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Hey all, if you have any ideas, I could use some help! I've got at least 7 more weeks to go of a low/no carb diet (gestational diabetes) and am reaching my tolerance for grilled veg and meat/fish and cheese and eggs in any form. I did see the low-carb pasta and T-day threads here on DR, and searched quite a bit on the internet. I've made meat muffins, egg muffins, meat/egg muffins, salads of every sort, and grilled or roasted pretty much every vegetable I like ad nauseam. I rediscovered olives last week and curried chicken (and egg!) salad and there was quite a bit of chili in rotation for awhile, but beans are carbs as well! (Carbs lurking EVERYWHERE!) I am dying for pasta and rice but using all my pay-to-play exercise to eat some fruit and dairy every day. Whole foods (small amounts of potatoes, corn, peas) don't seem to spike the ol' blood sugar as much as anything processed (any form of bread, tortillas, etc.). I know it's a really first world problem to have and I do recognize that I'm incredibly lucky to have easy access to tons of of healthful and delicious food...I'm just sick of what we've been eating and feel bad for my poor, mutually suffering (his choice, the trooper) husband. So any recipes that even tweak our usual list would be greatly appreciated!  Thanks!

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I will even start - we were eating a lot of "good things salad" for awhile - corn, beans, tomatoes, avocados, red peppers, chicken, and cilantro in a cumin-lime vinaigrette dressing, but it is also fairly carb-laden  :( But it is a great amalgamation of good things to eat and keeps very well when you make an enormous portion!

Also, we've been using a classic Vietnamese fish sauce marinade on our grilled stuff - works great on pretty much all meat/fish/vegetables.

Mushrooms!!!! Roasted, grilled, raw, etc.

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Cauliflower

Shirataki noodles

My husband has been wanting lower carb foods, so I decided to try the No Oodles brand of shirataki noodles that are in the dairy case (by tofu) at Whole Foods.  They need to be rinsed really well or they taste oddly fishy, but they work well as a no-carb noodle.  They're derived from a type of Japanese yam.  I wouldn't want to eat them every day, but you don't have much longer to go :)

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No-carb Mexican:

Make roasted poblano-tomatillo salsa--roast onion, garlic, tomatillo, poblano until browned and soft. Blend with cilantro, lime juice, a little bit of cumin and salt until smooth. Simmer on stove top for 15 minutes or so. Makes a great topping for chicken, pork, fish or shrimp.

Use rounds of cucumber dusted with chile instead of tortilla chips with guacamole and pico de gallo.

Roast tomato, onion, garlic, tomatillo. Stem and de-seed, briefly pan-toast and then soak guajillo or ancho chiles in hot water to cover, using a plate to hold them under the water. When they are soft, strain (save the soaking water) and put them with the roasted vegetables in a blender with cumin, salt, cilantro, Mexican oregano, cider vinegar, a couple of chunks of peeled apple or pear and blend until very smooth. Add some of the reserved soaking water to facilitate blending. Simmer on the stove top for about 1/2 hour, stirring occasionally. The resulting adobo sauce is awesome on steak, or a few spoonfuls in a beef braise, or chili without beans. It'll last almost forever in your refrigerator.

Make tacos with iceberg lettuce leaves. Use either of the above salsas inside them.

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Use a julienne peeler to make "noodles" out of zucchini.

I make a "pizza" using grated zucchini bound with egg instead of a crust. Pre-bake for a bit and then add toppings.

i also do the same with ground turkey and spices bound with an egg, pre-baked, as a pizza "crust."

Use bean sprouts as the base for Chinese or Thai stir fry.

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I learned a long time ago that all food is comprised of protein, fat, and carbohydrates.  That's it.  Fruits and vegetables contain very little protein and very little (or no) fat, so they must be mostly carbohydrates.  So can someone explain why they are included in low-carb diets?  I'm totally serious, this baffles me.  I suspect the real issue is linguistic: scientific vs popular phraseology.  Like how "organic" means something different to chemists.  What is a "low-carb" diet supposed to be?

