There are all kinds of fantastic meals one could make and still be true to a Slow Carb Diet, but there is a reason that Tim Ferris developed Rule #2: “Eat the same few meals over and over again.” It has to do with lifestyle. He tells you not to fool yourself that you will cook all the time…because you won’t. These quick slow carb ideas for breakfast or lunch will get you through the times when you aren’t feeling it.
I am as hard pressed for time as anyone and I just can’t find the time or energy to be creative 24/7. However, I have found a few “fast food” tricks that have worked for me at those meals where you just don’t want to think about it. The key for me has been to keep breakfast and lunch quick, easy and somewhat repetitive and then get more creative and slow down a bit at dinner. Here are a few tips that have made my life on the slow carb diet easier:
Quick Slow Carb Ideas for Breakfast
I am sold on Ferris’ high protein centerpiece of each meal, particularly the first meal (for some this would be breakfast). Early on this was the biggest (and most effective) change for me, as my pre-slow-carb-diet breakfast consisted of coffee and cookies…a lot of cookies. After a month high protein breakfasts, I saw my energy level increase dramatically, which was enough of a reason to stick with the diet in the early days. Here are my favorite tips for fast, easy breakfasts:
- First up, if you are doing intermittent fasting and skipping breakfast altogether, add some cinnamon to your coffee. No more than 1 tsp a day though. Cinnamon is a blood thinner.
- Leftovers: Make enough dinner proteins that you have some left for breakfast the next day. It’s pretty easy to heat something up in the microwave while you are still waking up, and if you put some effort into making a good dinner, it is going to taste good the second time around.
- Protein Smoothies: I only drink the protein drink if I am going to work out that morning, because most of the protein drinks out there have quite a few carbohydrates and/or sugars in them also. Read the labels when you buy a protein drink, they vary quite a bit in calories and carbs. The key is to get one that is a “whey isolate”. Click here for a great protein smoothie recipe.
- Scrambled eggs are the most versatile protein you can make, and once you get the technique down they literally take all of 2-3 minutes to make. You really do need to take a few steps in making the eggs correctly however, or you will end up with dry tasteless eggs that you will easily tire of.
Tips for Quick & Tasty Breakfast Eggs
Tip #1: The Pan and the Oil. Put a non-stick pan (cast iron is good if well seasoned) on the burner, add a little olive oil and turn the burner onto LOW, allowing the pan to warm up for a minute or so. Cast iron is good because even though it may not heat evenly at first, once it is warmed it retains the heat in an even pattern. Eggs tend to stick to cast iron pans, so I usually add some olive oil to the pan for easy cleanup.
Tip #2: Use fresh, organic eggs if at all possible. While the pan is warming up, crack 3-4 eggs into a bowl and beat slightly with a whisk.
Tip #3: Have your favorite seasonings or seasoning blends handy and add them at this point. This is how you can really vary the taste with a minimum of effort. My favorite is a chipotle salt, but if I have the time I might add chopped scallions or ginger, peppers, prosciutto, any fresh herbs like tarragon or thyme, etc
Tip #4: The Texture. Pour the whisked eggs into the warmed pan and use a “rubber spatula” or a non-metal pancake turner to turn the eggs. Do not mess with them by vigorously chopping them up or stirring them around in the pan!! Just turn them over a couple of times, making a few slices through them to break them up. Do not overcook!
The french have a phrase for the perfect texture of scrambled eggs…”snotty”. My husband thought this term was fairly unappetizing, but it does the trick for describing when they are done. Soft, fluffy, spicy, & “snotty” = done!
Quick Slow Carb Ideas for Lunch
My favorite go-to lunch takes 2 minutes to pull together and has a lot of flavor. The recipe (such as it is):
- Rinse a can of black beans and dump into a microwave-safe bowl.
- Add your favorite salsa to the beans, to taste, and microwave for a couple of minutes.
- While the beans are heating, slice an avocado and add on top of the beans when they are done.
- Just remember to think ahead on avocados — let them ripen for several days on the counter and then refrigerate after they are ripe. You can also freeze avocados effectively if they ripen before you can use them.
Slow Carb Snack Ideas
Sometimes what you miss most on high-protein diets is the texture of a favorite food rather than the taste. My husband really missed the crisp crunch of chips, but of course chips, cheese curls and the like are not allowed on this diet (or any diet really).
He has become “Mr. Label-Reader” lately, and ended up finding a chip substitute with no carbs, no sugar, and a little bit of protein. We call them chicharrones but they go by several names: Chicharrones, Pork Cracklins, Pork Skins or Bacon Puffs.
They are essentially fried pork skins. The name is a bit off-putting for Americans, but pork belly, pork skins, etc. is all just bacon in a different dress really. These can sometimes get you over the hump of craving tortilla chips.
Click here for a more comprehensive list of quick and easy lunch choices.
And for a few meals that are easy but require a bit of cooking: