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Old 03-26-2013, 08:30 AM   #1
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Anyone else doing low carb without a diet plan?

After experimenting with low-carb eating for several months, I have decided that I'm not going to follow any specific diet plan or any one person's book. I'm not doing low-carb to lose weight; I'm doing it to be healthier, to think clearer, and to prevent diabetes. I'm making changes to my diet that will be permanent. I want these changes to be healthy ones, not ones that will be shortcuts. I've been slowly incorporating a low-carb lifestyle, giving myself plenty of time to adjust and learn about it, with no deadlines or scales or timeframes. I've gradually been bringing my daily carb count down over time.

Anyone else out there like me, not following any diet plan? If so, what is your reason for not following a specific diet plan? And why are you doing low-carb? How many carbs do you eat per day?

I am still eating about 100 or less grams of carbs per day, and sometimes I do end up going over. But over the past few months I've made the following changes:

1. When I do bake bread with white flour or wheat flour, the dinner rolls are half the size they used to be, and I only eat one not two. Eventually my plan is to phase out these rolls altogether with a LC version.

2. Early on in my experiments I decided to add flax seed meal to my diet. I started sprinkling it on my meats to add more omega-3s to my diet. But I have also experimented with it in baked goods; I think it's better sprinkled on stuff than baked, but further experimentation will be needed. Flax seed also has a lot of fiber; all the carbs in flax are fiber. I think that incorporating flax seed into one's diet slowly and gradually increasing will help one to be able to eat PolyD, inulin, and other high-fiber baking mixes/ingredients which are important to doing low-carb.

3. When I eat out at a burger place (avoiding most fast food chains), I order a double cheese burger with a side of cole slaw. I tell them no bun and no fries. This isn't that hard to implement, and I always feel better when I avoid buns and fries.

4. When I eat out at a cafe type place like Panera Bread, I order from their salad menu, because everything else is so carb loaded. I just get the salad and nothing else.

5. When I eat out at a sit-down restaurant, I admittedly still do cheat. I'll eat a white dinner roll or a garlic bread stick, but the main course will be lower-carb. I'll mostly avoid pasta dishes and stick to meats and vegetables.

6. I eat at least one salad each day. I have become very fond of Earthbound Farm Spring Mix, which is loaded with a wide variety of very healthy, deep green baby lettuces, spinach and swiss chard. They also have another mix that is called something like "Super Greens" which includes kale, swiss chard and spinach. If you start incorporating organ greens into your daily meals, you will miss them when they are gone. I know I do.

7. Most of my baking is done with almond flour now. Almond flour has 1/4th the amount of carbs found in white or wheat flour. And almond flour is more filling than white or wheat flour; I don't need to eat as much. This is because it has more fat and more fiber than white or wheat flour.

8. I eat a lot more fiber than I used to. Even discounting salads, I'm getting a lot more fiber. My baked goods now contain lots of fiber due to the use of almond flour. I have very recently been experimenting with PolyD, another fiber.

9. I have found some success with low-carb chicken nuggets / breaded / fried chicken. Instead of using bread crumbs or a flour mixture, I've tried parmesan cheese with seasonings. This is nearly zero carbs for the entire batch. My plan is to perfect this recipe over time and never look back.

10. I do love chocolate and am unwilling to give it up. But I eat exclusively dark chocolate now, and mostly in the form of bars. Currently, I am eating about 1 60% dark chocolate bar each week, but I plan on phasing that out and going to 73%, and then 86%.

Oh and I gave up soft drinks years ago. I think that should be a first step for everyone.

Anyone else out there using almond flour? And if so, have you noticed that your need for meats has gone down? I definitely need less meat now than ever before in my diet; I think it's because the almond flour has a lot of protein in it.

Last edited by Seeking; 03-26-2013 at 08:32 AM..
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:35 AM   #2
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:22 PM   #3
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I started low carbing when diagnosed with diabetes, and it has definitely gotten my blood sugar under control. The weight loss was a wonderful side benefit, but not my primary motivator.

So no, I am not on any plan. Since I started just over a year ago, I have given up all grains (so no bread, pasta, rice, cous cous, etc). Wait, I do eat low carb tortillas, so I guess I still eat some wheat, but at only 6 carbs for a burrito sized one, I think that is ok. Also, no potatoes, rarely carrots or peas, tend to avoid shelled beans except black soy and, believe it or not, garbanzo beans don't seem to send my blood sugars soaring. I eat a lot of cauliflower - cut into florets, tossed with olive oil and salt and roasted, or "riced" and used under a stew or stir-fry. Other green veggies, and a salad or two every day, sometimes huge ones. Feta cheese has been known to end up on my salad frequently, and always grape tomatoes (5), cut in half, and 2 or 3 crimini mushrooms, diced.

My biggest challenge has been sweets. I love to bake, and learning how to bake without flour has been interesting, to say the least. Almond flour is different, and coconut flour is totally alien stuff to work with. I think that after a year I am beginning to feel better about it, at least I have found some recipes that I think are really good, but it has been frustrating. I do, however, find that baked goods stop any weight loss, which is a bummer, so I should make other things. I don't know why, but I'd rather bake a cake than make a bowl of jello, even though jello is easier, and I have no problem eating jello for dessert.

Chocolate is great. Mostly eat 80 - 85% now. 70% for a real treat, but that's a bit carby. Other snacks are a handful of raw almonds, pork rinds, or cold cuts. this is where I miss grains - used to be addicted to crackers.

