So much of low-carb focuses on dairy and eggs, which I can’t eat. And red and processed meat, which I often can’t eat (due to cross-contamination). And so I thought I’d start a thread for dairy-free, egg-free low carb.
The fact that I can’t eat any diary or eggs is a huge part of the reason I stopped eating low-carb about a year ago. But I have a few new tools in my toolbox (especially for travelling) that I didn’t have back then, so I thought I’d give it another try.
(I should caveat by saying I am not necessarily going ULTRA low carb. I did have half an apple in my salad at lunch. But for sure 50 grams a day or less.)
I thought I’d start this thread to document my progress and to share some of the things I eat and especially some of the strategies i use as someone who can’t eat out while travelling.
Yeah, not being able to eat eggs is specifically why I stopped. I just found it too overwhelming, especially when travelling. But over the past year I’ve found the blood sugar rollercoaster and higher A1c even more annoying, as well as the impossible effort of losing weight that is going nowhere, so I decided to give low-carb another go.
So far today I’ve eaten chia pudding for breakfast and a huge salad for lunch. I’m feeling lazy, so dinner will probably be just some chicken dipped in something, ha ha. For breakfast tomorrow I’ll have chia pudding and for lunch I’ll probably have tuna, avocado, and vegan mayo. I haven’t needed any snacks so far, but I have on hand pistachios and safe dark chocolate.
I was going to attempt to make some low-carb bread today, but I discovered I don’t have any coconut flour. So that will have to wait until another day. [ETA: I found coconut flour that expired last month! It’s not 100% safe (Bob’s Red Mill, which I typically avoid), but I’m going to give the bread a shot since it may flop anyway. I’ll update this thread with the results!]
For a drink, I’ve had tea and stevia. Right now I’m having cocoa in hot water with mint tea and stevia. Tastes like mint hot chocolate. So yummy.
I always find it amazing how two days of eating low-carb can drop my average blood sugar from 7.8 mmol/L (140 mg/dl) to 5.8 mmol/L (104 mmol/L). And that’s with having lowered my basal rates by 0.2 u/h.
Low-carb, dairy-free, egg-free bread is in the oven. Fingers crossed!
I should also caveat this thread by saying that two days ago I also started an untethered regimen by taking 25% of my basal as Tresiba while the other 75% continued to be delivered via pump. I did this because my allergies have been worse lately and I had a metal infusion set “die” on me on Friday after about 12 hours of good use. I’ve done untethered before, and it seems to smooth out the highs caused by allergic reactions to infusion sets. So this may have an impact on my control as well.
My bread turned out edible! And holds together! It’s a bit too salty (my own fault for including 2 g too much salt) and it has a strange colour, definitely not the colour pictured in this recipe. But it’s definitely worth a second try at some point. My second try will be with a mixture of sunflower seed and pumpkin seed flour to see if I can make a nut-free version (so I an take it for lunches on days I’m working in schools or flying on planes).
Also, this is my second night sleeping through the entire night with no alarms. This is a big part of my motivation.
I’ve come to the conclusion that part of the reason I quit low-carb is that I had to mourn eggs. I had to come to realize that if I wanted to eat low-carb, it would be somewhat boring without eggs and dairy. But that’s OK. I’m hoping in time I will develop more dishes and recipes, and in the short term, the options I have are okay. I fee so much better in general when eating low-carb!
Today was another great day with my blood sugar. It included a 30-minute stationary bike session, where I actually suspended my pump and then ended up correcting because I probably didn’t need to suspend it, or at least not as much. According to Dexcom, over the last two days I’ve had 99% of readings in range (I have the range in Clarity set to 4.0 - 10.0 mmol/L or 70-180 mg/dl), 1% low, and 0% high, with an average blood sugar of 5.7 mmol/L (about 106 mg/dl).
Meals today included chia pudding for breakfast (I’m experimenting with this, as it’s still not my favourite), some dark chocolate for snack, tuna fish and nuts for lunch (planned to bring vegan mayo but forgot), some nuts for snack, and cauliflower rice and chicken for dinner.
Of course, so far it’s all been easy. The real test will be when hormones start to hit, which should be any day now…
I’m so excited to read about your successes! Congrats on sleeping and having better control. I’m so glad that the benefits are visible quickly. That’s great news!
Thanks for sharing the process. And if I come across any good recipes I’ll send them along. The bread color thing happens with sunflower seeds and baking powder too, I think. I once made some green sunflower seed butter cookies. Tasted good, but looked like St. Patty’s Day fare.
I want to call this an “okay” day, but really, that seems crazy. So another great day! This includes a 45 minute workout (the spike around 5 pm, me suspending my pump in anticipation od dropping, then giving repeated correction boluses as I exercised; I’m guessing I don’t need to suspend for workouts on low-carb) and eating some non-low-carb coconut ice cream (that I bought thinking it was low-carb) in the evening. Oh, and I also lowered my basal rates a bit more today and then forgot to take metformin this morning. So a great day, all things considered.
It’s amazing how much better I feel in general eating low carb. I hope it keeps up and it’s not just a fluke.
