Generally speaking, when people hear the word “diet” they don’t have very positive thoughts. Images of all their favorite foods with a big red “X” crossing them out….or climbing onto a scale and dreading the number….or bland food day after day….or meals full of just veggies….etc.
I have been on a diet for the past several months. Because of the fact that my Mom is Type 2 diabetic and my sisters were both borderline gestational diabetic, my Mom sent me a kit so that I could be monitoring my own glucose levels. Sure enough…long about beginning to mid second trimester I realized that I was dealing with high blood sugar.
NOT fun. Especially when you’re pregnant. And craving food. Like Doritos.
After the initial breakdown, I buckled down and started trying to find ways to eat to keep my blood sugar under control. At first it was extremely overwhelming and I thought I would never be able to enjoy eating again. At least until the end of the pregnancy. But I have discovered that there are a LOT of super yummy meals that I can make that are low in carbohydrates.
Having high blood sugar does not mean that you can’t enjoy your food or that you can never have sweets again. And that is good news for me!!
So for anybody with gestational diabetes or just wanting to cut down on carbs….here are some of the recipes and things that have worked for me the past few months!
If you are dealing with blood sugar issues, of course make sure that you don’t just take my word for it. Everybody’s body responds differently to foods, so just because these work for me doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you.
Not only are these recipes (generally) under 10 carbs, they tend to be easy to make and not require a lot of ingredients. If I look at a recipe and it has a huge list of ingredients……I immediately close it. Too overwhelming. 😉 I also don’t give a second glance to the recipes that require “odd” ingredients or those super healthy things that cost an arm and a leg. (Although I do hope to start slowly working some of these things into our budget and diet!)
Please note that most people will generally need to supplement with side dishes or between meal snacks to get enough carbs throughout the day.
- Stir Fry Vegetables with Cashews – One of the first recipes I discovered. The recipe says that it has 20 carbs. When I make this, I leave out the pak choi (or cabbage if you want to substitute) and mushrooms.
- Grilled “Smothered” Chicken – 5 carbs per serving.
- Crockpot Chicken Tacos – 4.8 carbs per serving. I ate mine without tortillas. Supposedly HEB has low carb tortillas with only 4 carbs…but I have yet to make it down there to find them. Be careful with “low carb” tortillas. I got some at Walmart with that label and it was (if I remember correctly) 14 carbs per tortilla.
- Green Enchilada Chicken – 6 carbs per serving.
- Salsa Chicken – 6 carbs per serving.
- Salsa Verde Chicken Wraps – The recipe says it’s 50 carbs per serving…but if you look at the ingredients, a large portion of that is tortilla and avocado. Again, if you have the low carb tortillas that will cut down. And I am allergic to avocado so that was easy for me to cut out.
- Rotel Chicken – 3 carbs per serving. This wasn’t bad…but not amazing. The only ingredients are chicken and Rotel. It’s great for a night when you don’t really feel like cooking and want to just throw something together. But you might need a dipping sauce. (Perfect for us, because my husband loves dipping almost anything in Ranch dressing anyway!)
- Crockpot Creamy Italian Chicken – 7.1 carbs per serving.
- Baked Meatballs – trace carbs per serving. This was my first time making meatballs from scratch…super easy and fun!
- Cheesy Beef Bake – 6.55 carbs per serving. The Pilot loved this one!
- Tuna Patties – 1.91 carbs per serving.
- Cheesy Bacon Chicken Breasts – 0.2 carbs per serving. Recipe calls for bacon bits…I just used real bacon.
- Low Carb Taco Bake – 3.7 carbs per serving. One of my favorites!
- Low Carb Mexican Beef and Spinach Casserole – 7.2 carbs per serving. Another one The Pilot really enjoyed.
- Hawaiian Pizza Stuffed Peppers – 8.5 carbs per serving. This was kind of fun. It actually tasted like pizza….but without the crust. Honestly though I didn’t miss the crust at all. I did substitute real bacon for Canadian bacon.
- Quick Low Carb Dinner – Sausage, onion, and green beans
- Amy’s Chicken Parm – 5 carbs per serving
- Bacon Wrapped Chicken with Cream Cheese – 3.5 grams of carbs
- Low Carb Crock Pot Italian Buffalo Chicken – trace amount of carbs
- Low Carb Dinner Balsamic Chicken and Peppers
- Flower Power Eggs
- Basic chicken salad – canned chicken, mayo, green onion. Mix together. Yum.
What about when you just want dessert like a normal person? Here are some recipes I have found…
- Low Carb Cheesecake – 3.4 carbs. If you think of it as cheesecake, you might be disappointed. But if you are just wanting something yummy to satisfy a sweet tooth….this is good!!
- Tony’s Quick and Easy No Bake Cheesecake – 5 carbs.
- Low Carb Peanut Butter Cookies – 3.65 carbs
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Thumbprints – 1. 8 carbs
- Primal Fudge – Now this one does have “odd” ingredients. Coconut oil, almond butter, and raw honey or maple syrup. I included it on the list though because it’s SO good. I first had it at my sister’s house…..and when I came home and tried it I thought my ingredients wouldn’t matter. Yeah….the difference between raw honey and “regular” store bought honey….HUGE carb difference.
Or if you want a smoothie for a snack?
- Strawberry Raspberry Pineapple Smoothie – There are actually several smoothie recipes on here but the only one I have tried (so far) is the one I titled. Obviously….this is fruit filled and fruit does have sugar and carbs. When I made this, I waited about an hour and a half after eating a low carb lunch and it was fine for my glucose levels.
- Low Carb Green Smoothie – 5.5 carbs. Perfect for a hot summer day!
- Almond Raspberry Smoothie – 11.6 carbs
In a way I’m sad this pregnancy is almost over because after the Wingman is born I won’t be “forced” to eat low carb. (I do definitely plan to keep a bunch of these recipes in my repertoire, though!) I’m just now finding such a wealth of recipes! It took a while to get into the swing of things, but now I’ve discovered so many recipes, tips, and tricks.
I have some other thoughts regarding low carb eating but will save them for another post. Hopefully these recipes will encourage anyone who is trying to reduce their carbs for whatever reason!