Switching over to a low-carb lifestyle has gifted me many positive benefits. In addition to weight loss, my skin has cleared up, my hair is no longer falling out, and best of all for my condition, I rarely experience digestive upset. Many people with autoimmune issues benefit from low-carb eating, like myself. As a parent of a child with Type 1 Diabetes, I am also very mindful of the effects of different types of food on blood glucose and how damaging sugar is for the body in general. In fact, whenever I cheat and add sugar and a lot of carbs back into my diet, my face starts breaking out and I am more prone to headaches and stomach pains again. I do confess, however, that my daughter won’t touch most of the low-carb meals I prepare, since she is a vegetarian. Despite my daughter’s food aversions, hopefully this post may still provide some ideas for others who have kids with Type 1.
It can be very hard to stick to a low-carb eating plan, as it involves a lot of prep work and fresh ingredients. A very busy mama like myself has little time to cook a lot of meat and veggies ahead of time. Some nights, a microwaveable processed cup of Mac n’ Cheese is just so much easier. I have really had to learn how to get into a rhythm with my meal planning as a result and have picked up a few tips along the way. I thought I’d share a few of them with you here.
Most weeks, I don’t have hours on hand to cook, so I tend to make the same easy meals over and over again. Lucky for me, I also happen to love Mexican food, which is an easy food group from which to prepare low-carb options. I could eat it over and over again without getting tired. One trick I have learned as a busy mom is to always triple the recipe I’m cooking so that there will be leftover meat. I then take the meat and make several meals off of it for the week. For example, if I prepare ground beef for dinner one night, I cook enough to make taco salad for lunch the rest of the week. This way, I always have some meat on hand for those hectic days when I don’t have time to prepare good protein options for a simple lunch. Since our mornings are always manic, I also tend to bake some kind of breakfast idea one night when I’m already cooking dinner. I then eat off of this breakfast casserole or dish for breakfast the rest of the week. So, I may not do a full meal-prep session at once. But, I do still tend to prepare some meals in advance for the week whenever I can conveniently slip it in. This has been key to staying on track (though I will confess the weekend social events do sometimes sabotage me).
Here are some recipes that I use frequently and a sample of my typical low-carb lifestyle meal plans:
Low-Carb Breakfast Recipes:
I have always been an “I’ll have a little coffee with my creamer” kind of gal. My husband often joked with me about my very sugary creamer I always consumed with my caffeine each morning. I never dreamed I’d be able to give it up. But, in my quest for optimal health, I stumbled upon bullet-proof coffee. If you’ve never heard of it, it is essentially coffee with MCT oil. MCT oil provides so many benefits, including improved brain and memory function (I’m also looking for ways to incorporate it into my son’s diet for cognitive support), increased energy and endurance, weight loss, and improved cholesterol and blood sugar levels (a win for diabetes, too ). When I finally discovered the art of frothing my milk, I was okay with replacing my sugary creamer. The milk frother helps me feel extra fancy and allows me to enjoy the texture of my coffee, as well. I’ve gotten to where now, I can’t seem to function without starting my day off without it. Here are the ingredients for the bullet-proof coffee I make every morning:
- 1 cup of coffee
- 1 packet of MCT oil
- 2 packets Splenda/Stevia
- 1/4 cup frothed Fairlife milk on top
- A dash of cinnamon to taste
Directions: Mix together all ingredients except for the milk and cinnamon. Pour the milk on top. Use a milk frother to froth the milk. Sprinkle cinnamon on top.
If you are interested in the fancy little milk frother I use, as well as the MCT oil of my choice, I’ve provided the links to them on Amazon below. *Affiliate Disclaimer: This post may include affiliate links where I get paid a commission for some recommendations. However, I only bring you resources that I have personally tried or researched, and firmly stand by them. As an Amazon Affiiate, I earn on qualifying purchases.
