Food preparation and shopping smart are the first steps in low carb success. Without the proper tools and variety, it is easy to get bored or overwhelmed fast. Replacing your ingredients and buying fresh is the first step. Getting the tools to keep your meals interesting and easy will help keep you on track for the long haul.
A food saver seems like the kind of tool that a restaurant would use, and for good reason. Now there are personal food savers made for home kitchens. These devices come equipped with special food saving bags. The sealing machine is for portioning items to keep them at optimal levels of freshness. When meat, chicken or seafood goes on sale, this is exactly what you need to stock up your freezer. By sealing the meat and removing excess air, you can avoid spoiling and freezer burn. You can even marinate, seal, and freeze so that your food is ready to cook when you defrost. You can use the food saver on cooked meals and store in the freezer or refrigerator to keep for longer. The FoodSaver 2-in-1 Automatic Vacuum Sealing System comes with a bonus starter kit. I have found it well worth the purchase price and the counter space. It has saved me so much time and money. Produce and proteins can be pricey in the supermarket and buying on sale is the smartest option. Think of all the food you can cook in bulk when it is on sale and then freeze it properly for later use. I also use it for leftovers that I know won’t be a big hit two nights in a row. Having a cheaper way to eat right is definitely a worthwhile investment.
Snacking is a bit tricky when you eat low carb. There are definitely choices but not ones that are always available. The nature of this diet cuts out unnecessary snacking in favor of real full meals. A dehydrator makes real foods into snacks. You can produce items like beef jerky, zucchini chips, kale chips or dried berries. You can season your ingredients and pop them into a dehydrator to crunch up. It is also a good tool for preserving foods so that they don’t go bad. Herbs and produce don’t have the longest shelf life, but drying them out extends their use. I got the Nesco American Harvest Snackmaster Express Food Dehydrator as a gift. It has been more useful than I ever imagined. We make healthy snacks in advance for work and travel. It saves us money and we always have interesting low-carb foods on hand. The device has a fan circulating air to cook the food at a safe temperature. It is a great way to snack on the right foods and you can pack them for traveling to tide you over.
Pasta is a big no in the low carb world, but the cream sauces and cheese served with pasta is not an issue. A vegetable spiralizer eliminates the pasta problem. I use the Spiralizer Tri-Blade Vegetable Slicer and love it. It comes with 3 blade attachments that give you the options of spiraled shape. The machine is durable for the use of most vegetables. Spiraling up your veggies lends variety and nourishment to your meal. Spiraling is a sure-fire way to know what you are eating, and know that it’s good for you.
Hard boiled eggs are a low carb staple and an egg cooker will boil your eggs to perfection every time. A good tip is to prepare a bunch of eggs at once and keep them in the fridge. You can add to a salad, serve deviled, or eat plain. An egg cooker is simple but helpful when you are using eggs in your diet on a daily basis. I recommend the KRUPS Egg Cooker which has a 7 egg capacity. It has a water level indicator and is perfect if you end up cooking eggs at least several times a week. Eggs are high in nutrients and a great filling snack.
Containers are not a novel idea, but finding a sturdy container is worthwhile. Not all containers are microwave-safe, dishwasher-safe, and spill-proof. A container that meets all the above criteria is an absolute must in lunch prep. Get one with a few compartments to help you pack a balanced meal. It is eco-friendly and cost-effective to buy a good container. You will reuse it daily instead of cycling through cracked supermarket plastic or Ziplocs. Try the Fit Factor Collapsible Meal Prep Container. The cover clips into place and collapses for easy storage. These containers are also big so you are not limited to tiny portions like most lunch containers. I have several which works great for any special diet and work and school lunches. I also use them for the beach and picnics.