A lot of times I say, “I don’t eat carbs.” Because anytime you turn down a carb someone needs a lengthy explanation as to why you would ever turn down a carb. (Please refer to Jim Gaffigan’s bit on alcohol, it’s the same reaction) But, it isn’t really that I don’t eat carbs. I just choose my carbs wisely. A lot of the foods I eat have carbs. Kale has carbs. I eat kale.
Whenever someone is talking about healthy eating, they say “it’s all about moderation.” But, when I say “I eat carbs in moderation”, I have offended their entire belief system. I agree that eating healthy is all about moderation, but I don’t think that will look the same for everyone. I have found that I feel better eating carbs in moderation and choosing better foods with carbs, some people have found similar results eating meat or dairy in moderation. Whatever makes YOU feel better.
You don’t have to think of keto as a no carb diet. That’s depressing. It’s just a carb-wise diet. Technically, if you wanted to (and some people do, but I don’t recommend it), you could eat 5 fried chicken strips from Zaxby’s, and if those were the only carbs you ate in your day, you would be at 22g of carbs for the day. And that my friends, will keep you in ketosis. It’s a bad idea, but it’s a good example that this isn’t about saying never eat carbs. The Keto diet is simply a guideline for moderating your carb intake in order to keep your body in a state of ketosis.
The important thing is to never feel like you are negatively limiting yourself. You are making choices in order to make yourself feel better. So, let’s look at some of the foods you can eat that have carbs. I want to focus on fruits and veggies because I feel like they make great substitutes for a lot of the carb heavy options that we eat as sides and desserts.
There are a lot of fruits that eaten in moderation will not kick your body out of ketosis. Here is a list of 17. I always feel like after I eat I need something sweet, so I put together a bunch of berries and unsweetened whipped cream and it’s the perfect dessert. You can even do a fancy dessert plate of berries and cheeses. If you want a great snack that is a bit sweet and spicy, sprinkle some Tajín on unsweetened coconut strips or mango. Watermelon or cantaloupe always makes a great snack for hot summer days. You need sweet treats in your life, it’s what keeps you sane. But, you don’t need the sweets to be carb heavy. There are plenty of low carb sweets that can be eaten in moderation.
Of course, there are a lot of vegetables that are low carb. But, there are also some that have more carbs than you would expect. Here is a list of 20 that are good low carb choices. If you notice in the list, a lot of these vegetables have more carbs than you would expect (before I started this diet, I expected them all to have zero). So, just because you are substituting the side of potatoes for green beans, doesn’t mean you aren’t getting any carbs. For a great side, I have been loving brussels sprouts lately. I used to HATE them, but Trader Joe’s sells them already shredded. I toss them in some balsamic, olive oil, and salt and put them in the air fryer for a little less than 10 minutes (shake them at the 5 minute mark) on 375 and they come out perfectly crispy and salty. Get creative with your vegetables! Make them spicy or buttery or both. I love throwing red chili pepper flakes on my vegetables to make them taste better. Vegetables don’t have to be boring, there are plenty of ways to make them taste great.
I mainly am focusing on fruits and vegetables because they are where you will get a lot of your carbs and they make for great substitutes for carb heavy desserts and sides. There’s obviously a lot of meats and dairy products that can be eaten without kicking your body out of ketosis (though beware of milk and yogurts), but I wanted to focus on eating carbs while being in ketosis.
I have to stress this in every post, because it is so important. This is not about dieting. If you think of this as another quick fix diet, it will only make you feel better for a little while before you quit. Everything is about finding a lifestyle that helps you feel your best. For me, I feel my best when I eat carbs in moderation. It doesn’t mean I don’t eat carbs at all. I love carbs. But, if you are someone (like me) who feels really bloated, lethargic, or uncomfortable after eating a carb heavy meal, think about giving some lower carb options a try and see if you feel better. Start slow and focus on how you feel.
If you have any favorite low carb snacks, comment below!