Do you love food? I do! I’ve succeeded in living a low carb lifestyle for so long by sticking to with a rotating menu of tried-and-true snacks and meals during the week, but on the weekends, I become a low carb foodie. My husband I like to explore new restaurants or try out new low carb recipes at home. A simple leg of lamb becomes amazing with fresh mint, olive oil and a side of Brussels sprouts, and we love to hit our local farmers’ market to pick out fresh vegetables in season to accompany our meals.
Atkins recently sponsored the Fit Foodie Festival and 5K in Denver, because we do believe being a foodie is not a trend, but part of a healthy lifestyle that involves delicious culinary experiences. Fortunately, no cuisine, even if you’re eating out, is off limits with Atkins. Whether it’s Italian or Greek or Indian or French, the common theme is poultry, pork, red meat or seafood; healthy fats such as olive oil or coconut oil; fresh vegetables; a few whole grains and a variety of fresh herbs and spices and creamy, rich sauces. You can learn more about how to enjoy these world cuisines (and recipes) in my book, Eat Right, Not Less. In the meantime, try these low carb foodie tips:
- Everything’s better with butter. Zach Bitter, an endurance athlete who follows a low carb lifestyle says, “Nothing livens up a steak like a nice layer of butter and sea salt on top!” Skip the plain, unsalted kind and look for butter that comes from milk from grass-fed cows.
- Up your spice and herb game. Fresh herbs and spices can turn even weeknight chicken into a gourmet meal. Toss any spices in your pantry that have expired. Dried, ground spices last one to two years, while whole spices last two to three years.
- Invest in excellent olive oil. Look for cold-pressed olive oil that has been grown, pressed and bottled in a single country, and make sure to store your olive oil in a cool, dry place. For a true foodie experience, go to a market where you can sample different olive oils before you buy them.
- Make your own dressing. Now that you have the best olive oil, herbs and spices, skip the bottled salad dressings and make your own. Try Roasted Garlic Basil Dressing, which also makes a great marinade for meat or fish.
- Friend your butcher. He or she can select the best cuts of meat and even suggest ways to prepare them. Then head over to the seafood counter and do the same.
- Hit your local farmers’ market. You’ll find plenty of options to base your meals around, including locally sourced, organic vegetables; fruit; herbs and even cheese and eggs.
Are you a low carb foodie? I’d love to hear your favorite foodie tips and recipes!