Carb Counters - Lunch Ideas?

View Full Version : Lunch Ideas?

01-24-2011, 04:25 PM
Hi! I am new here. I usually hang on the calorie counting board but I'm thinking of trying Atkins. My husband did Atkins for almost a year and lost 130 lbs. (he started over 400 and is not at his goal weight yet) so I already know alot about what to eat. He went off it for a few months due to pain (unrelated to atkins but when you are in constant pain the diet goes out the window) and in the 3-4 months he's been off of it he's only gained 5 lbs but he wants to get started on it again once he returns from the Mayo clinic (he's up there for 3weeks for treatment). He followed Phase 1 six days a week and then for ONE meal he would cheat each week (usually pizza lol) and he still lost a ton of weight but again he had a lot to lose.

I thought maybe i'd do it with him this time around. Before I did the same dinner and snacks as he did everyday but I'd have cereal or oatmeal for breakfast and my usual lunch which is a lean cuisine or a soup and yogurt or something like that. My husband wasn't working when he was on it so he as able to make lunches at home but I'm at work so i have access to a fridge and a microwave but I tend to like lunches I can just throw in my lunchbox and be good to go.

Any ideas on low carb easy or ready to eat lunches to take to work?


01-24-2011, 06:20 PM
How about tuna salad or egg salad with lc mayo?
Big a meaty salad with lc dressing?
Celery stalks with almond butter or cream cheese?
Premade low carb chili (no beans)
cottage cheese with vanilla and nuts and splenda?
Leftovers from supper ?
Crustless quiche?
Lettuce wraps ??
Lc sausage with mustard and veggies?
Cheeseburger no bun and homemade coleslaw?
I usually have salad with meat, eggs etc. Or not too hungry so some almonds and celery sticks or a v8 and coffee

disclaimer I have never done atkins just lc so be careful with the dairy
not sure if it's permitted

01-24-2011, 09:00 PM
does LC = Low Carb? Just wondering. I am not sure I really want to do "Atkins". I know I could NOT do the induction phase. I did try for a few days with my husband and i felt sick and cranky and my husband was telling me to go eat some carbs. lol I want to do something that allows for 'good carbs' in moderation but is mainly low carb. I am leaning towards South Beach. I don't know. I'm still researching. :) I have Insulin Resistance PCOS so there is even an IR diet too.

Thanks for the suggestions. I guess i will just have to start making my lunch the night before. I'm not awake enough in the morning to put together salads and stuff in the morning. :)

01-24-2011, 09:52 PM
Hi Elizabeth,
LC= lowcarb sorry I was typing earlier from a really small keyboard (itouch) so using lots of abbreviations. :)

I have done South Beach, and lost weight during Phase 1 (which is pretty strict; it's low fat but you are allowed some dairy and beans) but transitioning to phase 2 I had a long stall . I pretty much had to stay on phase 1 and a quarter :) LOL I think it's for people who a) can tolerate some grains without craving b) don't feel comfortable eating moderate fat

I also did Protein Power and CAD< never Atkins. CAD was nice but its easy to go overboard on the carbs during the reward meal. I ordered Primal Blueprint and Taubes' new book, and I think I m following the principles of Protein Power and Primal Blueprint, with a few slight tweaks so that I can do this for life ;)
Here' s what I'm doing currently:
No sugar
no grain (will add a few in after I get to goal, possibly)
no starch
all I care to eat protein, lean or fatty
all I care to eat fats (nuts, butter, healthy oils)
limited dairy , and cream in my coffee
lots of low GI veggies
limited fruit (and nothing off the chart GI wise ) mostly clementines, apples and berries
I do consume artificial sweeteners, and caffeine
I am only on week 2 (this time) but I feel better, not bloated and heavy all the time.. and I love how the moderate fats in the plan are far more satiating than the South Beach foods (in my opinion). I also believe in Taubes theory (that fat is not to fear, except when you are also having tons of carbs)!!

In short, I probably have 40 to 60 carbs a day and eat everything else until satisfied.
re the salads, I hear you! I know a few girls who prepare one big one and use it as a base all can add everything in except wet stuff like tomato, and then throw in a couple grape tomateos. or prep everything and then put it into one of those compartmentalized containers like you can get veggies and dip or fruit and dip in big platters at the deli? put each veg in each seperate compartment and then it would only take a sec in the morning..and it would also help for when you first get home, famished.. put it on the counter and have a few veg while preparing supper!