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I learned a long time ago that all food is comprised of protein, fat, and carbohydrates.  That's it.  Fruits and vegetables contain very little protein and very little (or no) fat, so they must be mostly carbohydrates.  So can someone explain why they are included in low-carb diets?  I'm totally serious, this baffles me.  I suspect the real issue is linguistic: scientific vs popular phraseology.  Like how "organic" means something different to chemists.  What is a "low-carb" diet supposed to be?

I took the question here, at least, to relate to how the carbs convert to sugars.  Cauliflower doesn't even have a number assigned to it on the glycemic index; it doesn't even register.

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A favorite in my house is fried cauliflower rice -- just grate the cauliflower and use it in place of the rice.  I like to stir fry it solo for a bit so it gets a bit roasty on the edges and turns from that very cabbage-y flavor to a more nutty flavor.

And I recently made a sort of cabbage stroganoff -- sliced white cabbage in a sour cream/mushroom/onion/parsley sauce with a dash of fresh nutmeg grated in.

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I learned a long time ago that all food is comprised of protein, fat, and carbohydrates.  That's it.  Fruits and vegetables contain very little protein and very little (or no) fat, so they must be mostly carbohydrates.  So can someone explain why they are included in low-carb diets?  I'm totally serious, this baffles me.  I suspect the real issue is linguistic: scientific vs popular phraseology.  Like how "organic" means something different to chemists.  What is a "low-carb" diet supposed to be?

To my great sadness, I've learned that almost all fruit is NOT part of a low-carb diet. Neither is most milk, or cream-based products. That's why so many so-called low-carb meals aren't any use to a person on a true low-carb diet. Now fruit is a "better" carb than some others, from the blood sugar spike perspective, I believe, because the fiber and other nutrients help slow the processing through the body and therefore the sugar spike in the bloodstream isn't as extreme (which is what I am trying to avoid). Also, you get nutrition out of eating it. Plus, to some extent, you can "pay" for eating carbs with immediate exercise right after eat to work down the blood sugar somewhat. Same thing with the whole-food vegetables - they seem to reach the blood slower, but starchy vegetables and legumes are all counted as carbs when you're learning about what you can eat. Leafier greens seem to have the least carbs, probably because they have the most fiber (I am SO just guessing here. Any nutritionists around?  Mine mostly wants me to eat yogurt and a small corn tortilla every day for my carbs and leaves it at that). So when we're talking about the building blocks of food, I'm thinking that fiber is an "other" category from our carb/fat/protein count, and makes up a significant portion of most vegetables. Cauliflower and carrots are strange ones, because they have very low carb counts considering how solid and starchy they taste/feel. So I've been eating a lot of those.

What I am truly baffled by are the high number of carbs still remaining in sugarless candies/treats. Since diabetics are presumably the folks buying these sugarless candies (because they have to, since they Don't Taste Good), how can they be eating them, since they still contain significant carb counts, and all carbs are eventually sugar in the blood? No sugar but lots of carbs still = do not eat, as far as I understand it. Very confusing!

Anyway, I wasn't kidding. CARBS ARE EVERYWHERE.

But thanks very much all, for your suggestions. I'm making some grocery plans... :)

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On a total no-carb diet, I think that what you can eat is basically mushrooms and meat, and that's pretty much it. I thought carrots were off the list, because they can be quite sweet, unless the fiber cancels out the carbs.

Here's hoping that after your baby is born, you can eliminate all nutritionists instead.

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On a total no-carb diet, I think that what you can eat is basically mushrooms and meat, and that's pretty much it. I thought carrots were off the list, because they can be quite sweet, unless the fiber cancels out the carbs.

Here's hoping that after your baby is born, you can eliminate all nutritionists instead.

Yes, pretty much. There are carbs in everything, and it turns out that fiber is actually counted as a carb, albeit one you can't really digest, so it doesn't really have any effect on your blood sugar, which is why high-fiber vegetables are preferred for a diabetic. For a gestational diabetic you are also not allowed to go carb-free, since you are trying to grow a person and apparently carbohydrate energy is needed for that. So the first week of full-on Atkins, with beautiful blood sugar control, got me in some hot water. Which is just as well, because staying on an Atkins-like diet for any length of time is supremely maddening.

