Simple is best – and that’s how we try to keep it most days: Pick a protein, pick a fat, add 1-2 vegetables that grow above the ground. And that’s it!
You can always jazz up any meal, and obviously eat veg that grow IN the ground too – in moderation. But fancy or complicated is NEVER necessary for something delicious, filling, and homemade.
Start with the basics and build from there. Below you’ll find a week’s worth of simple low carb breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas. Most are staples or favorites for my little family.
Note: I don’t personally eat breakfast all that often, unless you count magical bean juice in various forms (coffee yay). The fam loves breakfast though, even better when it’s breakfast for dinner or lunch. I also meal prep egg cups/muffins and egg loaf for the Hubs, but meal prepping is a whole other post for another day…
Keep it Simple Keto: 7 Days of Meals
Eggs fried in butter, side of sausage and spinach
Antipasto platter – example: salami, pre-made meatballs or other cold cuts, with a side of cheese cubes/slices, olives, and celery – drizzle plate with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt
Steak and shrimp lightly pan fried in olive oil, side of whole green beans – all cooked in the same pan. Easy clean-up ftw!
Two Good yogurt cup with blueberries or cinnamon
Breadless sandwich – example: colby jack slices, natural cold cuts (we like roast beef & roast turkey, sometimes salami) wrapped in lettuce, side of dill pickles or olives
Blackened chicken tenders with zucchini fries, sugar free honey mustard for dipping
Peanut Butter Protein Shake
Leftover chicken, shredded and tossed with sugar free sauce (bbq, teriyaki, etc), olive oil, and broccoli
Taco bowl – example: ground beef with taco seasoning, chopped lettuce or spinach, topped with optional green onions, halved cherry tomatoes, sour cream, and cheese
Loaded vegetables – example: broccoli topped with real bacon bits, sour cream, and cheese
Salmon coated in lemon pepper seasoning, lightly seared in olive oil, side of zucchini noodles
Scrambled eggs or omelette with spring onions, spinach, and bacon
Breadless sandwich – example: natural cold cuts with greens, side of crispy cheese chips or pork rinds
Leftover taco meat in cheese shells
Fathead Pizza and/or chicken wings. You could swap out the fathead crust for low carb tortillas or wraps, cauliflower crust, almond flour crust, etc.
Blender pancakes, just like how it sounds – blend cream cheese, eggs, and coconut flour (or sub with almond flour or psyllium husk), sweetener, and vanilla. Pour batter into piping hot, greased skillet and make pancakes as normal. Our favorite blender pancake recipe so far can be found at Low Carb with Jennifer.
Low carb tortilla quesadillas stuffed with meat and cheese, side of sour cream mixed with spinach for dipping
Boneless pork chop, side of roasted asparagus and zucchini
When you eat enough fat during a meal, it makes you feel full and satisfied and energized. It usually carries you through to the next meal without any need for snacks. Sometimes we just don’t get enough fat for fuel or we’re feeling kinda snacky. It can be a difficult habit to break after a lifetime of carb loading every few hours or less, especially when times get stressful or incredibly boring. So, what d’ya eat when you need some extra oomph?
- Crunchy: pork rinds, nuts/seeds, cheese crisps, coconut chips, keto crackers (like flackers), vegetables with ranch
- Sweet: blueberries or strawberries, sugar free jello, sugar free chocolate/dark chocolate, keto cookies
- Salty: olives, pickles, natural nut butters, broth
- Meaty: beef jerky or biltong, meat sticks, cold cuts, pepperoni chips, bacon chips, hard boiled egg
- Fatty: fat bombs, fatty coffee, string cheese, avacado, egg loaf
Freezer & Pantry Ready-Made Foods
This is just a quick addendum – the low carb market is BOOMING these days and it’s becoming easier to find sugar free and low carb snacks and meals, already made and ready to eat beyond the old school offerings of Atkins and Weight Watchers. A quick search for keto food or low carb food on Amazon or Netrition, for example, yields thousands of results.
Please remember that just because something is labeled as keto or low carb, the ingredients may still not be that great. Some people are way more sensitive to certain fillers, dyes, preservatives, etc. so always check the label before eating.
Some low carb branded foods we’ve tried and enjoyed so far:
HighKey Cookies, Quest Frozen Protein Pizza, RealGood Frozen Cheese Enchiladas, Great Low Carb Bread Co. Pastas, ChocZero Chocolate and Syrup, Keto and Co Fudge Brownies, Sola Bread Loaf, Cut Da Carb Wraps, La Banderita Tortillas, G Hughes Sugar Free Sauce
Eating homemade meals EVERY SINGLE DAY for an entire week isn’t always easy – sometimes it’s just not possible. Even less so when family, friends, and coworkers aren’t participating or supportive. But eating out and staying low carb can be incredibly simple.
- Want a burger? Awesome! Ditch the bun and ketchup/bbq sauce, load up on the lettuce, cheese, and other favorite veg toppings/condiments. Maybe order 2…
- Want a sub? See above.
- Want a pizza? Cool! Eat the toppings (yep, *just* the toppings, including cheese) and order some wings on the side (go traditional, unbreaded wings, avoid anything with a sweet sauce).
- Want tacos? Yessss, love tacos – put it in a bowl! Avoid rice/tortillas.
- Want nuggets? My very own achilles heel. Popeyes, Chick-Fil-A, PDQ, and many others offer unbreaded, grilled, and/or blackened tenders.
- What about those fries? Just say no. Sub it out for a different vegetable, something green preferably, or simply pass on sides altogether and double up on everything else.
Obviously, there are tons of ways to eat low carb while you’re out that won’t ruin your day beyond the points above. I just follow the same basic rules eating out as I do at home and that simplifies the whole experience – like a mantra: pick a protein, pick a fat, pick a vegetable.
If you’re super detail-oriented or thrive on preparing for that random, unexpected night out, the guides below are for you. These articles and posts are full of ideas and suggestions for some of the most popular restaurant and fast food chains across the US:
Fast Food Hacks (Pinterest Board)
This collection is primarily based on Brandon Carter’s @ketohackershop fast food graphics (and a few others). Check out his Instagram for ideas that go way beyond fast food.
How To Order Keto At All Your Favorite Places
Love + Marriage Blog offers a great roundup of popular restaurants with suggestions on how to keep your order low carb.
Mr. SkinnyPant’s Fast Food Guides
Ryan Luedecke is a wealth of information – his guides for the top 30 fast food chains in the US are incredibly detailed and great for beginners or those who like to be very thorough in their research.
Last but not least, if you know you’re going out to a particular place and you’re worried about what to order, try looking up the restaurant’s website and see if they offer nutritional info on their dishes. At minimum, most display a menu so you can take your time and think about what you’d like to order and how to customize it.