Daily Reads


How we eat

A couple of years ago, Tim made the decision to start eating clean. After lots of careful research, he settled on a slow-carb diet that is similar to a Paleo diet, but does include some unrefined carbs (like legumes). He made this choice completely on his own (heaven knows I was perfectly happy in my rut of eating easy/yummy foods), and I was so happy and so proud of him! On the other hand, it presented some challenges for me as the main food shopper/food preparer and our at-the-time almost-two-year-old. But, we did our best! And after almost three years we have settled into a pretty easy routine of cooking meals that satisfy our dietary needs (and our tastebuds!)

I'm a little embarassed to post this here because I am in no way a food expert or even a very good cook. Also, we have "cheat day" every Saturday (and most of the time Sunday, too), so we're not always a great example! But over all, our diet is so much healthier than before! We're all eating more vegetables, protein, and healthy fats. So, when friends and family ask for tips and examples of how we make this low-carb diet work for the whole family, I often think it would be useful to put it all down in one place where people can see a coherent list of meals, instead of me trying to think of examples off the top of my head - ha! (Also, I keep a written list of meals that work for us (for quick reference when planning meals and writing the grocery list), but if I put them all here I can link to the recipes I use in each meal, and that will make cooking even easier for me!)

Before I get into the individual meals I should explain: while Tim adheres closely to the slow-carb diet, the rest of us do not. So, while we do eat lots of veggies and protein and healthy fats along with Tim, we also eat our share of bread and rice, etc. Tim graciously doesn't mind this, so I am able to just use a simple formula as the base for most meals:

protein + 2 vegetables (we try to eat as many cruciferous and leafy green veggies as possible) + slow carb (like beans)

To that formula, I will also add a starch (rice, bread, pasta, etc.) for me and the kids. We might also have some fruit. This is a loose formula, and we don't always stick to it strictly, but it makes things so simple when I approach every meal this way - first planning a slow-carb meal that will work for Tim, and then embellishing with some carbs for the rest of us, or adding beans or extra vegetables as needed for him. Here are some examples of our favorite meals, with links to recipes where available (slow-carb foods are in bold):

1. Roasted whole chicken, roasted Brussels sprouts and carrots, sliced tomatoes, baguette, cheese
2. Meatballs (much better recipe here for cheat days), pasta, sauce, spinach salad, melon
3. Grilled steak, grilled veggies, baked potato, melon
4. BLT salad (the kids like to eat the components separately with dressing for dip)
5. Hamburgers, fries, carrot slices (Tim makes a salad with greens, tomatoes, avocado, hamburger, etc.)
6. Grilled fajitas, beans, guacamole, tortillas and chips
7. Roasted pork tenderloin (and another version I like), roasted cauliflower, steamed green beans
8. Meat and vegetable stir-fry, rice
9. Baked chicken, mac and cheese, steamed broccoli, berries
10. Ni├žoise salad, baguette
11. Grilled salmon, grilled asparagus, roasted cauliflower, berries