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20 Incredibly Delicious Low-Carb Recipes That Will Make You Healthier

20 Incredibly Delicious Low-Carb Recipes That Will Make You Healthier

While the idea of eating healthy sounds delicious already, a lot of people find it tough to stick with a dietary plan where nearly every component should be of the “reduced” version. The “nonfat,” “low-fat,” “fat-free,” and “lite” versions of ingredients may help you maintain your desired weight, but there are products and meals that forego taste just to make room for all the elements that promise to keep you in good shape.

The great news is you don’t have to settle for bland and colorless food just to remain faithful to your diet and your vow to keep yourself in shape. The healthy-eating hype has become so pervasive that a lot of chefs, nutritionists and fitness enthusiasts have started coming up with ways for weight-watchers to enjoy their food while not feeling deprived.

Sticking to a health regimen doesn’t have to be death-by-boredom. Here we present 20 low-carb recipes that will not only make you healthier, but will also ensure you enjoy your food more—minus the guilt.

Appetizers

If you’re pledging to eat the healthy way, you need to regularly eat meals that follow your dietary recommendations. By doing so, you can easily make your body accustomed to the types of food that will help you achieve your goal—whether that’s to lose weight or to gain some. The best way to begin this is by preparing some low-carb appetizers. Got any ideas on what to prepare? Because we do.

1. Enchilada Chicken and Mango Salad

Enchilada Chicken and Mango Salad

    This is an appetizer that you can pull off using leftovers in your fridge. The Enchilada Chicken and Mango Salad can be a nice starter to any meal. All you need are some shredded romaine lettuce, diced mango, enchilada-style chicken, and diced avocado. Just layer the ingredients on top of each other with the romaine as the base and add a dash of salt and pepper. Prep time only takes five minutes, making it an ideal snack to bring to work too.

    2. Chunky Greek Salad

    Chunky Greek Salad

      If you’re partial to Greek cuisine, this Chunky Greek Salad is an appetizer you must try. This starter dish only requires dicing some cucumbers, tomatoes, and red onions, and then combining everything with feta cheese. Once everything is evenly mixed, that’s when you add the Caesar salad dressing and then you’re done. This salad is best served chilled, too.

      3. Shrimp Avocado Salad

      Shrimp Avocado Salad
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        Seafood lovers rejoice, for this appetizer has the potential to become one of your favorite starters. The Shrimp Avocado Salad is a refreshing alternative to your usual chicken salad dish and it’s definitely low in carbs. It’s prepared in two parts: one for the dressing and the other for the salad itself. As for the meat, you will need cooked and deveined shrimp. Simply add avocado and lettuce, and complete the salad with the dressing by mixing lime juice, extra virgin olive oil, chopped cilantro, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and you’re ready to eat!

        4. Halibut with Pepitas, Capers, Cherry Tomatoes, and Basil

        Halibut with Pepitas, Capers, Cherry Tomatoes, and Basil

          Concocted by renowned celebrity chef Cat Cora, this appetizer can be filling enough while helping you evade carbs. As its name implies, the Halibut with Pepitas, Capers, Cherry Tomatoes, and Basil is a medley of healthful options, from the choice of protein down to the garnishing. Preparing this involves searing the halibut and using white wine, lemon juice, and butter as its sauce base. The capers and tomatoes are added when the fish is done simmering. Once it’s simmered, cook it in the oven for about seven to ten minutes, and then toss in the pepitas and basil.

          5. Bacon, Egg, Avocado, and Tomato Salad

          Bacon, Egg, Avocado, and Tomato Salad

            If there is one food that you can never go wrong with, it’s bacon. What’s even better is that you can still enjoy this heaven-sent ingredient if you’re following a low-carb diet by putting some on your salad, just like this Bacon, Egg, Avocado, and Tomato Salad. All you need to do is dice an avocado, some hardboiled eggs, and tomatoes, and then mix them with crumbled bacon. Once these are combined, sprinkle on some juice from a lemon wedge and adjust the taste with salt and pepper.

            Main Dishes

            Now that you’ve had your fill of sumptuous salads and starters, let’s move on to the main event. Here are five different main courses you can try for lunch or dinner.

            1. Honey Mustard Cuban Pork Burgers

            Honey Mustard Cuban Pork Burgers

              Just because you’re cutting back on carbs, it doesn’t automatically mean you should also curtail your meat craving. With the Honey Mustard Cuban Pork Burgers you can have your fill of ground pork breakfast sausage and plantain chips. Pack it in with avocados, Dijon mustard, and yellow mustard, and you’re all set.