Though my bullet-proof coffee fills me up well and serves as a stand alone breakfast for me at times, there are still mornings where I eat other types of breakfast recipes. Here are a couple of other morning ideas:
Keto Egg Muffins
- -8 eggs, beaten
- -3/4 cup of mixed chopped bell peppers
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- 3/4 cup of cubed ham
- 1 cup of sprinkled cheddar/Monterey Jack cheese
- Olive oil, salt and pepper
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a muffin pan with cooking spray or dust with olive oil. Lightly beat the eggs. Cook the bell peppers in olive oil in a pan. Add the ham to the pan to soak up the oil. Mix in heavy cream, cheese and the contents of the pan into the eggs. Stir all ingredients. Pour into muffin tin evenly. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
Sausage and Egg Casserole
- 12 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup of green onions, chopped
- 3/4 cup of chopped bell peppers
- 1 cup of Fairlife full-fat milk
- 1 cup of cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
- 8 small sausage links
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray cooking pan or baking dish. Cook sausage links in a pan or griddle. Chop up sausage into crumbles. Transfer sausage grease into a mixing bowl with the eggs. Combine all other ingredients and mix. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes. Let cool and serve.
Low-Carb Lunch Recipes:
For lunch, I typically munch on leftovers from dinner the previous evening or I prepare some kind of salad. If I’m in a hurry, I grab some cold cuts or I throw together a simple chicken salad or tuna salad from a can. But, on days where I have a few extra minutes at home, I fill up on a nice salad similar to the recipes provided below.
Keto Taco Salad:
- 4 oz. cooked ground beef or turkey
- 1/3 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1/4 cup sliced olives
- 1 cup chopped lettuce
- 1/4 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1/4 cup salsa
- 2 tbsp guacamole
- 1 tbsp taco sauce
- 1 tsp cumin
- salt/pepper to taste
Heat ground turkey/beef and mix in cumin, taco sauce and salt/pepper. Lay meat mixture on top of a bed of lettuce. Combine all other ingredients and add to dish.
- 2 boiled eggs, chopped
- 1/2 cup of cubed ham
- 1/2 cup of cooked bacon, crumbled
- 1 cup chopped lettuce
- 3/4 cup of Ranch Dressing
Lay chopped lettuce on a service dish first. Mix all ingredients together on top of the lettuce. Toss on a plate and serve.
Low-Carb Dinner Recipes:
Dinner is usually my biggest and most filling meal. This is the time of day where I do tend to spend more time preparing in the kitchen, while multi-tasking with helping kids with their homework. This is where my creativity flows and I throw in a little more variety. Here are a few samples of the types of meals I like to play around with.
- 3 oz. grilled chicken strips
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil
- 1/4 cup of tomatoes
- 1/4 cup cooked bell peppers
- 2 tbsp. guacamole
- 2 tbsp. salsa
- 2 tbsp. sour cream
Heat chicken, tomatoes and cooked bell peppers in coconut oil. Combine on a plate. Add guacamole, salsa and sour cream. Serve and eat.
Crockpot Pork Roast
- 5 lb. pork shoulder
- 2 cups of carrots
- 3 cups of chicken broth
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tbsp. chilli powder
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 cup of celery chopped
- Salt/pepper to taste
Pour broth, celery and carrots into the bottom of the crock pot. Place pork shoulder on the top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and spices. Let simmer on low heat for 8 hours.
Keto Zuppa Toscana Soup
- Half a package of bacon (or about 8 slices)
- 3 oz. cooked ham, chopped
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- 2.5 cups of chicken broth
- 2 cups of kale, cooked
- 1 cup of mushrooms, cooked
- 1 cup of parmesan cheese
- salt, pepper, red pepper flakes to taste
Cook up bacon in frying pan and save the grease. In a separate pot, cook kale and mushrooms with covered lid. Add bacon, cream and the rest of the ingredients. Simmer on low until cheese is melted and dish is thoroughly heated. Serve.
- 2 lb. cooked shrimp
- 1 avocado, quartered and cut into small slices
- 1 cup lettuce
- 2 Roma tomatoes, quartered and cut into small slices
- 2 tsp. lime juice
- 1/4 cup mayo
- salt/pepper to taste
Mix the shrimp, avocado, mayo, lime juice and tomatoes together and wrap with the lettuce. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Low-Carb Snack Ideas:
I find that snack time is one of the hardest times of day to go low-carb. I’m one who loves chips, popcorn and all kinds of carby snacks. But, I had to come up with some substitutes that were more “whole foods” in nature. Here are a few ideas of the types of things I munch on for a snack:
- A handful of nuts like pecans or almonds
- a cheesestick or small block of cheese and a handful of olives
- trail mix
- veggies and guacamole dip
Hopefully, this gives you a few ideas for how to plan your meals for a low-carb eating lifestyle. For more like this in the future, subscribe to the blog or you can follow me on Facebook or Instagram. Another post you may like: