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 Ferriss 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.
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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 for 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 Ferriss’ 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.
Tip: After a month of 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. Just be aware cinnamon is blood thinner.
- Leftovers: Make enough dinner proteins that you have some left for breakfast the next day. It’s easy to reheat something in the microwave while you are still waking up, and if you make a good dinner, it is going to taste good the second time around.
- Protein Smoothies: I only have a protein drink if I am going to work out that morning and I’m tired of eggs. I prefer my homemade protein smoothie because I control the carbs and sugar. Most commercial protein drinks have quite a few carbohydrates and/or sugars in them. Read the labels carefully and look for one that is a “whey isolate”.
- Scrambled eggs are the most versatile protein you can make, and once you get the technique down they take all of 2-3 minutes to make. You 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 stick to cast iron pans, so I usually add 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 vary the taste with a minimum of effort. My favorite is 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!
Did you know? 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 them 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.
Take a look at this post for more ideas and recipes for Slow and Low-Carb lunches.
Slow Carb Snacks
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 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. are all just bacon in a different dress. These can sometimes get you over the hump of craving tortilla chips.
This post will give you more ideas and recipes for Slow and Low-Carb snacks.
And for a few easy meals that require a bit of cooking:
- Mediterranean Baked Eggs
- Asparagus and Eggs on a bed of Artichoke Hearts
- Three Mediterranean Sauces That Are Great on Proteins
- High Protein Pancakes with Kimchi
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