              2. Mahi Mahi with Cauliflower

              Mahi Mahi with Cauliflower
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                If you’re more into fish, the Mahi Mahi with Cauliflower can be a great addition to your diet. All you need is to sear the fillets and let the oven do the rest of the cooking. As for the vegetables, this dish calls for cauliflower, raisins, almonds, and coriander. Preparation and cooking time takes only half an hour, so you can enjoy low-carb goodness without slaving so much in the kitchen.

                3. Grilled Chicken Wings With Greens and Salsa

                Grilled Chicken Wings With Greens and Salsa

                  Another lean dish that will help you stay faithful to your diet, the Grilled Chicken Wings with Greens and Salsa is easy on your digestion while giving you enough energy—minus the carbs you don’t want. Just rub some chicken wings with your favorite spice mix and grill them in the oven for about 40 minutes. While waiting, toss in some of your favorite greens to make a salad; just make sure that you use low-carb dressing.

                  4. Lamb Sliders with Ginger Cilantro Aioli

                  Lamb Sliders with Ginger Cilantro Aioli

                    If you want to reward yourself with a sumptuous meal without having to worry about ruining your diet, Lamb Sliders with Ginger Cilantro Aioli is the perfect dish to do just that. Instead of using the usual buns, you can substitute your carb source with sweet potatoes. Just slice them thinly and bake them. Use the ginger cilantro aioli mixture as the spread, then sandwich the lamb (along with greens, onions, and tomatoes) between the slices of baked sweet potatoes.

                    5. Broiled Fish with Summer Grape Tomato Sauce

                    Broiled Fish with Summer Grape Tomato Sauce

                      A perfect dish for summer, Broiled Fish with Summer Grape Tomato Sauce will remind you of your mother’s cooking, only this version’s low carb. You can use any white meat fish, such as flounder, sole, or tilapia, which you will broil (or grill) on medium heat. While you’re cooking the fish, toss grape tomatoes, chopped basil, and garlic in olive oil and let simmer. Pour the sauce on the grilled fish when ready and enjoy!

                      Desserts

                      A meal is never complete without a delectable dessert. The good thing is, you can have some even if you’ve vowed to reduce your carb intake. Here are some ideas you can whip up in your own kitchen.

                      1. 3-Minute Chocolate Cake

                      3-Minute Chocolate Cake
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                        Chocolate is the sweets department equivalent of bacon—you can never go wrong with it. With the 3-Minute Chocolate Cake, you can enjoy a fantastic dessert without breaking a sweat. This dish makes use of almond flour and you can replace regular sugar with Splenda. But if you want to indulge yourself a little, you can put frosting on the cake or add some whipped cream before serving.

                        2. Almond Coconut Bars

                        Almond Coconut Bars

                          If you’re not too much of a sweet tooth, these Almond Coconut Bars might be the treat that you’re looking for. Made of shredded coconut, almonds, coconut flour, and unsweetened chocolate, this piece of heaven is a welcome change from the usual confectionery delights.

                          3. Valentine’s Day Mousse

                          Valentine’s Day Mousse

                            Who says you can only have chocolate on Valentine’s Day? This sweet course proves that you can have dessert anytime you want, as long as you consume the amount recommended by your diet. The Valentine’s Day Mousse’s base is loads of dark chocolate topped with a whipped “cream” made of coconut milk and vanilla extract. Even if you don’t eat it every day, a serving is good enough to last you until the next time.

                            4. Low-Carb No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake

                            Low-Carb No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake

                              No oven? No problem! The Low-Carb No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake is the answer to your cake cravings that are being trumped by the absence of an oven in your kitchen. This dessert relies heavily on cream cheese, but you’ll also need heavy cream, sour cream, and low-sugar graham crackers for the base. You’ll also need some cherry pie filling and alternative sweeteners like Splenda or Equal. After combining the cheese and the creams, spread some on top of crushed graham crackers pressed against the base of a dessert dish or a ramekin. Chill this in the fridge for an hour, and then pour some cherry pie filling on top.

                              5. Jayne’s Jello Cake

                              Jayne’s Jello Cake

                                Another dessert that is easy to make, Jayne’s Jello Cake is a gelatin-based pastry where you’ll combined the batter with Jello, bake it, and chill it. You also have the freedom to use Splenda or another sweetening substitute that is allowed by your diet, so you don’t have to worry about your carbs and sugar intake.