I was feeling very frustrated with allergies lately. Had to increase antihistamines, lots of random hives and weird reactions, and a restaurant I emailed (we’re having a work lunch there later this week) never responded, meaning I’ll just sit there while everyone else eats. (Which I don’t mind, but doing so almost always results in some social awkwardness…sigh.) So it’s so nice that my blood sugar is behaving so well lately!
Do you suppose the allergies are truly random/not related to the diet change? I hope they simmer down and quit causing you hives.
And I’m sorry that restaurant didn’t get back to you. That’s a bummer. Maybe a quick phone call to prod them along? I wish everywhere was like Disneyland (they’re very good about allergies it seems…) and would send the chef to counsel you.
Glad the diet change has had good results so far! That must be motivating to stick with it. Yay Jen!
I think the hives are just idiopathic hives, which my allergist said aren’t really caused by allergies but are more like an autoimmune issue. I’ve been told the same thing about my atopic dermatitis. But both have just been making me itchy lately. Combine that with the grass pollen levels rising, every old infusion site I’ve had for the past month is randomly itchy, and weird reactions I seem to be having to filtered water in my office (I mean, really?!?!) and it’s all just annoying!
I’ve eaten out twice this year and have had reactions both times. So my feeling is that if a restaurant isn’t interested in communicating with me about some basic allergy questions (like do they use potatoes on their grill) then that’s probably a bad sign in terms of them being careful to accommodate me. It’s possible that they didn’t get the message, but I’m just feeling a bit paranoid in eating out in general, especially when it’s just for a work function and not some amazing restaurant I really want to try. It’s funny, because I ranted about this on an allergy group, and someone with very similar allergies and severity to mine mentioned that Disney is the only place she eats at. I’ve never been, but that is on my bucket list.
I woke up this morning at 6.1 mmol/L with another flatline all night. So that is definitely motivating! I think eventually I will hit a wall where I struggle to keep this up (I mean, I’ve been eating the same things practically every day), but I haven’t hit that point yet. On the weekend I’ll try a few other recipes I have filed away and will update this thread with the results.
That’s a really good point! I didn’t think of that when it seemed like a communication error. And since it’s not a place you’ve been excited to try, skipping makes sense!
Disney is fun, and they have a good understanding of allergy issues and handled it amazingly! Our friend was allergic (anaphylactic reaction style) to pineapple. Which is in a lot of stuff! So they helped out with that, and were rad about gluten free. I didn’t feel like either of us were a bother or judged which was sooo nice.
I now remember about the ideopathic hives. It’s coming back to me. We discussed it at some point somewhere? I’m thinking that is reassuring that it’s not something you’ve been eating! Still sucks. But at least you sorta know why? I was having a lot of random hives earlier this year and I managed to get that to resolve with daily Allegra. It’s the first antihistamine I’ve been able to use regularly without crazy psycho side effects. I hope you figure out how to make the itching go away and are feeling good soon!
Today was not a great day—and a perfect example of why I got frustrated with low-carb before and truly cannot understand how people can get months-long flatlines unless they are male.
It looks decent, but that’s because I was giving corrections every 30-60 minutes throughout the entire day, starting with a rapid spike from 6.1 mmol/L to 9.5 mmol/L in the morning that happened just as I was leaving for work but before I’d eaten breakfast yet, and took multiple corrections to come down. I also upped my basal rates by 25% throughout the day. My energy was overall good today, but in the evening I crashed and slept for a few hours, and without constant corrections, my blood sugar rose quite a bit.
I’m almost definitely sure this is hormones, because the timing would fit. I will probably up my basal rates even more if the highs continue. I’ve just done an IM injection after waking up, so hopefully I come down soon. It will be interesting how the next three weeks of hormonal chaos play out while eating low-carb.
Yesterday I ate chia pudding for breakfast, leftover chia pudding and some dark chocolate for lunch, nuts for a snack, and chicken and mustard for dinner (my version of “take out”). My work went out for lunch and I went but didn’t eat anything because the restaurant served Beyond Meat burgers, which meant all the grills were cross-contaminated along with the deep fryer and everything else. The restaurant was super busy and noisy (always makes me nervous) and the restaurant had never responded to an email inquiry I sent last week, so I didn’t even bother asking about accommodations. Energy levels were great.
Blood sugar, not so much. I was high all night and woke up in the morning at around 11 mmol/L. During the morning and early afternoon things were okay but it required two treatments with glucose tablets to prevent lows. Then during the evening I had two back-to-back lows of 2.8 mmmol/L and 2.3 mmol/L. I totally over-treated the second low because clearly the treatment for the first hadn’t worked, but realized pretty quickly that I’d over-corrected so corrected my over-correction. In the evening I set a 12-hour temporary basal rate of -20%. I ended up being high all night and woke up this morning at 12.7 mmol/L.
I’ll admit, these are the days I find incredibly frustrating. Especially knowing that, if they’re caused by hormones (and hormones do seem to cause this frustrating insulin resistance alternating with insulin sensitivity for their first few days or week) it’s going to continue for another three weeks or so. Though I think my frustration yesterday was probably heightened by the fact of not being able to eat out on top of the blood sugar chaos…
Ah, well. Today is a new day and it’s a Friday! Hopefully it’ll be a better day with my blood sugar.
