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Old 05-29-2012, 05:07 PM   #1
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Low carbing with a family...

How do you LC with a family? Do you have them LC with you? Do you just make a side dish that's carby? I feel like a short order cook sometimes. Breakfast is not really a biggy and lunch is not a big deal per se, especially while they are still in school. Dinner is the big issue. I am on Atkins induction so of course that's the strictest and the hardest to adapt. I guess I'm just wondering how you've done LC with a family.
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Old 05-29-2012, 05:14 PM   #2
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It is very hard for me. My family is entirely resistant to the LC lifestyle. I would think it would depend on your family. I generally end up making two different meals or making theirs and then just not eating sides... It gets old for me because of this. Hopefully others here will have better ideas.
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Old 05-29-2012, 05:15 PM   #3
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No one else in my family lowcarbs but me. I am also gluten free, I have Celiac.

I, also found breakfast to be a 'no brainer' and lunch is easy too. I take one day a week to 'prep' (and I know a lot of the others here do that also).

Like:

bake one pound bacon, roast either a whole chicken or chicken breasts, or thighs or whatever 'pieces parts' you like, make some into chicken salad, some for dicing on salads, and so on.

I then cut up cucumbers, and do a 'salad mix' in a large container (this we all eat/ate..) tomatoes, olives, celery sticks, etc. I also boil eggs (one and a half dozen) and make some of those into egg salad, some I use in salads, some I put into 'unpotato salad'. I make a bit of cole slaw..I also shred cabbage to use with hamburger for 'innards of egg rolls' for me (no wrapper needed).

At night for dinner, I'll make a pot roast, or I'll do pork chops, or whatever meat we are having, DH likes a baked potato, or other kinds of potato recipe, or sweet potatoes...and then I'll have spinach sauteed or green beans made with the bacon I did up, and some onions....all kinds of things teh two of us can eat (empty nest now).

It's not that 'strict and hard'. DH stays slim and trim without lc'ing and can have bread and starches (and I can't dictate WHAT he eats...just doesn't work well in our household)...

I lost my overweight in about a year, yes, it was a little 'hard' in the beginning, but as you look through the recipe rooms here, and maybe get yourself a couple of Dana Carpenders's cook books, you'll adapt.

Best of luck to you! (I married a PA boy!).

Barb

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Old 05-29-2012, 05:20 PM   #4
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A couple of times a week I end up making dinners just for two (my husband and daughter) and I eat something different. Most of the time we eat the same things, but have different sides, or I'll vary my portion somehow (one chicken dish we all love has brown sugar, and honey, and teriyaki....I marinate mine separately and cook in a small pan while theirs cooks in a larger pan). If we're having fish, they like the frozen breaded stuff I get at Sam's club, so I bought a bag of frozen plain fillets and again make mine in a separate pan. We have some recipes that we found simply from my doing low carb (8 yrs ago the first time) that are family favorites, so try some new stuff with them too. For one favorite, they get noodles with theirs and I have smashed cauliflower (faux-tatos)
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Old 05-29-2012, 05:30 PM   #5
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Many nights I cook two meals.
I don't care as long as I am losing weight!
Both meals are simple and we always have leftovers.
So many times I am just heating the food up.
There are many dishes I make that carb and non-carb eaters can eat such as cheeseburgers(just leave off the bun).
Another is tacos. They get the shells and I have a taco salad.
The one meal I don't compromise on is breakfast. If you are eating breakfast
at my house you get eggs, bacon, sausage or a crustless quiche and that's it.
The kids work the toaster themselves.
I wont buy cereal.
My family understand this is life or death for me so they are very cooperative.
You can do it!
It just takes a little time to get the hang of it and a lot of planing.
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Old 05-29-2012, 05:35 PM   #6
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I usually just drop out whatever the carby portion is. If we have spaghetti I eat either homemade meatballs (with no filler) or Italian sausage and a salad. If we're having beef stroganoff I remove a portion of the beef and mushrooms for myself before I make the gravy and then I eat green veg and don't have the noodles. If we're have philly cheese steaks then I just have the inside on a plate instead of in a roll.
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Old 05-29-2012, 05:46 PM   #7
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I've been doing Atkins (again) since January. I live with a husband and 2 children.

