My Approach to Eating Low Carb and Links to Popular Recipes

Some people think there is only one type of “low carb” diet; one that includes lots of meat and lots of fat, but that’s not the case.  There are low carb diets that are higher in fat than protein, higher in protein than fat and those that are somewhat of a hybrid. The same thing is true when it comes to “ketogenic” or “keto” diets as it depends what it is being used for. A keto diet for epilepsy or as an adjunct treatment for Alzheimer’s disease or certain kinds of cancer will look very different than one used therapeutically to reverse metabolic conditions like Type 2 Diabetes. There isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” low carb or ketogenic (keto) diet.

As well, there aren’t any “one-size-fits-all” people! Some folks have higher protein needs because of their age or stage of life or the sports they engage and for people seeking weight loss those who have 15 or 20 pounds to lose won’t necessarily need to eat the same way as those with a great deal of weight to lose.

In addition, low carb diets often change over time. For example, those with a lot of weight to lose will often eat differently at the beginning of their weight-loss journey than they do towards the end of their weight loss because their body adapts and changes. As a result, these folks need to have their Meal Plan adjusted over time, whereas someone with a smaller amount of weight to lose may do fine with the same Meal Plan all the way through. Everybody’s different.

How I Approach It

My own meals usually center around some kind of grilled, roasted or stir-fried protein along with a generous serving of fresh low carb veggies plus some added healthy fat such as cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil or a touch of butter just to make things tasty. I don’t hesitate to sprinkle salads with pumpkin seeds or a few nuts, some berries and even a bit of crumbled goat cheese and drizzle it with olive or macadamia nut oil because this way I’m happy to eat a large bowl of it and it keeps me satisfied for hours. For those whose of my clients whose dietary needs are similar, I encourage them to do the same; switching up the type of nuts or seeds they use and changing the type of cold pressed oil they use, as each tastes very different. Even changing the type of vinaigrette from vinegar-based to lemon-based or using different types of vinegar or herbs adds more variety. There are so many kinds of meat, fish, poultry and vegetables that can be eaten and each can be prepared lots of different ways, so there’s no need to get bored eating the same thing.

Reversing Type 2 Diabetes

In a little over a year I’ve lost almost 40 pounds- first eating a low carb diet and then necessarily because of significant hyperinsulinemia (high levels of circulating insulin) and insulin resistance, a ketogenic diet. I’ve put my Type 2 Diabetes into remission while reversing my high cholesterol and high blood pressure and while I’ve not yet arrived at the point where my waist circumference is half my height (lowest risk) I am getting close.

Because I was Diabetic for 10 years and obese for longer than that, I tend to limit my own intake of low carb baked goods (muffins, pancakes and breads) that are often made from ground nuts or seeds and cheese as these are very  energy dense. I still have some of my own excess fat stores to lose as well as continuing to lose fat from places it should never have been in the first place (including very likely my liver) so eating extra dietary fat outside of those found naturally in whole, unprocessed foods (meat, fish, poultry, cheese, egg) doesn’t make much sense.

I do better with a low carb lower fat cauliflower crust pizza  (recipe below) or a low carb zucchini pizza crust (recipe coming soon!) over the very popular “fathead pizza” (based on almond flour and lots of fat from different kinds of cheese) or even my own Crisp Keto Pizza (recipe below) which is high in protein and fat but low in carbs. That’s why there are a few kinds of pizza recipes, so there’s a choice – not just for me, but my clients and visitors to my site. One can’t have too many healthy, tasty ways to eat pizza, right?

Most Popular Recipes

Below are a few of my most popular low carb recipes grouped by type of low carb diet. Please remember, not all recipes will be suitable for your specific health conditions or weight loss goals, so if in doubt please check with your Dietitian or physician. I hope you enjoy them.

Higher Fat Low Carb Recipes

For those that follow a high fat low carb lifestyle, below are a few of my most popular recipes. For me (and quite a few of my clients who are also in the weight loss phase) these are “sometimes foods” and not “everyday foods”.

Low Carb Beer-Batter Fish (seriously amazing)
Quiche Lorraine
Crisp Keto Pizza

Desserts in this category include my  Low Carb New York Cheesecake (amazingly good!) and Low Carb / Keto Ice Cream .

Low Carb Moderately High Fat

Recipes more suited to daily fare for me and those who are in the weight-loss phase of a low carb diet are posted here.  Some of the most popular are;
Crispy Cauliflower Pizza (lower in fat than the Crisp Keto Pizza above)
Low Carb Chow Mein
Low Carb Thai Green Curry
Spaghetti Zoodles with Bolognese Sauce
Low Carb Kaiser Buns great with sliced meat or cheese and lettuce (or used as a hamburger bun!).

This Low Carb Chocolate Chip Pancake recipe was recently posted but I’m pretty sure it will become a favourite, too. It is around my house!

