Macro Experiment: Week 7 (5/2/16-5/8/16)

311115_e1c5755b3b6047a790e2206130da39bbBy now, you know I’ve been eating “low carb” for the past several weeks.  While I do get a bit of a bump on training days, it’s only a paltry increase from 100g to 113g, which equals around 50 extra calories from carbs.  When tracking macros, you quickly realize carbs are in EVERYTHING, so what do you do to limit them?  Use cauliflower and cloud bread!

Cauliflower – My New Favorite Food

I’ve never really paid much attention to cauliflower.  I would eat it from veggie trays at parties, but it never really impressed me.  Bland, crunchy, boring.  I never bought it, never used, never thought about it.  Well no more!  I was introduced to cauliflower rice and other various preparations for this overlooked veggie, and now I’m a Cauli-Lover!

Cauliflower rice is the simple process of grating the cauliflower florets or pureeing them using a food processor.  The end result is a coarse “rice” that looks similar to quinoa.  You can eat it as is, or flavor it in a variety of ways.

A cup of riced cauliflower equals around 30 calories and 4g carbs, which is very filling, especially when adding other vegetables, proteins or fats.

Here are some of the tasty variations I’ve created include:

  • Mexican rice (salsa, cumin, chili powder, red pepper flakes)
  • Lime & cilantro rice
  • Curried rice (great with Indian dishes!)
  • Special fried rice (shrimp, egg, mushrooms, carrots, coconut aminos, garlic, ginger)
  • Cheesy broccoli, chicken & rice (cheddar cheese, broccoli florets, coconut milk)
  • Tortillas/Wraps
  • Pizza crusts
  • Garlic cheese sticks
  • Buffalo cauliflower (roasted cauliflower florets tossed in hot sauce)

I’ve also run across several recipes I’ve yet to try like cauliflower tots, cakes/patties, and garlic mashed cauliflower.  Check out Pinterest for more ideas on how to use this versatile veggie!

Cloud Bread

Also known as “oopsie bread”, this item was a happy accident for a food blogger, which is how it got the “oopsie” name.  Since that time, it’s caught on in the low carb and health food world and has recently taken off under the name “cloud bread”!  The bread is very light/spongy (almost like a merengue) and made with eggs and a dairy source.  The eggs are separated with the whites being whipped to stiff peaks, while the yolks are combined with one of the following: cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, greek yogurt, cream cheese, goat cheese, sour cream, etc.  The whites are then folded with the yolks to create an airy batter, which is then spooned onto a baking sheet and baked at a low temperature.

I typically make savory breads, but the batter can also be made sweet and used in desserts.  Again, Pinterest is a great resource for recipe ideas, although my favorite way to prepare cloud bread is for burgers.  I add some onion powder, dill weed, and a pinch of salt to the yolk mixture.  The resulting buns pair perfectly with a lean burger patty and cheese!

What makes cloud bread great is that it is almost 100% carb free.  Instead, it’s a nice protein source, and while it isn’t exactly like bread, it’s close enough to give you the satisfaction of holding a sandwich in your hand without giving up a bunch of carbs.  They’re also the perfect little snacks if you’re craving something between meals!

I use two eggs and two ounces of fat-free greek yogurt to make 8 buns.  This comes out to roughly 40 calories per serving;  < 1 g of carbs, 5 g of protein and 3 g of fat.

The moral of this post overall is that you don’t have to give up foods you love when cutting macros/calories to reach your goals.  You just have to be creative!  In fact, I may make some “healthier” oreos for my protein shakes this weekend!

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