My husband joined me recently -- mid April, I think. But my children are certainly NOT doing Atkins. They need the higher carb-levels.

SO... What do we do?

As you said, breakfast is really the same for everyone, though the children may also have toast. Our pancakes are made with flax and almond meal, so that they're SATISFYING and low-carb. The children may still have maple syrup on them. I just have lots of butter.

Lunch... My daughter (she turns 5 soon) lives for peanut butter sandwiches. SO, I buy the fresh-ground peanut butter at Winco, and I bake bread. (Just did a batch this morning.) I use 100% whole grain in my bread, and I know EXACTLY what goes into it. (I became alarmed at the long ingredient list on the "healthy" bread I was buying, so I've been baking my own since March or so.)

For dinner, we have largely done away with potatoes and pasta. We used mashed cauliflower instead of the potatoes. (It tastes super-good, if you haven't tried faux-tatoes yet... Guests ask for my potato recipe. Before my hubby joined me on Atkins, I might make some rice or noodles as a SIDE dish. Now, we just skip that.

So what makes my kids NOT low-carb?

We have tons of fruit on hand, which they snack on freely. They have bread. And I don't limit their foods at school. HOWEVER, we've discovered my 7-yr-old son was showing blood-sugar issues. He had a tendency to skip snack or lunch if he didn't like it, and then he'd get low blood-sugar, which would make him angry. And then I'd hear about the latest "incident". SO, we discovered he does much better if he eats as close to the way I do as possible. I can't control the days when he decides he doesn't like the snack or lunch... so I sent a big jar of almonds and a 1/4 c scoop to school. If he starts feeling like everyone's being mean to him, OR if his teacher notices him starting to act angry, he's to go eat a scoop of almonds. It's done wonders.

We still have amazingly delicious family meals. The children snack on all the fruit they like. If we go out to eat, they may have pasta IF they have some good protein with it. (My kids prefer Alfredo sauce to marinara, so I don't have to worry about the fat.)

I've even made low-carb cookies for them, replacing all flour with almond & flax meal, and half the honey with stevia. The "cookies" are actually fat-and-protein balls, with some yummy flavorings. (Recipe HERE)

We're NOT gluten-free.... Like I said, I bake whole wheat bread. But we're darned close.

Most of our food is made from scratch, and my son insists it tastes much better that way. My daughter would be a junk-food junkie if I let her, or live on peanutbutter sandwiches and fruit.

Since my husband came "on board", it's been much easier. Before that, he insisted on his potatoes, his french fries, and his Mountain Dew. But after he saw "Sugar: The Bitter Truth", he decided to join me. He doesn't need to lose weight, but wanted to be healthier. Induction was hard for him, but then we started using flax seed, and his cravings disappeared. He's "slipped" on me a few times now, and always regrets it. He FEELS better when he eats like me, which makes it worth it.

The way we eat has become part of our family value system. We believe in making our own food as much as possible, so we control what goes in it. In using healthy ingredients. In making our food as nutritious as possible. My son is old enough to understand these things and is internalizing these values. Our daughter... Well, she's very young for her age. And has a sweet tooth like her brother never did. And is a picky eater, like her father was. At first, she even rejected home-made bread because it wasn't sliced as precisely as store-bought. She still won't eat my crackers, or certain other things I make. If it's a treat, she doesn't have to. If it's for dinner, she has to TRY it before deciding to go to bed hungry. I'm hoping that in a few years, when her language skills develop a bit more, it'll be easier to reason with her.
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Old 05-29-2012, 06:03 PM   #8
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I appreciate the feedback everyone! It seems like many here do extra cooking to accomodate LC so I'm not alone!

