6 Steps to Start Your Low Carb Meal Prep

Are you ready to live the low-carb life? Is it daunting to think about incorporating low-carb into your active or busy lifestyle? Are you scared to fail with all of the tempting “white foods” like pasta, rice, sugar or bread? Here are some trouble-free meal prep ideas which are here to help you steer clear of dieting difficulties. We’ll touch on the best ideas for meal prepping for success. Let’s get started!

3 meal prep containers

Meal Prepping & Planning Ahead

Spending a little extra time planning and prepping your high-protein, low-carb meals for the week (or longer) makes it easier to accomplish your health goals. Setting aside the extra time to plan ahead really makes all the difference. Get your favorite low-carb recipes together and go from there. Make sure to include ingredients which include high protein, healthy fats and lots of veggies. They are designed to help you feel full longer.

Here Are Some Easy Steps to Get You Started

Choices, Choices . . .

Choose a selection of quick and easy low-carb recipes which excite you to help build a recipe base that motivates you to stay on track. You can use resources like Pinterest, search low-carb Facebook groups, or visit mainstream recipe websites like Delish or AllRecipes. When considering your meal choices, try to find ones which incorporate fresh, organic vegetables, meats, seafood, and eggs. Remember you can always substitute foods in recipes. Be creative.

Stay Organized and Make a List

Make a shopping list of the ingredients and quantities you need to prepare your food for the length of time you choose. Your list should include items such as broccoli, spinach, asparagus, cauliflower, and healthy, nutrient-dense foods like avocados. Other great items are eggs, fish such as salmon, and most meats, even including jerky. If you don’t own some already, include quality containers with compartments on your list for your meals. You’ll need enough for the number of meals you are planning to prepare.

My Favorite Low Carb Meal Prep Containers

Good

Better

Best

How and Where to Shop

When shopping, make sure not to go to the supermarket on an empty stomach. You are more likely to buy items which don’t fit into your plan if you are hungry! Shop the perimeter of the grocery store first, where you find all of the fresh items. This will keep you away from a lot of the processed high carb foods. Farmers markets are a great place to find the freshest ingredients for healthy and flavorful food.

Let’s Get Prepping

Now that you have everything you need, go ahead and get started. Look at your ingredients and work through each meal, prepping them like an assembly line. If you are making two different recipes which both call for the same ingredient, prep them both at once. This will be more efficient and make your life easier in the long run.

Take it Step By Step

Follow your favorite low-carb, Pinterest-worthy recipe step by step. Make sure to check your ingredient measurements and increase the amounts accordingly for the week. When ready, assemble each container with the correct portion size of each finished dish and store in your fridge for the week. This makes everything super easy.

Channel Your Inner Chef

Always remember to keep it fresh and change up your recipes each week so you won’t get bored. Even if you make a similar meal, use different herbs and spices to make it new and fun. Variety is a big key to success in any diet or lifestyle plan. Low-carb doesn’t have to taste bad or be plain. Be your own chef! There are many unique and innovative ways to prepare foods, and eating low carb is no exception.

This post was guest written by Stefanie Resciniti. Stefanie is a graphic designer and marketing professional with a passion for learning, traveling and trying new things. She is excited about any opportunity to inspire creative content.

Check out this low carb pizza that I make all the time!

5 Sandwiches Transformed into Low Carb Bowls

In a world filled with the latest low carb craze (keto anyone?) it seems everyone is looking for ways to continue to enjoy their favorite foods in a healthier version.

I don’t know about you but one of my all-time favorite comfort foods are sandwiches. There are so many options! This then begs the question-how can I enjoy my favorite sandwich without all those dang carbs? The easiest option is to take the ingredients and toss it into a bowl! Subway and Jersey Mike’s already jumped on the bandwagon of low carb bowls based on sandwiches, and you can too!

The easiest way to turn a sandwich into a bowl is to deconstruct it. Take out the bread; add lots of lettuce or spinach and your favorite low carb toppings.

Here are a few of my favorite sandwiches deconstructed into a bowl that is still delicious, filling and cuts the carbs. These will fill you up so you aren’t reaching for the chocolate later, and the best part is you won’t feel like you’re just eating a salad!

1. BLT Bowl:

One of the most classic sandwich combinations, crispy bacon and lettuce with juicy tomatoes and a creamy sriracha dressing.

Serves: 1

Ingredients

  • Bacon-2 or 3 slices cooked as crisp as you like and chopped (because let’s be honest bacon makes the world better!)
  • ½ tomato diced (or if you like bigger bites, go for wedges)
  • Lettuce (I prefer a good spring mix or crispy romaine)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Mayonnaise (1 tbsp.)
  • Sriracha (I’m wimpy but a little Sriracha adds great flavor and only a little heat)
  • chopped chives

Directions

  1. In a serving bowl, toss together your lettuce of choice, the chopped bacon, and tomato. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a separate bowl mix 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise with a dash or two of Sriracha. Add this to your bowl as a dressing.
  3. Top with the chopped chives

*TIP: You can also add additional toppings like spouts, cucumber; avocado…the list goes on.

