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One of the most difficult challenges in a low carb diet is finding low carbohydrate bread substitutes. I love bread and given the option I would eat hard roles or French bread slathered with butter at every meal but most breads are simply off the menu in a low carb diet.
Finding bread substitutes can be difficult especially if you are a bread-a-holic like me. Pepperidge Farm makes several reduced carbohydrate breads that are both tasty and satisfying though usually more expensive than regular bread at the grocery store. I am particularly fond of the Pepperidge Farm reduced carb oatmeal. Arnold Bakery also makes a reduced carb bread although we have not been able to buy it locally, I am told that they still make it and that it is sold in some markets around the country.
You may have heard of a thing called the gluten-free craze. It is big and it is powerful and it is leaving people who are perfectly able to digest wheat crazily confused.
We don’t want to add to the confusion, but whether you are trying to rid yourself or your wheat belly or you don’t want to feel the heaviness that accommodates a high-carb meal, there are other options. There is a time and a place for bread. However, these alternate options can be enjoyed just as much and can give your ho-hum sandwich the old heave-ho:
Peel a cucumber if you like that sort of thing, but we love the nutrient rich skin which adds magnesium and potassium to your body. Cut the cucumber lengthwise and scoop out the seeds (they don’t have to go in the trash: consider adding them to your smoothie). Place anything you would place in between bread: we love roasted red peppers and turkey, or cream cheese and dill. If you are transporting, keep your cucumber sandwich wrapped in plastic wrap in a sealed container so that it retains its crunch.
As if we had to ask you to eat more of this super creamy food. Instead of leaving whole and topping, scoop out the flesh and dice it. Use the skin as a way of transporting the fillings for your sandwich. Think of it like a deep dish pizza. We like thinly sliced radish and scallions for a little natural heat (with your avocado flesh of course), or even tomatoes and cilantro for a Mexican variation that will feel like eating a bowl full of guacamole.
Think of the lettuce cup as acting in place of a tortilla. You can always transport the lettuce cups and toppings separately (think grilled chicken, tempeh, salsa, thinly sliced red onion and jalapeno , but there are no rules. This is your chance to clean out the fridge!). This is guaranteed to make your lunch companions jealous. If you have a really big leaf, wrap the fauxwich like a burrito.
With their meaty texture, grilled or raw portobellos work well to satisfy a hearty appetite. Treat them as you would a hamburger bun. De-stem, clean and de-gill to make sure that your bread replacement isn’t holding any dirt. Then fill and if you are a meat eater, a slice or two of bacon will work be heavenly.
These vegetables are only the beginning for a new world with different vehicles for toppings. Delicious, light and inventive, you can get creative ideas by whatever is on its last legs in your fridge.
Another interesting alternative to bread is the low carb wrap. There are several companies coming out with delicious low carbohydrate wraps. We found several brands at one of our local grocery stores that show a net carbs of less than 5 grams. Some of these new wraps have special flavors like spinach and herbs and tomato basil and some are very similar in texture and taste to regular soft tacos.
You may not find these products in every grocery store in your area. We have several grocery stores that we frequent and only one of these stores carries the low carb breads and low carb wraps so be on the lookout for them at a grocer in your area.
Wraps are especially good because they can be loaded with meats or canned tuna for a quick and easy lunch. You can also use certain wraps as the dough for thin crust pizza. I like to use a wrap around an Italian sausage or bratwurst cooked on the barbeque grill. You can even find low carbohydrate hotdogs and use the wraps as a hotdog bun.
Another bread substitute is romaine lettuce leaves to make a cold cut sandwich. With the lettuce leaves the added benefit of green leafy fiber, which is great for keeping things moving through your body’s digestive system.
It is important in any diet to eat lots of water foods like lettuce and other green leafy vegetables and to drink as much water as you can. In the process of losing weight, as fat cells purge their stores of fat molecules they release a significant about of toxins that get stored along with the fat. Drinking lots of water flushes out these toxins and keeps you from feeling queasy during the day.
If you are a lover of bread like me and have chosen a low carbohydrate diet to lose weight you may find the suggestions above of help to you in satisfying your desire for breads and other, off the low carb diet, foods.