Keto. I hear about Keto AALLLLLLLL the time. It’s everyone’s current favorite diet to flirt with. It’s hip to be Keto. Unfortunately, I am not and have never been hip, so I don’t ride the Keto train. I adore carbs. If I know I’m going to a restaurant or somewhere outside my house, you better believe I’m thinking about my meal and that meal will always involve carbs. I admit to feeling pity for people who claim it’s been (insert absurdly long amount of time) since they’ve had a carb. I don’t understand those people. Have they ever had pizza…tacos…cornbread for crying out loud?!? Considering my love of carbs, you will not be surprised to know I am not skinny. Not by a long stretch. I could be skinny…maybe…or at least less fluffy if I gave up carbs, but I can’t be perfect, so there.
That being said, did y’all know there is a pandemic and that many of us have been in lockdown in some form for some extended period of time? I know, crazy right. What did y’all do in lockdown? I ate. I ate and watched Netflix and didn’t ride my brand new exercise bike. Hence, it’s coming up on the holidays — that great stretch of FOOD AND MORE FOOD — and I’m slightly queasy. Just thinking about all that yummy food and the pounds that come with it just make me kinda mad. I’ve already had my holiday food stretch. It was called the year of MARCH AND APRIL AND MAY. I can’t have another one and fit into the cute clothes I just bought.
So what’s a carb loving gal to do?
Well, I’ve found some low carb and Keto friendly treats and fast meals so that I’m saving my carb inhaling for a meal. Instead of eating carbs around the clock a la the majority of this year, I’m going to do myself a favor and eat low carb for snacks and quick meals so that when I do eat carbs, I feel no guilt. I want to savor the yummy goodness of pies, stuffing, casseroles, etc. without the added sluggishness that comes with my eating too many carbs throughout the day. You. Are. Welcome. Future. Me.
Here are some of my favorite snacks and meal replacements with lower carb counts and enough protein to keep me full. Please note that I am aware these are not the cheapest snacks and replacements. I only purchase these when on sale or I have a coupon!
- Lily’s Chocolate. I am not a huge sweet fan, but when I have a craving for something sweet, these hit the spot. I tend to gravitate toward the milk chocolate instead of the dark chocolate. They also have baking chips and taste great in cookies or banana bread!
- Perfect Keto Bars. These are my favorite for sticking in my purse for on the go snacking so I don’t swerve into a fast food place. They satisfy my sweet tooth and keep me full.
- Halo Top Ice Cream. Y’all. I am not a huge ice cream fan, but my whole family loves this brand of ice cream. It’s pricey, so we only buy it on sale or with a coupon and then we stock up. Our family’s favorites are the peanut butter chocolate and the caramel chip.
- Koia Keto. This is plant based protein shake and I consider it more of a meal replacement. They come in great flavors like chocolate brownie, cake batter, and vanilla cream, and taste great with no nasty aftertaste like some Keto drinks I’ve tried. This is for anytime I’m not super hungry and am busy, and just need something to tide me over. I find these at Target.
- Quest chips. These are not like the standard tortilla or potato chip since they are plant protein based. They have a texture similar to a rice cracker. My favorite is the nacho dorito flavor. I love packing these in my lunch or taking for on the go snacks. I also love making low carb nachos with these. Just scatter on a baking sheet and top with any protein (leftover chicken or taco meat) and pile on your favorite toppings like black beans, green onions, sliced bell peppers, shredded cheese, etc. and warm in a 350F degree oven until the cheese is melted. So good!
- Cheese. I adore cheese. String cheese, Babybel cheese, Laughing Cow wedges, etc. I am here for all types of cheese.
- Whisps and guacamole. There are so many flavors of Whisps aka baked parmesan cheese. I love the Asiago and pepper jack flavored the best. I dip these in the mini cups of Wholly Guacamole for a great snack.
- Individual containers of olives and pickles. I love black olives and pickles, and I’m so glad I can find them in snack size cups. I search for low or no sugar pickles and olives and they make great snacks.
Frozen Meals (I always keep a few on hand for days in which I don’t want to cook or need something fast and easy)
- Life Cuisine is a line of low carb/high protein frozen meals that are delicious. My current favorite is the cauliflower pizza bowl. I’m not a big fan of cauliflower, but this is delicious and great for days when I know I’m going to eat something carb laden for dinner and want a light carb lunch.
- Healthy Choice has a line of lower carb frozen meals like their power bowl line that has some great combinations. My current favorite is the Unwrapped Burrito Bowl. They also offer the Simply line that has many low carb options!
- Realgood is a Target brand line of frozen meals with several low carb friendly options. My current favorites are the lemon chicken bowl and the enchiladas.