipe carnival” in January, to help people get more good ideas.

  18. Hi Kelly,

    Thanks for the reminder, I've been meaning to explain this thought process.

    Yes, I'm familiar with the isolate Swiss village example, btw, and have read most of WAPs Nut & Phys Deg book, as well as NT. It's an exellence example of how healthy good butter is, yes?

    My son still eats some bread made with wheat, but I don't supply an unlimited amount for him, nor do I especially "push bread" (if he stopped wanting bread tomorrow I'd be a happy mom). And I don't bake the 1 or 2 loaves a month he eats (stored in the freezer), but I do seek out an organic 7-grain flourless sprouted bread with no added gluten or soy, baked by a local bakery (I called to ask them about how they make it and it is a pretty WAP- friendly process). I choose the 7 grain because it reduces the wheat & gluten content compared to 100% whole wheat. The bakery sprouts and dries the grains, then runs them through a meat grinder, so it is very coarsely broken up, not finely ground into powder.

    BUT, it's still hard for me to ignore both anthropological and botanical evidence evidence that a) most of human existence (millions of years) did not include grains in any meaningful amount (so we clearly did and can exist well without it) and b) when grains entered the human diet in large amounts (about 10,00) years ago), a number of nutritional status indicators greatly worsened (height, dental decay, and certain diseases). The Egyptians, in particular, were an unhealthy lot with their whole wheat based diet. So were European colonials who subsisted on imported foods that could be easily transported on long sea voyages ("civilized foods like grain, preserved jams, refined sugars) rather than the foods the local ate (Taubes' book Good Calories, Bad Calories has a good section on health records kept by British colonial physicians for native residents and colonial residents).

    Grains too often displace too many other important nutrients, such as protein and fat soluble vitamins, not to mention the fiber can bind with minerals in the gut and prevent absorption. We only caught up with teh dramatic human height loss after adoption of agriculture in the past few hundred years (in the New World and in the 20th century in Europe) or so when more protein was available to more people. That evidence is very, VERY strong. And now industrial production and processing of grains eliminates the very processes that make grains tolerable. And yet the authorities and food manufacturers are pushing more poorly processed grains on the uninformed and unsuspecting public.

    Humans have managed to survive and exist well on all sorts of foods and food proportions in the natural world, though they did live most of the time as small nomadic tribes in order to exploit food sources – at least until the adoption of agriculture in some parts required settling down, larger communities, and completely altering the way humans existed with nature.

    Stephan of Whole Health Source blog sums the grains or no grains issue well, I think:

    "Some of you may have noticed a contradiction in how I bash grains and at the same time praise Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. I'm actually not against grains. I think they can be part of a healthy diet, but they have to be prepared correctly and used in moderation. Healthy non-industrial cultures almost invariably soaked, sprouted or sourdough-fermented their grains. These processes make grains much more nutritious and less irritating to the digestive tract, because they allow the seeds to naturally break down their own toxins such as phytic acid, trypsin inhibitors and lectins.

    Gluten grains are a special case. 12% of the US public is though to be gluten sensitive, as judged by anti-gliadin antibodies in the bloodstream. 1% have outright celiac disease, in which the gut lining degenerates in response to gluten. Both increase the risk of a staggering array of health problems.

    There's preliminary evidence that gluten may activate the innate immune system in many people even in the absence of antibodies.

    From an anthropological perspective, wherever wheat flour goes, so does the disease of civilization. Rice doesn't have the same effect.

    It's possible that properly prepared wheat, such as sourdough, might not cause the same problems, but I'm not taking my chances. I certainly don't recommend quick-rise bread, and that includes whole wheat. Whole wheat seemed to be enough to preserve glucose intolerance in Lindeberg's study…"

    That's mostly my take, too, with the added aspect of my own, but also too common, glucose intolerance issues (high BG). Sure, wheat can be prepared in a less damaging manner, but only if done right (and with abundant sources of fat soluble vitamins A, D3, E, & K2) from at least dairy, insects/grubs, marrow, meat or other animal products).

