Eating Well – Low Carb and Without Grains

I am often asked, and sometimes volunteer, what I eat on my diet. Of course I eat a variety of things. At first, the thought of eating without grains is foreign to eating a Standard American Diet which stresses carbs from grains, breads and cereals. So what else is there? The next time you are at your market, stand in the middle of the produce section and look around. If you are at a large supermarket like Tops or Wegmans, you will see a vast array of fresh vegetables and fruits. These have carbs but they are usually low glycemic. Your meat section is another area that is generally grain free unless it is prepared and breaded. Frozen vegetables and fruits are another area to add to your diet. Also, the bulk foods area offers many nuts and mixtures that are delightful sources of good fats and proteins.

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. I enjoy the standard bacon (2 slices) and one egg breakfast except instead of potato and toast, I eat mine with sautéed broccoli and cauliflower (1cup each sautéed in 1tbsp of salted butter, with dried minced garlic and salt added). This adds bulk and slow carbs to the breakfast. I usually drink a 16oz glass of detox water (2oz Lemon Juice, 1oz Lime Juice, two packets of Splenda and 13oz of water). I also have a cup of coffee, This would seem like a lot, but the total nutrition for this particular breakfast, according to my LoseIt! app, is: Total Calories = 329, Fat = 24.6g (12.1g saturated), Cholesterol = 268.3mg, Sodium = 581.1mg, Carbohydrates = 10.8g (Fiber 5g, Sugar 1g, Net Carbs = 5.8g), Protein = 17.7g. You can lower these even more by using unsalted butter or olive oil, substitute turkey bacon and egg substitute. You can enjoy a satisfying meal that has little calories and is filling.

Another wonderful breakfast I enjoy is sautéed cabbage and vegetables. I usually slice up 4 – 6 cups of Savoy cabbage. I slice snow peas lengthwise into strips that complement the cabbage. I add carrot matchsticks, I also add small zucchini squash cut into matchsticks and shredded red or purple cabbage. I use a garlic and herb sautéing butter which adds wonderful flavor. I may add baby kale at the end and finish it with a sprinkling of lime juice. This makes it bright. For a protein component, I might add ham, sausage or chicken. A plate full of this goodness ranges from 200 to 300 calories, is delicious and satisfying.

Bullet-proof Coffee is coffee with 1tbsp coconut oil or butter added. I use coconut oil. My 16oz thermos of coffee, creamer and zero calorie sweetener with the coconut oil is 165 calories. As coconut oil is mostly medium chain triglycerides that are processed in the liver into ketones, it is great at staving off hunger.

My lunch can consist of 8 cups of fresh baby spinach / baby kale mix that is cooked down with minced garlic and onion in olive oil on top of turkey sausage. This is just under 200 calories. I usually eat a fresh grapefruit for an additional 106 calories. This lunch gives me a good supply of omega 3 fatty acids, plenty of vitamins and minerals, and fiber. I usually have herbal tea with my lunch.

My dinner usually consists of a stir fry using fresh or frozen vegetables and usually steak tips or fajita beef. With about 4oz of meat, vegetables and oil to stir fry, a calorie total is around 450 calories. I will then add some fresh pineapple for the sweetness, fiber and the great enzymes within the pineapple, the ones that disallow its use in gelatin. This meal completes out about 550 calories. I usually have my detox water (0 calories).

You can see that I can get variety, good flavor, and rich nutrition without eating grains. With that being said, I do find it hard to get enough fiber, so I supplement my diet with psyllium husks caps and ground flax seed (I usually add 2tsp to 3oz of low fat yogurt). I also take a multivitamin each day. Many people put no faith in vitamins but I think it is a wonderful insurance policy to get a greater range of vitamins and minerals in my diet.

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