I have to say I am very disappointed with my nutritionist. She really wasn't willing to help me work out the math so I could eat more things, and I am so very willing to do all the accounting needed to add deliciousness to my life at the moment! I was just given a list of permissible foods and portions (which makes it hard to account for anything cooked in a recipe with more than a couple of ingredients) and told to work off that. Bah! So yes, hoping to kick her to the curb as soon as possible!  :P

But cauliflower and carrots, at least for me, seem to be magically bulky vegetables that have negligible blood sugar effect, which is borne out by my list of acceptable foods. So I've roasted many a head of curried cauliflower and am trying a mashed preparation later this week. Roasted carrots are pretty great because, yes, they taste sweet, and carrot soup is good as well, even if it's not at all the season. Nuts aren't too bad as a snack, since they taste (and are) carb-laden, but the fat content helps you feel full quickly and control your portion. I pretty much carry mini Babybel cheese everywhere I go. Unbreaded eggplant parmesan and rollatini, as well as ratatouille, have been mainstays.

There are lots of low- or no-sugar treats in the frozen aisle at the store, but I have yet to find one that actually tastes good :(

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i find that cauliflower is a decent potato substitute in many things --i really like it steamed, mashed, and mixed with pesto. multiple people have told me that the fake pizza crust/garlic bread made of cauliflower and cheese is delicious but i've never tried it.  i've made basic aloo gobi with just cauliflower (so, gobi) and it was good.  green beans steamed and tossed with hummus or tahini is also good and for me at least quells carb cravings a bit (maybe it reminds me of pita and hummus?) could you do palak paneer or creamed spinach?

what about larb? i cant usually do a salad for dinner (just doesn't feel like a full meal) but i am very happy with some of bangkok golden's tofu larb with lots and lots of lettuce, which is think is a carb free meal, if you use the non-veg larb.

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Chicken soup, even in non-soupy weather, is a nice change. Very simple, with more carrots and fewer potatoes than usual, onions, stock, and shredded chicken seems to be the right mix of ingredients for an overall low carb load. I think I'll make Bourdain's mushroom soup next.

I am tired of eating everything on/with/around cucumbers, but at least they are crunchy.

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Oh yes, mushroom soup is glorious, even when it is hot out!!!

I've rotated back to quiches, to get some veg in with my eggs and cheese.

Baked pesto chicken is super easy and cuban pork is delicious anytime.

Thai curry tonight. I couldn't face it before without rice but now I'm craving curry so badly I'll just make it with a ton of vegetables, definitely including cauliflower.

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Interesting that you are able to eat cooked carrots, as they are very high in sugars/carbs. It's one of the veggies that are low carb raw but high carb cooked. I guess there is still enough fiber in it when cooked.

Your nutritionist sounds quite unhelpful; if you are still looking for some help, I would direct you to the ADA for a referral. From what I've read on Gestational Diabetes, the diet is supposed to be whole grain, fruits and veggies but not no carb. Low glycemic is best.

Have you tried spaghetti squash yet? Also, celery for a change from the cukes, and don't forget peanut butter on the celery as a great snack!

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So, I am slowly getting over my aversion to zucchini (though I don't think I'll ever be a fan of zucchini bread - the smell just always repelled me when I was a kid and my mom would bake batches and batches of it). I bought a spiralizer thingy to make zucchini noodles, as a means of preparing low/no-carb "pasta" dishes.  Does anyone have any particularly yummy suggestions for recipes in that vein?

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So, I am slowly getting over my aversion to zucchini (though I don't think I'll ever be a fan of zucchini bread - the smell just always repelled me when I was a kid and my mom would bake batches and batches of it). I bought a spiralizer thingy to make zucchini noodles, as a means of preparing low/no-carb "pasta" dishes.  Does anyone have any particularly yummy suggestions for recipes in that vein?

Pesto!!! I am obsessed with it right now and have been eating a LOT of it on zucchini!  Otherwise, this recipe caught my eye from nom nom paleo: zucchini spaghetti and meatballs but I haven't tried it yet.

Interesting that you are able to eat cooked carrots, as they are very high in sugars/carbs. It's one of the veggies that are low carb raw but high carb cooked. I guess there is still enough fiber in it when cooked.

