Smart Substitutions for Lowering Carb Count

5 Smart Substitutions to Lower Your Weekly Carb Intake – including recipe links!!! 

In response to my homework prompt I received on my last appointment visit, I have decided to do a little exploration into the world of food substitutes and alternatives. As you may already be aware, my favorite food group has always been “Carbs.” Needless to say, being on a low-carb diet has proven somewhat of a challenge for me. But never fear carb cravers – there’s many options healthy options and alternatives to curb the carb count of some of my old favorite carb laden meals.

Fettuccine Pasta

With my Italian background, my family and I have always loved to celebrate get together and holiday events with pasta. It has always been a go-to meal for my husband and I on the weeknights because it is so simple and easy to make. Most pasta sold in the supermarket however is loaded with carbs that can quickly derail your low-carb diet. Beware, while Dreamfield’s is a brand of pasta that claims it is low-carb, if you check the back of the box, you will find out technically it is not!

A better alternative, in my opinion, is called Carba-Nada with only 24g net carb per serving! Hallelujah! The trick to eating a healthy meal of pasta is load in the protein and veggies. Don’t make your plate piled only with noodles and sauce.

Try this super delicious recipe from the Carba-Nada website:


Typically high in carbs due to the amount of flour needed to make them, Pancakes are unfortunately one of those breakfast items that I think you should treat yourself to only once in awhile. But they can’t be an everyday indulgence. Using almond flour instead of regular flour or even wheat flour is a surefire way to cut back on the carbs.

 Almond vs. Wheat Flour

100g of almond flour = 20g carb (approx.)
100g of wheat flour = 73g of carbs (approx.)

I found my favorite lower carb pancake recipe on All Recipes with only 243 calories and 10g of carbs per serving!


Macaroni & Cheese

Let’s be honest, sometimes you just need that cheesy goodness to warm your belly. The key with treating yourself to mac and cheese is portion control. There are a lot of “faux” recipes out there, but I don’t think you can replicate the true deliciousness of mac and cheese any other way than using noodles. However, as with pasta, you can add veggies and protein and sub cream for half/half or milk to cut down on amount of fat and “beef-up” your recipe with hearty and nutritious ingredients.

I found a recipe that that calls for a whole pound of squash.  With 31g carbs & 260 calories per serving you will have to limit your portion intake! But just an example that carbs in moderation can be done, even when eating your favorite comfort foods.


Mashed Potatoes

You could say mashed potatoes are somewhat of my weakness. There is just something about it that I can’t ever seem to get enough of. Did you know cauliflower can be a great partial substitute for your favorite mashed potato recipe?? (I didn’t until Dr. Christy told me!).

Rather than completely swapping potatoes out, here’s a recipe goes half and half and combines it with greek yogurt and garlic for flavor. Note to carb & calorie watchers: This recipe has huge portion sizes so I would recommend only half a cup with 14 net carbs and 84 calories. Yum!



There are just a few ways to reduce your cab intake. But even when eating carbs I always remind myself of the following so my carb control doesn’t get ‘out of control:

  1. What’s my total carb intake? For the day.. for the week.
  2. Always supplement with veggies and protein (don’t just eat the Mac N Cheese)
  3. Track it & Factor it Into Your Week
  4. It’s not one day that kills your waistline… it’s a series of bad days :)

These are just an example of some of the low carb alternatives and substitutes I have found but there are tons more out there. If you have your own favorite low-carb recipe substitute, please email to LiveLight so I can try it.


6 Weight Loss Tips to Start Your Healthy Weight Journey

Starting your weight loss journey can be daunting. With so many diet books, diet advice, and diet plans out there – keeping it all straight and simply starting can be hard. And figuring out how to lose weight the best way for you – just overwhelming. Set yourself up for weight loss success with these 6 easy weight loss tips.

  1. Find a plan that works for your life. The first key is that any diet can work if you stick to it and no diet will work if it doesn’t fit into your life. The key is to seek out sound medical advice from a certified and experienced professional.
  2. Start using a food journal. A simple trick to start your on your weight loss journey is journaling. And that doesn’t have to be with a pen and paper. There’s a ton of great apps out there like MyFitnessPal to help you get started. People who use a food journal have 50% better weight-loss success than those who don’t.
  3. Assess your carb intake. Looking at the daily carbohydrates in your diet. Research now shows that carbohydrates are responsible for driving our hunger and causing more weight gain. Everyone’s metabolism is different. You should assess your carb intake and determine what’s right for you.
  4. Little things make a big difference. Another tip is to remember that little things do make a difference. Dieting is not all or none. When you open that pantry door – think to yourself – are you really hungry? Walking away when you’re really not hungry can sometimes improve your weight-loss by another 3 or 4 pounds. Just remember that one extra M&M can cause you to gain weight on the average 3 to 4 pounds a year – so yes, that extra little bite does make a difference. The Just Walk Away Tip: Hang signs on your refrigerator or inside your pantry door that say, “Why Am I here?”, “Am I really hungry?”, or “Do I Really Want to Eat That?” to remind you to think about it.
  5. Bad Days Happen. Maybe it was pizza with the soccer team. Or you just really need to have that ice cream. Don’t beat yourself up if you have one “bad day”. Remember – It’s a lifestyle of “bad days” that can cause us to gain weight. One day is not going to do that. Just don’t let the habit form.
  6. Develop a weight loss support system. Don’t go it alone. Enlist a friend for a weight-loss buddy. Someone you can share successes with and help you if you have setbacks. Or find a weight-loss professional that can help you with education, medication and other medical advice as you may need.

It’s not supposed to consume your life and it takes time – that’s normal! So don’t give up.


Calories: 3 Sneaky Ways They Cause Weight Gain

A calorie is a unit of energy that is burned to raise the temperature of water by one degree Celsius. Or in words we actually understand: A calorie is a way to measure the amount of energy you’ll receive in the food and drinks you consume. Calories are good for you–well most of them. They get you up in the morning; feed your brain during the day and help you feel comfort at night. However, too much or what type can be a bad thing. Here are just a few of the sneaky ways calories can turn from your energy friend to your weight-gain foe.

Read more