    Plus, there is celiac disease in my husband's family on the Norwegian side so there's a chance he and my son could have some issues with gluten that might not be very obvious, but are there under the surface.

    And if grains are unnecessary for good health as well as a huge challenge to "get it right" so it doesn't cause as much (perhaps unnoticed) damage over a long period of time why bother? There are other good things to eat with less worry.

    It's a paradigm shift, I know, but once over the edge, well, it's hard to cling to old paradigms. And I'm a contrarian by nature :-).

  19. Anna, oh I love how you get me thinking!

    Why bother, you asked? (No grains would be easier than sprouting & soaking, even though it's getting easier with practice.) You're right, grains, even properly prepared, do take up space that could probably be filled with more nutrient-dense foods, but getting my kids to eat them (more veggies, etc.) isn't easy – however they're getting better all the time as we introduce more, but I feel that filling them up on that (along with plenty of good fats, proteins, & produce) is better than the junk they *could* be eating. As with anything, it's a process, to slowly do better over time.

    One thing that would really help eat *less* grains (which is my goal, not to totally eliminate), however, is having more good low-carb meal ideas, which is why I'm excited to do that carnival in January and get everyone's ideas.

    Thanks so much, Anna!

  20. Um…Kelly,
    May I suggest looking at it this way:

    If kids are eating fairly empty starches and NOT eating veggies (or not enough for your liking), then if you take away the starches, they STILL aren't eating fewer veggies.

    As long as they get enough high quality protein and some natural fats, they'll be fine. Surely you've read of the people who survived decades only raw milk because they had burned esophaguses, etc.

    Veggies and fruits are mostly supplements and ad variety to the really dense nutrients in meat, fish, dairy, & eggs.

    If protein and veggies is all there is to eat (or just a very small serving of starch), the kids might (eventually) eat more veggies. But if you want them to eat more veggies, someone has to take the lead, most kids won't.

    I know, I was one of those starch-lovin' kids. I didn't hate all veggies, but I really detested some of the ones my mother served often. You have no idea how many green beans and lima beans dried up inside the heat registers in my mother's dining room.

    Just saying, hungry kids won't starve for long if food is available :-) tho' they might stage a mock hunger strike for a while (heh, heh), especially the older ones. But either way, eating starch doesn't fill their bellies with veggies.

    And then again, they might not appreciate veggies until they are adults and on their own. So be it. We can only set a good example and put make the good stuff available to them, right?

    Or is that too heretical? :-)

  21. Anna,

    I get what you’re saying, it’s not much different from when I tell people to not BUY the crap (meaning sugar bomb cereals, poptarts, etc.) and the kids will *have* to eat what is there.

    And all this is MUCH easier around here in the summer, too, by the way. We often do have meals without starch when there are an abundance of fresh veggies available. I know you have more year-round options in CA, but if there were no local veggies available, would you just buy whatever organic you could find? I do that AND sometimes have to buy conventional, too, there doesn’t seem to be much choice sometimes. (Even if I WAS better at putting produce up for winter, I think I’d have to resort to that at times, but maybe not…)

    I could also see this being easier if the lower starch lifestyle was one we had down pat before having kids. Our teenager is driving me crazy with stuff right now. Because of the few “bombs” I had in my breadmaking, now even though I’ve nailed the recipe, he still won’t eat the bread. Like you said though, I don’t really care when it comes to bread. But overall it’s annoying how he mopes around checking the cupboards and frig and whining that there’s “nothing to eat”. The other kids are fine with the healthy snacks that I have around here, but not him. However, I clearly remember a house FULL of junkfoods as a kid (lots of healthy stuff too, but always a freezer full of boxes) and I still constantly complained about there being nothing to eat, so I know most of it is just a teenager thing.

