Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Fighting Off That Snack Attack with Lower-Carb Snacks

Let's talk a little about low carb snacks. If you're changing to a lower carb eating plan, you need to anticipate the times when you'll want to eat things that are not allowed. Most people can stick with the diet when they're planning a meal, especially if they're following a plan that gives sample menus. It's when you come home from work, starving, and there nothing but cookies in the cupboard that sticking with the diet is a challenge.

When I started the South Beach Diet in the summer of 2004 (before I lost 42 pounds!) I realized I ate a lot of snacks. What I did not realize until I started paying attention was that my snacks were almost entirely high carb, processed foods. When I needed something quick, I was likely to grab things like corn chips, Cheetos, crackers, pretzels, or popcorn. On that list, only popcorn is something I would eat now, and that only at the movies.

I think one thing I liked most about the South Beach Diet was that snacks were built into the program. I admit I cheated a bit on how many snacks I ate, but I didn't cheat in the types of snacks I had. Nuts, string cheese, low carb yogurt, and celery with low carb peanut butter (no added sugar) were four of the most common things I ate as snacks in the beginning. I still eat those things, but now that I've been eating this way for 18 months, my taste has changed. Now I love eating fresh veggies for a snack. I buy huge bags of vegetables at Costco and always keep them on hand for times when that snack urge hits me. When I was thinking what to write about for Sweetnicks new blogging event, ARF/5-A-Day Tuesdays, I realized that three of my favorite veggie snacks would be a great tip to share with those of you who are just starting a lower carb eating plan.

I love the flavor of these sweet little peppers. I did a little research on antioxidants, and discovered that deeply colored foods are usually highest in antioxidants. These sweet red peppers from Costco are definitely deeply colored. Besides just eating a handful of these for a snack, I also like to slice them in rings to go on salads.

Since I very rarely eat sugar now, something like snow peas taste as sweet as candy to me. I eat them by the handful, either plain, or with a little of Grandma's vegetable dip. (Ranch dip made with the package mix that you just add to sour cream is also good for dipping.)

Grandma's Vegetable Dip
1 cup sour cream (regular or light)
1 cup mayo (regular or light, but not fat free)
1 tsp. grated onion
2 tsp. dill weed
2 tsp. Bon Appetit (contains salt, msg, celery seed and onion or which I think the celery seed and onion are the essential flavors)

Combine ingredients either using a food processor or just whip together in a bowl. Chill an hour or so before serving. This will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks.

It may surprise you to learn that the third vegetable I eat a lot for a snack is purple cabbage. I like it cut into fairly large chunks, and I nearly always have a plastic bag of this in the refrigerator. I eat it on salads with ranch dressing, but just as often I get a handful and snack on it while I'm blogging or reading the newspaper. Now if anyone who understands photography knows why my cabbage photo looks so very purple, when the cabbage itself is more reddish in color, I would love to know. (Edit 10-2009: I now understand white balance, but I'm keeping this photo here just to remind myself how much I've learned!)

Don't forget that Simply Recipes is featuring low carb food all this month. Yesterday Elise did a round-up of low carb recipes she had seen on other food blogs, including Kalyn's Kitchen.
Also be sure to check out the low carb vegetable options at A Veggie Venture. Alanna has already done the calculating for you in the counting carbs section of her recipe box.

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More to Chew On:


  1. Hi Kalyn,
    I sent you an email recently and haven't heard back. Would you please email me so I'm sure I have your right address? Thanks! elise {AT} elise [dot] com.

  2. Your snacks all sound delicious to me! I love veggies as a snack ESPECIALLY sugar snap peas (which taste like candy to me and I'm in no way a carb-avoider)! And who knew that my fave celery & peanut butter (I always use no-sugar added) was so good for me?! Thanks for the great post!

  3. I'm not EVEN going to tell you what kinds of snacks I eat!


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