Whether it be piled high nachos or the mac and cheese with extra cheese sprinkled on top, everyone loves a good over-indulgent meal. Unfortunately these meals on a daily basis probably aren't the best options for your overall health, particularly for diabetics. All those carbs leave me with sugar spikes for hours which almost make them not worth it, (stress the word almost.) So, I hunted down some lower carb, healthier "cheat meals", as some call them, so that I can "cheat" more often.
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1. Mac & Cheese
My first ever gluten free mac and cheese was made with Banza's mac & cheese box (click here) and OH MY GOD. This brand has half the carbs, double the protein, and 8 times the fiber as a traditional mac and cheese and it was so delicious. Plus, this mac & cheese box doesn't require you to add any butter which makes a significant difference if you're watching calories. I added chicken to mine to make the meal a little more substantial and so that I'd need a little less of the pasta itself.
2. Burrito Bowl
I had one word for cauliflower rice- bland. Until I tried Hanover's Cilantro Lime Riced Cauliflower. This vegetable rice is so surprisingly tasty and satisfying! Don't get me wrong, I don't consider a burrito bowl to be a cheat meal. I've gathered an embarrassing amount of loyalty points on my Chipotle app. However, if you like to go to town on the rice when making a home-made bowl, this is a great alternative. I just added chicken, pinto beans, salsa and some fat free cheese (this actually exists in America and I'm all for it).
3. Spaghetti Carbonara
Pasta lovers will turn their noses up at this one, but I used zucchini as my spaghetti and I was very satisfied with it. You can get zucchini noodles (zoodles) in most food shops today but they're rudely priced. I would genuinely recommend getting this vegetable spiralizer (click here). It only costs 10 dollars which is the equivalent to only two packets of the shop bought zoodles. Return of investment is very high here. Anyways, I added some chicken (always), mushrooms, onions and a Carbonara sauce. Not the most photogenic meal I've ever made but here's a picture anyways:
As Dorito crisps are my favourite food in the entire world it's probably no surprise that a plate of Nachos is my favourite meal. However, it's a love hate relationship. I will never correctly estimate the amount of insulin I need to take with that excessive yet perfect amount of nacho crisps. As you can imagine, I was very excited when I came across Quest Nutrition's low-carb version (click here). Each packet only has 4g of net carbs!! This means you're obviously going to use two. I loaded them with pinto beans, 1/2 avocado, chicken, onions, red pepper and salsa. Stuff your face stress-free.
I saved the best until last. Quest Nutrition's low-carb pizza makes me happy. I've mentioned it in 90% of my posts but one more won't hurt. I always get the 4 cheese and add some veggie toppings. Only 6g of net carbs per serving means I only need 1.5 units of insulin for the ENTIRE pizza. Plus, it has about double the amount of protein as a regular pizza for any gym-rats out there.
These meals allow me to over-indulge completely stress free. If you have any more low-carb alternatives to the classic "cheat meals", let me know! Hope you found this helpful.