    So for now I will still strive for *less* grains, and I need to go take a look again at the great ideas up in your earlier comment.

    OH, and you never answered me about potatoes, do you eat them or no?

    Thanks again!

  22. Yes, I think you are right, Kelly, one sometimes can't win with teenagers. And let's face it, parenting is an on-the-job-learning experience and sometimes we figure things out long after the horse has left the starting gate. I think I caught things just in time with Gabriel; another year or two of grains all the time and he might have been a lost cause. Sometimes we have to accept the race is too far gone in some ways. This is just one of them. I'm pretty sure it's still sinking in to your teenager's mind and will resurface at some point when he doesn't feel the need to resist his mom/conform to his peers, and all that, so don't worry too much about it. I resisted all gardening when I lived with my parents and it surprises me how much I learned by osmosis.

    Aahhh, spuds! Formerly a staple for me, though not necessarily every day, despite my Irish roots (had to give pasta, rice, and stuff a rotation, too, back then).

    I don't usually prepare potatoes anymore (I used to roast them at least once a week). I do sometimes make some organic sweet potatoes, but I tend to make only a small amount, primarily for Gabriel and just about 1/4-1/3 cup ea for Guy and I. I do sometimes make enough for leftovers to feed Gabriel for a day or two afterwards.

    I don't add any brown sugar or maple syrup to sweet potatoes anymore though (I'm sure I don't have to comment on marshmallows ;-). But I do like to butter them well if I'm mashing or pureeing. I also oven roast or pan fry slices or wedges in my home -rendered lard or some saved chicken fat (wish I had some duck or goose fat!). Gabriel likes sweet potato "fries" or criss-cross cuts (cut with my V-slicer).

    We've grown sweet potatoes in the garden many years, by burying chunks of ones that sprouted in the cupboard because I forgot about them. One year I only cooked what we grew. The leaves are rather pretty, too, so they make an good ground cover in a front garden and know one would know ;-). But I don't have any growing right now. But I do have a small bag of organic sweet potatoes in the pantry, and they'll get planted if I forget about them (quite likely) and they start to sprout.

    We did get a dozen or so small thin-skinned boiling potatoes in our most recent CSA box (potatoes are not a regular item), so I prepared a few one night this week, much to my family's surprise (cut in half, steamed, buttered & salted with Maldon salt flakes with lots of fresh chopped Italian parsley, also from the CSA box). My husband said, "who are you and what have you done with my wife? :-). That's how rarely white potatoes show up on our table. The entire amount for the three of us fit in a cereal bowl AND there were leftovers for Gabriel's dinner the next day, to give you a sense of amounts. I ate a very small, but very enjoyable serving (I still think starch best as a vehicle for good butter!). I think I served to potatoes with boneless chicken breast nuggets crusted with almond meal, pan fried in lard (with mustard mayo caper sauce); roasted green beans; and tossed salad. Boneless chicken breasts are rare on my table too (usually it's a whole chicken or legs). But I was trying out an idea for the cookbook.

    Yesterday afternoon I made some bison stew for tonight's dinner and I included 3 or 4 of the potatoes near the end of the cooking. I have about 2 potatoes left in the pantry, and I'll probably dice then steam those, then fry them with onions and use that in a Spanish Tortilla (potato omelet) one night for dinner next week or this Sunday's brunch.

    Some CSAs in colder climates contain a lot of potatoes, but ours only does rarely, in fall/winter.

    I don't necessarily buy ALL organic veggies and fruit, though all the produce in our CSA box is organic. I buy some extra produce like cauliflower and cabbage, onions, and I economize or shorten my errands sometimes by buying conventional on these because they aren't likely to have pesticide residues (though that isn't the only reason or motivation for buying organic – such as worker safety, the environment, etc.). But for conventional items that either don't typically have a lot of pesticides applied, or have enough outer protection (thick removable skins, outer leaves, etc.), I often choose conventional.

