I’m having a bit of a weight struggle at the moment, or forever. Same thing. I weigh exactly what I did 5 years ago which most people would think is great but it actually sucks because I’ve been actively trying to lose weight in that time. I’m seeing lots of doctors and trying to see if I have any gut or hormonal issues but nothing has come up yet. It seems my body just likes to bulk up for the winter on a permanent basis. My family doctor told me years ago I’ll never die in a famine so basically my metabolism would have been better suited for life in Ireland in 1845. Yay.
I’ve experimented with lots of different ways of eating but generally speaking, I’ve been a carb-avoider for about 15 years. I’m not totally carb free but I avoid white, fast burning carbs like bread, pasta and rice. I love my slow burning carbs like oats and quinoa, I just get more bang for my buck out of them. It’s not just a weight loss thing, it’s an energy thing. If I eat a big carb-loaded lunch, I’ll be sleepy AF all afternoon. If I eat good fats, veg and small portion of protein I’m sprinting through my afternoon. It just makes me feel less sluggish.
I’ve had a few people ask about carb swaps recently, particularly Straight & Curly listeners so I thought I’d pop together a list of my favourites. These are all permanent fixtures in my weekly diet and we pretty much never eat white carbs at home. The reason why is because I don’t want to be a dick if I go to a mates house and they’ve ordered pizza. I’ll eat it and enjoy it, because I ate more wholesome food for the rest of the week. Here’s what we have instead of carbs at the Smaggle house.
You can make cauliflower fried rice, cauliflower pizza and cauliflower mashed potato. Cauliflower will also add a bit of bulk to vegetable bakes if you’re looking for something less starchy to replace potatoes. Cauliflower is a miracle low carb replacement in winter because it’s a lovely snuggly food that you can roast, mash and pulse into rice. The perfect comfort food.
I’ve had a lot of people ask me about protein bread since I started eating it a few years ago and I get asked the same question again and again.
Does it taste like regular bread?
No. There will never, ever be a healthy replacement for delicious, fluffy, fresh baked, zero nutritional value, white, crusty bread. It’s just not happening so don’t expect that of protein bread. It’s 100 calories for 2 very thin slices that are quite yummy when toasted, it’s a handy vehicle for eggs and avocado and it’s also quite pleasant when dunked in soup. It’s not going to taste like Sizzler’s cheese toast so just get your expectations in check before you start bulk ordering the stuff. I buy mine from here or the health food store down the road if they have it stock.
When I want a big bowl of spaghetti bolognaise, I make the meat sauce and serve it on lightly pan heated spiralized zucchini noodles. Again it doesn’t taste anything like pasta but it’s not too shabby an alternative if you don’t have the type of metabolism that can cope with massive amounts of refined carbohydrates every day. It’s also a lovely fresh way to add a lovely greens to a comfort meal, especially in winter.
San chow bow is one of my favourite meals so I’ve taken to using lettuce as an accompaniment to almost all of my Asian meals that I make at home. Vegetable stir-fry is delicious when wrapped in a crisp lettuce leaf rather than served on stodgy rice and it means you get a few extra greens in your meal too.
If I’m a having meal that’s low on carbs like a salad or some streamed vegetables, I’ll often add a poached or boiled egg. It totally fills me up and adds that carb ‘bulk’ to my meal without adding the carb calories.