As someone who has to watch their blood sugar and blood pressure, I discovered eating lower carbohydrates keeps things under control. I have to medicate my blood pressure but am watching carefully to keep my blood sugar under control. One thing I noticed and was sad to see that pasta had to leave my diet as it sent my blood sugar up and my blood pressure followed.
I absolutely love pasta, and even trying the “whole grain” didn’t really work for me. So a friend suggested I use zucchini noodles, which, too be honest did not appeal to me. But I thought why not? So I used a potato peeler to create “noodles” they were not the best looking but they worked!
I started researching products that would help me create the look of noodles in a better way and came across this vegetable spiralizer. It is small but will create these gorgeous noodles from not only zucchini but from any harder vegetable.Credit: amazon.com
Amazon Price: $49.99 $28.99 Buy Now
(price as of Dec 6, 2016)
Brieftons 5-Blade Spiralizer
This one is a hand crank style, so you can take it anywhere, comes apart easily for the dishwasher and takes up very little room for storage. (This is an issue for me, since we downsized I have to be very careful the appliances I add back into my kitchen!)
It comes with extra blades that can slice or spiralize super fine, which would be great for garnishes too, such as on desserts or salads. I love the idea of taking this up a notch and spiralizing all kinds of veggies for dishes.
It is a great way to add more “raw veggies” into your diet. A carrot salad or beet root would also add lots of color to salads.
You can do this by hand, but I find it quite labour intensive plus I am left handed which can make it awkward, so I have added this to my “wish list” this year. I think I traumatized my kids about getting me gifts for the kitchen years ago when cooking wasn’t really my thing when we were so busy working and raising the kids. One pot meals and stir fries were my specialty. But fast-forward a decade or two and I am enjoying trying different dishes now that there is a bit more time.Credit: amazon.com
If you still like the idea of creating the vegetable noodles by hand, you could use one of these mandolins. These do not spiralize the same way but still give you the long spaghetti style of veggie pasta.
Below is a great video on making an awesome tasting zucchini pasta dish, and he uses this manual version of a mandolin. Much better than my potato peeler option! I had to cover mine with sauce so you didn’t notice their hacked up shapes!
Spiralizer Cook Book
There are so many cool ways to create soups, snacks, and meals by using this process. It makes cooking faster and easier when the veggies are pared down this way.Credit: amazon.com
Amazon Price: $16.99 $10.40 Buy Now
(price as of Dec 6, 2016)
Low Carb, Paleo, or Gluten Free Eating
When I had to start watching my carbs, I was already sad about losing many desserts I loved. But next in line was breads and pasta. I was able to pare down the bread by changing the brands and eating less of it, or pairing it with protein, but pasta was a hard one to give up. I found it comforting, but unless I wanted to be on more medication I had to pay attention to my body.
Food is comfort, and you have to find things you will enjoy to stick to changing diets such as with low carb, paleo or gluten free. The less packaged foods you purchase the better. There is a whole aisle in my supermarket dedicated to gluten free, but most of it is packaged, and unfortunately they tend to use more corn starch and sugar in place of the gluten, so the more foods you can create from scratch the better it is for you.
Invest in a few “tools of the trade” and start recreating your old favourites. Sometimes it doesn’t work, but I have to tell you the veggie pasta does work. But I also love the idea of spiralizing it into shapes that can be added to all kinds of recipes.
Healthy Eating - One Step at a Time
You don’t have to suddenly throw everything out and start again; it is too hard on the emotional side. Start with baby steps, something new each week.
Step One – Add more servings of vegetables to your day. If just grabbing a piece of celery or carrot doesn’t appeal to you, spiralize it and add it to your salads, or create this veggie pasta like in the video. You get a lot of servings in one meal. You have to make it interesting or you won’t do it. I found changing things slowly worked for me. I lost a few pounds and am keeping my blood sugar and blood pressure in check.
Your reasons for coming away from pasta and breads may be different than mine, but there are some great alternatives out there without having to buy fancy specialized expensive packaged foods. Start making your own. For the price of a few extra kitchen tools you can save on those packaged options and create fresh foods from scratch fast.
Get Inspired to Try New Dishes
This was hard for me, as I have my tried and true comfort foods, but I decided to try new things, and was able to recreate some of my dishes in even a tastier yet healthier way.
If you take one step at a time, you will slowly begin to change and your body will thank you.