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Move Over Bacon, Here’s the Scoop on Veggies

March 11, 2014

I have the chance to talk to people every day about Atkins, and I always find it interesting that there is still the misperception that all you eat on Atkins is bacon, eggs, heavy cream and beef. Nothing could be farther from the truth—when you follow Atkins, you may be surprised to find yourself eating more veggies than you ever did before. In Phase One (Induction), you eat 20 grams of net carbs each day, with most of them (12 to 15 grams of net carbs) coming straight from veggies. Initially you’ll be eating primarily what we call foundation veggies, which have a lower carb content and often a higher fiber count than the starchy veggies higher up the Carb Ladder.

If you’re the kind of person who likes to track every detail, you can keep track of your daily net carb intake in a journal, or you can enter your daily food into fitday.com, which is a free online food and fitness dairy. Enter the food, and fitday will do the math, telling you percentages of protein, fat and carbohydrate, calories and even nutritional content. If journaling and tracking is not your style, you can still succeed by using the cup method (see the ideas below).

If you want to eat your vegetables as part of your three daily meals, you might try getting 4 veggie net carbs with breakfast, 5.5 veggie net carbs with lunch and 5.5 veggie net carbs with dinner. If you want to keep it fairly simple, without having to make a lot of fancy recipes, here are some examples of what that might look like:

Breakfast ideas:

Sautee ¼ cup chopped broccoli and ¼ cup chopped onion in 1 Tbsp. real butter. Then add 2 beaten eggs to the pan. Stir over medium-high heat until the eggs are set. If you like, sprinkle 2 Tbsp. shredded cheddar cheese over the eggs in the last 30 seconds of cooking. 5 total net carbs, with 4 of them coming from veggies.

Here are some other combinations of veggies that you can easily add to an egg scramble or omelet that will total 4 net veggie carbs: ¾ cup chopped tomato and ¾ cup chopped spinach, ¼ cup chopped onion and ½ cup chopped mushrooms.

For a breakfast on the run, grab a couple of hard-boiled eggs, a slice of real cheese, and one of the following raw veggies to crunch in the car: 1-3/4 cup chopped cucumber, 1 cup string beans (green beans), 1-1/2 cups chopped cauliflower, 1 cup chopped green pepper.

Lunch ideas:

Salad is a good way to get in your veggies! Start with 2-1/2 cups shredded romaine lettuce and add any of the following for a total (including the lettuce) of 5.5 veggie net carbs: 2 cups chopped cucumber, ¾ cup chopped jicama, 2-1/2 cups sliced mushrooms, 1 cup chopped green peppers, ¾ cup chopped red peppers, 2 cups sliced radishes, 1 cup chopped broccoli, 1-1/2 cups chopped cauliflower, ¾ cup chopped tomatoes, 1-1/2 cups sliced yellow squash. (If you want more than one added veggie in your salad, use half the measurement of one veggie, combined with half the measurement of another, like ½ cup green peppers and 1 cup chopped cucumber.) Plus, you can add 4 to 6 ounces sugar-free salad dressing

Of course, if you don’t like salad, you can just eat raw or cooked veggies, and use the following dinner ideas:

Dinner Ideas:

You can have another salad at dinner, or eat cooked vegetables. Add butter or even mayonnaise to hot cooked veggies. Here are some more examples for measuring and tracking raw and cooked vegetables:

How many cups of sliced raw veggies equal 5 net carbs?
• 1 avocado = 4
• 8 marinated artichoke hearts = 4
• 2 cup broccoli, raw = 4
• 1 cup cauliflower, raw = 3
• 1 cup jicama = 5
• 12 black olives = 2
• 12 radishes = 1

How many cups of sliced raw veggies equal 2 net carbs?

• 1 cup cucumber = 2
• ¼ red pepper = 1.5
• 5 cherry tomatoes = 2.2
• 1 cup broccoli, raw = 2
• 1 cup cauliflower, raw = 3
• 1/2 cup jicama = 2.5
• 12 radishes = 1
• 2 stalks of celery = 2

How many cups of cooked vegetables would equal 5 net carbs?

• 1 cup green beans = 6
• 1.5 cup cooked broccoli = 4.5
• 1.5 cup green cabbage = 4.5
• 12 spears asparagus = 5
• 1.5 cup eggplant = 4.5
• 1 cup kale = 5
• 1/2 cup button mushrooms = 5
• 1.5 cup zucchini = 4.5
• 1/2 cup spaghetti squash = 4

How many cups of cooked vegetables equal 2 net carbs?

• 1/2 cup green beans = 3
• 1 cup cooked broccoli = 3
• 1 cup green cabbage = 3
• 6 spears asparagus = 2.5
• 1 cup eggplant = 3
• 1/2 cup kale = 2.5
• 1/4 cup button mushrooms = 2.5
• 1 cup zucchini = 3
• 1/4 cup spaghetti squash = 2

Register with Atkins today for additional tips, low carb recipes, and ideas on how to overcome your weight loss plateau.

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