What I eat

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I stick to a variety of fresh, whole foods that are low carb, with good fats and protein.

I eat lots of veggies. I still eat fruit.

I eat nuts, seeds, nut butters. I add olive oil to just about everything. I cook and bake with butter or coconut oil.

I eat a variety of meats, including every part of the chicken with the skin including the livers, the fatty parts of the pork and beef, and all types of fish and seafood.

I still eat beans, legumes and chickpeas (most keto and low carb diets restrict this, but I like to alternate meat days with meat free days and I don’t find I get a blood sugar spike from these foods if I have a small enough quantity)

I don’t eat (or at least limit) bread, pasta, rice, starchy veg.

I don’t eat desserts when I am out, but I make a lot of great sugar free, low carb desserts at home, such as cakes, biscuits, slices, etc. that make AMAZING substitutes. I usually have some back up sugar free or dark chocolate for days when I’m craving something sweet. Or berries with fresh cream or sugar free ice cream is an easy alternative.

I’m not terribly strict on myself and try to eat for enjoyment. I don’t get upset with myself for eating a chocolate or having a bit of sourdough with some avocado if I really feel like it. Life is absolutely too short to never eat another square of roast pumpkin ever again. But I am mostly low carb. Everything within reason.

I ALWAYS read the label for ingredients and carb content. When you’re buying packaged foods, you don’t always know what you’re getting. Become savvy with nutrition labels. Understand macro contents and the ingredient list. When I see ham or sundried tomatoes that have glucose in the ingredients, I steer right away. When I see a packet of sugar free biscuits with white flour as the main ingredients and 20g of carbs per serving, I put it away. When a bread claims to be low carb but is still 25g of carbs per serving, I don’t buy it. When I see almond milk that has 10 ingredients, I put it back on the shelf. When the main ingredient in tzatziki isn’t yoghurt, I don’t want it. I try to stick to less ingredients, less processed, and no added unnecessities. E.g. coconut milk should be just that. Coconut milk with maybe a bit of water.

I EAT:

  • Low carb veggies or fruits or whatever you want to call them. That’s a huge range of non starchy veg. Generally anything that grows above ground. Anything leafy, green, crunchy, colourful. Eggplant, zucchini, lettuce, cabbage, brussels sprouts, fennel, celery, cauliflower, broccoli, cucumber, spinach, mushrooms, asparagus, capsicum, tomato, kale, green beans, avocados…. This is a great list from the Diet Doctor.
  • Onion, shallots and garlic.
  • I eat the occasional pumpkin, carrot, sweet potato, beetroot, parsnip, peas, but in small quantities.
  • Low carb fruits, such as berries. And low GI fruits in small quantities, such as kiwi fruit and stone fruits. Lemons and limes, especially squeezed on salads or in soda water (sometimes with vodka, too).
  • Dark chocolate. Preferably 85% Lindt or equivalent. Never less than 70% cocoa.
  • Sugar free sweeteners. Stevia, erythritol, xylitol are my go-tos.
  • Nuts, particularly macadamias, almonds, walnuts and pecans. Nut butters including almond butter and peanut butter. Almond meal.
  • Protein balls and protein cookies (homemade).
  • Dips with low carb seed crackers or veggies. Hommus, eggplant, roast capsicum, tzatziki.
  • Cheese.
  • Thick, full fat Greek yoghurt. Great with berries, cream, sugar free ice cream, low carb pancakes, or mixed into a salad.
  • Low carb wraps and protein bread. The occasional small slice of sourdough if it’s topped with fats to bring the GI down (avocado, butter, cheese, cream cheese and salmon).
  • Salads, grilled veggies, steamed veggies, stir fried veggies.
  • Good quality tuna in oil. Sirena tuna in chilli oil is my favourite.
  • Seeds, including chia, sunflower, pepitas, sesame, LSA mix.
  • Tahini. Amazing as a dessert with melted dark chocolate, or mixed with lemon and salt for a salad dressing.
  • Coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, butter, sesame oil.
  • Sugar free chocolate (Well Naturally No Added Sugar or Sweet Williams are great).
  • Homemade cakes, desserts, slices, biscuits.

I DRINK:

  • Unsweetened almond milk.
  • Coconut milk.
  • Black coffee and tea (or with a dash of full cream milk or almond milk).
  • Red wine, white wine, sparkling wine, vodka sodas. No cocktails.
  • Sugar free drinks occasionally, but I try not to make a habit of it.

