• Low Carb Alternative to Pasta

    Posted on April 13, 2013 by Elaine in 5 minute meal, Athlete's Corner, Budget Conscious, Calorie Counter, Get in My Fridge!, Tastes just like..., Weight Loss.

    lowcarb

    Warmer weather calls for more and more people choosing to go on a low carb diet.    It is wedding season, beach season, and everyone is shedding their layers of clothes and coming out of hibernation.

    The problem with hibernation during the Winter is that many people pack on the pounds from inactivity and comfort eating.   Under down jackets and turtleneck sweaters, who is gonna see your stomach when you don’t even see it that often during the cold?

    Once Spring hits and the jackets and sweaters come off, everyone is suddenly motivated to go on a diet.

    And it’s always the same cycle over and over again for many people.

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    What I like to recommend to my clients is to maintain the same healthy eating habits throughout the year so that your weight does not fluctuate and you won’t have to put yourself through a tough diet.  I know it’s always easier said than done but healthy habits take a minimum of 3 to 6 months to adopt.  Slow and easy does it.  Don’t give up!

    Remember, it’s easy to gain the pounds, but 10 times harder to lose them.  It’s easy to stuff your face with pasta and bread and pastries but 10 times harder to work them off.

    carbs

    The best way to maintain a consistent health eating lifestyle is by learning to substitute unhealthy choices with healthy ones and to get used to the taste of healthy foods.  Once you maintain a consistently healthy diet, you CAN have that full carb Italian pasta at that GREAT Italian restaurant and not feel guilty!

    My philosophy with my clients is not to limit or deny them from eating anything.  You have to enjoy your life.   The way to enjoy your life though is through self-control and will power.  And the way to build up your will power is by taking yourself out of situations that challenge your will.  Yes, you have to do the work to achieve your goals.  It may not be fun for 3 months that you can’t hang out with those friends of yours who love to party and drink and eat heavy meals.  But once your will power is established, you WILL be able to hang out in this situations and have self-control.  Remember, there is a means to an end.  Keep the end goal in sight… ALWAYS.

    So to start, the best way is to crowd out some of the unhealthy things by adding in healthy replacements.   I know it’s hard to go cold turkey and cut out your FAVORITE foods.  So don’t.  Just change it up a little.  Slow and steady wins the race. If you are trying to lower your carb intake but still love your Italian pasta dishes or your Korean Jap Chae with rice noodles, try replacing these two options with kelp noodles.

    What are kelp noodles?

    Kelp noodles are made from an edible brown seaweed called… KELP!  :)

    kelpnoodles

    They are high in iodine, so great for people with thyroid issues.  But kelp noodles are mainly eaten by raw foodists (read my previous post on raw foodies here).   They don’t require cooking and are gluten-free!  You can make a quick, tasty, and healthy meal with kelp noodles in just 10 minutes!  No cooking required, no pans to wash!

    In addition, (listen up LOW CARB DIETERS) kelp noodles per serving has only ONE gram of carbs.  No fat, no cholesterol, no protein, no sugar.  It also has calcium, fiber, and iron.

    You can buy them packaged and keep them around in your pantry.  Once opened though, you have to keep kelp noodles soaked in water.  Kelp noodles come in green and clear.  I like to use the clear kelp noodles because they have no taste and will absorb whatever you marinate it with.

    rawjapchae

    Here I made one of my favorite dishes, Korean Jap Chae.  It looks and tastes EXACTLY the same as the real thing.  But with much less calories and carbs.  I marinated the kelp noodles for about 15 minutes with Liquid Aminos (which is a healthier option than soy sauce) fresh garlic and onions, sea salt and fresh ground black pepper.  Once the kelp noodles absorbed all the seasoning, I added in tomatoes, cucumbers, mushrooms, and even sprinkled some roasted sunflower seeds for a healthy, filling meal!

    One thing to keep in mind is that if you are working out a lot more now that it is warmer out, a low carb diet will not give you enough energy for your harder work outs.  Remember, we ALL need carbs for energy.  If you are too low in carb intake, you will be sluggish at the gym and NO ONE wants that.  You burn more calories by being an ANIMAL when you are at the gym! When you swim faster, run faster, and lift harder, you burn MORE calories in a shorter amount of time.  And you can’t do this on a very low carb diet.

    No one wants to be at the gym for 2 hours.  So eating enough carbs to give you the energy to bust out your workout in an hour is the way to go.

    On your off days, you can lower your carb intake so why not learn to replace your high carb rice noodles with kelp noodles?

    You can buy the brand that I’ve tried and love to eat here from Amazon:

    Another similar product is shirataki noodles.

    Try em out and let me know what you think!  :)

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