    But potatoes are one of those items that should always be organic, because conventionally grown have a lot of pesticide residue. It's also worth looking for some heirloom varieties for biodiversity's sake (there are over 2000 varieties of potatoes, but you won't find more than a handful of commercial potatoes in most US stores usually). Like many other foods, non-commercially grown cultivars are being lost at an alarming rate.

    I also only buy organic celery, for the same reason. Apples, pears, berries, grapes, herbs, etc., too.

    BTW, there's a great book called The Field Guide To Buying Organic that goes through the various factors one can consider when choosing conventional vs. organic foods, based on the consumer's motivation and ideals. We don't all choose or not choose O for the same reasons. I added tabs to the sections in the small book and used it as a handy guide while shopping (I stored it in the car) for a while until I could remember the details for the foods that mattered to me.

    Also, not 100% of my food purchases are local, though I try to keep the % high. For instance, coffee and chocolate are imported, but I now buy coffee from a local coffee house that roasts. It's more expensive than the TJs coffee I used to buy, but they have a frequent buyer card that gives 1 pound free after 20 pounds purchased, and a 10% discount on purchases of 5 lbs bags. I buy one each of reg and decaf organic coffee to get the best price (we mix reg & decaf in our expresso machine). And buying locally's good for our local economy.

    I buy imported cheese sometimes, too. Chocolate, too, though for local gift giving we have a really good chocolatier duo (Venezualan/Belgian) in town, Chuao. I buy imported olive oil sometimes, too, though lately I've been getting unfiltered estate bottled CA EVOO from TJs, so that's semi-local. It's hard to get local apples and pears in So Cal because of the climate, though there are a few places to pick them in the foothills, about 2 hours away. A few stores have them at certain times. I try to stick to "new crop" apples in season; I hate the styrofoam texture of atmosphere-controlled "{warehouse" apples, no matter where they come from.

    I am reworking my garden for more "lazy" edibles, and at least one Anna variety apple tree is in the plan (yes, there is variety that grows well here with my name!). We got rid of the last of our lawn this year and a local nursery has been helping me re-plan areas that will include more edibles and bird/butterfly friendly plants. But that's a long-term project, broken into smaller projects as we have time and funds.

    We've already bought two young olive trees (not planted yet) and we're also planning on adding a small pomegranate and macadamia nut trees in the front garden. We have some dwarf Cavendish bananas, but we've ignored their high feeding requirements (lots of compost) and they haven't any produced fruit lately. Time to pay attention to that, too.

    Coconut and coconut product obviously aren't local and I use a lot of those. And so on.

  23. An interesting thing about Low Carb and grains, I think, is listening to what your body wants. When I finally gave up eating out and sugar/chocolate/caffeine (Christmas 08), I find it much easier to see what I should be eating. I tried to cut out bread, at first, but got incredibly depressed and lethargic. So I allowed myself some bread (whole wheat/whole rye sourdough from Diamond Organics and Manna sprouted whole rye). The sourdough loaf is round and some days I might have 2 slices (a bit much). Wonder of wonders, I am eating less and less of it and noticed the other morning (eggs, butter, Himalayan salt, organic pepper, lots of organic (but not, unfortunately, raw) butter and the bread buttered, yes, with enough butter to leave teeth marks (why else butter anything))that I want less and less bread. I know have about 1/2 slice per day. Potatoes have gone by the wayside even though I have these gorgeous Purple Peruvian Potatoes, and I don’t eat winter squash, I have blood sugar problems and have known from the get go that there is too much starch in them. I tried brown and wild rice the other day in some chicken soup and I can’t use that either. I do use beans in chili which I make quite a bit. As my blood sugar balances itself, it will be interesting to see what stays and what doesn’t.
    Kelly, Kathleen DesMaisons says in Little Sugar Addicts to get your kids to buy in to the new eating habits sometimes you need to get them to help. Would your son consider making somekind of muffins (maybe with sprouted grain flour and fruit or peanut butter) with you?
    Anna where do you get raw Parmesan cheese? I can find many other raw cheeses but not Parmesan or Mozzarella. Also, you mentioned you were writing a book (Kelly has probably talked about it, but I don’t know where) what is it called
    One of my favorite part of Nina Planck’s book is where she describes what she ate as a child — very much like what Anna eats, lots of cooked and raw veggies, something I am trying more and more of (although I will use mostly raw vegs as I like them much better).