2. Cuban Bowl:

Serves: 4

I know, I know… one of the best parts of the Cuban is that crisp pressed panini-style bread. I promise you will not miss it!
For the crunch, try subbing parmesan crisps instead!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. pork loin fat trimmed and cut into bite size cubes
  • ¼ lb. deli ham cut into cubes
  • Spring mix lettuce
  • 4 oz. Swiss cheese cut into cubes
  • 1 cup diced dill pickles
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed or finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • Zest of 2 limes plus the juice
  • 1 tsp dried oregano

Directions

  1. Take your cut up pork loin and add it to a gallon-sized Ziploc baggie.
  2. Add the lime zest and juice from 1 lime, salt and pepper, 1 tsp oregano and 2 crushed cloves of garlic.
  3. Let marinate for 2-3 hours in the fridge.
  4. Heat a pan and add olive oil.
  5. Add half the pork and cook until done.
  6. Remove from pan and cook the remaining pork. (It should be firm to the touch with no pink but have a nice crisp on the outside.)
  7. In a small bowl whisk together the zest and juice from the second lime, the remaining garlic and oregano, the mustard, and some olive oil to create a dressing.
  8. Layer the spring mix with the cooked pork, ¼ of the ham and Swiss cheese, as well as ¼ cup of dill pickles.
  9. Drizzle with the dressing and enjoy!

3. Meatball Sub Bowl:

This bowl is so easy to create and package away for a quick grab and go. If meal prepping store the meatballs in the sauce in a separate container so it can be heated before adding to the bowl.

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg frozen meatballs (cook following package directions)
  • 2 oz. cooked quinoa per serving
  • ¼ cup marinara sauce (your favorite homemade or jaris fine)
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. In a serving bowl layer spinach or other favorite leafy green along with the quinoa and warmed meatballs and sauce.
  2. Top with the shredded cheeses. (Told you it was simple!)

*Note: The combination of the greens and quinoa add fiber to keep you fuller longer.

4. Chicken Salad Bowl:

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 can chicken drained (I prefer all white meat, or you can use left over rotisserie chicken shredded)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 stalk finely chopped celery
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp. mustar

Directions

*TIP: This is surprisingly filling and delicious. Even better, you can substitute albacore tuna or canned salmon for the chicken and it is just as good.

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together all ingredients until desired consistency. (You may choose to add more mayonnaise or mustard. Keep in mind if you are worried about calories there are many low fat/low calorie options for mayonnaise. A favorite of mine is made with Olive Oil.)
  2. In a serving bowl, layer your lettuce or leafy green of choice.
  3. Add a scoop of chicken salad.
  4. Top with cucumbers and bell peppers if desired.

5. Shrimp Taco Bowl:

Serves: 4

This may not technically be a sandwich, but it’s still traditionally a handheld meal wrapped in a carb fill vessel. Plus it makes for a delicious bowl!

Ingredients

  • 1 small package frozen peeled and deveined shrimp thawed and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • 1 tsp Cajun seasoning
  • Shredded cabbage/coleslaw mix
  • Diced fresh cilantro (1 tsp per serving)
  • Pico de Gallo (You can make it fresh or use a premade salsa)

Directions

  1. Coat your thawed and rinsed shrimp in a bowl with the flour and Cajun seasoning.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat cook the shrimp with olive oil until pink. The flour will give them a nice crisp coating. If gluten is a worry you can skip the flour.
  3. In a serving bowl toss the shredded cabbage with the cilantro. Top with the shrimp and Pico de Gallo. Add some lime wedges to squeeze on top and a dressing won’t even be needed.

Create Your Own Combination

The key to a great and easy sandwich bowl is taking your favorite deli meat, some lettuce or cabbage, add in some great veggies (cucumber, peppers, avocado, tomato), make a simple dressing with olive oil, some spices and toss in some mustard and mayonnaise. Below is a list of ideas of things you can choose from to make your own sandwich bowl. The possibilities are endless!

  • Lettuce (romaine, spring mix, spinach etc.)
  • Cabbage
  • Rice (brown)
  • Quinoa
  • Tomato
  • Bacon
  • Avocado
  • Pickles
  • Olives
  • Nuts for crunch (Use this guideto help choose the best for low carb)
  • Other non-starchy veggies (cucumbers, peppers, carrots etc.)
  • Dried fruits (craisins are amazing in bowls)

When it comes to dressings, you have to be careful of the sugar content. Ranch, Blue-Cheese, and mayonaisse based dressings are best!

What are some other ideas you can think of for bowls?

Comment below and share your ideas! You should also check out my recipe for Egg Roll in a Bowl! (Yes, I love bowls!)

This post was written by a guest author, Janna Florie.
Janna Florie is a single mom of 4 boys. She loves crafting and all sorts of DIY projects. She is also an ambassador for the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer 3 Day. She is a strong believer in building women up.