FIBERFIT: My "secret weapon" for low-carb success since 2002!
Adds sweetness and fiber without all the carbs! Concentrated and economical, at just 4 calories per teaspoon.

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Next, prep. 

 I’m going to describe one of my own weekly prep sessions – you will need to vary this according to your own tastes, but most low-carbers will need plenty of clean salad greens.

  • If you’re like me, and dislike the sour taste of pre-washed salad greens, you will want to wash your own. I fill a clean sink with a mixture of water and produce cleanser and let the greens soak for a while. I mix three heads of romaine or red leaf lettuce with one bunch of spinach and one small head of iceberg, for a nice mix of healthy, leafy, and crunchy. Then I wash, peel, and chop the other low carb vegetables we like in our salads and place them all in vacuum seal containers. Well dried lettuce can last for weeks without turning brown when vacuum sealed. It will last up to a week when layered in clean toweling and then sealed in regular plastic bags, because the paper or cloth will absorb extra moisture. TIP: Don’t chop greens with anything metal ahead of time, because it will cause the edges to turn brown prematurely.
  • While my greens for the week are soaking, I hard-boil a dozen eggs. TIP: For easy peeling, use older eggs and prick a small hole in the end of each one with a pin or thumbtack. Always start them in cold water with a splash of vinegar and a spoonful of salt added. Once they come to a boil, shut them off, put on the lid, and allow them to set in the hot water for twenty minutes. Pour off the hot water and replace it with ice water until the eggs are completely cool, then drain and refrigerate. The shells should slip right off when the time comes.
  • Poaching chicken or other meat is best done at a very low simmer. Boiling toughens meat proteins and causes that ugly scum to appear on top. I always save the liquid for use in soups or other meals, and either strip up the cooked meat for use in chef salads, or else chop it and add mayonnaise, along with lots of chopped celery and a little bit of red onion, salt, pepper, celery salt, and a teaspoon or so of lemon juice. Delicious chicken salad, ready at a moment’s notice — I’ve been known to eat it for breakfast! Some weeks I make egg or tuna salad instead of, or in addition to, the chicken salad.
  • Plan breakfasts: make a batch of muffins or crustless mini quiche in muffin tins. Pre-cook breakfast meats to save both time and mess. I like to bake both pre-formed sausage patties and bacon slices in the oven. If you can find a stacking cooling rack, it’s perfect for this use and will really simplify the whole process. I even line the drip pan with disposable foil to save time when cleaning up.
  • I make some sort of casserole each week like my Volume 1 TacoSagna or Mockaroni & Cheese and freeze it in individual portions, so I can have a hot lunch anytime. Meatloaf is another good make-ahead meal — just replace the bread crumbs with low carb ones or substitute Parmesan cheese, wheat bran, or textured vegetable protein.
  • Don’t forget to attend to your sweet tooth and make some kind of artificially sweetened treat, unless you are one of the rare ones who can totally forego that occasional pleasure. I am not; I would never have lost ten dress sizes in one year and made it for the long haul without an occasional ‘sweet treat’. And the long haul is what it is all about. Feeling deprived is what always led me to stop low fat diets. I simply did not allow that to happen with low carb – and neither should you! But do remember that most people lose more weight when indulging in homemade treats and staying away from packaged low-carb convenience foods, especially those with high concentrations of sugar alcohols such as maltitol (common in most pre-made sugar free desserts.)

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