  24. Hi Janet,

    It was fun re-reading Anna’s comments, I can’t wait for her book! There is no name yet as far as I know, it’s in the very early stages I believe.

    Very interesting that your body is craving less carbs after eating less carbs, I’ve heard that before with desserts, but could never quite believe it because I never got there myself!

    I’d also love some raw Parmesan…I wonder if I could make it with my raw milk???

  25. Oh Kelly, It was SO NEAT to read through your and Anna’s conversation. I learned so much and am so motivated! I would read Anna’s comment and say to myself “Oh I need to ask about this cream of greens soup thing” and there you did it! Then I would think of something else I wanted to ask, and there you asked it! You also asked GREAT things that I would not have even thought to ask! :) I am so excited! I am working on a menu plan right now. I know when I was doing 100% raw food, there was a YUMMY mashed potato recipe that was actually cauliflower! I plan on looking up that recipe again! I bet it can be googled. :) It might be fun to do a whole post on no carb side dishes! (especially as the comments in this post might have been lost) Or even MENU planning with no/low carbs. :) Thank you for this post, the wonderful conversation, and all the wonderful posts you are doing! (PS…I checked out your other blog – WONDERFUL!) :) Ok, on to find that carb carnival in Jan post you mentioned. :)

  26. Paula, I think you win the award for reading the most posts here in one week! Thanks for your sweet words. :)

    If you do a low-carb meal plan or a list of low-carb sides, please share them here!!!

    BTW, the cauliflower isn’t really a recipe, it’s just this: steam the cauliflower, mash well, add tons of butter and some sea salt and pepper as desired. My family didn’t go for it, but I love it!

  27. Hi, Kelly,
    after reading all these wonderful postings I want to throw in my point of view.
    I’m living with whole foods about 2yrs now; baking my own bread from fresh ground grains (I love my Jupiter mill!), making my own pasta, etc.
    I have a high intake of raw veggies and fruits and sprouts and a very low one of meat because I want my meats from organic and grass-fed animals and those aren’t permanent available.

    I don’t feel like living low-carb, most of my calories are coming from grains and butter/olive oil but most of the volume of food are fresh plants.
    I’m gaining weight if I eat lots of cooked food and I lose it easily by eating more raw veggies as salads.
    I’m also eating about 6-8 eggs/week and producing my own cream cheese and yoghurt from raw milk (it’s so easy!).

    The common known numbers about the need of protein for adults are much too high, a quarter of your bodyweight in # will give you the number of gramms of protein, enough for the body’s maintenance, except if you’re pregnant/nursing/sick.

    I’m not a vegetarian, I love a roasted chicken or in winter some fat pork in my stews, but I just don’t see a need of eating meat on a regular basis. Not even poultry or fish – if all people in the world would eat it daily we would need a second and third planet to satisfy the demand.
    With a plant-based diet Earth can feed all people easily.
    To me it’s a kind of humility to share the ressources instead of being selfish.
    And eating mostly plants makes the diet also a lot more affordable.
    Michael Pollan says “Eat real food. Not too much. And mostly plants.”
    And so do I. 😉

