Going to finally really commit to low-carb. Past attempts have obviously failed. Please set me up for success.
There are a million bajillion books and websites out there which undoubtedly contain all the information I need, but I am overwhelmed and need to put info in one place that I can refer to, so hence my question. (This got long and feels really negative to me, sorry, clearly I just really need a place to start so any tips would be appreciated.)
I've half-heartedly tried low-carb in the past, but I think my fatal mistake was I just tried to, you know, cut out the carbs. But I didn't have a plan to replace the carbs with stuff that I could eat, and more importantly, that I liked to eat so much that I could feel it was sustainable.
I would get sick of chicken for lunch and dinner after like 3 days, and get sick of almonds for snacks after 4 or 5 days (in fact, just the thought of these foods still makes me want to give up before even starting) so what I really, really need is a list of ideas for simple snacks and meals that are low-carb and also have enough variety that I'm not sick of them after a week. I'm not a huge fan of meat, which I think is part of the problem. I like eggs and cheese. I can't stand sausages and salamis and pepperonis and that kind of thing.
And also importantly, I really prefer to buy meat that is not full of antibiotics and misery, so the meat I do like it eat is generally really, really expensive. Is there any way to low-carb that's not insanely expensive? Currently our grocery budget is $125/week for a family of 3.
I do like big salads, and beans (are those low-carb enough?), and stir-frys though I'm terrible at making stir-frys at home.
I think the main thing is that I am surrounded at work by sugar and carbs -- the candy bowl is between my desk and the bathroom, the vending machines are nearby, and we have a donut shop in the lobby. It's also a drive to get to anywhere with food from my work, so if I don't bring enough stuff to eat (that I really WANT to eat) for the day, I can quickly turn to the junk food options at hand. And then when I get home, I have a toddler and a spouse that both enjoy some carbs and I just want dinner to be done and sometimes we'll just end up getting a pizza or boiling some pasta and I don't know what the alternatives are to those cheap, easy nights. I mean, it's just as easy to throw chicken into the oven as it is to throw pasta into boiling water but oh my god chicken gets so old. (And I even asked a question about chicken
a few months ago. Some of them are carby, and some are too complicated.)
I generally make more dinner than we need so I can take leftovers to work the next day (and usually have leftovers for breakfast too, maybe I need breakfast ideas too, since starting out the day successfully would probably help -- it's easy to give up when it's 9am and you've been at work for 3 hours and realize you have no good options for eating right planned out).
I also have this problem where I cannot log what I eat, because I quickly become obsessive about what I'm eating and I end up having to abandon it because I'm thinking about it CONSTANTLY and it gets really mentally unhealthy.
So, I just really need a go-to list of low-carb things that I can eat that are really tasty and easy to make. And also any tips for staying with it, and not feeling deprived, and secrets that you've discovered. Help me really do this.