Your nutritionist sounds quite unhelpful; if you are still looking for some help, I would direct you to the ADA for a referral. From what I've read on Gestational Diabetes, the diet is supposed to be whole grain, fruits and veggies but not no carb. Low glycemic is best.

Have you tried spaghetti squash yet? Also, celery for a change from the cukes, and don't forget peanut butter on the celery as a great snack

Carrots in any form seem to be OK, as are potatoes and peas in smallish quantities, but that is interesting to hear about cooked carrots. Processed grains of any kind just don't seem to work for me! Which does annoy my nutritionist (and kind of amuses me). All fruit must be paid for through exercise, unfortunately. I wish I liked spaghetti squash or celery, so while they are great suggestions (thank you!), I just don't want to eat them. But nuts and nut butters on random things have been prominently featured in my diet.

Sugar-free things generally ARE NOT FOOD. They are mostly chemicals, but since hitting the wall about a week ago I've tried a variety of sugar-free popsicles, jello, and Crystal Liight. They don't taste very good but are filling a need, hopefully for only a few more weeks. There is something psychologically satisfying about eating unnaturally, brightly red foods, though.

Note to low-carb curry eaters: make it at least a tad less hot than usual, because without rice or milk to wash it all down"¦zowie!!!

Taco salad (if you don't eat too much of the shell and load up on the meat and veg) and lettuce wrap tacos are great (thanks Zora!).

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Sugar-free things generally ARE NOT FOOD. They are mostly chemicals, but since hitting the wall about a week ago I've tried a variety of sugar-free popsicles, jello, and Crystal Liight. They don't taste very good but are filling a need, hopefully for only a few more weeks. There is something psychologically satisfying about eating unnaturally, brightly red foods, though.

I've been making my own gelatin a lot lately.  The recipe I'm following calls for 16 oz. pomegranate juice, 2 packets of gelatin, 1/4 cup brown sugar and 5 cups of berries.  I've been thinking I could get the sugar down to 1/3 cup with no problem; maybe it would be fine with no sugar at all.  The sugar is heated with 1/2 cup juice and added to the gelatin, which has been wetted with another 1/2 cup juice.

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I've been making my own gelatin a lot lately.  The recipe I'm following calls for 16 oz. pomegranate juice, 2 packets of gelatin, 1/4 cup brown sugar and 5 cups of berries.  I've been thinking I could get the sugar down to 1/3 cup with no problem; maybe it would be fine with no sugar at all.  The sugar is heated with 1/2 cup juice and added to the gelatin, which has been wetted with another 1/2 cup juice. 

Wow-that recipe has a lot of carbs! Not just the sugar, but the berries and pomegranate juice!  Have you tried adding nuts to your gelatin? You could also add mandarin oranges or apples or grapes, to a sugar free jello.

One of my creations for a tasty drink is Crystal Light Mojito-it's very good mixed with Sprite Zero, if you are drinking any soda. The other flavors just don't appeal to me. Also try seltzer water with a splash of juice in it (for instance Naked Juice's Mighty Mango, or a splash of pomegranate juice)

It's also funny that you are able to eat peas, as those are also high in starch.

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Wow-that recipe has a lot of carbs! Not just the sugar, but the berries and pomegranate juice!  Have you tried adding nuts to your gelatin? You could also add mandarin oranges or apples or grapes, to a sugar free jello.

It makes a very large amount of gelatin, and not much of it gets eaten at one time.  When I was looking up glycemic index for fruits, berries seemed better than a lot of other fruits.  I've also taken some of it to a friend with cancer who has trouble getting much food down, and I wanted to know exactly what was going into what I made.  The next time around, I may try making a batch with no added sugar at all.  It seems like the juice and the fruit should have enough to sweeten it.  I haven't tried adding nuts to gelatin.  Interesting idea.

On the sugar-free front, my husband won't eat anything with artificial sweetener in it and I don't like consuming that much of it either.  Diet soda is the only thing I do consume it in, and I've got that down to the bare minimum after the latest study about what the sweeteners do to gut flora and blood sugar.

