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 Chicken Wings via Yummy Lummy

A super-duper low-carb options for chicken fans from Yummy Lummy…

Super hot and spicy chicken wings that are low carb too Spicy chicken wings were on my mind all day after I watched Megatoad (aka Matt Stonie) eating sixty-five (65) chicken wings on his YouTube channel. He starts mild and steps up to the really hot and spicy chicken wings towards the end and then […]

via Super hot and spicy chicken wings that are low carb too — Yummy Lummy

Gluten-free Gravy for Pork or Chicken

My husband likes to say he does love a nice drop o’ gravy, speaking the words in a terrible Yorkshire accent. I don’t know why. Are people in Yorkshire more associated with gravy loving?

I like to experiment with gravy-making from time to time, and last weekend I came up with this to accompany roast pork. It’s basically vegetables that have been cooked with the meat, and they and their juices then boiled up with some water and wine and pureed. I added a tablespoon of Bovril for added savouriness.

What I got a was a thick, tasty gravy – and then I twigged that I’d also made a gluten-free sauce, which happened to supply one of those magical five-a-days. Sometimes, I don’t know my own genius…

Anyhow, here’s the recipe for you. I think it will go better with pork and chicken, than lamb or beef, but you never know.

Gluten-free Gravy

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 1 whole chicken or a joint of pork
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut into thick chunks
  • 5 or six cloves of garlic, peeled and bashed
  • 3-4 sticks of celery cut into sticks
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into thick chunks
  • 50ml white wine or cider
  • 300ml water
  • 1 teaspoon Bovril

Add a tablespoon of oil to a large roasting pan. Put the vegetables in the pan and roast the meat until it is cooked.

While the meat is resting, scape the vegetables and the meat juices into a saucepan, discarding any that are too blackened. Add the wine or cider and bring the mix to a boil. Add the water and the Bovril.

Allow to simmer for a few minutes and then liquidise so that you end up with a smooth, thick sauce. You might need to add some more water to thin it down.

Because of the carrots and onions, this does have some carb content (and also fibre). Allow roughly 5g of carbs per serving.

Spicy Tomato and Lentil Soup

In need of something warm, spicy and comforting as the nights draw in? Let me introduce the spicy tomato and lentil soup.

Just as in July and August we were in un dated with courgettes that morphed into marrows because we couldn’t pick ‘em fast enough, now the green house is giving up its goodies. Tomatoes, tomatoes and more tomatoes – they keep on coming.

Nice as they are to eat in salads, I needed a recipe that would use up a lot of them so I hit on tomato and lentil soup. Yes, there are lentils in it and they do contain carbs, but they thicken the soup up marvellously and make it so delicious, they are worth it.

If you like your soup to be more of a main course than a starter, do as I always do and serve it topped with a poached egg or two. Some cooked chorizo would work too.

Spicy Tomato and Lentil Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 400g tomatoes, halved
  • 75g red lentils
  • 1 red pepper, de-seeded and chopped
  • 1tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1tbsp ground cumin
  • 1tsp dried chilli flakes (more or less, depending on how spicy you like it)
  • 600ml boiling water
  • Salt

Heat the oil in a large saucepan/stock pan. Add the onion and pepper and cook for five minutes, until softened but not browned.

Add the tomatoes, garlic, cumin and chilli and cook for another five minutes until the tomatoes start to break down. Add the lentils and boiling water and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cover. Leave to cook for 15-20 minutes.

Use a hand blender to puree the soup. Add salt to taste – you should be generous with the salt, as lentils can take quite a bit of it.

20g carbs and 5g fibre per serving.

 

 

The Diabetes Diet – A Request

We are updating The Diabetes Diet! Our book has been on Amazon for a while now, and we’ve decided to give it a makeover (as well as get it ready for print).

We will be expanding the recipe section, and we wondered if any of our followers would like to contribute to this? Or, if you would like to provide a testimonial about how low-carb eating and matching insulin to your meals works for you, we would welcome that too.

