The warm weather is finally here, and the pandemic is subsiding. For me that means a lot of barbeques and entertaining in my backyard. It is very easy to be a people pleaser and get what you think everyone else wants, but that could leave you dealing with a roller coaster of blood sugars. When you are hosting, it can be hard enough to find time to actually enjoy yourself and the last thing you need is to be worrying about your numbers. So, make sure to get plan on some recipes that are blood sugar friendly so that you can be present and enjoy the day.
The warm weather makes me crave light and refreshing foods. Thankfully, these foods are typically lower in carbs than their hearty winter counterparts. It is also so easy to find lower carb options at the grocery stores nowadays, making swaps super simple! Here are five alternatives to some of everyone’s favorite go-to hearty foods:
1. Zucchini Linguini
Put down the pasta! There are so many healthy alternatives available to us that you really don’t have to take a gamble with your weight or your blood sugar! Zucchini linguini is a great go-to that can also be turned into a cold pasta salad which is perfect for summer barbeques (pro tip: edamame pasta is my personal favorite, check it out here).
People love comfort foods and meatloaf and mashed potatoes is a fan favorite. However, being hot and humid doesn’t really make me in the mood for such a rich and filling meal. You can lighten it up by replacing the mashed potatoes with mashed cauliflower. You can also create a cold potato salad, hashbrowns and so much more! Add your seasoning of choice to spice it up!
3. Meat and Cheese Roll-Ups
I definitely have a weak spot for mozzarella sticks. Anytime my kids order them at a restaurant, I take an extra unit or so of insulin in the hopes there will be one for me. I decided to make a healthier version at home and it turns out to be something my son loves. I bake clumps of shredded cheese on parchment paper in a 400-degree oven until it looks melted and then throw a pepperoni in the center of each one and wait until the cheese is bubbling which means it’s ready to come out. You can broil it for another minute if you like it extra crisp. And if you need a quick lunch or high protein snack, opt for meat and cheese roll-ups. There are so many variations, you are sure to like one!
I love cheese and dips but many of them are very fattening and loaded with calories. Avocado, on the other hand, is a fruit full of healthy fats and vitamins. It contains 9 carbs each but 7 of those carbs are fiber leaving it with a total of 2 net carbs. You can prepare guacamole however you like it and I recommend using endive as the “scooper”.
5. Make Your Own Low-Carb Pizzas
Pizza is quick and affordable which makes it an easy go-to when you are running around. The only problem is pizza is loaded with carbs and fat making this a food notorious for being hard to bolus for. Why not turn pizza into a fun family activity and make your own using almond flour, egg and mozzarella as the crust? Then everyone can personalize as they see fit. Store them in the freezer and make them on those hectic nights instead of having to make another trip before you head home!
It is much easier than you would think to find low-carb alternatives for some of our favorite foods. You just need to take the time and plan ahead. Both your blood sugars and waistline will be glad you did!
Have you found some healthy summer swaps for your heartier winter favorites? Comment and share below!