The Paleo Diet

This post is part of our low-carb diet series and is being published as a service to our users. We do not endorse any particular diet plan. You and your healthcare team should work together to find what meal plan works best for you.

We just took a look at the Atkins Diet. Now, we’re on to Paleo! What is it, what does it call for, what does it do? We tell all below.

Paleo 101

In a nutshell: the hunter-gatherer diet. Yep, this thing has been around since the dawn of time! The Paleolithic diet (shortened to Paleo), is exactly what it sounds like. The Paleo diet, founded by Loren Cordain, Ph.D., adheres to the concept of eating like a caveman: if a caveman didn’t eat it back in the day, neither should you.

What exactly did those cavemen eat?

Way back when, in the paleolithic era to be exact, most of the calories consumed by humans came from eating animals, including insects, amphibians, birds, eggs, fish and shellfish, small mammals and occasionally some larger. Depending on where you lived (closer or further away from the equator), you’d eat more plants and veggies in the warmer climates, or more meat in the colder ones.

What is this, a diet for ants?!

While our paleo ancestors definitely, probably did make apps out of ants, you will not catch us serving those up on any platter 🤮 Although the Paleo diet does take a more primitive approach to eating, it primarily calls on eating plants and animals. Our physical bodies have transformed over time so that anatomically, our modern-day digestive systems can’t quite handle the exact same meal plans of our ancestors. But simply put, the Paleo diet calls for us to eat the foods only available in pre-agricultural days. Meaning? Things like meats, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds, or, only food items that can be hunted or gathered. What does that look like in a recipe? Like this absolute (and 100% paleo-friendly) deliciousness. 🤩 It can also look like the meal-plan guide below, published by The Paleo Diet.

What’s the point?

If we can’t eat just like our ancestors, then why follow a diet (or lifestyle) that’s contingent upon it? According to John Durant, author of The Paleo Manifesto, “it is about mimicking the effect of such a diet on the metabolism with foods available at the supermarket.” By rejecting grains (starches, sugar, processed foods) of all kinds and promoting whole, unprocessed foods, our bodies need less insulin, we have fewer blood sugar spikes, and maintaining weight and diabetes overall becomes much easier.

The Paleo diet is an extreme variation of the low-carb diet, but some people swear by it! While we don’t advocate for going Paleo one way or the other, it is an option. And one we thought you might want to know more about!

Indian Eats: Dining Out Tips + Low-Carb Recipes!

indian

Staple Indian foods like rice, whole-wheat flour, and lentils are delicious, but alarmingly high-carb. A meal of naan, jalebi, and pakora may be mouth watering, but this classic Indian fare can have a major impact on your blood glucose. Don’t worry! You don’t have to part ways with your favorite Indian restaurant. Just keep these tips in mind when scanning the menu — you’ll enjoy the flavors of Indian cuisine without seeing your sugars climb.

 

Forget Fried Food

Indian appetizers, like samosas, are often fried. Instead, of veggie samosas (pastries), try shahi paneer — a homemade cheese in curried tomato sauce. Hungry for more? Grilled meat, seafood, or vegetable kababs are awesome app choices. Substitute mulligatawny for a bowl of chicken shorba — a lower carb soup of chicken, garlic, ginger & other spices. 

When choosing a main dish, avoid words like “crispy” or “padoka” (tempura battered & fried). Look for “tandoori”. Tandoori-style items are cooked in a tandoor (metal or clay oven). Typically, tandoori chicken is marinated in a combination of healthy spices and baked to perfection. Look out for tandoori fish and vegetable options too! Ask your serve how dishes are prepared if the menu is unclear. 

 

Skip Starches & Added Sugars

Indian meals often include roti and many traditional dishes are built upon starches. Bounce on the bread. Pass on the potatoes. Refuse the rice. When ordering an entrée, ask to substitute extra veggies for the starch base.

Sauces and curries are delicious but often high carb. Avoid sabotaging an otherwise healthy Indian dish by pairing it with raita, a cucumber yogurt sauce (<4 carbs per serving). Or order a slightly higher fat/sugar sauce on the side. Portion control is key. All you need is a few tablespoons — a little flavor goes a long way!