LiterateGriffin--is the Sugar-Bitter Truth on Netflix by chance? I've been watching quite a few documentaries. I love the information and seeing so many sides. I am becoming more and more aware of the poor quality of so much of our food here in the U.S. and it angers me. Can't wait for our local farmer's markets to open since I don't have a way to grow a garden.
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Old 05-29-2012, 06:32 PM   #9
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My husband and I are doing Atkins induction and we have three kids. Tonight we had cheeseburgers with bacon, roasted jalapenos and pepper jack cheese on them along with some roasted Parmesan broccoli. For the kids they got it on bread, for us we wrapped the burgers in lettuce. The kids also got apples and veggie straws (like chips) with theirs.

I cook what I feel like eating and sometimes I'll make roasted red potatoes on the side for the kids, but for the most part they eat what we eat.
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Old 05-29-2012, 06:39 PM   #10
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I haven't even checked Netflix. I discovered it when someone here shared the link:


(If you click it, you can go view it on YouTube, where you can see that it is part of the "UCTelevision" channel -- UC meaning University of California -- the most prestigious of the CA public colleges. UCLA and UC Berkeley are UC schools. These are university med-school instructors talking. And talking hard science in a way that's really hard to argue with.

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Old 05-29-2012, 06:53 PM   #11
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Hey, all of you who make and enjoy fauxtatoes, do most of you like cauliflower in regular form? It's always tasted horribly bitter and rotten to me, same as broccoli, asparagus, etc., so I'm wondering if that would affect the taste of these or if you're somehow able to hide it. Do you know anyone who would never eat cauliflower straight, but enjoy these?

If it helps, I'm also not a fan of heated dairy products (for some reason, anything dairy except mozzarella cheese, or small amounts of butter mixed in very well taste rotten to me also, even after they're back to room temp), so adding a lot of cream and/or butter would not mask the rotten taste cauliflower gives me.
When I made mashed potatoes (before starting this journey) I used just enough butter to make them the right consistency and never, ever added milk or cream.

I may try to make them with jicama this week if I remember to pick one up; I keep reading it's far lower in carbs and glycemic index than potatoes. I've only ever eaten it raw before in veggie trays, but am reading now it makes a pretty good baked potato substitute although you don't want to eat the skin as it's a lot harder and thicker than that of a potato. And for their size, they're crazy cheap!
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Old 05-29-2012, 07:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MargeGunderson View Post
Hey, all of you who make and enjoy fauxtatoes, do most of you like cauliflower in regular form?
Fauxtatoes do NOT taste like cauliflower.

I think the offensive taste you dislike (I know EXACTLY what you're talking about) is largely smell-based, and mashing it sort of "releases" that smell so it goes away.

A friend of mine still hasn't tried making them, because she's convinced there's something ELSE I'm doing to make it stop tasting like cauliflower, that I just have forgotten to tell her. Because they don't taste like cauliflower, so I MUST be doing something else.

Really -- I just steam it, mash it, and mix in a lot of butter and a little mozerella/parmasean (because we like how they taste in it -- but you could leave 'em out).

Buy a bag of frozen cauliflower and give it a try. If you don't like it, toss it. If you DO... Well, you've just added another food to your diet... a very nutrient-dense food. (Lots of potassium & B-vitamins in cauliflower. It's very filling on relatively few calories, and like most cruciferous vegetables, is nutritionally INSANE (in a good way).

So give it a try. All you have to lose is a bag of frozen cauliflower. And you have a lot of goodness to potentially gain.
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Old 05-29-2012, 10:46 PM   #13
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I make my food, and theirs. Their food is healthier than normal but still largely standard fare, with less sugar and grain. My meals are pure low carb and specific to my dietary needs. I'm used to it, it's really no burden
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiterateGriffin View Post
Fauxtatoes do NOT taste like cauliflower.

I think the offensive taste you dislike (I know EXACTLY what you're talking about) is largely smell-based, and mashing it sort of "releases" that smell so it goes away.

A friend of mine still hasn't tried making them, because she's convinced there's something ELSE I'm doing to make it stop tasting like cauliflower, that I just have forgotten to tell her. Because they don't taste like cauliflower, so I MUST be doing something else.

Really -- I just steam it, mash it, and mix in a lot of butter and a little mozerella/parmasean (because we like how they taste in it -- but you could leave 'em out).