Great everyday side dishes that can accompany a wide variety of poultry, fish, meat and veggies whether for the family or company are;
Low carb high protein broad noodles
Keto Yeast Rolls
Low Carb Roti (Indian flatbread)

Higher Fat Convenience Food Recipes

I have created and posted several recipes for higher fat protein bars if you need an easy, tasty and cost-efficient substitute for expensive low carb convenience bars on the market. These are;

Chocolate Orange Low Carb Protein Bars
Chocolate Mint Low Carb Protein Bars
Low Carb High Fat (Keto) Protein Bars

I even have a Low Carb Green Tea Matcha Smoothie that can be used to target abdominal fat in those following a higher fat low carb eating plan.

If you have questions about how I can help you to lose weight, reverse Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol or to adopt a low-carb lifestyle for its other health benefits, please feel free to send me a note using the Contact Me form on this web page. I provide both in-person services in my Coquitlam (British Columbia) office, as well as services via Distance Consultation (phone or Skype) to those living elsewhere.

I hope you enjoy these recipes and please feel free to send me a message on social media (Facebook or Twitter, links below) if you have questions about any of the recipes or to post pictures when you make them.

To our good health!

Joy


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Gluten-free Southern Dumplings (for stews)

dumplings above are pictured in Chicken Paprikash

Gluten-free Dumpling Recipe

Ingredients

3/4 cup white rice flour

3/4 cup brown rice flour

3/4 cup tapioca flour

1/2 cup cornmeal, finely ground

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 large eggs, beaten

1/4 cup of homemade stock (or water)

1/4 cup canola oil

1/2 tsp salt

 

Method

Mix the eggs, broth or water and gradually add flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt to form a still dough. Knead well and let it rest for 10-15 minutes.  Cut into small strips with a sharp knife or break off small pieces and drop as they are (in irregular shapes) into simmering stew.  Cover the simmering stew and keep on medium low for 10 minutes.  No peaking!  When the time is up, gently flip over each dumpling and continue cooking until fluffy.  Enjoy!

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Gluten-free Pancakes (with blueberries or …)

Gluten Free Pancakes

Dry Ingredients

1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup white rice flour
1 cup tapioca flour
3 Tbsp. baking powder, level
3 Tbsp. raw brown sugar

Moist Ingredients

3 large eggs, beaten
3 – 3 1/2 cups of milk (can substitute buttermilk or 1 cup plain yogourt and 2 – 2 1/2 cups milk
9 Tbsp melted butter or non-trans fat margarine

Embellishments

2 cups of blueberries (frozen ones that are patted dry work great!)
or
2 cups of finely minced apple, banana or mango
or
If you want to be decadent, dark baker’s chocolate chips can be used (which also have many health benefits).

Method

Sift all the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Beat the egg and add the milk / buttermilk / yogourt and milk combination to the beaten egg. Pour in the melted butter or margarine. Mix well and adjust the texture by adding extra milk, if needed.

Preheat a heavy skillet on a medium to medium-high (I use cast iron). Add a small amount of butter or margarine then scoop in 1/2 cup of batter for each pancake. Once the pancake is 50% cooked on the first side, sprinkle the top with a tablespoon or two of the finely diced fruit (or dark chocolate chips).  Allow the first side to finish baking, then flip it over with a large, thin spatula (so the pancake doesn’t break). Place cooked pancakes on a baker’s rack in a slightly warm over, until all the pancakes are made.

Serve with real maple syrup and enjoy!

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Gluten-free pizza crusts (suitable for those with Celiac Disease)

Gluten-Free pizza crusts

A 7-ingredient gluten free pizza crust that requires 1 hour from start to finish and rivals any pizzeria style pizza crust.

Makes 2 medium size pizza or 1 large & 1 small
Total preparation time: 1 hour

INGREDIENTS

flour blend:
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 cup white rice flour
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
yeast mixture:
  • 3 Tbsp sugar, divided
  • 1 Tbsp yeast
  • 3/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
additional liquid:
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine yeast and 3/4 cup warm water – about 110 degrees. Too hot and it will kill the yeast! Let set for 5 minutes to activate. Sprinkle in 1 Tbsp of the sugar a few minutes in.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine gluten free flour blend, salt, baking powder and remaining 2 Tbsp sugar. Whisk until well combined.
  4. Make a well in the dry mixture and add the yeast mixture. Add the olive oil and additional 1/2 cup warm water before stirring. Then stir it all together until well combined, using a wooden spoon.
  5. Lightly coat a baking sheet or pizza stone with non-stick spray and plop your dough down. Using your hands and a little brown rice flour if it gets too sticky, work from the middle and push to spread/flatten the dough out to the edge. You want it to be pretty thin – less than 1/4 inch.
  6. Put the pizza in the oven to pre-bake for roughly 25-30 minutes, or until it begins to look dry. Cracks may appear, but that’s normal.
  7. Remove from oven and spread generously with your favorite pizza sauce, cheese and desired toppings. Place back in oven for approximately another 20 minutes, or until the crust edge looks golden brown and the toppings are warm and bubbly.
  8. Cut immediately and serve. Reheats well the next day in the oven or microwave and unlike other gluten free recipes, is tender and delicious as cold leftovers.
NUTRITION INFORMATION
Serving size: 1 slice (1/8th of a medium pizza)
Carbohydrates: 21 g
Calories (depend on what toppings used): ~104 kcals per slice for cheese and kalamata olives
Recipe courtesy of the Minimalist Baker
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