It’s summertime—school’s out and the kids are home. That’s great, but if you’re doing Atkins and following a low-carb lifestyle, sometimes it can seem like a challenge to accommodate your needs and those of your family without feeling like a short-order cook.
First of all, talk to your family about your goals and ask for their support. Explain what Atkins is about, and show them all the different foods you can eat and discuss what foods you are trying to avoid. The whole family can benefit from purging the pantry of packaged foods full of sugar, especially when you show them how much healthier fresh vegetables and fruits are compared to packaged foods filled with sugar. With all this being said, don’t force your diet on your family or restrict them of all their favorite foods. Make it fun, and get them involved—they will be more likely to support you and enjoy the food and the healthy benefits of your new lifestyle. Here are some other tips:
Make a menu. Select some delicious and family-friendly low-carb recipes, and let your family create a weekly menu so that they feel involved in the process. Especially during the summer, grilled meats and fresh veggies can make a very satisfying meal for everyone involved, without anyone feeling like they are deprived.
Have it on the side. Round out your low-carb recipes with a few side dishes that may contain more carbs (and that you can resist) but that will satisfy your family. This could be a fresh corn and black bean salad, pasta side dishes, baked sweet potatoes, corn on the cob, and more.
Skip the bun. Summer isn’t summer without hamburgers and hot dogs. You can enjoy a hearty hamburger as well; just wrap it in lettuce instead of a bun. Your family can enjoy their burgers or hot dogs with buns, and you won’t feel like you’re missing a thing. Having fajitas? Enjoy yours “naked” or on a bed of lettuce.
Make snacking easy. If your pantry and refrigerator are filled with low-carb snacks, it will be much easier for you (and your family) to resist the high carb-and sugar filled packaged snacks. Stock your pantry with almonds, macadamia nuts, pecans and berries. Make sure you have turkey, ham, and cheese on hand for quick and tasty roll-ups. Use leftover grilled meat to make a quick lettuce wrap. Make an avocado dip and have cut up veggies available for dipping. And don’t forget eggs. Hard-boiled eggs and egg salads are also easy and taste great. Plus, frozen grapes and berries are sweet and delicious snacks on hot summer days.
Keep it fresh. Wash and cut up your fresh veggies and fruits and keep them in clear plastic containers in the refrigerator so there’s always a crunchy and refreshing bite at everyone’s fingertips, especially when the kids are whining that there’s “nothing to eat.” Serve your veggies with low-carb dips like hummus, salsa or guac or low-sugar salad dressings.