We can’t offer you any money, but we will publicise your own blog or anything else. If you want to tell us about your success following low carb but would prefer to do it anonymously, that’s fine too.

You can find the book here.

To send us recipes or testimonials, please email: lowcarbdiabetesdiet@gmail.com

Thanks in advance!

Low-Carb Bread

Joy of joys! I’ve found low-carb bread in Asda of all places…

Unlike the gluten-free and vegan markets, low carb high-fat diets don’t lend themselves easily to convenience foods. Hey, that’s probably a good thing. And it’s not as if you don’t have plenty of choices when you factor in cream, cheese, eggs, nuts, meat and fish and all the other yummy things that do fit perfectly with this way of eating.

But bread. Bread! Ask many people on the LCHF way of life what they miss most, and we are willing to bet it’s bread. Yes, you can make low-carb bread (and we offer a recipe here), but it is expensive to make. This protein bread I found in Asda is made by Scheidner Brot, and it has about 4g of carbs per slice, 7g of fibre and 11g protein. Best of all, it does actually resemble bread – albeit it’s more similar to that heavy rye bread, sometimes called black bread. This packet cost me £1.50. Okay, it does have a lot of ingredients (our low-carb bread recipe, for example, has six things in it) and it’s not suitable for coeliacs, but still…

Ah, the possibilities that open up in front of me are endless! Toast with butter and Marmite! Toast with peanut butter and sliced cucumber… You need the cucumber because peanut butter is claggy, and the cucumber cuts through it. Or what about a healthy dollop of egg mayonnaise? Some chicken liver pate would be nice too, and there is always cheese on toast with a little dash of Worcestershire sauce. You can freeze it in slices for convenience.

I’m in bread heaven!

Wagyu Burgers & Aioli Recipe

This week, I thought I’d share with you this thing of beauty…

I’ve been working on my food photography skills. This isn’t a food blog, but it does feature a lot about food seeing as the saying ‘let food be thy medicine’ applies to people with diabetes more than others. As you can see, I have a long, long way to go…

I’m not a natural photographer. My pictures are often blurry. They definitely lack that crystal-clear focus skilled food photography has, and yet sometimes I look at food blogs and wish they had a bit more of a homemade look to them. Should food be about looks, rather than quality and taste?

Just as with food photography, I’m not good at presentation. I plonk food on a plate, and the most decoration it gets is a sprinkle of parsley. I created this dish – the Wagyu burger with a Portobello mushroom, topped with Roquefort. Delicious, hmm? I do wish I could make things look better, so they appear as they taste.

We got the Wagyu burgers in Aldi. If you wanted to add yet more decadent deliciousness, a rasher of streaky bacon grilled to crispness would work well. You could also add a tablespoon of garlic mayonnaise, and if you want to make your own mayo even better. Here’s the recipe if you want to try it out.

It’s easiest to make mayonnaise in a food processor. My grandmother made it by hand. If you want a workout, feel free!

Aioli

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 1 whole, large free-range egg
  • 200ml rapeseed oil (I use Scottish cold-pressed)
  • 50ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1-2tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 clove, garlic, crushed
  • Salt and black pepper

Place the egg, mustard, crushed garlic and a little salt and pepper in the food processor and run the processor until the yolk is thoroughly mixed and pale yellow.

Put the oil in a jug and with the motor running, pour in the oil very slowly. You must go slowly, or the mayonnaise will not thicken up. Slowly means letting it drip in.

Once you have added about two-thirds of the oil, add 1tbsp of vinegar to thin it a little. Add the rest of the oil, taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary. You might want to add another tablespoon of vinegar for flavour and to thin the mix a little. It will taste very garlicky at first, but the flavour will soften over time.

Thanks to the rapeseed oil, your sauce will be the most beautiful golden colour.

The carb count for two tablespoons of mayonnaise is negligible.

Aioli is delicious with so many things. Dip the last of the season’s asparagus in it, spread it on slices of low-carb bread, have it with chicken or fish, and anoint roasted vegetables with generous dollops.

