It’s a new week and a new meal prep menu, this week I’m focusing again on low carb which is great for losing weight and/or if you’re a type 1 or 2 diabetic. We will look at carbohydrate counting and how to measure out the correct portion size to the amount of carbs you will need. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA) your daily intake for carbs should be around 135-230 grams, which includes 45-60 grams per meal and 10-25 grams per snack.
Why count carbohydrates vs. calories? I’ll break-it down, counting calories involves applying “calories you take in” against the “calories you put out”. When counting calories to lose weight you must burn more calories than you eat. See Craig’s article are on How To Get Ripped for further explanation on counting calories. With counting carbohydrates you are counting the amount of carbs per meal that you are taking in. When eating foods with lower carbohydrates, you’re promoting your body to lose weight without even hitting the gym. Now that’s not to say you shouldn’t incorporate exercise into your daily routine but simply it’s just an easy way to look at food without having to factor in how many calories you will need to burn. Another pro I’ve found being a type 1 diabetic and counting carbohydrates is that I can predict about how much insulin will be needed with each meal using this system, which ultimately gives me tighter control with my blood sugar numbers.
I did some research on the web to help me find out which foods I could use in my meal prep that were low carb. I came up with a list of fruits, vegetables, and other items that had the lowest amount of carbs, so as I’m planning my meals I could refer to the best low-carb options.
Watermelon- 12 carbs per 1 cup
Strawberries- 11 carbs per 1 cup
Blueberries- 10 carbs per ½ cup
Grapes- 8 carbs for 20 grapes
Cucumber- 2 carbs per ½ cup
Bell Peppers- 9 carbs per 1 cup
Green Bean- 8 carbs per 1 cup
Tomatoes- 7 carbs in 1 large tomato
Broccoli- 6 carbs per 1 cup
Eggs- Almost zero carbs
Chicken, Beef, Lamb, Pork, Turkey, Fish- Zero carbs
Cheese- 0.4 carbs per slice
Yogurt- 11 carbs per 8 ounce
Grocery List and Price: Approx. $30
Now that we have a starting point with our carbs let’s move onto the meal prep and grocery list for this week. Just like in my last article “How to meal prep- Low carb, affordable” I will write out my grocery list along with the approx. cost for each item and total amount spent. This week breakfast will consist of yogurt/fresh fruit, lunch chicken kabobs/rice pilaf, and snacks fresh fruit/pretzels/cheese. I purchased everything from Target including the fresh fruits, vegetables and chicken (this week I’m including the cost of breakfast and snacks together because I’m dividing the fruit up between the two).
Breakfast and Snacks:
Plain Whole Milk Yoghurt 32oz. – $2.19
Blueberries 6oz. – $2.99
Strawberries 1lb. – $3.49
Blackberries 12oz. – 2.99
Cheese Sticks- $0 (already had at home)
Total Cost: $10.47
Fresh Chicken Boneless Skinless Tenders- 2 pks. $5.00 each
Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice Pilaf- 8.8oz. $1.98
Red and Yellow Bell Pepper- 1 each $2.99
Broccoli Florets- $2.99
Can of Pineapple Chunks w/ juice- $1.00
BBQ Squars- $0 (already had at home)
Total Cost: $18.96
First thing you will want to do at the start of your meal prep is prepare your chicken tenders and marinate. Now I used a very simple but delicious marinate only using 5 ingredients which I will list below in the recipe I used. Just remember with this recipe there are a few carbohydrates so try to factor that into your carb count as well.
Chicken Kabob Marinate Recipe:
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup BBQ sauce (your choice on flavor, I used hickory smoke)
½ cup pineapple juice (I used the juice from the can I bought)
Dash of garlic (I always keep a small jar in my refrigerator but you can also use powder)
Dash of onion powder
Mix all ingredients in a bowl, cut up my chicken into 1-2 inch pieces, pour your marinate over the chicken pieces and mix to coat all chicken evenly. I cover and put in the refrigerator for about 4 hours before putting on the grill.
Breakdown of each meal:
1 cup of plain yoghurt= 15 grams of carbs.
Fruit including: 5 blueberries, 2 strawberries, 5 blackberries= about 6 grams of carbs.
Total Carbs= 23 grams
• Side Note: Now I know this isn’t enough carbs to complete one meal but I know I will have coffee and will include the milk to complete the rest of my carbs. But you may feel like adding in a piece of whole wheat toast just to bump you carb intake up to the recommended amount.
Small bowl of fruit and cheese: About 5 blueberries, 4 strawberries, 6 blackberries= 8-9 grams of carbs/ cheese= 0 grams of carbs.
• Side Note: Again if this isn’t enough carbs for you feel free to add a few pretzels or maybe some cheese-its.
3 strawberries, 3 blue berries, 8 blackberries= 10 grams of carbs.
1 stick of cheese= 0 grams of carbs.
18 pretzels= 21 grams of carbs.
Total Carbs: 30 grams
Chicken 3 tenders= 0 grams of carbs.
Bell Peppers 1 cup= 9 grams of carbs.
Pineapple chucks 6 pieces= 12 grams of carbs.
Rice Pilaf ½ cup= 26 grams of carbs.
Total Carbs: 41 grams
Your grand total of carbs with breakfast, lunch, and 2 snacks will equal around 103 grams, leaving you with about 32 grams left for another meal (dinner). This may not seem like very many carbohydrates and again you can always add in a piece of bread with butter, a few crackers, or even some sweet potatoes to up those carbs. This is just personally what I eat to help many not only my weight but blood sugars and have found that it has worked amazingly. Let me know your thoughts on counting carbohydrates and what foods you have found work best for you.
Hi my name is Jacque, I’m 31 years old and live in the beautiful state of California. I enjoy a variety of different hobbies and activities, but truly love spending my time with family and friends. I have a passion for cosmetology, fitness, and healthy living. I’m always searching to try new adventures and hope you will join me in this exciting journey of life. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or thoughts you may have.