Still struggling with highs. I’ve raised my basal rates by 40% across the board at this point. Yesterday I ate chia pudding for breakfast and lunch (it’s not that I like it so much that I eat it twice, it’s that I dislike it so much that I leave half to finish later…) and chicken and cauliflower rice for dinner. In the evening I just said, screw it, and ate some cereal.
Energy level was still great yesterday, though. I’ve lost about seven pounds since cutting down on carbs and increasing exercise. Yesterday I walked for 1 km up a hill from work without my ankles and calves killing me, which I wasn’t able to do a year ago. I also carried a heavy grocery bag home without my elbows killing me, which surprised me. So that is awesome and good motivation to continue despite my blood sugar being so difficult.
Sorry to laugh but lol…I am not a fan, either. “Thankfully,” my gut hates chia seeds, too, so I legitimately can’t eat it.
Woohoo! That’s awesome!
The past three days I’ve trialed eggs baked in things again (of course I went with homemade paleo pop tarts and donuts, because if I was going to react to the eggs, I wanted it to at least be tasty!). I am very relieved…no reaction so far. I’m going to run with this and not even try straight eggs (or mayo…), because I’ve just eaten eggs baked in things for over a year, and I’m comfortable with that. It certainly opens up my diet quite a bit.
Can you do nuts (specifically almonds - almond flour) and bananas?
After spending most of yesterday running high, I’ve finally gotten back into range!!!
It only took a 57% increase in basal rates.
Interestingly, I got a smart scale the other day in hopes of having something other than weight to track (I know these things are not totally accurate, but I don’t care about totally accurate, just a general trend). I tried it out yesterday and today, and both times it said my water % was low. I know from when I get things like blood draws and IVs that I seem to always be dehydrated, and I also have problems with edema at times. So I’m going to try to drink more water and tea and see if that helps my all around health. Also, since starting low-carb my heart rate (which I also have problems with) has dropped significantly. So all of these are good!
Yesterday I had some cereal for breakfast and popcorn mid-day (and low-carb the rest of the day) because I was feeling frustrated, and all that corn really upset my stomach. So that is more motivation to continue!
I think if I could just figure out hormones, I’d be on top of everything.
Yeah, I have tried to make myself like it, but… It’s okay when it’s brand-new, but as it gets older it gets thicker and that just makes it gross. This morning I’m going to try 1/3 chia seeds, 1/3 hemp hearts, and 1/3 coconut shreds and see how that tastes.
I’m so glad baked eggs work for you!!! I did some research a while back looking at if baked milk/eggs work for people with eosinophilic esophagiits, and studies show it does work for the majority of people (I think it said 70%). But I haven’t gotten my courage up to try it yet. I had an exposure to a drop of milk several months back and it caused my throat to react for a month, including an impact like I hadn’t had since before diagnosis (the type where I’ve been directed to go to the hospital). Luckily it passed quickly enough that I didn’t have to go to the hospital, but that was a close call. One of these days I may try baked milk and/or eggs, though. I do have to look up what “baked” is because my understanding is it takes a pretty high temperature (like 350° F) to break down the allergen proteins. So that would mean things like scrambled/boiled eggs and melted cheese would be out still.
This morning I may try scrambled tofu instead of chia pudding. We’ll see how lazy I feel.
Yes, I eat almond flour and other nuts every day. I do avoid nuts when I’m working in schools and travelling on planes, which is why I like to try to use sunflower seed or pumpkin seed flour when I can. But I definitely can do nuts. I would be devastated if I ever re-developed an allergy to them (used to be allergic as a kid but outgrew it).
I’m allergic to raw bananas, but cooked/processed bananas seem okay. I would have to do some research to figure out how to not cross-contaminate my entire kitchen with raw banana if I were going to bake with it, though. (I have the same issue with tomato…raw tomato I’m definitely allergic, but cooked/processed seems okay, although once I did have a tingly mouth and hives with tomato sauce, but we’ll just ignore that as every other time it’s been fine.)
This morning I had chia seeds combined with low(ish)-carb, plant-based chocolate protein powder and almond milk topped with strawberries. It was significantly more tolerable than my other attempts at chia pudding. I think the protein powder helped a lot in terms of texture.
Ambitious dinner tonight: low-carb, dairy- and egg-free pizza crust made with almond flour and psyllium husk powder and some other things. Topped with tomato sauce, homemade almond basil ricotta, chicken, bacon, and homemade hemp-seed based Parmesan cheese.
Also, the pizza was DELICIOUS! Absolutely fantastic. I have leftovers for tomorrow that I can’t wait to eat. I will definitely be repeating this recipe. The ricotta cheese baked into the pizza crust was SO GOOD! Best pizza I’ve had in years.
(The little spike in blood sugar near the end is because I had some non-low-carb coconut ice cream, not from the pizza. I had three slices, each of which were 8 grams of carbs with 5 grams of fibre.)