Food Tips, Tools

Food ITEMS and Ingredients

Caution:

  • please use caution about fats going down your sink drain. Fats that are solid at room temperature will quickly become solid when washed down the drain and harden in the drain pipes! This is a real thing. You might rinse out a pan with hot water and not realize how much of the fat (that is liquid in the warm water) will build up in your pipes. Consider wiping out pans or wiping off fat on plates before washing. This can also cut down on detergent use.

Allergies and Adverse Reactions:

  • food allergies have become much more common and they can develop newly or worsen at any age
  • food allergy reactions can be severe and even can be rapidly fatal, so please seek help promptly if you are having symptoms that concern you or if you witness someone having what seems to be a strong allergic reaction
  • many, many different foods can be involved in significant or severe allergy reactions
  • a change in diet can mean eating some foods much more frequently than in your past, or eating foods that are new to you, so pay attention to any symptoms you may have and take the possibility of severe allergic reactions seriously. Seek help or advice if you have any concerns.
  • I have spoken with people whose new way of eating has brought out previously-unrecognized allergic reactions to avocado, coconut, psyllium and chia seeds, among other foods.
  • some allergic responses are very confusing and difficult to figure out because they may happen in one circumstance and not another. For example, an allergic reaction may happen when the food has been eaten before exercise. Some people have food reactions that are related to their pollen allergy. This is called Oral Allergy Syndrome. In this situation, the foods that cause the reaction may be confusing because they seem unrelated, such as a vegetable, a fruit and a nut. Often (but not for everyone) the reaction to the food is only noticed when it is eaten during the corresponding pollen season, when the immune system is activated by the pollen exposure. Often (but not for everyone), the reaction to the food may happen when it is consumed raw and not when consumed cooked – making it particularly difficult to figure out. If you have any concerns, please discuss this with your physician.
  • food test panels offered by many types of practitioners and presented as a way to test for food allergies are not useful in determining what you are or are not allergic to

New products – are coming into stores as more people change their eating habits.

  • cauliflower in riced or pearl forms
  • spiralized vegetables
  • bulk almond flour in finer or coarser textures (matters in some recipes)
  • cheese crisps

Common favourites:

  • dark chocolate – generally 85% or more, most common favourite is 90% Lindt, but lots of other choices
  • whipping cream and other dairy – check the label and try to avoid added ingredients, such as emulsifiers and thickeners
  • there is a surprising amount of difference between different butters. You might try different ones to see if the extra deliciousness of one brand or another is something you find worth the extra cost
  • chia seeds used in recipes or meals

Fibre Sources – some people use specific fibre sources, although many just get their fibre from the vegetables, nuts and berries they eat. When starting to add a fibre source, start with a small amount per day, such as a 1/2 to 1 teaspoon in total, and try adding more, slowly, if you want. If you are adding any of these fibres to your day, remember to have enough fluids to drink.

  • flax seed (including ground flax seed) is a good choice. You can buy the seeds ground (be sure they are in a sealed package – for example, packed in nitrogen) or grind them at home using something like a coffee grinder. If grinding at home, just grind a small batch at a time (e.g. enough for a couple of weeks or so), put it in a small jar that you keep in the fridge or on the shelf in the freezer. Keep any ground flax in the freezer once the package is open.
  • plain whole psyllium husks – has no added ingredients and is light, flakey and somewhat powdery. Can be used in various ways, including simply stirred into a glass of water. This also makes a great thickener when cooking – for example, for sauces. People seem to do well with psyllium and it is my preferred first choice. I have had a number of folks say that added plain psyllium has greatly improved the digestive symptoms they had.
  • may people love using chia seeds, though some don’t seem to do well with them.
  • for any of these, you can find many recipes by searching generally online or by trying the major low carb sites – for example, flax seed crackers or chia seed puddings

Tools and Appliances

  • many people love using a pressure cooker, such as an Instant Pot. Many recipes, websites and even dedicated Facebook groups
  • yogurt maker – many use their Instant Pot (or other brand) if it has a yogurt setting
  • spiralizer – many people love these and use them often. I haven’t seen any strong preference for one brand over another
  • home soda makers – for example, simply plain soda water with a squeeze of lemon or lime
  • ice cream machines – sounds surprising, but home-made ice cream is a big deal in the low carb community – especially for people who are not eating very low carb or with kids or spouses in the home who are not eating very low carb – recipes galore
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