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Healthy Low-Carb Meal Ideas

I’m not into fad diets. And I don’t believe that cutting out all carbs is healthy.

But, you’ve got to admit that the average American consumes far too many carbs from bad sources. I’m not just talking about refined flours and sugars, either.

Even whole grains can wreak havoc on your digestive system and lead to many chronic ailments like depression, low-energy levels, headaches, and moodiness — particularly when they’re improperly prepared. Whole grains really should be sprouted, soaked, or fermented to make them more digestible and to make them more nutritious.

So, finding good low-carb foods to fill your belly is a good idea. Useful, tasty recipes will help keep your carb consumption in check and may even help you lose weight.

That’s why in today’s post, I’m highlighting Kelly The Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesday Carnival.

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I am a passionate advocate for REAL FOOD -- food that's sustainable, organic, local, and traditionally-prepared according to the wisdom of our ancestors. I'm also an author and a nutrition educator. I enjoy playing in the rain, a good bottle of Caol Ila scotch, curling up with a page-turning book, sunbathing on my hammock, and watching my three children explore their world.

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6 Responses to Healthy Low-Carb Meal Ideas
  1. Anna
    January 7, 2009 | 10:18 pm

    Why do you think of a low carb diet as a fad diet? Humans ate low carb foods for a looooooooooonnnnngggggg time before the adoption of settlements, agriculture, and new food processing technologies made grains edible and concentrated sugars possible. In that context, the modern diet is the “fad” diet. ;-)

  2. Anna
    January 7, 2009 | 10:25 pm

    Kristen,

    I just looked at what I wrote as it reappeared after hitting submit. I hope it doesn’t come across as too sharp. I realize you don’t have an issue with watching the carb intake; I meant it sort of tongue-in-cheek.

  3. KristenM
    January 7, 2009 | 10:33 pm

    No offense taken!

    And, you’re right. I think the biggest “fad” diet of them all is the one proposed by the USDA’s Food Pyramid. It’s so out of whack with traditional foods.

    For the record, I *don’t* think of all low carb diets as fad diets. As I said, Americans consume far too many carbs from bad sources. So, filling our bellies with low-carb foods is a good idea. :)

    When I think of low carb “fad diets” (and I guess I should have been more clear), I think of the unhealthy misinterpretations of the Atkins diet out there — the ones where people cut out absolutely all carbs forever and rely heavily on animal proteins and fats from industrialized sources. Sure, they’ll lose weight, but they’re poisoning their bodies.

  4. Anna
    January 8, 2009 | 8:37 am

    Kristen, you are so right about that USDA Food Pyramid. It’s an abomination. I think that misguided pyramid is responsible for a LOT of suffering and poor health.

    My own model is more like an upside down pyramid! I have to give a lot of the credit for my paradigm shift to reading Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions & the WAPF website. The other thing that convinced me about avoiding high carb foods ( they push out of the diet more nutrient-dense foods) was gestational diabetes ten years ago. If avoiding sugar and starch was good for my pregnancy, how can it not be good for all the time?). I only wish I had known more about enriching my diet with liver, homemade bone broths, extra egg yolks, grass-fed butter, and more natural fats back then. But better late than never, eh?

    It took me a year to “digest” all the “radical” notions in NT (really, raw dairy?!!!), plus follow-up research to cross-check the credibility and time to adopt the changes in my kitchen and food prep routine. I already was low carbing by that time, so much of the SAD was no longer a big factor (unlike many, I didn’t buy very many of the processed low carb-version “products” but tried to increase naturally low carb foods instead and I had dropped “low fat” years before). I never followed a particular “official” low carb diet, though I did read a number of the books to better understand the biochemistry of metabolism and borrow what I liked from each. I stopped counting carbs for the most part and just “eye-balled” it, instead focussing on my low carb options, like more non-starchy veggies instead of a carby side dish.

    NT and the WAPF website helped me focus on making better naturally low carb choices, like buying meat and eggs direct from the farmer/rancher and trying raw dairy, joining a CSA for our produce, etc. Slow Food and local food initiatives helped me focus on eating seasonally and locally, which also dovetails nicely with sourcing directly from food producers.

    But whatever went wrong with my glucose metabolism is gone for good; even with proper NT sugar choices and grain preparation , I still can’t handle very much concentrated sugar of any sort or starch without a BG that goes too high. And I don’t want to take medication for it (the proper diet gives much better BG control than oral meds and supplements anyway). So most of my family’s carbs come from non-starchy veggies and some fruit, which is plenty, but still quite low overall. Our energy primarily comes from natural fats, lucky us.

  5. Michael
    July 19, 2009 | 1:03 am

    I agree that you can’t just eliminate all carbs and think that’s healthy. Some people use low carb as an excuse to gorge on meat and eat very few vegetables. sad…

    Michael

  6. Health | Melatonin Sleep Aid
    September 27, 2009 | 5:30 am

    Low Carb diet is generally associated with longevity as this causes less fat build up and less free radical build up inside the body. It is great for weight loss and the general health.

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Who Am I?

My name is Kristen Michaelis. I'm a nutrition educator, author, and mother of three. I adore hats, happy skirts, horizons full of storm clouds, the full-bodied feel of wind as I ride motorcylces, reading in my hammock, and a hearty shot of Caol Ila scotch. I'm also a rebel with a cause.
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