I do get a lot of questions about this. And since I've been wanting to get back to writing on this blog... I thought I'd create a post about it. Not that I owe it to anyone to explain. But since I did begin this blog with the goal of being vegan (although I never was), I thought it might be helpful to share my experience in case it might help someone out there?
So first off- let me get this out of the way first... for the past 8 or so years... basically around the time that I started eating mostly vegan, I started having stomach pain really bad. It was severe pain that would happen about every 3 months and be so strong I couldn't move, and was on the floor sweating. It definitely was a pain regarding digestion. And I knew it was from something I was eating. I continued eating pescatarian but like I said was mostly vegan. My protein came from beans, lentils, tofu... and I ate a lot of grains like quinoa and brown rice. I went to a natural doctor who told me she thought it would be best for me to no longer continue eating this high carb vegan diet- and thought it might have a connection with the pain I was getting sometimes.
I want to first say, that I think eating vegan is awesome. I LOVED it. And I mean that. It took me 5 months to listen to that doctors advice before I actually did something about it. I didn't want to. And my boyfriend and all of my friends and family didn't believe me when I told them I was no longer pescatarian. I had been mostly vegan for 8 years. I loved creating meat free dishes- and still do! But what I know to be true for myself is that once I stopped eating legumes/ grains in April regularly, I can report 9 months later I haven't experienced that pain again. And I'm so thankful for that. So so so thankful. I do think personally I found what was causing me that pain. I didn't grow up eating legumes at all. Like not at all. My mom used to make chili for me and take out the beans specifically for me. I think my body doesn't digest it well. And thats okay! We all have to do what works for us. And I had a few friends on instagram stop following me because of my change in my diet, which I knew would happen but still was surprised by. I am a human being. I am not perfect. I am trying to figure out ways to eat plant based and not eat legumes and grains. I know it's possible.
So on to what this post was really about! Low carb living. No, I'm not keto. No I'm not paleo. I never claimed before that I was vegan either. I tried eating that way several times yes but would never claim myself as vegan. I eat MOSTLY low carb. Meaning most of the time, yes, I eat low carb. I don't think I'd ever be able to eat low carb all the time. I give myself breaks within the week. Sometimes even indulge meals like pizza! My favorite. I know that eating low carb for me personally has helped so much. It definitely decreases inflammation for me, so I love that. I do have a goal for myself with where I want my body to be- and again, thats okay! I understand there is a lot of people out there who think wanting to lose weight is wrong. But thats not true for me. If I have a goal for myself and I am working at meeting that goal, thats okay! We all need to support each other instead of pointing fingers and saying people are wrong. I love myself, yes. And I am thankful for the body I have. But let others have goals for themselves, even if its something you don't understand.
Now anyway... Low carb living. How do I do it? How do I make it easy. I wanted to share some meals I always make and different products I always keep on hand and stocked in the cabinet so it an easy option! Thats aways important. Otherwise when things aren't prepped- thats when I make poor decisions. Gotta set yourself up for success.
Mocha Latte: sometimes this is my breakfast if I make the long version. I have a short version, yes.
the long version is similar to a bulletproof coffee- I've been making it lately with almond butter. A game changer ingredient I added thanks to the suggestion of my friend Vanessa from @TheGiftofGoods.
I use cacao powder by Navitas (my favorite), lakanto golden (also favorite), collagen by Ancient Nutrition (discount code for 20 percent off : 'TheDailyKale'). I use FourSigmatic chaga/lions mane coffee or if I'm making a 'latte' I will use a shot of espresso and then warm almond/coconut milk up and add it all to my blender untils its creamy. You could also skip the espresso and it would make a nice hot chocolate.
Pasta: I always keep a pasta sauce in my cabinet. Usually some form of tomato basil or garlic red sauce (For bolognese). If you eat dairy or don't there are alfredo sauces and cashew alfredo sauces available. I recently made my own alfredo sauce and pretty sure I won't be buying it again. SO much better when you make it yourself! The noodles I use are either Miracle Noodles (my discount code for Miracle Noodles is: 'thedailykale') or the All Newdles brand is great. I love them both. Also I have made chow mein with this pasta and it's super good!
Breakfast for anytime: Eggs = Vital Farms brand to be specifc (You can't find a more orange yolk!)... Eggs are a close friend of mine. Over easy. Scrambled. In a veggie scramble. The choice is yours. I always make sure to add a green as the base. Usually spinach, but kale works too.. Obviously :)
*Keto Pancakes or waffles thanks to Birch Benders. It's pretty good! I do tweak it a bit to give it a bit more flavor. I add in cinnamon, nutmeg, lakanto golden sweetner and lily's chocolate chips. Great option when I don't want eggs.
* Keto bagels. These are cute little bagels that are fun to make and taste great with a sausage patty. I don't reccomend it with more egg cause it is a bit too much eggs all at once for me. But if thats your cup of tea, go right ahead! if you eat cheese, it'd be great just with cheese alone!
Simple: Protein + Veggies: This is self explanatory but I'll explain. I make baked salmon, baked chicken or grilled shrimp. Whatever you choose, Pair it with your favorite veggies. Like asparagus, broccolini, cauliflower mashed potatoes. You decide. Get fancy! It always feels like a restaurant meal to me. I pretty much always add a sauce as well. Like teriyaki salmon (recipe) and a ranch I make using Primal Kitchen avocado mayo. My other favorite sauce right now is The New Primal Golden BBQ Sauce. It's soooooo so good. Couldn't reccomend more.
Chicken Teriyaki Stir Fry: This doesnt have to be just chicken If you prefer steak, tofu or shrimp would work too! I have the recipe for this on my instagram! Check it out :) Throw in all the veggies and you are set!
Wrap: So I like to make wraps for lunch sometimes. And again- pretty self explanatory, but let me go into detail. I add in chicken or turkey... lots of veggies. Mustard, mayo or some sort of sauce I've made. I use Coco By Nuco wraps. They do have a bit of a coconut taste- the Moringa one is the least of the coconut-y tastes I think personally. But it's still there. My boyfriend does not like the taste of coconut but he likes these wraps. Something to consider :) You could also just put it in romaine and make a sandwich with the lettuce. Similar to a lettuce wrapped burger.
Lettuce Tacos: These are real good! We make ground beef with Eel River brand- with all of the mexican spices and make it super flavorful. And always have cilantro, avocado and onion to top it with.
Snacks: Persian cucumberssssss. The best in the business. So good. I take one and cut it into 4 long pieces. It's so perfect for dipping into guacamole, buffalo chicken salad, egg salad, tuna salad, almond sauce, even feta cheese. Basically if you can think of it- it's probably good with that. Of course there is celery and all of the other veggies. But persian cucumbers is by far my favorite.
*Hard boiled eggs
*If you eat dairy, parmeasean crisps are all the rage. I feel like there are so many brands out there- you do have to check the ingredients though. I love ParmCrisps and Trader Joe's truffle ones. And also charcuterie boards are fun and awesome. Just take off the crackers and you're good to go!
*I keep jerkey (my favorite brand is :Vermont Smoke & Cure ) in my purse and also keep the small Primal Kitchen bars in there as well. I love the lime and peanut butter flavors.
Sweets: I have a ton of recipes on my instagram for different sweets. Key lime pie cups, pumpkin cookies, chocolate peanut butter cups... you name it. But if I haven't made a dessert- I keep Lily's chocolate bars on hand. I prefer the salted almond 70 percent bar. It's my favorite!
These are just some of my current favorites and tips for what I make and do. Be creative and do whatever works for you! We are all doing the best we can :)