As we find ourselves in the Era of Social Distancing, more and more Americans are having to rely on three meals a day coming from their own home. As a Registered Dietitian, it makes me happy to see many of my clients getting back to the basics, learning new kitchen skills, and sharing more family meals. As a firm supporter of my local restaurant and food industry, it is devastating.
We can make the most of a difficult situation by keeping a sharp focus on health goals, taking the time to prepare home-cooked meals, and using what used to be commute time for a little body movement.
Here are 3 recommendations I’ve been sharing with all of my clients as we transition to virtual sessions and everyone hunkers down at home:
- Do your best and give yourself grace. Remember, during this time of crisis, it’s so important to remember that doing your BEST to stick to your goals is more important than focusing on an “all or nothing” mentality. Having your macros line up perfectly every day may not be realistic, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up on them entirely.
- Stick to your normal eating plan. I also reinforce to my clients that sticking to your normal eating schedule is very important during this time. Whether you practice intermittent fasting or just try to avoid snacks, there is no reason to stop that schedule.
- Make time for body movement every day. This can mean getting your heart rate up through HIIT exercises or just chasing the kids around the house. While sticking to your nutrition plan is the key for continued success, incorporating daily exercise can help keep your body feeling stronger and your mind feeling less anxiety (which can help minimize stress eating).
How do I create low-carb meals with no recipe?One of the challenges many of us are facing during our extended stay at home is knowing what to do with everything we have stocked in our kitchen. It’s great if you managed to stock up your pantry, fridge, and freezer for weeks. But now what?
I’ve come up with some easy low-carb, keto-friendly recipes for the novice cook based on a lot of the staples I have in my own kitchen. Remember, now is the time to get creative! You may not have all of the suggested ingredients in the ideas below, but if you have most of them, these are simple enough that they will turn out just fine!
LEARN MORE: KETO RECIPE HACKSThink of yourself as a contestant on a new Food Television Reality Show, turn on some music, and have a little fun. If your kids are old enough, let them help!
Explore different spice combinations, play around with measurements and quantities to achieve your desired taste and balance, and try and include low-carb veggies (frozen and canned are great!) as much as possible to keep up with those valuable vitamin and mineral micronutrients.
Common Pantry Items:
- Nut butters (peanut, almond, cashew, macadamia)
- Oils (olive oil, avocado oil, sesame oil, coconut oil, MCT oil)
- Almond flour
- Dried shredded coconut
- Marinara sauce
- Pesto sauce
- Alfredo sauce
- Dried meats/jerky/meat sticks
- Canned fish (tuna)
- Canned chicken
- Canned vegetables (tomatoes, artichokes, green beans)
- Roasted red peppers
- Sun-dried tomatoes in oil
- Broths (chicken, beef, vegetable)
- Shelf-stable boxed heavy whipping cream (Trader Joe’s sells this)
- Soy Sauce
- Herbs and spices
- Sugar-free sweeteners
LEARN MORE: 4 TOP KETO SWEETENERS
Common Freezer Items:
- Frozen meats and seafood
- Frozen vegetables (spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, brussels sprouts, peppers, kale)
- Frozen berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)
Common Refrigerator Items (with longer shelf lives):
- Heavy whipping cream
- Cream cheese
- Block cheese (Parmesan, Cheddar, Mozzarella, Gouda)
- Lemons and limes
Easy Keto Recipe IdeasCreamy Tomato Soup Topped with Fried Egg and Cheese
Ingredients needed: canned tomatoes, heavy whipping cream, garlic powder, dried herbs such as basil, oregano and rosemary, eggs, Parmesan cheese
Broccoli and Cheddar Soup
Ingredients needed: frozen broccoli florets, chicken broth, heavy whipping cream, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, garlic powder, olive oil, dried herbs such as thyme and oregano
Slow Cooker Greek Lemon Chicken
Ingredients needed: chicken thighs, garlic cloves, sliced lemons, olive oil, broth, dried herbs such as rosemary, oregano, dill, salt and pepper
Slow Cooker Creamy Pesto Chicken Thighs
Ingredients needed: Chicken thighs, jarred pesto, heavy whipping cream
Meat and Veggie Stir-Fry with Peanut Sauce
Ingredients needed: chicken, beef, pork, or shrimp, frozen veggies, onion, garlic, coconut oil, peanut butter, sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger powder, lime, chopped peanuts or cashews
Tuna or Chicken Casserole with Spinach, Sun-dried Tomatoes, and Artichokes
Ingredients needed: canned tuna or chicken, canned artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes in oil, frozen spinach, shredded Parmesan or cheddar, olive oil or butter, cream cheese, onion, garlic
Creamy Chopped Beef Casserole
Ingredients needed: canned dried beef, butter, cream cheese, heavy whipping cream (or milk), salt and pepper
Ingredients needed: eggs, olive oil, heavy whipping cream or cream cheese, shredded cheddar or gouda, frozen spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic powder, jarred pesto
Mediterranean Tuna Salad
Ingredients needed: canned tuna, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, mayonnaise, dried herbs such as basil, oregano, dill
Ingredients needed: cheddar cheese, cream cheese (optional, but a great secret ingredient!), mayonnaise, pimentos (or roasted red peppers), salt and pepper
Ingredients needed: frozen spinach, butter, fresh garlic or garlic powder, cream cheese, chopped onion (optional), shredded Parmesan (optional)
Easy Baked Cauliflower Alfredo
Ingredients needed: frozen cauliflower, alfredo sauce, shredded cheese
Almond Flour Fat Bombs
Ingredients needed: almond flour, coconut oil, cinnamon, vanilla extract (optional), sugar-free sweetener like erythritol
Berry Cheesecake Fat Bombs
Ingredients needed: cream cheese, almond flour, frozen berries, vanilla extract (optional), sugar-free sweetener like erythritol
Ingredients needed: nut butter, almond flour, chia seeds, shredded coconut
For more inspiration and ideas, check out KetoLogic’s recipe section!