But I don't have a perfect life. And I don't always prepare. Sometimes I dillydally so much in the morning (a.k.a. catching up on my favorite blogs), I barely have enough time to remember to bring my work bag or to-do list.
It's not easy to eat on the go when you're first starting a low-carb way of living. In this starchy world in which we live, high-carbohydrate and high-sugar convenience meals are everywhere. They're practically available on every street corner.
Low-carb meals aren't as easy to find. You may think if you don't prepare ahead of time, you'll have to choose between suffering hunger pangs all day or giving in to the carbs, but you don't. You have options. Lots of them.
Here are some tips to help you hunt down your favorite low-carbohydrate foods while on the go:
~ Your better local grocery stores usually have a salad bar. Make a salad using your favorite toppings. Add cheese, bacon bits, avocado, chopped egg and sunflowers seeds for added satiation. If the dressings at your salad bar don't have nutritional labels, go for blue cheese dressing or red wine vinaigrette. It's wise to taste them first for sugar; you know how that little devil likes to hide in all sorts of prepared foods. If the choices look suspect, choose olive oil and vinegar with a dash of salt and pepper.
~ Where I live, we are lucky enough to have not one, but two In 'n Out Burger restaurants, a California institution known for their tasty, fresh and high-quality burgers.
After years of being on Atkins, I finally mastered the ideal low carb way to order a burger. Ask for:
"A double- double", which is two beef patties with two slices of American cheese
"Protein® Style", no bun (yep, they trademarked it)
"mustard only", no ketchup and no full-of-sugar special sauce.
The tomato and onion options are up to you. I usually skip the tomato and go for raw onions.
If you don't have an In 'n Out where you live, try a Five Guys or another fast food burger joint in your area. Ask if they have a bun-less version of their cheeseburger.
~ Find a place that sells food to-go: pre-packaged or made-to-order. Choose a Caesar (hold the croutons), chef, Greek or Cobb salad. If you have time, take a load off and dine at your favorite restaurant. That's what my husband and I did yesterday. Here's his gorgeous Cobb salad.
~ At the deli counter, order a few slices of roast beef or turkey and a couple slices of cheese. If they carry them, order a dill pickle, a container of olives or pickled peppers. They might even have sliced bell peppers and other vegetables you can ask for as sides.
~ If you only need a quick snack to get you through until your next meal, pick up a single string cheese and a small bag of almonds or macadamia nuts at a convenience store or gas station.
~ I'm not in favor of regularly relying on low-carb bars and shakes. They are usually full of artificial ingredients and don't taste that great either. But if you are really in a pinch, buy an Atkins low-carb bar. They carry them at Target, Safeway, and Walmart.
Get to know what low-carb foods your local markets, convenience stores, big box stores, delicatessens and even your gas stations carry so you're never left with an empty stomach or tempted by a high-carb convenience meal.