  28. Shauna (and anyone else who wants to advise me?)
    I’m planning to start cutting out starch (specifically white bread/flour) tomorrow morning to lose weight. I’m not planning on cutting out pasta just yet as I know that cutting out the bread will near kill me as it is!!!
    I have been worrying about what to eat for lunch and would love to try your “tuna and avacado salad w/cashews on a bed of romaine” or “curry chicken salad” . Pls could you let me know the recipes for these and if anyone has any easy ideas for me to start with i’d be very grateful. I just want to have something else for my lunch than ‘a white bread sandwich’.
    However i’m really fussy unfortunately and don’t like many vegetables. I love leeks, mushrooms, onions though.
    Thanks very much : )
    Michelle (Manchester, England)

  29. The comment below was emailed to me from a reader. Michelle, this post (above) could be helpful to give you more ideas, and also look over the posts at this link:

    Hi Kelly
    I came across your blog on the internet and tried to post a question to a previous post by Michigan mom (Shauna), however it wouldn’t let me for some reason.

    My question was this :

    “Shauna (and anyone else who wants to advise me?)
    I’m planning to start cutting out starch (specifically white bread/flour) tomorrow morning to lose weight. I’m not planning on cutting out pasta just yet as I know that cutting out the bread will near kill me as it is!!!
    I have been worrying about what to eat for lunch and would love to try your “tuna and avacado salad w/cashews on a bed of romaine” or “curry chicken salad” . Pls could you let me know the recipes for these and if anyone has any easy ideas for me to start with i’d be very grateful. I just want to have something else for my lunch than ‘a white bread sandwich’.
    However i’m really fussy unfortunately and don’t like many vegetables. I love leeks, mushrooms, onions though”.
    Thanks very much : )

    Are you able to put this on the site so Shauna (and anyone else can advise me?).
    I have also added you on Facebook. Thanks for your help in advance.

    Michelle (Manchester, England)

    Kelly the Kitchen Kop

  30. Thanks Kelly…i’ve looked over all the posts and also the site but it seems a little complicated to me at this time!
    I just need simple inspiration at the moment as i’m planning to try giving up bread tomorrow and am not sure what to eat for breakfast/lunch lunch etc.
    Thanks for your help – Michelle x

  31. Michelle, if all the ideas in this post and the other low-carb posts (did you see the carnival post?) didn’t grab you, you could also google it and see what other ideas you get. There are tons!

    Also, I wouldn’t recommend giving up bread “tomorrow”, if you don’t have some meals planned out. If I did that, I’d be setting myself up for failure. When I gear up for it, I plan at least a week of meals first, go shopping, THEN start. Take the time to do a little research, and then make time to plan each week – that’s key to success. There are plenty of ideas out there for new things to try, etc., but you have to take the time to find them, plan for them, and shop.

    Nothing worthwhile is easy all the time. You can do it! :)


  32. Personally I find I feel a lot better if I have more animal foods in my diet. I suspect I’m not the only one. I am not bothered by considerations of “what if the whole planet ate that way” because the whole planet will never eat that way. There will always be die-hard vegans and vegetarians, people who don’t eat pork for religious reasons, and people who insist on eating mostly plants because it’s more eco-friendly. And we won’t have nearly seven billion people, or even more than that, for very much longer if what the peak-oilers say is true.

    So my basic philosophy is that if I feel better on a way of eating I’m going to continue that way of eating (well, except for moments of temptation) because I can’t save the whole world but I can at least take care of myself.

    Someone mentioned juice in the comments–you’re going to love this, but although the USDA allows fruit juice to be offered through WIC, it has also released a memo about the health hazards of juice consumption in children. I saw it posted outside the WIC office when I was on the program and have since found it at the USDA website. Cognitive dissonance, much? I really wish they’d overhaul the program, they’re basically feeding poison to moms and babies. (Right alongside the cold cereal.)

    I loved Anna’s comments! I need to get my printer hooked up. I’ve been at my wits’ end trying to work out how to feed my daughter in healthier ways. Thanks, Anna!

