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OK, you carb conscious people, I need help. I eat oatmeal for breakfast and I'm trying to watch my carb intake. Obviously (for those who didn't have to look at the container like I did), this is a conflict. So I need advice. What's portable and not high in carbs?

I'm not eating breakfast at 3AM, so whatever I end up with can't have to be cooked using a stove/oven. Reheatable is ok as long as it doesn't get oogey or stinky. Yes, I'm fussy. Help!

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I tend to go for Nature Valley granola bars with peanut butter on top (they come that way). They're 224 cals for the whole two bar packet with a fat total of 11 grams out of a 46 gram serving. It's pretty steep, but since it's the only really fatty thing I have all day, I think it's good to have it in the morning (and really, it's not that bad - under the 30% fat intake rule). Nature Valley has other kinds that are less fat (sans peanut butter).

I also have bananas in the morning. Very portable, very good for you. A large one is only 125 cals with a decent dose of potassium, protein and fibre.

However, since she wants to watch *carbs*, and didn't mention calories, I don't think that granola is the way to go. (In addition to being high in plain old simple starch carbs, it's jam packed with sugar.)

I'm not sure how "carb restricted" you want to go in the morning, but here are some of my favourites:

2 Rye Wasa crackers with Trader Joe's (sugar free!) peanut butter and smuckers all natural (no sugar added) jam. (You can buy the "sweetened with splenda" jam, but I prefer the flavour of the natural jam.)

Plain yoghurt with fresh berries (blue, rasp, straw) mixed in. Although yoghurt will claim to have lots of carbs, if you buy the *unsweetened* kind, it works out to 8 per cup. (If you're curious, I can explain the science behind it, but I didn't want to bore you here.)

Not sure how you feel about "meal replacement bars", but there are lots of good ones out there. Due to the nature of the way I restrict carbs, I eat the atkins ones - I like the frosted cinnamon heated in the microwave for a few seconds, or the chocolate decadance just straight up. (Again, the way they figure carbs doesn't give you quite the correct view, so if you do decide to try these, drop me a line and I'll go more indepth.)

Also, boiled eggs (or devilled eggs, or egg salad) are a great way to start the day - lots of protein to give you constant energy, no carbs to give you that "sleepy" feeling.

Cheeses are an option, but too many can make going to the bathroom *not* an option, and it takes a lot to get full.

Anyway! Hope that helps.

That's right, if you want to restrict carbs. However, unless there is some other dietary reason for it other than health and weight management, it strikes me that calories are calories are calories, regardless of if they're from carbohydrates, proteins or fats. It's a whole lot easier to watch the big picture rather than just one aspect of the total caloric intake.

They were just suggestions - she's quite welcome to take or leave them as she's inclined.

FYI - the granola bars I'm referring to are healthier options than perhaps some of the ones you're thinking of.

Although I can't speak for her, I'd assume that she wants to restrict simple carbs because they're unhealthy. And regardless of what sort of granola one eats, it's still full of carbohydrates. In addition, I believe it *does* matter where your calories come from - I'd rather get some healthy protein calories than some unhealthy simple carbohydrate calories.

And of course, everything is just a suggestion. However, to respond to a question asking for a way to limit carbs with a suggestion that is no less carbohydrate laden than what she's trying to avoid struck me as odd, so I thought perhaps you had misread the question. My mistake. :)

Mmmm, yoghurt. That sounds good. Have you found any dried fruits that aren't hugely sweetened? I don't trust the fridge (or the people) with uncovered and yummy items at the office and the only locking place I have is my filing cabinet....

Bananas! Of course! I don't know where my brain went bu that's an excellent suggestion. I'm not a big granola fan, but raising my fruit intake while actually enjoying breakfast will be great. I'm such a carb-aholic I need to get rid of the easy stuff (I'm absolutely weak for pasta), so the oatmeal goes. Hmm, I see a trip to the grocery store for fruit soon.

I live on the stuff, now. Healthy stuff, that is. I used to be a serious carb freak myself. Now, I do a modified "Body For Life" routine, except I'm focusing on keeping my calorie count under 1400 per day while still ingesting healthy foods. Course, the cheat day is king in my world. Once a week, I go hardcore on food.

But I find I really don't miss pasta and bread as much as I thought I would. It's all a matter of adaptation. So far, I've lost eight pounds and can squeak into my size 9 clothes. I'm hoping to be comfortable in them within the month . . .

Good luck to you and if you ever want support or whathaveyou, I'm pretty easy to find. ;-}

Thank you so much! I know I'm never going to be able to give up pasta (my family's Italian origins are impossible to kick) so I'm trying to dump the other easy stuff. Bread is easy, but I thought getting fruit back in was going to be hard. I'm excited to find a place to make it a habit. I'm living life in baby steps. :)

That's it! It really is about changing your life for good (and by the way, never say never. I didn't think I was capable of kicking the carb habit myself - it's amazing what starts to taste bad after you've adjusted) so you have to do it in manageable steps and only to a point that you're comfortable.

I've fallen off the health wagon at least a dozen times. Usually by making a snap decision to slash all bad things from my life and start an exercise regime that is five to six times a week.

I fail, of course. That's something you work up to, if you ever do get there.

Right now, it's a six day a week healthy diet, weights three times a week and one bad ass cheat day. I'm losing the excess. Slowly but surely, it's happening.

Bananas are not lacking in carbs, alas. No fruit is, really. A lower carb breakfast might be a hard-boiled egg, cheese, yogurt, meat, that kind of stuff. The easiest way to reduce carbs at breakfast is to rethink "breakfast foods." If you decide that anything in the fridge can be breakfast, it's a lot simpler, because most standard breakfast foods are carb city. If you're not eating carbs, you have to be eating protein or fat. I don't know if you're insulin resistant or simply trying to reduce *simple* carbohydrates, the things that aren't particularly good for anybody; if complex carbs are still okay, the field is even wider. I've been told that you can subtract grams of fiber from the total carb count, too. Mostly, I'd rather eat a piece of cold chicken than cereal for breakfast anyway, but I've found that eating bran flakes (yes, tons of carbs, but a significant amount of fiber too) actually brings down my fasting blood sugar the next morning.

I'm mostly trying to reduce the number of carbs (especially the simple ones) that I take in. I'm not much of a cereal person, I was using oatmeal more as a "something to eat" than a "something I want to eat." If I could find a way to pull it off, I'd eat steak and eggs for breakfast with some grapefruit or something. The whole lack of cooking implements for breakfast is my major sticking point. I also find that if I don't eat enough meat during the week, I get a little, well, mean. So the protein-for-carb switch will probably help keep me from wanting to kill the other people on my shift. :)

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