I STAY AWAY FROM:

  • Potato chips, corn chips, veggie chips. Nightmare for BGLs.
  • Starchy carbs. Hot chips, mashed potato, pies/pastries, breads, pizza, pasta, crackers.
  • Dried fruits, except occasionally small quantities of dates if mixed in with nuts such as in protein balls or baked into a cake.
  • Cakes, biscuits, anything sweet from a cafe even if it claims to be healthy.
  • Sugary chocolate bars and lollies.
  • Ice cream.
  • White sugar, brown sugar, fruit sugar, any sugar.
  • Honey or maple syrup (unless in very small quantities in baking).
  • Fruit juices.
  • Smoothies (unless I make them at home myself with almond milk. berries, Greek yoghurt).
  • Cocktails.
  • Cereals. Make your own low carb granola or chia porridge.

WHAT I HAVE IN MY PANTRY:

  • Extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, sesame oil.
  • Vinegars, soy sauce, chilli sauce.
  • Lots of spices and herbs.
  • Tea and coffee.
  • Tinned beans, legumes and chickpeas.
  • Almond meal, coconut flour, LSA mix, flaxmeal.
  • Baking powder, gelatine.
  • Dark chocolate.
  • Nuts.
  • Nut butters, tahini.
  • Chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds.

WHAT I HAVE IN MY FRIDGE:

  • Cheese.
  • Eggs.
  • Lots of veggies.
  • Berries.
  • Olives and other antipasto things such as artichokes, grilled capsicum.
  • Cold meats, such as salami, ham.
  • Bacon.
  • Bottles of soda water.
  • Limes and lemons.
  • Butter.
  • Insulin.

WHAT I HAVE IN MY FREEZER:

  • Sugar free ice cream.
  • Meats including steak, chicken, fish, paleo sausages.
  • Frozen berries.
  • Leftovers.
  • A loaf of lower carb Herman Brot bread.

A NOTE FOR THE VEGETARIANS AND VEGANS:

I totally respect veggies and vegans. As an animal lover, I do believe we eat too much meat for our own good (and for the sake of the animals themselves). I try to be mindful of how much meat, dairy and eggs I’m eating. I try to eat a veggie meal at least once a day and try to alternate a meat day with a meat free day if I can. Eating low carb can be restricting at times, particularly when you’re trying to eat less meat, but it doesn’t need to be. There is still a healthy range of veggies you can eat and a great variety of vegetarian recipes. It’s why I haven’t completely cut out foods like lentils and beans and some veggies. I try to have a good balance. It’s easy enough to substitute butter for coconut oil or another oil such as olive, macadamia or avocado. Eat lots of nuts and add some chickpeas or seeds to a salad. Fry up some tofu to go with a stir fry instead of chicken or beef. While I rely on eggs a lot, I try to be mindful of where they’ve come from, and always buy the true free range varieties (and often have the eggs from the backyard). I buy free range meat and sustainable meat if I can, and I’m mindful that when I eat out it’s not always going to be free range.

Avgolemono

A traditional Greek soup that is creamy and comforting. My mum would make it for me whenever I had a cold or was feeling under the weather. It can be made without chicken if you’re going vegetarian, but the chicken brother and flavour makes it. You can add a whole carrot, a celery stalk and a peeled onion to the broth and discard before serving to add more flavour, but you don’t have to. Feel free to add in a handful of basmati rice, or leave it out to go carb free. It’s high in protein and low in carbs if you omit the rice. The small quantity of rice still makes it a lower carb, high protein option, though. 

SERVES 4
NUTRITIONAL INFO PER SERVE (WITH RICE)
carbs 8g / fat 4g / protein 22g

INGREDIENTS
1 chicken breast, or 2 chicken thighs
1 lemon
2 eggs
1 litre of chicken stock, or 1 chicken stock cube dissolved in boiled water
2 litres of boiled water
A good pinch of salt and black pepper
1 bay leaf (optional)
½ cup of basmati rice (optional)
1 peeled carrot
1 celery stalk
1 peeled onion

BOIL, SHRED, CRACK, WHISK, ADD, STIR…
Add the whole pieces of chicken to the stock and water in the pot, with the salt, pepper, carrot, celery, onion and bay leaf. Bring it to the boil and let it simmer for 15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. The chicken should be white (not pink) inside. Pull the chicken out and let it cool, then shred it into smaller pieces using a fork, discarding of any fat or bones. Skim off any scum from the broth and remove the bay leaf, onion, celery and carrot so you are left just with the clear stock. Add the rice (if using) to the broth and let it simmer for another 10 minutes until the rice is cooked.

In a medium bowl, crack the eggs and squeeze in the lemon juice, making sure to remove any pips. Whisk it up well. Continue to whisk vigorously and slowly pour in a ladle or two of the hot soup broth into the egg and lemon mixture. Move your whisk over to the pot, and slowly pour in all the egg mixture while you are whisking. The colour of the soup will turn a creamy white colour and will thicken up slightly. Whisking the hot soup into the egg mixture and then pouring this back into the soup ensures you don’t end up with scrambled eggs!