 

Get Your Greens

Properly cooked vegetables are low in carbs but high in fiber & nutrients. Start with a traditional Indian salad. Most use fresh ingredients like raw onion, cucumber, coriander, and lemon. Then, look for other veggie-based dishes:

○ Achari Gobhi (Cauliflower in Mustard Sauce)

○ Palak Paneer (Cheese & Spinach)

○ Bhindi Ki Sabzi (Stir-Fried Okra)

 

Say Yes to Spice

Spices are one of the best ways to add excitement to a dish without increasing calories (or carbs). Indian cooking uses turmeric, black pepper, cardamom, clove, and more! All of which have medicinal properties and tons of flavor. Chilies add heat to a dish but can easily be omitted.

 

Cook Your Own!

Indian restaurant menus definitely include diabetes-friendly options, but there are still diet landmines in the mix. No need to second-guess your order when you’re the one cooking🍴Check out these low-carb Indian recipes, and get in the kitchen!

indian

indian

indian

indian

indian

Let’s Taco Bout Low-Carb Tacos

tacos

There’s no reason to reserve tacos for Tuesdays only! Whatever day of the week it is, you can (and should!) enjoy tacos. Taco fillings like ground beef, grilled veggies, cheese, and sour cream are low-carb staples. Unfortunately, a shell or tortilla ups the carb count — and your blood sugar. But with these creative recipes, you can enjoy tacos any of day of the week without the carb overload.  ¡Delicioso!

Lettuce Wrap

Move over, sad salad. Swaddle any type of protein or veggie medley in large, sturdy lettuce leaves. Voila! You’ve got a taco with a stellar nutritional profile. Our picks? Butter lettuce and romaine leaves.

tacos

Cheese Shell

Melt and brown cheese, then let it cool to form a crispy shell. Pick from any variety of low-carb cheeses — provolone, parmesan, or cheddar will compliment most fillings.

tacos

Bacon Shell

More like baecon. Yum! Bacon adds a smoky flavor to tacos (or literally anything) without increasing the carb count. Weave, bake & shape bacon slices to make the taco shell of your dreams. Just make sure you pick a brand that doesn’t have added sugar, including maple or honey.

tacos

Vegetable Tortilla

Soft tortillas can be equally delicious — and carb-filled. A standard flour tortilla has 25 grams of carbohydrates. A vegetable and egg-based alternative has 1/3 of the carbs. Use your imagination and experiment with adding spices to match whatever you’re filling it with.

tacos

Other Alternatives

You don’t have to reinvent the tortilla. Check out these other low-carb ways to enjoy traditional taco flavors.

tacos

tacos

 

Rosh Hashanah: A Sweet New Year, Without the Sugar

Rosh Hashanah

At sundown on Wednesday, families will ring in the Jewish New Year. Rosh Hashanah is a two-day celebration marked by candle lighting, prayer service, and festive meals. The holiday tradition is that sweet food will lead to a sweet new year.

Rosh Hashanah doesn’t have to be a diabetes disaster. With a little planning, you can enjoy delicious alternatives to the customary high-carb fare.

Pick Pomegranates

Dipping a slice of apple in honey is an iconic holiday ritual; but a single tablespoon of honey has over 17 grams of carbs and sugar! Instead, reach for a pomegranate. Pomegranates are also considered symbolic of future success and are much lower on the glycemic index.  Moreover, this fruit may even lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol in people living with diabetes!

Stay Seasonal

Rugelach cookies and round honey cakes are tempting, but seasonal fruits are a much healthier option. Sweet butternut squash, tomatoes, apples, and peaches should be available this time of year. While they do contain some carbs and fructose, they are also fiber rich and full of important vitamins and minerals. The same can’t be said about your grandmother’s bread pudding 😉

Slightly Sweeten Main Dishes

Naturally sweeten your main course while maintaining an overall low-sugar dish. Garnish roast chicken with apricots or add carrots & onions to your slow-cooked brisket.