  33. Hi, my partner has been living on low carb meals and lost 20kilos in 6 months… he did not want to drinking alcohol so he drinks low carb beers, or diet lime cordial with vodka and soda water, and a slice or two of fresh lime. He says it is very refreshing in summer and he can drink a lot and not feel too bad the next day cos its also hydrating. I guess you could use any flavour cordial as long as it is diet/no sugar.

  34. I find a great alcoholic drink is raspberry or blackberry zinger iced tea. I do use an artificial sweetener and lemon. A little vodka makes a delicious fruity tasting sipper. I can drink this occassionally and still lose and/or maintain my weight.

    A really simple but delicious chicken dish is mustard chicken. I simply spread lots of poupon mustard on boneless skineless chicken breasts and bake at 350.

    I am enjoying your site. I have also recently discovered I tried to follow this years ago but kept quitting. Now I am just not so rigid and allow about 30 40 grams of carbs a day. The weight falls off.


  35. Thanks Kelly for all of your suggestions and information!

    We have been loyal customers of the GG Bran crispbreads for years and they are a part of our daily diet routine that we couldn

  36. I’m bookmarking this post. I am getting thick in the middle, and the scale keeps creeping up and I FEEL like I’m not eating much but I must be eating enough to gain some weight and get thick in the middle. I HATE IT. I know cutting carbs and sugar is key, but lately I’ve been trying to go totally gluten free in effort to lose weight and also thinking I will feel better. I really need all the help I can get coming up with carb-free alternatives.

    • Hello Musings of a Housewife,

      Actually I have the same problem of thickening in the middle…:) Then I discovered the world of low carb, which help me cope up, and came to know low carb recipes at, easy meals and easy preparations that you will surely love. Good luck and I hope it works out for you.

  37. Oooo, Kelly, this is such a wonderful and helpful post. My doctor recently told me that even though I don’t have full-blown celiac disease, it seems highly probably I’m sensitive to gluten and need to stay away from it. Not easy (especially hearing it right at Christmas!). It’ll be fun to peruse these!

  38. Due to blood sugar problems, I have been on saturated fats, protein (meats & nuts), whole milk and products, lower starch veggies (no potato, sweet potato, fruit etc) herbal teas, no sugars or sweeteners of any kind, very limited grains (soaked, sprouted or fermented) since around August. Avocado, tomato, and cucumber, as well as a bit of lemon or lime for flavoring, are exceptions to the no fruit. I usually eat an English muffin every 3-4 days. It gives a bit of variation to my diet. Through this diet and God’s healing my sugar is doing well without meds and is slowly going lower. At present it averages in the 120’s. I lost 8-10 pounds, maybe a little more since I started walking and some muscle may have bulked a bit. I walk on a walker 45 minutes most days. Since then I haven’t lost anything really. Since you seem to get results, I was wondering if you have any ideas?

  39. I forgot, I also use eggs most mornings. Sadly I don’t have a source for pastured eggs & meat or raw milk. There is nothing in my county or even an adjacent one. I did hear about an Amish farm somewhere, but it is farther away than my doctor who is an hour away and it is very difficult to get on the waiting list and missing one week means you are off of the list. With my schedule it’s not possible for me to do. DH I I would love to find a place on a lake with enough land to raise a few livestock(or at least close enough to good sources), but with our finances that will be difficult, especially since we are limited to lake front property. It would be easier to DH, who is blind, to fish without having to be taken to the water. We are praying God will provide the right spot for us.

    – use gin, vodka, rum etc… 0 carb/ 0 sugar
    – for a fruity drink I use Crystal Light mixes or there is a new 0 calorie/ 0 carb/0 sugar liquid drink mix called Mio- what’s great is you squeeze as much of the fruity liquid into your drink as you want. I squeeze it directly into the alchohol for a really fruity alchoholic drink

    • The only problem, though, is that last I looked, Crystal Light had a long scary ingredient labels (i.e. lots of chemicals) – I don’t know about “Mio”…I’ll have to check it out.