I hope you find the plan that is the right fit for you, or don't hesitate to make your own!:)

01-24-2011, 11:20 PM
I follow the same type of plan as Natalia, except for this month or maybe longer, because I'm not finding it difficult, I've cut out caffeine completely, dairy products, grains and sugar. The only thing I really miss is wine :cheers: :lol: but in about 10 days I'll be able to cheer with a nice quiet glass of wine and some dark chocolate...

Ok, to get back to the question at hand :lol: I always make sure I have leftovers from the night before and that's what I eat for lunch, 99.9% of the time...

01-25-2011, 11:39 AM
Natalia- Thanks for the input! Your plan sounds totally doable. That was another thing with Atkins it frowns on caffiene and artificial sweetners (or the old one did the new one does not I believe, but I haven't read it yet). I thought of making my own up but I didn't want to screw everything up. :) I've been coutning calories since I was 11 so its going to be really hard to break that habit. Right now I'm trying to eat up (or throw out) all the 'bad carbs' in the house before my husband gets back on the 1st and I'm not buying more. I went to the store last night and only bought low carb stuff so I am half doing it now. :)

Meanwhile leftovers may be how I will want to go. I like having something warm at lunch. :) Salads are fine too but I don't want to get saladed out. :) Also I am already known as the 'healthy eater' at work (i work with all men who are constantly bringing in and eating baked goods their wives made), I can only imagine the comments if i start bringing a salad everyday. Not that it will deter me but still. lol

Back when my husband was on Atkins I never got more than 200g of carbs even with a carby breakfast and lunch and they supposedly consider that low carb and since he's been off I've been losing and gaining the same 5 lbs over and over. :P So i definitely think it was working for me.

Thanks for the replies!

01-25-2011, 03:36 PM
The reason you probably felt sick in the past is known as the Induction or Atkins flu. Many people think that Atkins is "not for them" because it doesn't make them feel well. The sickness/fatigue and headaches or whatever symptoms you have go away if you stick with it and you're left with a ton of energy. Quitting because you don't feel well is a common mistake among people starting Atkins.

Good lunch ideas are cauliflower/tomato soup, parmesan chicken strips (check out the what's for dinner thread in the Atkins section for my recipe, you can omit the spicy stuff if it's not for you), egg salad, salami rollups, a "snack" lunch like cheese sticks, almonds, salami, olives and celery/cream cheese, "hot" salads like spinach with hot bacon dressing or taco salad, sandwiches on a flaxseed one minute muffin (recipe is in the Atkins forum, they're safe for Induction and the flax helps with constipation as long as you're drinking enough water). Spinach/zucchini lasagna, hamburger patties wrapped in lettuce, chicken/tuna salad...there's many possibilities.
Check out for great LC recipes. Recipes marked with * are safe for Induction.

01-25-2011, 07:37 PM
Thanks again Linsy! You are a wealth of information. I bookmarked that page. I was constantly looking for new recipes when hubby was on Atkins!

01-26-2011, 08:52 PM
That is wonderful you're considering low carb. I'd really encourage you to read Gary Taubes or listen to some Jimmy Moore podcasts. If you don't want to spend a dime, you can find some lectures or interview Gary Taubes has given. If you don't buy in to eliminating fruit, you can do a "paleo" diet instead of Atkins. Sugar: The Bitter Truth is another youtube video you might want to check out.

For lunch, the easiest thing is to make a larger meal the night before for dinner and then use leftovers.

For lunch today, I had big bowl of ground beef & veal with a side of broccoli. Tomorrow I'm going to have a turkey thigh and some spinach. You can eat cold, leftover meat such as steak or chicken over some spinach and even throw in some avocado and as many types of veggies as you'd like. Make "tacos" by seasoning meat and serving over lettuce with salsa and avocado. Yummy.

01-27-2011, 12:44 PM
Athena- Actually a Readers Digest article about Gary Taubes' latest book is what got me thinking about joining my husband again (feb issue, i think). :) Thanks for the info on those podcasts and youtubes. I will check them out! I think I can live without fruit for a few weeks and then you start adding them back in, right? My husband is not a fruit eater so it didn't bother him. I love my blueberries, strawberries and apples and the rest I don't really care about and the berries are low carb so I think that's good. I can't live without my diet coke and other sweet stuff so I think I'd find Paleo harder (no artificial sweeters right?).