Fortunately I love my protein, most all types. Made a moroccan spiced lamb stew for a dinner party last weekend - yum! - but also love an herb covered roast chicken, a pork roast, fish, shellfish, beef...you get the picture. I try to buy my meats at the Farmers' market, but that is not always practical. Chicken I get from a local farm store, and it is delicious but not cheap. And I buy a 1/4 steer every year and a half or so from local farms. So my freezer is usually well stocked.

I do think this way of eating is healthier, and I'll give up high carbs for less worry about fats any day of the week.
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Old 03-27-2013, 04:46 AM   #4
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This is interesting. You both don't want or have a plan of eating yet you both say you have a plan to get healthier and just outlined a plan of eating. It is done your way and that's great. I have my plan too

Definition of "Plan"
--a method for achieving an end
--an often customary method of doing something : procedure
-- a detailed formulation of a program of action
--goal, aim
--an orderly arrangement of parts of an overall design or objective
--adetailed program (as for payment or the provision of some service) <pension plan>

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Old 03-27-2013, 08:01 AM   #5
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I know the LC WOE backwards and forwards been around a long time and read many of the diet sites I know what my problem is I change to different plans I just need to keep to one set way.I allways have plenty of the lc foods so I have no excuse to not stick with correct eating.This is an excellent way to stick to my own plan.
1. Open a new file in your PC.
2. Name it "Housework."
3. Send it to the RECYCLE BIN
4. Empty the RECYCLE BIN
5. Your PC will ask you, "Are you sure you want to delete Housework permanently?"
6. Answer calmly, "Yes ," and press the mouse button
7. Feel better?
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:11 AM   #6
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"this is where I miss grains - used to be addicted to crackers".

Have you tried cheese chips-I get provolone cheese sliced thick and cut into four pieces-then put on parchment and microwave for 38 seconds- -let cool a few seconds and you have a perfect chip to use with dips or anything else you like-very crispy
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:45 AM   #7
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I'm not really following some particular plan, but my plan is so simple that I can give it to you in a phrase "very few carbs", lol.

I'm not sure what those ingredients are that you say are important on a low carb diet, but I assure you that they are not important on a low carb diet. It looks to me like they might be all about getting fiber? But I have had times that I avoided fiber like the plague and felt better for it. I have gone for many months at a time eating less than ten grams or so of fiber a week. Lately the only fiber I get comes from almonds (I don't have a rule about how many to eat during a given day, but I don't think I've gone over 30 grams, which is I think 2 g fiber) and avocado, I think. I might also throw a tiny bit of onion in something here and there, and I do use a small amount of diced tomatoes in my chili. But I think this all works out to well under 10 g a day, probably under 5, and I'm fine. All this is just to say -- you don't need special low carb ingredients, normal whole foods are just fine, unless you are really craving some PolyD.
jayne, type I diabetic and mama to two sweet boys (9/03 and 2/09)

high fat, moderate protein, very low carb
once a day feeding
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Old 03-27-2013, 08:11 PM   #8
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TO DFS: I've tried cheddar chips, and find they are too salty, but thanks for the suggestion. I'll try provolone - maybe it is less salty than cheddar. Otherwise the only thing I've found is homemade crackers, with flaxseed, garbanzo flour, parmesan, and egg (I add ground caraway seed for flavor). These are pretty good, and having to make them helps limit how many I'll eat at one sitting!
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:32 AM   #9
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Not sure how many carbs you would want to go for, but Wal-Mart carries some "crackers" called World Table Bruschetta Rounds, olive oil and sea salt, for 6 net carbs for 8 "crackers". I quote the crackers because they are more of a dried Italian bread or crouton-like consistency, but they are very good and I love them as an occasional snack with a wedge of LC cheese spread on top.

Bye-bye 240's -
230's -
220's -
210's -
200!! -
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:37 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Nanner View Post
Not sure how many carbs you would want to go for, but Wal-Mart carries some "crackers" called World Table Bruschetta Rounds, olive oil and sea salt, for 6 net carbs for 8 "crackers". I quote the crackers because they are more of a dried Italian bread or crouton-like consistency, but they are very good and I love them as an occasional snack with a wedge of LC cheese spread on top.
Hmmm. Thanks. The nearest WalMart is an hour's drive from where I live, but I have a vacation cabin that I get to several times a year in a town with a WalMart. I'll have to remember to get some of these next time I go. Would be nice to serve hors d'oeuvres with crackers that everybody can eat.

Incidently, if you haven't tried the canned kippers, give them a whirl. canned in mustard sauce is my favorite, on a cracker (or slice of daikon radish!), Yum!
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:18 AM   #11
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Ryvita Rye and Oat Bran are good.
One serving is 2 slices: 12 grams of carb (4 grams of fiber)
So one is just 4 net carbs (check my math). They are good sized crackers, too.
Really tasty with tuna salad or egg salad.
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Old 03-31-2013, 07:46 AM   #12
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I lost a tremendous amount of weight without a "plan" other than avoiding wheat, starch, and sugar. I ate to suit my hunger so some days were low calorie but other days were much higher. I stalled out at 145 pounds (which was well below my initial goal) and held that weight for a number of months. But now, without any discernible change in my eating, I've added pounds and now drift between 150 and 155. So I've decided to adopt a "plan" and stick to it. I've too many new clothes to let things go to chance any more. Before my focus was a healthy lifestyle change and the weight loss was a very cool benefit. Now my focus is entirely on losing 10 pounds and stabilizing there. It was a nice ride while it lasted though...
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