Buy a bag of frozen cauliflower and give it a try. If you don't like it, toss it. If you DO... Well, you've just added another food to your diet... a very nutrient-dense food. (Lots of potassium & B-vitamins in cauliflower. It's very filling on relatively few calories, and like most cruciferous vegetables, is nutritionally INSANE (in a good way).

So give it a try. All you have to lose is a bag of frozen cauliflower. And you have a lot of goodness to potentially gain.
Thanks! Yes, I will actually try it. I'm not one of those who disputes the necessity of steps and/or ingredients, then accuses YOU of intentionally leaving out something so it won't be as good as yours. (yep, have had co-workers do that!)

Except, does the smell release all over the place, or just in the sense that it dissipates from the food?
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Old 05-30-2012, 04:58 AM   #15
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Like many others, I make my regular food (protein and vegies), and my husband adds a starch if he wants one. He cooks up a mess of rice and beans and keeps it in the fridge for a while, or else he adds a couple corn tortillas. I don't eat any wheat at all (gluten issues), and he's cut the gluten out as well.

When I have guests over, I sometimes buy a nice loaf of bread that they can add to their plate if they want it.
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Old 05-30-2012, 05:10 AM   #16
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My husband is not LC, but he eats what I eat, unless he prepares something for himself, or when we eat out. I used to take it for granted, but now I see how fortunate I am.

I have enough trouble with meal planning and prep, I can't imagine multiple meals per day.
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Old 05-30-2012, 06:28 AM   #17
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Hey, Geese - you've gotten LOTS of good feedback. I'm in the camp, along w/many other posters, that I DO NOT cook separate meals. I cook meals that my family and I can both enjoy, but I may add a side dish/particular veggie for them that I don't eat. I've adapted a lot of our favorite meals to be LC, or LC adaptable for me. For example, I make a mean chicken enchilada bake. I fill the tortillas for them, and put some of the filling in a little baking dish for me. Not really harder. Our favorite pork chop and black bean dish now uses black soy beans, and no one noticed the difference. I have to say I make a lot of meat/egg type bakes (like white castle pie). Due to family request, I still make their favorite ham and broccoli quiche in a crust and I simply eat the filling.

The important thing is not to talk yourself out of LC eating (if you've really decided LC is the way for you) by telling yourself "it's too hard to cook 2 meals." Once you're in the habit, it really is not as hard as you might think. So many things we've cooked in the past really don't need the carby additions to taste good. I make a yummy baked chicken tender using spices, mayo and parmesan cheese - who needs the bread crumbs.

Good luck to you!
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Old 05-30-2012, 07:01 AM   #18
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I agree with the PP. I generally just make one meal, and slightly modify it for me and don't eat a side dish. I do find I make less casserole type meals now because it's too hard to seperate out what I'm not going to eat, kwim?
For example, here is this week's menu for my family:
Monday- rotisserie chicken (shopping day, I always pick on up at the store to eat that night). DH and I (DH is not following low carb) have big salads with the chicken. For the kids (7, 5, 18m) they have chicken and some buttery egg noodles and some fruit.
Tuesday: Ravioli w/tomato sauce. Obviously I won't be eating ravioli but I will probably do zoodles for myself with some of the homemade no sugar added marinara sauce and some mozz cheese on top with a side salad.
Wednesday: tilapia (theirs has light breading, mine will not), roasted asparagus, rice (I won't have the rice)
Thursday: Chicken w/goat cheese and lemon butter sauce (we can all have this, kids will probably have just plain chicken), couscous (I won't have any), some sort of veggie.
Friday: Steak, corn on cob, watermelon, veggie kabobs. I won't have the corn or watermelon.
Saturday: Tacos. I'll have a taco salad, they'll have actual tacos in shells.

Not too much extra prep. It takes a bit of planning but you'll get into a groove and it won't be too hard after a while!
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Old 05-30-2012, 07:09 AM   #19
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You eating "simply" really helps. I found once I stopped trying to recreate higher carb dishes with low carb versions , mealtime became much easier.

Eating this way is more about what you don't eat than about what you DO eat. So everyone can eat basic meats/fish/chicken and veggies.....I just dont eat the extra dish (rice-potato-pasta).

