12. Common Questions about Specific Foods – Whey Protein, Diet Soda, Protein Bars, Chocolate, Zero Carb Noodles and Rice
People have a lot of questions when it comes to the slow carb diet. Some people don’t like beans, some people don’t like eggs, and it can be difficult to see the alternatives.
To start with, breakfast can be difficult for a variety of reasons. Maybe you can’t stomach a full meal or perhaps beans just don’t agree with you. Another common complaint is that mornings are for workouts, and a workout on a full stomach doesn’t work, but eating after the workout means it’s not within an hour of waking up.
Here’s a range of suggestions for common scenarios:
- Changing slow carb meal ingredients
Any time you’re looking to trade out regular slow carb meals for alternatives, always consider that a complete slow carb meal is made up of lean protein, legumes (beans or lentils) and vegetables. If you’re looking to switch things out, then remember that getting 4 slow carb meal-equivalents is key to success. So don’t trade a whole meal for a protein shake, for example – you’ll miss the vegetables and the legumes.
- Can’t stomach eggs and beans in the morning
If you’re looking for an alternative to eggs and beans in the morning, consider trying red split lentils (boiled for around 10 minutes) and salmon instead. You’ll be surprised how little you need to get enough food, and adequate grams of protein (30 grams minimum)
Avoid protein powders as much as you can. Only use protein powders as a last resort, because they’re not technically part of the slow carb meal recommendations and can have an affect on fat loss. If you need to rely on a protein powder regularly, make sure it is whey isolate or whey concentrate, and not flavored at all and mix it with water only. Artificial sweeteners do not help fat loss at all, and worse still can be bad for your health when taken over a period of time. If unflavored whey protein with water is not tasty enough, try adding a dash of cinnamon for some flavor. Adding some ice cubes can help too.
The unflavored whey powders I recommend are the following by NOW Foods:
1lb to try it out:
5lb to save in bulk:
If you are in the common workouts-are-in-the-morning club, then one suggestion is to use a protein drink before the workout, and then after your workout enjoy a breakfast of veges and beans in regular meal quantities, with a smaller amount of protein than a usual meal. Note the above recommendation to use unflavored whey protein powder.
Meal Replacement Bar/Protein Bar
If you’re looking for a meal replacement bar that is ‘slow carb friendly’ – there really isn’t one. Most of them have some form of carbohydrates that is not slow carb at all – be it filler, sugar, or a combination of things for texture. Going for ‘low carb’ snack bars and the like, even if they are ‘protein health bars’ still doesn’t yield good results.The best, in-an-emergency snack bar I have found, that I limit to 1 per week, is by a company called Pro-Max – they do an all-natural, low sugar bar that includes 14 grams of fibre. They use stevia as a sweetener, which is a natural alternative to chemicals like Nutrasweet and Splenda, derived from a plant. They do include some sugar, however it is offset by the fibre, and the high protein content (19 grams). It includes some fat, which I see as a good thing, and all round is the best one I’ve found. It also tastes really good.They make a chocolate fudge bar:
And a peanut butter bar:
Sodas and Pop
If you are looking for soda/pop that is slow carb-approved, Tim mentions drinking Diet Coke in the book, however we all know this is sweetened artificially, which I try to stay well away from. He mentions a limit of 2 per day.A better option, in my opinion, is a soda that is sweetened naturally, using Stevia leaf extract. Named ‘Zevia’, the flavor is great – it’s the soda I drink myself, and happily can say the Ginger Ale and the Cola flavors are particularly delicious, and they even do a caffeine-free Cola. Other options include ‘Dr Zevia’ and ‘Mountain Zevia’. I would still limit these to a few per week, if possible, but they are a much better alternative to artificially sweetened cans.
Lemon Lime Twist:
Caffeine Free Cola:
We all have those cravings that come knocking at the most unusual times, and sometimes it’s good enough to put on our cheat day list, but other times it can be difficult to focus on anything else! For those times, an alternative that won’t totally derail progress on the slow carb diet is what’s in order.
For anyone who is having dreams about chocolate, here’s an alternative that, according to its nutrition, shouldn’t slow down fat loss too much, if used every now and then.
If this chocolate is eaten, I’d recommend limiting any fatty meats for the day, so, for example, only having egg whites (not whole eggs), avoiding lean red meat, and sticking with turkey and chicken, just so your day’s fat totals are more similar to a regular day.
Check out the stevia sweetened dark chocolate here (which only has 9g of net carbs in a serving,and 0g of sugar!). They use a sugar alcohol which is superior to maltitol (which you may have seen on labels) – Erythritol – that is ingested, but doesn’t have an affect on blood sugar, and doesn’t get used as energy, so effectively it has close to 0 calories.
There’s a range of flavors: Mint Chocolate, Orange Chocolate, Regular Dark Chocolate
Zero carb noodles and rice
If you’re getting sick of beans, but want to have a full meal of food, these might be a great option once in a while. Sound too good to be true?
That was my exact first reaction when I heard about these. However, I have done my homework, and it turns out these noodles aren’t some magical product (despite the name.. ) they are simply a plant fibre (all fibre), turned into a noodle that’s a lot like rice noodles. The difference between these and rice noodles is that they have no starch – they’re all fibre. What that means is that although the are eaten as food, no part of them is absorbed (as is the case with all fibre), and therefore they pass straight through you.
There’s an additional benefit that comes with these noodles – they slow down digestion of the other food you eat with them. So, if you’re craving a tomato based pasta sauce (no sugar added), but you’re worried about the natural sugars and carbs in the tomatoes, then these noodles will help them be absorbed more slowly.
If you have heard of the weight loss supplement ‘PGX‘ – these noodles are produced from the same plant that the main ingredient of PGX is produced with. Just that these are food, compared to taking a tablet with a meal.
Be careful not to replace too many bean meals with noodle meals, because you’ll be likely to under-do your calorie requirements, leaving you potentially under-eating and holding on to fat. However, for an occasional change, I would recommend these noodles as a great option.
They have angel hair,fettucini and other variations, plus a ‘rice’ product that is also zero carb!