Colette's Blog

March 13, 2018

Although it may not feel very spring-like, depending on what part of the country you live in, spring is just around the corner. If you’ve noticed you have a little extra layer of “insulation” you’d like to shed, along with those winter clothes, it’s time to give your kitchen a “spring clean” and fine-tune your low carb eating habits. Here are some tips from my book, Eat Right, Not Less:

 1. Start with the fridge:

 Toss these now:

  • Anything that is expired (bottles of salad dressing, etc.), and anything that doesn’t look or smell good, such as vegetables past their prime.
  • Read the labels on the other packaged foods in your fridge, such as barbecue sauce, salad dressing, low-fat yogurt, spaghetti sauce, jams and jellies, etc. Most are high in sugar and carbs. 

What to keep:

  • Many things in your fridge should be naturally low carb, including most vegetables, some fruits, meats, eggs, dairy products and oils.
  • Condiments such as salsa, hot sauce, mustard, low-sugar or sugar-free salad dressings, mayonnaise, horseradish, pesto, lemon or lime juice, and soy sauce or tamari.

2. Free up your freezer:

 Toss these now:

  • Anything that’s expired or freezer-burned.
  • Check your labels again. Processed food such as waffles, breakfast pastries, pizza, pasta, chicken nuggets, ice cream and more may often be too high in sugar and Net Carbs.

What to keep:

  • Frozen broccoli, cauliflower, bell pepper and spinach, plus frozen berries. Frozen vegetables such as corn and potatoes are higher in carbs.
  • Protein such as frozen meats, shrimp, seafood and more.

3. Purge your pantry:

 Toss these now:

  • Most canned soups are high in carbs, but you can keep tomato, chicken, vegetable, broccoli or vegetable cream soups and butternut squash soup. Toss canned fruit packed with added sugar and syrup, but you can keep canned fruit in its own juice; just drain off the juice before eating.
  • Breakfast cereal and instant oatmeal and crackers, chips, cookies and more.
  • Spices that smell stale or are years old. 

 What to keep:

  • Keep high-fiber bran or flax cereal with 15 grams of Net Carbs or less, and cheese chips, flax chips, snap pea chips or high-fiber seed crackers.
  • In addition, you can keep:
    • Canned seafood
    • Sardines and anchovies
    • Canned tomatoes
    • Salsas
    • Pasta or tomato sauce without added sugar or 5 grams of sugar or less per serving
    • Canned green chilies
    • Tomato paste
    • Canned pumpkin
    • Chicken, beef, vegetable stock or broth
    • Nuts
    • Roasted red peppers (rinse if there is sugar in the ingredients)
    • Sun-dried tomatoes in oil
    • Artichoke hearts
    • Pesto or other vegetable-based sauces
    • Other canned low carb vegetables
    • Dill pickles
    • Italian pickled vegetables
    • Nut butters
    • Olives

QUICK TIP: If you’re doing Atkins 20, pick products that have 3 grams of Net Carbs or less; Atkins 40: 5 grams of Net Carbs or less; Atkins 100: 15 grams of Net Carbs or less.

Now that you have an Atkins-friendly fridge, freezer and pantry, boost your odds of success this spring with these low carb weight loss tips:

 1. Forget about the quick fix. This is not the time to go to extremes by drastically cutting calories or carbs. Atkins is a lifestyle, not a short-term solution. Focus on optimal protein intake, high-fiber foods and healthy fats, which should be much easier now that your kitchen is stocked with these wholesome foods. If you need to, move to an earlier Phase of Atkins or cut your Net Carbs by 10 grams to jumpstart your spring slim-down.

2. Get moving. Take advantage of longer and slightly warmer days and boost your activity level with biking, walking, jogging or hiking. Weight-training exercise also helps build muscle, which will rev up your metabolism (and increase your calorie burn).

3. Up your veggie game. Take advantage of spring vegetables that are in season, such as artichokes, asparagus, avocados and spinach. Add some new and tasty low carb recipes to your meal plan, such as this low carb spring recipe from Eat Right, Not Less:

 Thai Peanut Buddha Bowl

This bowl is bursting with spring veggies and savory grilled chicken breast. A drizzle of creamy peanut sauce adds a pop of flavor.

 See the video of how to make this recipe here:

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