      • Very true, but I find that I have to be a little flexible and have some things that aren’t ideal when on this kind of diet- particularly when you want a fruity alchoholic drink. You could try blending fresh fruit and use that to make fruity alchohol drinks too!

    – I have found that I can eat the no sugar, low carb chocolate candies and still lose weight. Russel Stover is my absolute favorite. They have regular sugar free candies, but also a line called “Net Zero” which has even fewer carbs (I haven’t seen those in stores, but you can order online and soemtimes get free shipping). They taste great and have many of the favorites from the Russel Stover Boxed candies. Really yummy and satifies my huge sweet tooth!

    (You can also easily make your own chocolate truffles- there are many recipes for no sugar/ low carb truffles you can find on the internet. It’s really only chocolate and cream, but you need to get the ratio right. I roll mine in crushed nuts or cocoa powder)

  42. – Baked onions (like you would bake an onion)- bake it in the skin until it is soft (about 45 min). Drizzle some homemade oil and vinegar dressing over the top.

    – Baked cheese “chips”- place a tablespoon of grated parm on a non-stick baking sheet and bake for a few minutes until golden brown around the edges. They are moldable straight from the oven so you can make little cups out of them and add a salad (nice party presentation) or just leave them to cool and you have amazing tasting “chips”!

  43. Hi, Kelly,
    I’m on a complete grain-free and milk protein-free diet since last year, due to a developing sprue.
    I found the book from Elaine Gottschall, Breaking the vicious cycle and some books with very yummy recipes. The diet is called “specific carbohydrate diet” , is nearly carb-free and recommands strongly only grass-fed meat/eggs, and organic veggies/fruits.
    My health improved a lot and no, I don’t want to be missionary, but that’s a very healthy and yummy way to eat.
    Instead of grain flour it uses mostly almond or coconut flour – it’s really delicious.
    Give it a try – it’s also free of all kinds of artificial stuff, pure nature.

  44. For a low/ no carb alcoholic beverage I love to do crystal light mixed with a shot of vodka or any other no carb liquor.

  45. hi guys!

    As for low-carb/gluten free drinks, my vote goes to hard ciders!! There are a huge variety out there (woodchuck cider, kelly irish cider, woodpecker, magners, hornsbys) that make gluten free and non gluten free. Also Dogfish Head brewery is just about to release a gluten free beer that doesnt taste like cardboard! happy low-carb/gluten drinking :)


  46. Hi everybody! I just wanna loose a load of my pounds im carrying so if anyone has some foods that could help me loose really really fast please let me know!! Thanks so much!!!:)

  47. I LOVE coming across blogs like this! Every one tells you that to loose weight you need to eat less calories, you need to be practically starving all day to loose anything! Eat low-fat! REALLY?! When low-fat diets were introduced in the 80’s that’s when AMerica’s obesity rates spiked! Thank you for this, and I am new to your blog and don’t know if you’ve come across this book, “The Truth About Beauty” by Kat James, but it is about healing your body from the inside and all about this principle of eating less carbs, and more healthy fats and more whole foods! LOVE IT!!!!

  48. A friend suggested your site to me and I’m impressed. A couple ideas to share. We use Stevia in a blend of herbal/green teas as our primary beverage. The Stevia I use comes from Swanson Vitamins website and is advertised as being non-bitter. It only take a scant tablespoon to sweeten a half gal pitcher of tea and the flavor is as good as kool-aid. Also, I have a recipe for flax bread. It’s a foccacia style bread and only uses flax meal, egg and baking powder. The flavor is slightly nutty. I make it in a 9 x 13 pan and then cut it into slices. It can be used for sandwiches or toasted to go with eggs. It does need to be refrigerated and eaten within a week or so or it will mold. It has the added benefit of providing a good amount of fiber, something that can be hard to get enough of when low-carb dieting. I’m looking forward to trying some of the recipes you’ve listed and reading more of your site.

  49. I feel this is among the most vital info for me. And i’m glad studying your article.
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