 

Low-Carb Lunches – Asparagus Soup

asparagusAsparagus – I’m not 100 percent keen on it as a side vegetable, but when you fry it with onions and garlic, add in stock and double cream, it becomes something else entirely…

Try this for lunch. When I have soup for lunch, I always add two boiled eggs for extra protein. It also makes an unbelievably filling dish. You might struggle to finish it all.

Asparagus Soup

  • Servings: 3
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 400g asparagus
  • 2tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 medium-sized onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1tsp salt
  • Freshly-ground black pepper
  • 600ml water or chicken stock
  • 60ml sour or double cream

Chop the asparagus into one-inch pieces. Fry in a saucepan with the rapeseed oil for five minutes. Add the onion and garlic, cover the pan and cook over a gentle heat for another five minutes.

Add the water or stock, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer for ten minutes.

Add the cream or double cream and blend until smooth. Adjust the seasoning to taste.

4-5g net carbs per serving.

Asparagus wee… if you’re someone who gets this (your pee smells really strong after eating asparagus), Asparagus soup is going to give you a bad dose of it. There’s an explanation here about what causes asparagus wee why some people get it and others don’t. 

 

Seasonal Low-Carb Dishes

diabetes diet
Mediterranean trout with kale.

February is almost at an end – as it the season for many fruit and vegetables we associated with this time of year.

Nevertheless, we’ve done a round-up of what’s in season at the moment. If you eat seasonally, you get food at its best. It also means less food miles, as the food can be produced in the UK and has therefore not had to travel as far to get to your plate.

Fruit

  • Lemons
  • Clementines (coming to the end of their season)
  • Pears (coming to the end of their season)
  • Kiwis

Vegetables

  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Celeriac
  • Leeks
  • Kale
  • Purple sprouting broccoli

Meat and fish

  • Turkey
  • Salmon

If you want some recipe ideas for what to do with what’s in season, you could try:

Enjoy!

 

Love Yourself – Follow a Low-Carb Diet!

loveWe’re following tradition here at the Diabetes Diet. What do you do when it’s Valentine’s Day? Try to squeeze in a reference to love in any online activity. And hearts of course. I’m going to try to do both.

If you have diabetes, type 1 or type 2, your body doesn’t respond well to carbohydrates. You can eat a diet high in carbohydrates – it’s just that you won’t feel very well, short-term. In the long-term, a diet high in carbohydrates can lead to high blood glucose levels. This in turn will damage your body and shorten your life.

So, if you love yourself, follow a low-carb diet to minimise the risks of diabetes!

Here’s how to do it.

Read up on all the advice out there. We have a book, The Diabetes Diet that sets out the benefits of low-carb eating. It also includes recipes, daily menu plans and advice about how to manage your medication on a low carb diet. Check out lowcarbdiabetic, a great website for people looking for information and help with their condition.

Follow blogs. Blogs like ours regularly feature low-carb recipes and information and advice for people with diabetes. There are lots of great low-carb blogs out there. See fittoserve, Authority Nutrition, and the Diet Doctor.

Buy some recipe books. A great all-rounder is 500 Low Carb Recipes by Dana Carpender, although bear in mind it is an American book so the measures and some of the ingredients will be unfamiliar. The celebrity chef Tom Kerridge has a new book out now – The Dopamine Diet*, featuring the low-carb recipes that helped him lose 11 stones.

Get yourself a carb guide. Online dieting apps are the most useful source for carb guides. Remember that might need to minus the fibre content from the total carbohydrate content. Myfitnesspal offers the most extensive database.

Enjoy it! Low-carb eating is one of the most satisfying and delicious diets you will eat. Cheese, cream, juicy pork chops, grilled sirloin steaks, salmon topped with mayonnaise… what’s not to love? Try out some of our recent recipes:

Think of the benefits. More energy, lower blood glucose levels (leading to less risk of heart disease, see I told you I was going to shoehorn hearts into this piece somewhere), better skin, fat loss if it’s needed – all these are bonuses of low-carbing.

 

*Review to come!