Taco salad is a fave (without the edible bowl) my hubby and I made those often when he was on it and I actually prefer it to tacos now. We had taco night the other week and I did not like the tortillas with my meat, lettuce and salsa. bleh. lol I made a bowl with the lettuce and toppings for my seconds.

Looks like I'll just have to start making enough to insure leftovers. :D

Meanwhile I love your quote in your signature Athenacapella! So true. :)

01-31-2011, 02:39 AM
I'm another one doing Natalia's plan. :) I've done induction a few years ago, I don't find it necessary for me, I can lose weight fine with 50-60 carbs. I don't think I was ever "addicted" to carbs, I just mainly cut grains, that's what makes me gain weight, I've always eaten somewhat just natural foods. I was doing 60 carbs with phase two then, so I thought I'd just pick up from there.

I was vegetarian for a while, that's why I was off Atkins, though I know it's possible to do it, was just really hard for me. Today I eat one or two portions of fruit everyday while doing low carb, so don't worry about fruit, you just have to pick the right ones. Some fruit I include are papayas, strawberries, peaches, plums, tangerines, they can really fill me up (as in, isn't just one nut!). I read a lot about berries too, but I haven't found any to buy in my country.

I'm not drinking coffee right now, but I would if the mood strikes. :)

ETA: Sorry, I didn't actually answer your question! I just wanted to encourage you on your decision. I don't find I need to be very creative with lunch, but with "snacks". I just go with meat and veggies, but I would like to suggest deviled eggs, then! :)

01-31-2011, 10:05 PM
well whaddaya know

Irish Michelle
01-31-2011, 10:38 PM
If you're a sandwich fan, one thing you can do is roll up your favorite deli meat with some cheese and maybe a bit of mustard or other condiment. Then microwave for just 15 or 20 sec until the meat his hot through and the cheese has begun melting. This is SO easy to pack to take with you to work.

I also love to fry cheese - just dump 1/2 cup to a 1 cup into a small pan over medium heat and let cook for 5 minutes. Let cool a couple of minutes and remove from pan. It gets all crispy and the cheese really develops a deeper flavor. I like rolling this up in my deli meat b/c it makes me sort of feel like I'm eating it on toasty bread. However, I don't know how well it would work if you made it in advance and brought it with you. It certainly wouldn't be warm anymore, which is part of the appeal, but it might still be crispy, which is nice when you're missing bread.

02-18-2011, 02:02 AM
These are all great ideas, thanks as lunch is my hardest meal! Salads only go so far, and sometimes I can't tolerate lettuce because of other health problems.

03-09-2011, 09:33 PM
Lunch is actually really easy for me -- it's the one meal that I feel good about! I almost always do leftovers, but my new fave leftover is crustless quiche. I found a fantastic recipe and it is SO good! The best part is, you can change your add-ins to whatever you feel like. I do spinach and cheese or ham and cheese and broccoli. I just mix whatever up and have a couple of slices with a small spring mix salad (I also put on grape tomatoes, some monterey jack cheese, and sunflower oil with salt and pepper) or some fresh berries (only about 2 to 3 oz.). But I also do the snack plates with pepperoni, olives, cheese, and then whatever else. But usually that is enough. And last but not least, PROTEIN SHAKES. I make one I got from another LC site called a 'blue and green'. It has spinach, blueberries, yogurt, protein powder, some almond milk and LOTS of ice! SO GOOD! And SUPER filling! If you go to and type in low carb protein shake recipes, tons come up. Hope this helps and..... Good luck if you decide to do it!

joyful retiree
03-10-2011, 08:33 AM

Some folks just can't cut the extreme LC of Atkins induction, but do well with starting with OWL. You might also be interested in reading Life Without Bread. Dr. Lutz advocates around 72 NC daily, citing this as an empirically proven number at which a pre-insulin era mild case of Type 2 Diabetes could be controlled with diet.

Atkins has stood the test of time & proven itself to be effective over & over through the past few decades. HOWEVER, something like Life Without Bread or South Beach is far healthier than doing nothing or constantly falling off the wagon if you just can't stick with Atkins. There is nothing shameful about compromising , if you are improving your health & find a WOE that you can live with.

Good Luck with whatever you decide on.