Contrary to popular belief, people on a low carb diet don’t eat bacon ALL the time.
At least, not most of us. 😛 LOL
My friend Angie, who is a vegetarian, asks: “What are ways a vegetarian can ease in to low carb?
I still eat fish, dairy, eggs.”
I am not a vegetarian (obviously!), and I realize there are different types of vegetarians, so keep that in mind as you read through my suggestions.
You can easily modify this list of vegetarian low carb foods to suit your personal preferences, but it should give you some good ideas to start with.
When it comes to eating low carb, you want to cut out things like: bread, rice, pasta, potatoes and sugar. This still leaves you a lot of options, and even more if you eat dairy & eggs like Angie. For dairy you have all cheeses, sour cream, cream cheese, creamy spinach dip etc. And she mentioned still eating fish in her diet, which could include: tuna salad, grilled salmon, low carb salmon patties, baked fish, crab legs, grilled shrimp, etc.
Since you already eat a lot of vegetables in your diet, you’ll just want to adjust which vegetables you eat. For a good reference list, see: Vegetables on a Low-Carb Diet: The Best and Worst
You do want to cut out starchy vegetables, or vegetables that are higher in carbohydrates such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, corn, beets, etc. Oh, and beans. I miss beans sometimes. 🙂
I don’t eat meat for every meal myself. I often just have cheesy broccoli, or other vegetables for a quick meal. Mainly because I eat breakfast & lunch alone so it’s handy to make things that are great as leftovers. I also love eggs because they’re so quick & easy, and especially loved chopped spinach and cheddar scrambled into a couple of eggs. And deviled eggs – those are delicious!
Other Vegetarian Low Carb Foods
- Alfredo Sauce
- Spinach Garlic Cheese Bread (I love these!)
- Natural Peanut Butter
- Polaner Sugar Free Preserves
- Low Carb Bread
- Soy Sauce (great for stir-fry veggies)
- Caesar Salad (without croutons)
- Low Carb Tortillas
- Dill Pickles & Dill Relish
- Mayo & Mustard
There is SO much you can do with vegetables alone, especially when you add in things from the list above. Try getting creative with layers of vegetables, a quiche, baked vegetables drizzled with Alfredo sauce, Romaine lettuce tossed with Caesar dressing & parmesan with grilled shrimp in a low carb tortilla, etc. I’m sure you’ll come up with tons more when you put some thought into it.
The key is to cut out the bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, starches and sugar. You can use the Atkins Induction Phase Food List and just skip over the meat products you don’t eat.
Your goal is to start the first few weeks by consuming less than 20 net carbs per day. This will allow you to eat A LOT of vegetables, along with the other items on the list. People who stick to this carb count the first few weeks experience dramatic weight loss. It’s called “Induction Phase” by most.
As a vegetarian, you have a head start on me. I’ve had to learn my way around the produce section since starting the low carb diet -LOL. 🙂 It’s been fun though, and I am finding more and more new vegetables I like. I enjoy sliced crisp cucumbers with salt as a salty crispy snack (chip replacement!). And I like chopped cooked spinach in recipes now. I never cared for spinach before at all!
For sweets, you’ll want to make sugar free low carb desserts instead. I like sugar free candy, which is easy to find now due to the unfortunate number of people with diabetes. Both in candy shops and in the local grocery stores. You can also get sugar free pudding, sugar free Jello chocolate mousse, low carb cheesecake, etc.
I enjoy berries, too – strawberries, blueberries, blackberries & raspberries. You’ll be surprised how quickly your sweet tooth changes when you start cutting sugar & starch out of your diet, and how strawberries can quickly replace sugary sweets as a nice dessert!
Also see Low Carb Vegetable Recipes