Eating Low Carb at the Holidays Even on a Tight Budget
Anyone planning to follow a low carb lifestyle might be forgiven for thinking that it is an expensive option. This is most likely due to all of the pre-packaged foods and low carb products available on store shelves.
While it is true that Atkins and South Beach, for example, offer a range of snack bars, desserts and even ready meals from the freezer, they are very expensive pound for pound compared to cooking low carb yourself. Even worse than the expense, they are full of artificial ingredients and preservatives, some of which can have a negative impact on your health.
For example, many of these products contain milk, soy, and nuts. They also rely heavily on artificial coloring, flavoring and sweeteners to make them look and taste appealing. Artificial sweeteners have been known to cause stomach upset in some people, ranging from nausea and bloating to severe diarrhea.
The only way to be sure of what is in your low carb meals is to make them yourself. This is the best way to save money too. Once you have started researching carb counts and low carb recipes, you should be able to eat better than ever before, for less money.
You first strategy is to use fresh vegetables from your local farmer’s market, or frozen vegetables when they are on sale. On the Induction phase of Atkins, you are allowed 20 to 22 grams of carbs per day only, with 15 of those grams coming from salad and other greens.
Shop for the best prices and make the most of seasonal sales such as around harvest time, when food is plentiful and cheap. Plan each meal and dish carefully to be sure it is low in carb and there will be leftovers. Use them to make for your own homemade low carb TV dinners, or use as the basis for other low carb meals.
For example, many people have a whole turkey or turkey breast as the main course for one of their festive holiday meals. Turkey is ideal on a low carb diet. The low carb lifestyle helps you lose weight because it is high in protein, which helps you feel full. Turkey is high in protein, low in carbs and fat (if you use white meat) and very versatile. After you and your guests have eaten your fill, use the leftover meat in a range of recipes, such as turkey Caesar salad, low carb tacos, stir fry, soups, stews, and more.
There is also no need to try to wolf down all your leftovers over a few days to try to use them up and not waste anything if you master make and freeze cooking. Use the leftover side dishes from the holiday meal with some of the turkey and some additional frozen vegetables to make your own TV-style dinners that you can have on hand any time you need a delicious and nutritious low carb meal.
Cooking freshly is the best way to eat healthfully and save money. Plan your meals, make your shopping list, and discover how easy, economical and delicious it can be to go low carb even at the holidays.