Add in the chicken, stir, taste for salt, pepper and lemon, and add more if you think it needs it before serving. Serve with a wedge of lemon on the side, and extra salt and pepper. If you need to heat the soup up again, be sure to not bring it to the boil as it can curdle with the egg. Slowly heat it up and turn it off before it boils. Never microwave the soup to heat up as it will heat the eggs too much.

Spinach gnudi

Gnudi are little Italian dumplings similar to gnocchi, except they are made with spinach and ricotta instead of potato, with little or no flour. Also called ‘naked ravioli’, or sometime referred to as ‘malfatti’ which in Italian translates to ‘poorly made’, they are imperfect little balls. They traditionally come from Tuscany where wild greens grow native, but it is quite common to use spinach instead of wild greens. This version is completely low carb as I haven’t used any flour. 

SERVES 2
NUTRITIONAL INFO PER SERVE (without tomato sauce)
carbs 4g / fat 19g / protein 25g

INGREDIENTS
120g spinach or wild greens
250g ricotta
1 egg
Pinch of sea salt
Crack of black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs (basil, parsley)
2 cloves of garlic
2 spring onions
2 tablespoons grated parmesan
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
1 x simple tomato sauce

WILT, MIX, FORM, BAKE, SERVE…
Make a simple tomato sauce. Chop the onion and mince the garlic and saute in a little olive oil. Add the spinach and wilt for a few minutes Drain off the excess water. Mix in the salt, pepper, egg, ricotta, parmesan, chopped herbs and nutmeg. Using a spoon, form into small gnocchi-sized shapes. Place on a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes. Serve with the tomato sauce and some fresh basil.

gnudi2

Creamy chicken

This is one of my favourites at the moment. It’s hearty and delicious, yet low carb. Imagine a creamy chicken pasta with flavours of bacon, garlic and mushroom, and this is what you get – except without the carbs. Think that all the cream and butter is bad? Read this. And this. This makes enough for dinner for me and my boyfriend, with a large portion for lunch the next day. If you don’t feel like making the courgetti, just have the chicken bake as it is, or have it with some cauliflower rice on the side.

chicken
SERVES 4
NUTRITIONAL INFO PER SERVE
carbs 5g  / fat 27.5g / protein 67.5g

INGREDIENTS
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
4 chicken breasts
1 cup of mushrooms
4 rashers of bacon
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup of cream
2 large zucchini
Splash of olive oil
Salt and pepper

DICE, SLICE, PEEL, MINCE, CHOP, SPRINKLE, HEAT, FRY, ADD, POUR, BAKE…
Dice the bacon, slice the mushrooms, peel and dice the onion, and peel and mince the garlic. Chop the herbs.

Wash the chicken and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat a fry pan with a little olive oil and brown for a few minutes on each side. Remove and place in a roasting pan.

In the same pan, fry the bacon and onion for a few minutes, then add the garlic and cook for a further minute or so. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further couple of minutes. Add the cream and herbs and simmer for another minutes. Remove from heat. Pour the sauce over the chicken in the roasting tray and bake for 15-20 minutes.

creamy chicken with bacon and mushrooms

creamy chicken with bacon and mushrooms

 

Chicken veggie soup

A perfect soup for when you’re feeling a little under the weather. It’s high protein, low carb and full of healthy veg. Feel free to use whichever vegetables you prefer or have in the fridge.

SERVES 4
NUTRITIONAL INFO PER SERVE
carbs 3g / fat 8.5g / protein 21.5g

INGREDIENTS
400 grams of boneless chicken (thighs or other pieces)
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 medium carrots
1 large celery sticks with the leaves
1/2 a broccoli
1/2 a cauliflower
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or rosemary
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
Generous pinch of sea salt
Grinding of black pepper
2 bay leaves
1 chicken or vegetable stock cube (or 1 litre liquid stock)
1 tablespoon of olive oil or butter

PEEL, DICE, CHOP, SAUTE, ADD, SIMMER, SEASON…
Peel and dice the onion and peel and finely dice the garlic. Dice the carrots and celery. Chop up the broccoli and cauliflower finely. Chop the parsley.

Heat a large saucepan with the oil or butter and add the onions, carrot and celery. Saute for a couple of minutes, then add the garlic, paprika, cumin, thyme, salt and pepper for another minute. Add in the chicken and brown. Add in the cauliflower, broccoli, parsley, bay leaves, stock and water to fill the pot (about a kettle full). Simmer on low heat for an hour. Taste for salt and pepper, then serve.

chicken 3