My family eats meat/veggies then I just include a rice or potato side for them.

Now that I am maintaining I have found some creative ways to make our meals lower carb. I might include a half or whole potato in a batch of faux cauli mash to improve the consistency or taste so that my family will eat them too. My family eats them no problem and the carb count is low.

I have also mixed a little bit of pasta with spaghetti squash in a casserole. Just enough pasta to make it taste more authentic or "feel" right to everyone else. I sometimes just pull out a little bit of my own stuff.

I make cookies and sprinkle the sugar (little amount) on top the cookie. That one hasnt gone over well though.
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Old 05-30-2012, 07:32 AM   #20
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Subscribing to this thread with great interest, because this is difficult at my house. DH has a small collection of foods filed away in his brain that he will eat, and none of them are low carb. He's also very stubborn and negative about trying anything new... frustrating for me, but I can't make him change his thinking. I know he feels as though he's the target of food mutiny with DS and I; and he sort of is - most days lately I leave him to fend for himself on food, both the shopping and the prep... we're going to have to find a compromise somewhere, because this has also turned into us all eating meals at separate times and in separate rooms.

I did some yammering last night about films and books that explain why LC works and why wheat-free is already helping kiddo so much, and while he wasn't riveted, he seemed to have some wheels turning... hopeful!
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Old 05-30-2012, 07:46 AM   #21
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I really enjoyed reading others' descriptions of how they low carb while raising a family. Very inspiring and humbling. I feel grateful to have a fiancé who fully supports our low carb lifestyle. You guys can do it.
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Old 05-30-2012, 08:33 AM   #22
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My husband is actually leaning towards low carb eating with me. When I make dinner I make one low carb dish for everyone in our family even our two year old. My husband needs to lose weight as well and it's good for our two year old to learn to eat healthy early on. I may be alone in that I don't make a separate carby side dish. I don't feel a reason for it at dinner although breakfast and lunch I might modify.


The two year old how ever gets plenty of carbs all day long because he still needs them as a growing boy. He gets milk, fruit and yogurt. He likes to have cheerios or wheat thins for a snack. He likes to have an egg 'mcmuffin' in the morning which I make him with an egg and an english muffin. I do feed him sandwiches but most of the time he tosses the bread aside and eats the filling. Maybe it's because he sees me put the deli meat and cheese on lettuce and not bread.

Breakfast I usually do eggs. My whole family likes eggs. My son likes to have scrambled eggs and cheese. He either gets toast or yogurt with his and usually some milk. My husband and I have our eggs with bacon or sausage and nothing else. I like to have herbal tea or water for breakfast. My husband prefers coffee.
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Old 05-30-2012, 09:33 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MargeGunderson View Post
Except, does the smell release all over the place, or just in the sense that it dissipates from the food?
It just dissipates. Once you've mashed it, it stops SMELLING like cauliflower


When my husband & I got together around 8 years ago, I was on Atkins. And he didn't eat vegetables or non-processed foods. I actually wound up in tears at one point, because he'd eat my meals and rave about them... and then complain if I ever made it again.

So I stopped cooking for him. My son was young enough then that he really didn't eat much FOOD. A little mashed pumpkin, some apple. And I'd just not eat when my husband was home... unless he made something. I'd make meals for me when he wasn't around, but I flat out refused to cook dinner for him. (I also had issues about our son being in the kitchen when I cooked... was rough for a while.)

Well, he started picking up the slack. There was still a lot of drive-thru... but he started cooking in self defense, because even fast food gets expensive fast. And the whole time, I was doing the grocery shopping. So I controlled what came into the house.

And gradually, whether he liked it or not, his palate started to improve.

Nearly a decade later, and AFTER I gave up trying, he simply can't eat some of the things he thought of as "staples" back then. And he's come to like many foods he'd reject out of hand, before.

