2013 will go down in diet history as the year when we stopped counting calories and started counting carbohydrates. Low-carb diets reigned, thanks to celebrities such as Kim Kardashian publicizing her use of the Atkins diet for restoring her pre-baby body.
If you’ve decided to try going low-carb in 2014, here are some tips for easing into the plan.
Start your day with protein. Many of us are so used to a breakfast that’s filled with carbs (cereal, toast, muffins, doughnuts, pancakes, waffles) that the initial meal of the day may present the biggest hurdle. You can make it egg-stra special by whipping up an omelet, scrambling eggs or planning ahead of time and keeping hard-boiled eggs ready.
But breakfast doesn’t have to include eggs. Consider plain yogurt topped with a handful of slivered almonds, or cottage cheese topped with walnuts sprinkled with cinnamon. If you’re a vegan, go for tofu sprinkled with cinnamon and a dash of stevia. Choose a consistency that’s easy to chop, such as Mori-Nu Silken Extra Firm Tofu. Organic cinnamon, such as Simply Organic Cinnamon Powder, adds flavor, while Vitacost Stevia Powder keeps your day sweet.
Do you love sandwiches? Then don’t give up your love. Just use Romaine lettuce leaves as a wrap. You can pile turkey, cheese, sliced tomatoes, purple onions and black olives on high, then wrap up that “sandwich” and enjoy. For a spread, go with one-carb Spectrum Naturals Organic Mayonnaise with Olive Oil.
Another great lunch that’s low in carbohydrates: Tofu chopped on top of a large dish of assorted vegetables. Serve with low-carb salad dressing, such as Walden Farms Bleu Cheese.
Snacking can be one of the best ways to stay on track with your low-carb diet, because getting too hungry between meals can lead you to temptation. Try a handful of NOW Roasted Almonds or whip up a chocolate protein shake with Vitacost ARO Black Series Whey Protein Complex PLUS Natural Chocolate.
What’s for dinner? Ask a mermaid, and you’ll hear heart-healthy fish! But you don’t have to head to the sea. Vitacost has the healthiest low-carb fish options available, such as Wild Planet No Salt Wild Albacore Tuna and Crown Prince Alaskan Pink Salmon.
Along with poultry or meat, consider a plant-based dinner occasionally. Try beans with veggies or tofu. Or whip up a plant-based protein shake with Nature’s Way Alive ® Vanilla Soy Protein Ultra-Shake.
Joanne Eglash, Vitacost.com’s Diet Diva, has a master of science in holistic nutrition and more than 15 years experience as a nutrition consultant, blogger, author and journalist. She has written for a wide range of publications and websites, including ediets.com, Natural Health magazine, Shape magazine, Success magazine, Energy for Women and Chefs. Joanne is currently the national Diets columnist for the online news and entertainment site, Examiner.com, and a features food columnist for Yahoo.