I used to cook daily but my kids are grown now and I live alone, and I also travel a lot. I have a busy lifestyle, just like you! I read a few other low carb blogs and I swear they must LIVE in their kitchen.
Who’s got time for THAT?! 😛
I don’t spend hours shopping (I usually shop online – it’s faster, and things get delivered straight to my door!). I don’t do time-consuming meal planning or preparation. I don’t make complicated recipes – in fact, I hardly EVER cook. I simply “make food” now and then, lol. “Simply” being the key word. 😉
Tons of prepping & meal planning is not necessary to succeed on a Low Carb Diet (thank goodness!). I’ve had several people tell me that alone made them hesitate to get started. If you told ME I had to plan and prepare a week ahead, I’d fail before I ever got started…
Eating Low Carb Can Be Super Easy!
- You don’t have to drink BPC (Bullet Proof Coffee).
- You don’t have to eat bacon. (*gasp*)
- You don’t have to make complicated recipes.
- You don’t have to eat “Fat Bombs”.
- You don’t have to eat a stick of butter.
- You don’t have to do a lot of meal planning & preparation…
… to be successful with a healthy Low Carb Diet.
- You also don’t have to go “all organic” or be a total health nut to lose weight and get healthier.
Keeping It Simple To Start…
My plates are simple. I like very easy real foods, such as: avocado, pecans, eggs and salmon. Here’s an example of one of my meals while eating out at a restaurant. I ordered a grilled chicken sandwich without the bun, asparagus instead of fries (which I like to dip in mayo), and a side of avocado slices:
For someone just starting out, or if you’re frustrated with your low carb diet, I recommend keeping it super easy: just stick to 20 net carbs a day to start.
When I first started years ago the ONLY thing I focused on was eating 20 net carbs a day or less. I kept it THAT simple – and that’s what I recommend for anyone just starting out. The less complicated the better.
You want to read labels, and Google anything without a label. If it’s produce, I use this site to get nutrition data. You can track your foods easily using MyFitnessPal. It makes it very easy to stay on track, and tracking also keeps you accountable to your goals. 😉
It’s THAT easy.
Ignore The “Fancy Stuff” and Dogma
You’ll see a lot of acronyms and fancy ideas when you start eating low carb. Things like BPC, Fat Bombs, Fat Fast, etc. See Low Carb Lingo to familiarize yourself with some of the common terms.
You don’t need any of that. Just eat real food, and stay under 20 net carbs a day.
Of course, you can try BPC (Bullet Proof Coffee) if you want to, or make fancy recipes even. That’s totally up to you! I’m just saying that you CAN make it easy and keep it simple if you prefer. 😀
You can also ignore the people that tell you a Diet Coke will kill you. 😛 You’ll quickly discover there are a lot of dogmatic beliefs around food and health. I call them “food religions”, lol.
Let the “health nut” in you come out naturally, on it’s own.
There are a lot of things that are not good for you, that you can easily eat on a low carb diet. Examples include artificial sweeteners, diet sodas, Atkins bars, protein shakes, fake pasta – the list goes on and on.
Some people are more sensitive than others, have different medical/health issues to consider, etc. I say if you are just starting out, do whatever it takes to make the transition. Once you get over the hump, get the hang of this way of eating, lose some weight and start become more aware (just by reading labels and tracking foods)… you can start making healthier choices.
Sure, I agree that diet soda isn’t “good for you”. Being fat isn’t good for you either – so start by losing the weight and becoming more conscious of your food choices. It’s a natural progression. Don’t feel like you have to go “all organic” or be totally perfect to start. While you want to become your healthiest happiest self, it’s one step at a time. Do whatever it takes to get that ball rolling!
Your Journey Is Your Own!
It’s important to keep in mind that we are all at a difference place on our health journey. Once someone starts eating healthier and losing weight, learning all the other great things about food and health will come as a natural progression. We have to try not to be judgmental – it discourages people who are likely already discouraged and feel defeated by their weight and/or eating issues. (If you’re that discouraged person, IGNORE the “food preachers” that feed you hell, fire & damnation for enjoying a packet of Splenda in your coffee!)
I admittedly started out as a “low carb junk food eater” and learned about my health, and healthier food choices along the way. But I had to lose that initial weight first and get over the hump, gain confidence, battle my overeating issues (the mental/emotional side of it), and make progressive changes at my own pace. So I always recommend anyone just starting out to KEEP IT SIMPLE. When you are ready to go to the next step, there are plenty of people willing to encourage and educate.
Meal Planning & Extreme Preparation Are Not Necessary.
It helps, yes. But some people will tell you that you’ll FAIL if you don’t plan & prepare. That’s simply not true. I’m walking proof of that (literally – I love to go for walks!) I’m a very spontaneous eater…
I don’t cook. And I don’t eat those “convenience foods” like Atkins meals or shakes. Well sometimes I’ll have a shake – but I haven’t had one since summer. I very rarely have a protein bar either, but when I do I enjoy Quest Bars. I often have 1/3 cup of pecan halves for breakfast. Real food, no cooking required. I do boil eggs, usually 6 at a time – then cream up two whole eggs with mayo & salt. It makes for a quick meal, or a great side to any meat.
Last week I went out for dinner with friends. I ordered grilled chicken with steamed broccoli and a side of avocado slices. No cooking.
Another non-cooking example: When I crave something sweet I take a tablespoon of cream cheese and 1/2 tablespoon of sugar free preserves and eat a little of each together. Tastes like cheesecake! It’s creamy and delicious, satisfying, only takes a second to grab it out of the fridge, and doesn’t dirty up a bunch of dishes. YUM. 😀
I don’t do preparation or meal planning at all. The key is just to eat low carb – which is easy enough, no matter where you are. Like the pub, in the picture above. Or the restaurant meal I shared earlier – the chicken sandwich sans bun.
If you told me I had to plan and prepare a week ahead, I’d fail before I ever started.
I just don’t have time for all that. Some people will tell you it’s KEY. But some people DO prepare, and still don’t make healthy food choices. That’s simply a matter of want-to, willpower & determination. I could have had a cheeseburger at the pub, but did not choose to order that. THAT is the key. 😉
Being successful on a low carb diet is all about the right mindset. Period. No matter where you are, no matter what you’re doing, no matter how busy your life is or how much stress you have – it’s just a matter of deciding what you put in your mouth, how you choose to feed your body.
Low Carb is actually a very simple way of eating, if you don’t over-complicate it.
When I do cook, I’m big on very simple one-skillet meals. I prefer to eat real food and keep it super easy to track. Things I keep on hand include: frozen broccoli, frozen cauliflower, eggs, pecan halves, real butter, Daisy Brand cottage cheese (fewer ingredients than any other brand on the shelf!), blocks of real cheese, avocado. Honestly, I could live on most of those things alone. Especially given I eat out so much!
Yesterday I had grilled chicken and roasted broccoli. Twice later in the day I had a turkey roll-up with colby jack cheese and a dill pickle with a bit of mayo (easy!). I had a handful of pecan halves for a snack. And I made the mock danish just to try it out, but I didn’t really like it (ate it anyway) and it dirtied up more dishes than I care to wash. 😛 Today I had coffee, then made three fried eggs with a slice of (real) colby jack cheese.
I own exactly one skillet, and like it that way!
Anyway- I just wanted to give you permission to take a deep breath, stop complicating it, relax, and ENJOY easy real foods with zero guilt. And no complication or confusion. Keep it simple and you’ll enjoy it a lot more. 😉
Lynn Terry, aka LowCarbTraveler