Avoiding Boredom on a Low-Carb Diet

Yawnsville. I’m so bored of gazelles…

Boredom is the enemy of healthy eating, right? It’s easy to be enthusiastic five days into low-carb dieting, but 20 days later? Not so much.

I suffer from this myself. Sometimes, you long to nose-dive into a gigantic bowl of crisps. Or scarf down eight slices of bread, covered in butter. Here are some ideas for keeping boredom at bay.

Do try out lots of different recipes. Most of us rotate the same meals week in/week out. When you’re restricting what you’re eating, that’s a double whammy. We’ve lots of suggestions here, but the Grand Daddy of diabetes-friendly recipes is The Diet Doctor. There, you’ll find various carb counts, vegetarian choices, fish, meat and eggs ideas in abundance.

Look for different texture. Low-carb foods can lack crunch. (Think crisps, crackers and more.) Pork rinds are crunch-tastic. Make them yourself by cutting pork skin into strips and tossing with a little sea salt and hot smoked paprika. Place them on a rack over a tray and whack in a very hot oven for 25-30 minutes. You can buy them too.

De-carb your favourite recipes. Missing bread? Try our easy, low-carb version here. Use cauliflower for rice or those zero noodles to make Chinese and Asian-inspired dishes. Cauliflower also makes fabulous mash.

Eat enough. Boredom might be hunger in disguise. Work out your calorie allowance for your levels of activity and ensure you’re meeting it. Adding cheese, cream and mayonnaise to dishes is an easy way to bump those numbers up.

Try new foods. Yes, branch out and eat something you thought you hated. Liver, cabbage and sprouts (not all together) might turn out to be delicious.

Have at least two or three go-to sweet recipes. Humans love a sweet taste. While you might want a low-carb diet to get rid of yours, the wise woman (or man) has low-carb options on hand just in case. Try our peanut chocolate fudge for a sweet hit. Or this recipe for ice-cream.

Eat high-carb occasionally. Make it worth it, though. I ate a slice of chocolate cake recently which was…average. I muttered to myself afterwards, “Well, that was a total waste of carbs.” Choose the very best you can and eat in the evening, rather than at lunchtime or breakfast as the resultant tiredness won’t matter so much.

Happy days!

For a book stuffed to the gunnels with low-carb recipes, The Diabetes Diet (now available in print and e-book format) is your number one choice.

Low Carb Side Dishes

diabetes dietHave you been caught out by the vegetable shortage in the shops? British supermarkets have run short of courgettes, spinach and other salad items thanks to bad weather in Spain and Italy.

If you follow a low-carb diet, you probably rely more on such vegetables than the average person. I decided to see what I could do with Scottish ingredients. The Diet Doctor website features a lot of cabbage, including main course and side dishes that use this vegetable. Most supermarkets stock Scottish or British-grown cabbage so there are no issues there with availability.

The Diet Doctor’s Cabbage Casserole can be made exclusively with Scottish ingredients, supporting our farmers and growers. I adapted the recipe slightly and here it is. Allow about 10g net carbs per serving and serve with pork chops, roast chicken legs or steak.

Please note – you’ll need a large saucepan because 450g cabbage is bulky. It reduces in size as it cooks.

Cabbage Casserole

  • Servings: 3
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 450g green or white cabbage, shredded
  • ½ medium-sized onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 150ml sour cream
  • 50g butter
  • 75g grated cheese
  • 75g soft cheese, such as Philadelphia
  • Salt and pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the cabbage and onion and mix well to coat in the butter.

Cook gently for about seven minutes. You want the vegetables to be softened but not browned. Add salt and pepper and the garlic and cook for one minute more.

Mix the sour cream and soft cheese. Stir into the cabbage. Place the mixture in an ovenproof dish, top with the grated cheese, a good helping of black pepper and cook in the oven for 15 minutes.

PS – I thought I’d try this on my green vegetable hating husband, convinced that the cream and cheese would convert him. It didn’t work…

Low-Carb Pizza

low-carb pizzaLow-carb pizza for dinner? Anyone who follows a low-carb diet for diabetes is probably familiar with the work of Dr Andreas Eenfeldt.

The Swedish practitioner set up the Diet Doctor blog in 2007. The blog is now the most popular health blog in Scandinavia and the website offers all kinds of useful resources for those wanting to take up a low carb high fat diet. There are expert videos, how to courses and lots of recipes.

I decided to try one out this week – for low-carb pizza. This version uses aubergine slices to replace the bread. I adapted it slightly, but you can see the original recipe here.

Don’t forget that our book, The Diabetes Diet contains plenty of low-carb recipes and advice on how to adjust your medication when you embark on a low carb diet, which applies to those with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Low Carb Pizza

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 1 aubergine, medium to large
  • 200g minced beef (use pork or turkey if you prefer)
  • 200g tinned tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • ½ small onion
  • 150g grated cheese – use a mix of mozzarella and cheddar for the best taste)
  • ½ tbsp. dried oregano
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Slice the aubergines length-wise about ⅓–½ inches (1 cm) thick. Coat with olive oil and bake in oven for about 20 minutes or until they turn a little in colour. Turn them half-way through cooking.

Fry the meat, finely chopped onion and garlic in pan until the onions have softened the meat is browned. Add the tomato sauce and seasoning. Let the mixture simmer for 10 minutes or more.

Remove the aubergine slices from the oven and spread the meat mixture on top. Sprinkle with cheese and oregano. Place in the oven for about 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted.

Serve with a green salad.

Allow roughly 10-13g of carbohydrates per portion.