A Low-Carb Oasis in Alabama

A Low-Carb Oasis in Alabama

It’s one thing to open a restaurant in the middle of COVID-19. It’s quite another to open a low-carb comfort food restaurant. But healthier comfort food alternatives might be just what the world needs right now. 

Anthony Clemons is the owner and executive chef of Bell Peppers, located in Hueytown, Alabama. The first-time restaurateur created the entire 42-item menu himself, which ranges from biscuits to pizza to burgers. The 33-year-old also runs the kitchen full time.

From Diagnosis to Discovery

Just as so many restaurants around him were shutting their doors for good, Clemons felt a calling to bring better food options to the area, a goal intensified by his own health journey. “I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2014. I had never heard of low carb until then,” he said. “I had no idea that they were in every single thing we eat.” 

Anthony immediately went low carb. He ate meat—only meat. Admittedly, he saw miraculous results. Anthony lost weight and his blood sugars were in near-perfect range through diet alone. But one can only eat so much meat. 

Here and there, Clemons would sneak in his “fun foods” like pizza and waffles. Initially, it wasn’t a problem. But his fun food intake eventually caught up with him. “I wound up back at the hospital. I was losing my vision overnight. The doctor told me my blood sugar was 544 mg/dL,” he said. “That was my second wake-up call. I got serious and started really doing the low-carb thing.” 

Bell Peppers: Low-Carb Comfort Food

Anthony began experimenting with his own recipes. First were the waffles. Then, the biscuits. And finally, the pizza. Anthony began sharing his recipes with friends and family to rave reviews. By July 2020, Bell Peppers was open. 

Today, Anthony and his staff serve crowd favorites like the low-carb turkey, egg, and cheese biscuit, the cinnamon roll waffle, the red thunder pizza, and brownies. Most items on the menu contain six grams of carbs or less. Regardless of your carb stance, there’s something on the menu for everyone. 

It’s not just about making healthy food taste good. It’s about getting more people to take charge of their health through the food they eat. “I’ve made sure everything tastes real, like the real thing. That was always my aim. I couldn’t go into business with food that tasted ‘healthy,’” he said.

Gluten-free strawberry shortcake waffle from Bell Peppers restaurant

It’s not just about making healthy food taste good. It’s about getting more people to take charge of their health through the food they eat. “I’ve made sure everything tastes real, like the real thing. That was always my aim. I couldn’t go into business with food that tasted ‘healthy,’” he said. 

The Bell Peppers Mission

Anthony’s on a mission to reach as many people as possible with this lifestyle. “Now that I know what I know, I feel like the pancreas is like a car. And every time you spike your insulin, you’re putting miles on your car,” he said. “There’s only so many times you can do that before your body says, that’s enough. This understanding of what carbs do to your body—everyone needs to know about it. Anyone trying to do better by themselves needs to know about it.” 

With Anthony’s way of eating, you don’t feel like you’re missing out on fun foods. Instead, you get to enjoy those comfort foods you’ve always loved while knowing you’re not sacrificing your health. 

“I couldn't understand it at the time, but now it all makes sense. My diagnosis was meant to help thousands of others enjoy the foods they love in a healthier way,” he said. “You have to find the good in a bad situation. This low-carb concept wouldn't exist if it wasn't for my diabetes.”

Before deciding if a low-carb approach is right for you, talk with your One Drop coach and/or seek guidance from a medical professional. Everyone has different carb needs. Quantity, timing, and how we pair carbs with other foods play a role in how they affect your health.

For more information, visit https://www.bellpepperscycc.com/ or follow Bell Peppers on Instagram at @bell_peppers_bham.
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Mary Elizabeth Adams
May 03, 2021

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