Wine & Dine

Jewish ceremonial meals aren’t complete without “fruit of the vine.” Avoiding alcohol may seem like the smart move, but grape juice isn’t an awesome alternative. On average, a glass of grape juice has 30 grams of carbs. Red wine has a cool 4 grams🍷 Not low carb enough? Make a spritzer by mixing equal parts wine and seltzer. Cheers!

Hungry for more? These reduced-carb recipes will keep you satisfied without sabotaging your sugars.

Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah

 

 

RECIPE: 5-Step Fresh Cucumber Soup 💚

One of the healthiest foods in the world! Cucumber is a fruit with almost no sugar! So fresh and delicious. It’s packed with minerals and has magical hydrating power. Let’s celebrate freshness with cucumber and feel light and bright ☀️

Detox Cucumber Soup

We need a blender for this one.

But if you don’t have a blender, chopped herbs, cucumber, avocado and minced garlic with fresh lime juice and a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste may become one of your favorite salads or refreshing sides. The blended soup has creaminess, though…  hard to beat that.

Choose super fresh and, if possible, organic ingredients. It’s important because we are becoming one with the food we eat.

You will need:

Chopped Cucumber (Japanese cucumbers preferred) – 2 cups

Whole Garlic – 1 clove

Chopped Dill – 1 cup

Fresh Lime squeezed – 1

Avocado for the blend – 1/2

Sea Salt (Pink Himalayan Salt) – 1/4 tsp

You may want to replace or add some ingredients. For example you can use sea salt instead of pink salt, or olive oil instead of ghee.  Do you like spice? You may feel like adding fresh jalapeños, cayenne pepper or crushed red chiles — it’s 100% up to you and your taste buds!

Steps:

1 – Dice one cucumber and 1/2 avocado to add to blender

2 – Blend all into an amazing creaminess and put in a big bowl.

3 – Dice 1 cucumber and 1/2 avocado into small cubes and toss it in the tender green creaminess.

4 – Add your favorite extras! Experiment to add hints of different flavors. For example, you can add rosemary to the blend, decorate with basil leaves, try it with cilantro, use lemon juice instead of lime, replace avocado with pine nuts or just sprinkle them over the soup in the bowl.

5 – Use black, red, cayenne or any other pepper you like to finish off the dish – they are all great!

How to serve?

So many options!

Serve with:

♥ sliced avocado, tomato and red onion;

♥ a side of green salad; or

♥ sliced fresh cucumber.

Enjoy!

RECIPE: Creative Frittata (Because eggs are naturally low carb!)

This dish is a canvas—you can create your own with all the colors and flavors you want!

Some ingredients require more cooking time and some may be added for just a couple of minutes. Some may need to be precooked and some are good fresh. Sometimes you may feel like making a mellow comforting cheese and sour cream frittata or playing with textures and contrasts, creating brightness and intensity by combining rainbow of vegetables, herbs and spice!

Lets try one simple and fast creation as an example:

Fresh Dill and Goat Cheese Frittata!

You will need:

Eggs

Plain organic yogurt

Ghee (or olive oil)

Pink salt (or regular sea salt)

Goat cheese

Fresh dill (finely chopped)

You may want to replace or add some ingredients, for example you can use sea salt instead of pink salt, or olive oil instead of ghee.  Do you like spice? You may feel like adding fresh jalapeños, cayenne pepper or crushed red chiles — it’s 100% up to you and your tasted buds!

Steps:

1 – Beat the eggs with a few spoons of plain organic yogurt till mixed well and smooth (two eggs per person)

2 – Preheat your skillet on a medium fire (skillet should be hot enough for a drop of water to immediately evaporate)

3 – Put ghee on the hot skillet and let it melt, spread melted ghee over the bottom and the sides of the skillet

4 – Pour egg mixture on the skillet, distribute evenly by tilting the skillet gently

5 – Add a little bit of salt

6 – Crumble goat cheese over the eggs

7 – Sprinkle the eggs and cheese combination with chopped dill, add pepper if you would like.

