Many will simply declare “cheat day” and proceed to engage in a culinary free-for-all, the likes of which border on legendary. Or infamous, more accurately.
I don’t recommend that–and not just because of the scale, or feeling bloated and sick after a carb binge, or the cravings that come back with a vengeance in the days following a big cheat. It’s not even the way “just this once” slippery slides into “eventually I’ll get back on track.”
Those are all valid considerations, but my reasoning for avoiding the cheat day is a lot more straightforward.
For low carb to work, FOREVER, it has to be part of your everyday life. It cannot be an on-again, off-again deal. It has to fit into your life. It has to be sustainable! Stop thinking in terms of “diet” and start thinking in terms of “just how I eat.” This is low carb zen, right there. You don’t just “do Atkins until you lose weight.” You eat this way forever, and get the benefits forever.
And it is quite manageable as a lifestyle, provided you’re willing to make the choice to adopt low carb as your lifestyle. Even at social functions, you CAN stay on track. There are so many party options that are already low carb! Wings, shrimp, veggies and dip, pinwheel meat rollups, or cheese and nuts are all great and tasty low carb options. There’s a good chance there will be plenty for a low carber to choose from at any respectable game day spread already.
But why not remove all doubt? You can be sure there will be low carb options at functions by bringing some yourself!
My first choice is usually going to be to make something, but if you don’t have time or you want something else, consider something like Atkins treats. I don’t eat them every day (most sugar alcohols don’t agree with me if I overdo), but for a party? Sure! I’ll gladly have a few Chocolate Peanut Candies or Peanut Butter Cups. It’s a much better choice than the full-sugar counterpart and I know, I’m not setting myself up in the process. The point is, you CAN do this.
Need your game day inspiration kicked up a notch? Check out the Atkins #GameDaySpread Pinterest contest for more game day snack ideas than you can shake a buffalo wing at. Yum! Here’s our Atkins #GameDaySpread Pinterest board to get you started.
And here’s my contribution: Cheesy Low Carb Veggie Bites. These taste best nice and hot, but you can easily make them ahead and pop in the fridge until you’re ready, heating them right before serving time. At just 2 net carbs for 5 of these little puppies, you can happily get your munch on. Just beware the temptation to nibble down your snack stash before the game starts!
Low Carb Veggie Bites
- 16 oz Cauliflower & Broccoli frozen
- 3/4 cup shredded Pepper Jack cheese
- 3/4 cup shredded Chipotle Cheddar cheese
- 3/4 cup pork rinds crushed
- 3 tbsp chopped green chilies
- 1 tea minced garlic
- 1 tea minced onions
- 3 tbsp bacon bits
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 3 large eggs
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a big bowl, mix all the other ingredients and set aside.
- Mince the cooked vegetables in the food processor.
- Mix the veggies and other ingredients well.
- Place the veggie mix in little bites or patties on a cookie sheet lined with silicone mats or parchment paper and pop in the oven. (Using a coffee scoop tablespoon, this recipe makes about 50-ish bites. I squished 'em down when I turned them over for a more nugget shape.)
- Bake about 25 minutes or until desired color, turning once midway through cooking.
- Serve hot, plain or use your favorite dip!
You could easily experiment with different veggies, cheeses and seasoning combinations. Use what you have is my motto! I used spicy pork rinds to add a little extra flavor. Note: I'd suggest over-seasoning, because the finished bites, while very tasty, were milder than expected based on the ingredients.
What are you serving for game day?
A big thank-you to Atkins Nutritionals, Inc. for sponsoring this post. The opinions expressed herein, however, are all mine.