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                                Beverages

                                The whole point of following a strict diet is that you need to do it religiously so that you can achieve your nutritional goal without compromising on the food’s taste and quality. But sometimes it seems like frappuccinos, sodas, and milkshakes are too ubiquitous to ignore. You can put an end to this torture now as we give you five delicious drinks that will help you quench that thirst and keep yourself in healthy shape.

                                1. Frosty Chocolate Mint Shake

                                An equally sweet and refreshing drink for your palate, the Frosty Chocolate Mint Shake is prepared using Herbalife’s Formula 1 Chocolate, low-fat milk, and peppermint extract. Simply mix everything in a blender until it’s evenly combined, and garnish the smoothie with mint leaves on top. You can also substitute low-fat milk with soy milk, if desired.

                                2. Strawberry Banana Smoothie

                                A favorite among foodies, whether weight-watching or otherwise, the Banana Strawberry Smoothie is practically a household name in every diner. The good thing is you can make your own low-carb version with this recipe by simply replacing the usual whole milk with low-fat yogurt. And aside from the banana and strawberries, you can also add some kiwis to give this beverage a more tangy twist.

                                3. Lemon Meringue Smoothie

                                Lemon Meringue Smoothie

                                  If you’re partial to the sweet and sour tastes of lemon, the Lemon Meringue Smoothie is something you should try. This beverage makes use of plain Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, lemon, and lemon-flavored stevia. You can also serve it with slices of the citrusy fruit for a more refreshing experience.

                                  4. Sunrise Smoothie

                                  Sunrise Smoothie

                                    If you’re looking for a better drink to go with your low-carb breakfast, the Sunrise Smoothie would be the perfect answer. This smoothie is all about watermelons, cantaloupes, orange juice, and plain, low-fat yogurt. Mix these delights in a blender until smooth. You can also serve these with slices of the fruits you used if you’re looking for a more filling meal.

                                    5. Banana Fruit Shake

                                    Another staple on any smoothie list, this Banana Fruit Shake can be prepared by using Formula 1 Vanilla, nonfat yogurt, bananas, and peaches. Combine all the ingredients using a blender until it’s all smooth.

                                    With these 20 recipes, there is no way for you not to stick with your diet, much less achieve your dream shape and weight. If you have any low-carb recipes that you want to share too, let’s talk about them in the comments section below.

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                                    Last Updated on August 20, 2019

                                    How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                                    How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                                    Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

                                    Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

                                    I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

                                    You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

                                    Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

                                    When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

                                    I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

                                    Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

                                    Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

                                    Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

                                    1. The Inner Critic

                                    This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

                                    • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
                                    • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
                                    • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
                                    • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

                                    The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

                                    Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

                                    2. The Worrier

                                    This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

                                    The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

                                    3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

                                    This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

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                                    This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

                                    The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

                                    4. The Sleep Depriver

                                    This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

                                    The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

                                    • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
                                    • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
                                    • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
                                    • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

                                    How can you control these squatters?

                                    How to Master Your Mind

                                    You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

                                    Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

                                    There are two ways to control your thoughts:

                                    • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
                                    • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

                                    This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

                                    The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

                                    Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

                                    For the Inner Critic

                                    When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

                                    You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

                                    For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

                                    You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

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                                    “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

                                    If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

                                    • They rile up the Worrier.
                                    • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
                                    • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
                                    • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
                                    • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

                                    Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

                                    Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

                                    For the Worrier

                                    Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

                                    Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

                                    You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

                                    • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
                                    • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                                    • Muscles tense

                                    Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

                                    If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

                                    Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

                                    “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

                                    Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

                                    If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

                                    Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

                                    Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

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                                    For example:

                                    If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

                                    “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

                                    Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

                                    “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

                                    Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

                                    For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

                                    Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

                                    The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

                                    • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
                                    • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                                    • Muscles tension

                                    I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

                                    Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

                                    Breathe in through your nose:

                                    • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
                                    • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
                                    • Focus on your belly rising.

                                    Breathe out through your nose:

                                    • Feel your lungs emptying.
                                    • Focus on your belly falling.
                                    • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

                                    Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

                                    Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

                                    One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

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                                    Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

                                    For the Sleep Depriver

                                    (They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

                                    I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

                                    Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

                                    1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
                                    2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

                                    When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

                                    From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

                                    For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

                                    If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

                                    You can also use this technique any time you want to:

                                    • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
                                    • Shut down your thinking.
                                    • Calm your feelings.
                                    • Simply focus on the present moment. 

                                    The Bottom Line

                                    Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

                                    You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

                                    Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

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                                    Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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