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Old 05-30-2012, 10:18 AM   #24
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During my low carb only years, it was easiest to just fix some of the more carby side dishes for DH and then skip that particular dish for myself. So easy to fix the cheese sauce (made without flour thickening) and DH had it over macaroni with the broccoli also, and I ladled the sauce over my broccoli and skipped the pasta. We'd have the same crisp side salads, but I'd put crispy croutons on his and just skip that topping on mine. At breakfast, family can have buttered toast and orange juice with the ham & eggs, and the low carber can just forego the toast and juice. It works pretty smoothly after you get used to it.
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Old 05-30-2012, 11:37 AM   #25
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I've been doing this for years...
(and I have 2 teen boys that are continually saying, I need to gain weight)
I started with Atkins and now follow pretty much a modified paleo (I eat some dairy regularly, but its all whole foods) I have to say, that while my kids eat their fair share of junk, they are much more aware of what is in their food. I made cookies for a end of year party not long ago and my 18 y/o didn't want any because he had sweets earlier in the day and he didn't want to feel sluggish later.

Breakfast/lunch pretty much everyone is on their own. For dinner, I will either make a lc main dish with a salad and carby sides (almost always mashed potatoes as one of them for the boys that are trying to put on weight)
When we have brats/sausages, I will put mine in the rib of a piece of romaine and eat it like it was a bun. I have modified a lot of our favorite comfort food casserole/soup/stew type recipes to make them lc, for things like lasagna, I will make 2 casseroles with all of the same fillings, but the kids will have pasta, mine will have zucchini or eggplant or something like that instead of noodles, it all goes in the oven at the same time. I do occasionally make a meal for DH and me and a different one for the kids (usually about once a week) Usually, that is when we are having something the kids don't like.
I think what makes it work is that we don't use a lot of specialty ingredients, just real food.
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Old 05-30-2012, 11:49 AM   #26
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Thought I would agree with others that said planning is key!
I plan dinner M-F with our calendar in mind. If everyone is going in different directions, we have a crockpot night, etc.
We rarely have leftovers, so don't need to worry about using things up.

An example of a recent week's dinners

Cheese and chili chops (an old atkins website recipe that my kids love)
salad (me & DH)
bread & mashed potatoes for the kids

Brats
home made cole slaw
fries (kids)

Carne Asada Fajitas
(tortillas for the kids, none for me)

Grilled fish (me & DH)
stir fried veggies (me & DH)
pasta dish for kids

Grilled chicken w/ pesto
on either a bed of spinach or pasta
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Old 05-30-2012, 12:50 PM   #27
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If I'm cooking what I say goes!

I make a protein, a veg and one carby side for them. It can be garlic bread, baked potato, pasta or some rice, etc. I only make enough for them to go with their meal so Im not tempted.

Luckily, DH loves meat or stir fry or noodleless lasagna as long as he gets his preferred sides to go with it.

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Old 06-05-2012, 12:07 AM   #28
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Better do like my mom did when i was a kid, tell them this aint burger king you cant have it your way!! lol all jokes aside, if your family doesnt like lc, let them cook there own dinner for awhile, they'll probably give in in about a week!
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Old 06-07-2012, 05:43 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Arctic_Mama View Post
I make my food, and theirs. Their food is healthier than normal but still largely standard fare, with less sugar and grain. My meals are pure low carb and specific to my dietary needs. I'm used to it, it's really no burden
I do this too ^^^^^^^^^^^ Being low carb for 12+ years, I have done this a long time.

More importantly they are used to it I make a meat and a veggie and they get a carby side. My DH will not let go of his rice and I will not deny him a food he has grown up with (he is Japanese only living in the states for 20 years) or wants to share with our kids. So I don't short order cook, but I do cook foods I won't eat. Oh, and let me add I have a family of 6. DH and 4 kids 16 and under.
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Old 06-07-2012, 05:46 PM   #30
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Thanks! Yes, I will actually try it. I'm not one of those who disputes the necessity of steps and/or ingredients, then accuses YOU of intentionally leaving out something so it won't be as good as yours. (yep, have had co-workers do that!)

Except, does the smell release all over the place, or just in the sense that it dissipates from the food?
How did it go? Have you tried the fauxtatoes yet? I make this every time my mom visits, which is rarely and she cannot stand it. She says the fauxtatoes tastes like cauliflower. I cannot hide it from her. No matter how much cheese I put in it.
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