The Institute of Medicine recommends 130 grams of carbohydrates a day!
One big sundae, with my girlfriend, used up my daily ‘allowance’ and then
some of the next day’s, too! Smiles for this, but seriously, I have several
close friends who have to consider their carbohydrates, due to diabetes
and/or high cholesterol.
The sugary, starchy ‘yummy’ stuff, can be replaced or “switched” into
equally delicious, but more healthier foods. I love it when I find a few in
a row, so hope you will enjoy this compilation list:
1. This is the place I have trouble in: restaurants!
Give yourself one carb allowance for that meal. Choose to splurge on a
glass of wine or a beer. Or would you rather have a piece of bread or a
Do you have someone who really wants to try a dessert after the meal,
who would be willing to ‘split it’ with you?
Make your plate fill up with vegetables, fish, meat, or a protein of some
2. Instead of having regular order of pizza, ask if they have a carb-free
choice, whole grain crust or possibly gluten free. Any of these beats the
‘white dough crust’ that usually you enjoy. Now, vegans and vegetarians
use a lot of vegetables to fill their plate and suit their palate, too. Can
you skip the pepperoni? If at the store, you could buy turkey pepperoni…
Otherwise, go for all the vegetables, add a little extra red pepper flakes
and you will find yourself satisfied and feeling kind of ‘righteous!’
3. If you are interested in totally carb-free pizzas, try a Portobello
mushroom or eggplant slices for the base, add sauce, (try to check for
less sugar in your pasta sauces…) and go to ‘town’ on the veggies!
4. While ordering burgers or veggie burgers, try asking for a lettuce
‘wrap’ instead of a bun! You can also do what my friend does, she
puts her meat on her salad! Steak, chicken strips and even- burgers!
5. When you go out with family or on a Sunday brunch ‘date,’ you
may want to think about scrambled eggs with onions, peppers, cheese
and mushrooms, or an omelet! Try to get only one whole grain pancake,
ask for real butter and a small amount of real maple syrup. (I order, for
example, at Cracker Barrel, the breakfast for ‘Any Ages’ which has one
egg, one bread and one piece of meat. I love their thick bacon. Sorry, I
know I have Vegans who are my blogging friends!
Then, I put my cornbread muffin in a box (saving it for another day)
and ask for one Pecan Pancake with real butter and real maple syrup!
It adds up to (I think) about $5.99, with my beverage of choice, coffee
As a matter of fact, any of their daily specials, you can get “Kids of Any
Ages” with a bread and beverage included. It is a smaller portion, of
the Friday Fish Fry, for example, but it satisfies! Most places have Senior
Menu, but are only eligible for over a certain age. I recommend ‘ala carte’
when you cannot find what you want on a menu. There used to be a
“Hoggy’s Restaurant” in Delaware, Ohio, where you could order two
vegetable meals or three vegetable meals. Also, you could do salad and
soup. Sometimes, you have to let the calories go in soups, but asking
about carbs, while diabetic, is important!
6. Thai and Indian curries, don’t necessarily have to go over rice! This
was a new concept to me, thanks to the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s holiday
suggestions for making a bland serving of cauliflower or broccoli, taste
so much more interesting. I also find cheese sauces and ask for it on the
side, then can decide how much to put on my vegetables.
The article gave this summary: “The rage in the Paleo community is
“Cauliflower rice” as a nutrient- and fiber-rich way to stick to your diet
and still enjoy Thai panang or chicken tikka masala.” (December, 2013).
7. I am sure you have already tried Spaghetti squash, but just in case
you have been holding back on this, it is easy to prepare, shreds and
looks like spaghetti. I like having it with marinara sauce, lots of fresh
Parmesan or Romano cheese sprinkled over it. You can also make your
meatballs, (my son does this) without any bread crumbs but using some
mushrooms and eggs to hold it together. Do you have any favorite ways
to make meatballs without bread or cracker crumbs?
Just FYI: According to the United States government’s food guidelines,
a serving portion of spaghetti is one half a cup. (That is 1/2 cup, folks!)
At least, practice with whole wheat pasta and find it delicious by not
overcooking it! It makes it a little healthier and yet, not as much as
you could eat of spaghetti squash! Or eggplant parmesan…
8. A way to get the flavor of Italian restaurants is to always ask for
the red, marinara sauce, pour it over a piece of grilled chicken or a
pork chop, or a veggie burger, then add an unlimited number of
salads, if you are at Olive Garden! (Yes, their Italian has carbs!)
9. Another favorite food of many is mashed potatoes or macaroni and
cheese. Both of these can have substitutions of cauliflower, one with it
being mashed, with a little milk and butter and the other with cheese
over cauliflower florets.
10. When you are making salads at home, you can certainly prevent
the croutons, fried tortilla strips, sugary salad dressings, and the
bread bowls or tortilla shell bowls. I found out, surprisingly, that
Ranch and Blue Cheese Dressings are the main ones with low levels
of sugar. If you make your own dressing, you may use vinegar, oil,
a small amount of Blue Agave Nectar or honey, but you are in
control of adding delicious spices! It will be easier and less calories,
than the store bought dressings. If you love blue cheese, look up on
the internet, some healthy recipes or buy yogurt based or ones in the
low calorie or even the sugar free aisle! In the summer time, if you
are not diabetic, adding raspberries, blueberries, pineapple, orange
slices, and even watermelon, can really brighten up your salad.
If you are diabetic, you know how many berries or other fruits you
may have in your daily diet. I enjoy adding pecans, walnuts or
almonds to my salads, for protein instead of meat. Spare use of
cheese, will limit your calories, of course!
Enjoy your food preparation and your meals out, too. You deserve to
be pampered and have someone else prepare it, wash the dishes and
help you to slow down while you eat. Isn’t it true? Don’t you eat much
slower at a restaurant? Allowing yourself to savor your foods, will always
help make you mindful. This is good on so many levels, to add “Being
Mindful,” into our lives!
My last suggestion on this trip down “Carbohydrates Free Street” is:
I hope you find these helpful and easy ways to make your diet a lot
more healthier and nutritious. Any changes will help you feel much