1) Cinnamon – Eating cinnamon with a meal helps to keep blood sugar from spiking afterward.  I put a liberal amount in oatmeal and always mix it into nut butters before spreading them on apple slices or crackers.  It tastes good and helps keep blood sugar stable.

2) Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice herbal tea – I have a MAJOR Starbucks chai tea latte addiction that I have quit and restarted several times in the last few years.  The Bengal Spice tea, while having 0 carbs, contains roasted carob and so it tastes slightly sweet, especially with a good splash of milk in it.  This is a good substitute for the Starbucks chai, which contains a boat load of sugar.  I add a black tea bag when I want some caffeine in the morning, but it’s nice that it has no caffeine on it’s own so I can drink it at any time of the day or night.

3) Oatmeal Muffin in a Mug – A friend turned me on to this really innovative recipe for a no bake and flour-less oatmeal muffin in a mug that you make in the microwave.  You just combine 1/3 cup quick cooking oats, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, one egg, and a dash of salt in a coffee mug and microwave for one minute.  Dump the muffin out and slice and eat (with a little butter or cream cheese if you feeling naughty)  I feel it’s a little dry and bland, so I add cinnamon, a teaspoon of agave nectar, and a teaspoon of apple sauce.  I would think mashed banana, other baking spices, nuts, and dried fruit would be good too.  Easy, friendy carb, and with a pretty good hit of protein.  Also a way to take oatmeal on the go.

4) Chicken tenders – I toss a whole pack of raw chicken tenders (I usually get organic) in a few teaspoons of olive oil and salt and pepper and spread them out of a baking sheet.  I bake them for 15 minutes at 350.  Alternatively, they are good on the grill.  I let them cool and them store them in a zip lock in the fridge.  They are a quick and easy lean protein to put on salads or to eat as snacks.  I go through a bag per week.

5) Mary’s Gone Crackers – Gluten free crackers are usually very high in refined starches and flours as an attempt to make them most like the glutenous versions.  Same thing with bread.  I’ve yet to find a suitable, lower carb, gluten free bread that is actually beneficial to your health, but I did find a good whole grain cracker.  Mary’s Gone Crackers are a mix of whole quinoa, flax seeds, brown rice, and sesame seeds that are baked into a very crispy little wafer.  They are toasted and nutty in flavor and despite being pretty hard on the teeth, eating 6 or so of them sure is nice with a salad or as a snack with cheese or nut butter.

6) Splash of Juice in Water – Other than unsweetened teas, water (with Apple Cider Vinegar) is pretty much the only thing I drink in order to avoid excess carbohydrates .  That is usually OK, but sometimes I must have something sweet to drink.  When this happens, I put a splash of unsweetened 100% fruit juice in my water and that usually satisfies that craving without going too far off the diet.  Organic Apricot nectar is my favorite.

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