Are you really bored on a low carb diet or are you just waiting until you can go back to your routine of grab and go high carb choices? If you are constantly thinking you’re on a diet then you aren’t really changing how you eat as a lifestyle. Essentially you’re always looking backwards instead of forward. Of course you’ll never embrace a better way of eating if you think it’s a temporary change and you’ll be bored if you don’t think outside of the bacon and cheese box. I found out early on with the South Beach diet that I could not, would not eat cheese sticks and beef jerky every day. I made a switch to celery sticks with hummus and crunchy parmesan crisps. I also needed some vegetarian meals to fall back on. Fake desserts with mannitol make me gag so I have a small supply of real dark chocolate for a treat. I just can’t reconcile eating a processed or artificial food, diet while trying to eat healthier.
Ideas to avoid boredom in any healthy diet
1) Variety matters:
– try new vegetables or new ways to fix old favorites, grill a head of romaine lettuce, microwave beets in olive oil for a fast roasted flavor, add lemon zest to greens or zucchini, add toasted cayenne pecans to Swiss chard. Make the vegetables the star of your meal.
– try new spices and fresh herbs, buy a few exotic combinations from a spice store like, Moroccan, Thai, Indian, Goan
– try a new to you fish or seafood, always ask for the freshest fish available
2) Make low carb substitutions for your old favorites
– try cauliflower rice, zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash as substitutes for rice and pasta
– try low carb pizza crust or stuff a portobello mushroom with your favorite pizza toppings
3) Experiment with new low carb recipes, what’s the worst thing that can happen? You throw out some food, not the end of the world.
Here’s this week’s South Beach Menu and shopping list
A few recipe ideas:
Instant Pot Chicken Verde:
Sauté 2 pounds of cubed chicken breast in olive oil until browned, add 1 cup diced onion, 2 cloves of garlic and 1 cup of prepared salsa verde. Use high pressure setting for poultry and cook about 30 minutes, allow a natural release of the pressure. Shred chicken and serve with low carb tortillas or lettuce wraps, shredded lettuce, chopped tomato, sliced radishes, sliced olives and more salsa verde or pico de gallo. Add cheddar cheese if you want. This is a fast week night meal. Serve leftover chicken with salad greens for lunch.
Portobello mushroom pizzas: Stuff large mushrooms with pesto and shredded mozzarella cheese. Top with pizza sauce or marinara and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until the mushroom is soft.
I usually develop my menu and then shop. If another fish looks fresh or a beautiful vegetable inspires a meal, then I change the menu. The repeating pattern is obvious though, I choose a protein, pick a cuisine and fill our plates with one or more vegetables. We don’t miss rice, bread and pasta when our plates are full of delicious produce and meats and fish that we like.
Let me know if you find a great low carb recipe or have more tips to avoid diet burn out.