8 – Cover your skillet and reduce fire to low

9 – The dish is going to be ready in minutes, stay close and touch the lid, when the lid is hot, check your frittata. It should look plump and eggs should not be runny. If there are places that look liquid use a wooden chopstick to make openings for the heat to reach the surface and cover again for a few seconds.

When ready, shake the skillet to separate the bottom and slide the dish on a large flat plate.

How to serve?

So many options!

Serve with:

♥ sliced avocado, tomato and red onion;

♥ a side of green salad; or

♥ sliced fresh cucumber.

OR

♥ Make yourself mini wraps by cutting the dish and wrapping each slice in lettuce!

Enjoy 😊

The Ultimate Meal Plan: Low-Carb & PWD-approved!

Meal plan (low carb, diabetes-friendly)

Boy, are we all in for a treat. One Drop | Expert Rachel Head CDE has put together a meal plan for us that is undeniably delicious and extra gentle on the BGs. These recipes will excite your taste buds, fill your belly, and keep those blood sugars where they belong. Does that sound like the ultimate meal plan to you?

I thought so.

Now, before we jump in to Rachel H’s top picks for a week of wonderful eats, let’s learn a little bit about what meal planning is…

What is meal planning?

Meal planning is taking the time to plan nutritious meals and snacks for a specified time period. According to Mayo Clinic, meal planning can help you lose weight and stick to a healthier diet. Your meal plan can last a week or more — just depends on how far in advance you’re willing to plan. (Personally, I like doing it weekly, since I go grocery shopping every Saturday morning and generally have a little time to plan on weekends.)

How do you meal plan?

It’s easy as 1-2-3!

Follow these 3 simple steps to set you up for meal planning success (courtesy of TheKitchn – kindred spirits who also like to meal plan on weekends!):

Plan on Friday: Look at the week ahead, assess your schedule and the nights you plan to cook at home, and then decide on the recipes you want to make.

Shop on Saturday: After you have a chance to scan your recipes, check the pantry and make a grocery list. Then head to the grocery store to shop for your meal plan.

Prep on Sunday: A Sunday prep session in the kitchen (even just 30 minutes), helps put your meal plan into action and makes weeknight cooking feel a little easier.

Ready to get started? Check out the link below!

Meal plan (low carb, diabetes-friendly)

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No Carbs, No Problem: Sushi, Sandwiches and More!

A low-carb lifestyle helps many of us manage our blood sugars. But ditching the bread doesn’t mean cravings disappear! We all deserve a sushi night and a hearty deli wrap. With these grain-free recipes, it’s easy to stick to a low-carb diet without missing out on flavor.

Step 1. Pick a base.

Craving sushi?  Pick nori (seaweed). Dreaming of a burger? Sub out the bun for thick portobello mushroom slices.

Wraps: Nori (seaweed), Lettuce

Buns: Portobello mushrooms, Tomato slices, Cucumber boats, Bell pepper slices

Step 2. Pick a protein.

Protein will make your bread-free meal delicious and satisfying. Roll up ham and turkey in lettuce for an on-the-go deli wrap

Seafood: Sashimi, Tuna, Salmon

Poultry: Chicken, Turkey, Turkey Burger

Beef: Roast Beef, Burger

Step 3. Extras.

Don’t forget the cheese! Add a slice of provolone or other low-carb ingredients to amplify taste and texture.

Dairy: Cheese

Fruits: Tomato, Olives, Avocado, Cucumber

Veggies: Pickles, Broccoli, Onion

Step 4. Add Flavor.

Sugar-free spreads and sauces can give your meal a flavor boost! A dollop of mayo or a drizzle of hot sauce can go a long way Yum!

Spreads: Mayonnaise, Cream cheese, Mustard

Sauces: Hot sauce, Soy sauce

Step 5. Enjoy!

Check out these low-carb options for delicious inspiration.

sandwiches

(1) Pesto Turkey Roll-Ups from Ambitious Kitchen

(2) Rice-Free Sushi Rolls from Wholesome Cook

(3) Egg Salad Lettuce Cups from A Healthy Life for Me

(4) Bunless Burger from Low Carb Maven