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I'm a carbivore, but I just finished an impromptu lunch of steamed broccoli tossed with some leftover peanut/sesame sauce I found in the fridge.  I feel like I ate a truckload of food, and it was a pretty small plate.  It's been an hour, too.

This is a really nice, versatile sauce, and the only carby thing in it, assuming you use a no-sugar-added soy sauce, is a tablespoon or so of xiaoxing wine, and you could probably leave that out.   In no particular order: equal-ish parts lime juice, sesame oil, soy sauce, xiaoxing wine, then a couple of chunks of raw ginger and maybe a half cup of peanut butter.  Add hot sauce at will.  Hit it with the immersion blender and pour/spoon over the vegetables of choice.  Toast a few tablespoons of sesame seeds, grind them in a mortar and toss on top.  When you can eat carbs again, this makes a fabulous salad with noodles and julienned vegetables.

I got interrupted several times while typing this post.  Still full. :blink:

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Whelp, I'm gestationally diabetic again, so back to the low-carb drawing board. It's been a month-ish so I'm looking to branch out from the mainstays thus far:

Meals:

everything egg

(very) stuffed shells 

eggplant parm (so far with breading, but later on will be without)

curried chicken salad (eaten over salad or with cucumbers, or even plain)

roasted chickens and pork loins

Cuban or Hawaiian pork

pan-fried fish and chicken

roasted veg (mostly cauliflower!! but also some carrots, a few potatoes, and various squashes)

curries without the rice (or a very small amount)

pureed vegetable soups (squash, broccoli, mushroom)

beef stew

meatballs, sausages

salads

Snacks and treats:

almonds and cashews

berries

string cheese

Crystal Light "lemonade" and seltzer (thanks Squidsdc!)

Breyers CarbSmart vanilla and almond bars

dark chocolate 

edamame

15g carbs or less of any cookies or sweets. I can typically have 1-3 small cookies (I stick with packaged cookies because they are easier to count - usually Trader Joe's speculoos or butter almond thins), so it's portion control rather than avoidance. This is not a lot of cookies, but it's better than nothing!! I take a similar approach to ice cream, which I have every night to pump up my base level of carbs before bed. I pick a flavor with fewer carbs (usually the more chunky add-ins, which I love, the more carbs :( ) and then have about 2 small spoonfuls to come in at <1 serving. 

****

I'm probably going to make tortilla-less fajitas and zoodles soon, and I see some sugar-free jello in my future. Once we start grilling again, I'll probably be doing meat/eggplant/zucchini/mushrooms with Vietnamese fish sauce again. We've been getting a lot of Chinese takeout (usually szechaun eggplant and tofu, sauteed greens, and fried fish) and when I skip the rice, I'm fine. Ideas are welcome, but I'm mostly documenting here in case others find this info useful. 

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Wow.  You seem to have a great handle on this and many excellent ideas.  One thing I did, when I was doing low-carb and craving pizza, was to make a "crust"  of ground turkey seasoned with Italian spices and garlic etc.  I flattened it out onto a pizza pan, and pre-baked it for about 15 minutes.  And then I topped it with tomatoes or a tomato sauce, and some cheese and vegetables.  I called it reversed pizza, and everyone loved it.  A small wedge was filling and satisfying.  It froze well.  Great lunch choice if you have to take lunch to work.   

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My son, now 20, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of two, so I was counting carbs long before low-carb diets became popular. I like to make lasagna, substituting sliced zuchinni (althernating green and yellow) for the noodles. For low carb, I keep one layer of noodles on the bottom, for no carb, I eliminate the noodles entirely. I also add a layers of fresh spinach, and add diced fresh mushrooms to my meat sauce. My daughter and I actually prefer this version to the one with noodles.

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Congratulations on your pregnancy, not so much on the gestational diabetes.  Various cucumber salads are low carb, fast to make, and delicious.  The garlicy "smashed" version that The New York Times published in 2015 really is pretty good, though you might want to reduce the salt.

Are you able to have avocados?  Back in the good old days before I was allergic to shrimp, a whole avocado stuffed with small shrimp or langostinos with a bit of tarragon mayo made for a nice lunch.  

 

 

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