I spent the month of January and the beginning of February Carb Cycling (see my post here for more information) and it was a CHALLENGE! I wanted to see how I would like it and try something new in addition to my current program, more on that here. The program consisted of 4-5 meals a day of 4 oz protein, a tablespoon of fat and 2 cups vegetables, half your body weight in ounces of water and no snacking. OMG! Just reading that back it sounds horrible! It was not horrible but I found out pretty quickly it was NOT for me. What I liked about it was the team support and accountability. I had direct contact with the coach through a coaching app and a private Facebook group. I knew several of the other cyclers and we all shared notes on the side which was really helpful. It was great knowing I was not alone and I liked the camaraderie of the group.
What I found difficult was the shopping, preparing, cooking and meal prepping for the week. I didn’t like that part when I did The Plan, or when I dabbled at Whole30. It is not that I mind eating the same thing over and over again, I quite like that.
I am a creature of habit, structure and convenience. I crave convenience.
My days are busy and I am always racing from one place to another and carb cycling was not convenient for my lifestyle. Besides the meal prepping, it was carrying everything around when I was commuting; while wearing a huge winter coat I was lugging a tote, gym bag, and then a bag full of Tupperware was not my favorite. I started transferring all my meals to baggies to cut down on the weight.
While I didn’t like all the requirements to get, make and eat the food, I really liked how I felt. I was hungry one or two days while I figured out the portions, when to eat and how to work in 4 meals. I didn’t lose a ton of weight or inches, but I slimmed down and felt leaner. I slept well, lost cravings to sugar and on our full carb day I didn’t actually go crazy but enjoyed my two carb shakes (vs one low carb) and a delicious meal with wine.
For me, it was a great way to kick off the New Year with a twist to my regular program and since carb cycling is a 6 week max program once or twice a year, I am excited that it is behind me. I learned some new recipes and how to make more things ahead of time.
More Importantly, it made me love and appreciate my healthy program even more than I already did!
One recipe I used over and over again was this one for Low Carb Egg Breakfast Muffins. It is super easy, delicious and you can pretty much throw anything you like into the mix. I made it with just veggies and sometimes added cheese or cooked sausage. I would take three with me to work (3 is a serving size for a meal) and heat them up in the microwave.
These pictures are from my first round of making the muffins and I realized at that time it is easier to mix one egg at a time, pour it into the muffin tin and then add the other ingredients. I had greased the tins and have non-stick but they still crusted all over and were a mess to clean that first time, so I started using baking paper so they wouldn’t stick. If you have any other tips or a similar recipe you would like to share, please leave it in the comments for everyone to enjoy!
- 1 bell pepper (your favourite colour)
- 3 spring onions
- 4 little cherry tomatoes/one normal tomato
- 6 eggs
- 1 handful spinach/ green leaves
- 2 slices cheddar (2 slices = around 50g; you can use different cheese too)
- ½-1 tsp salt
- 4-5 splashes hot sauce (or curry powder)
- reheat the oven to 200°C/ 390°F.
- Wash and dice the pepper, onions and tomatoes. and put them in a large mixing bowl.
- Wash the spinach, lightly chop it and add it to the bowl as well.
- Add the eggs and salt. Mix well. Pro tip - crack the eggs separately before adding. That way if you get a dodgy one, it won’t ruin the whole meal.
- Optionally add some hot sauce, curry powder...whatever you like. Hot sauce is great!
- Grease the muffin tin with oil and kitchen paper/baking brush and pour the egg mixture evenly into the muffin slots. (If you think they might still stick to the pan use some muffin cups or cut out some baking paper and to use as cups - definitely saves time on doing the washing up 😉
- If you’re so inclined then layering some cheese over the top of each muffin before they go into the oven is a delicious addition! You can also mix in the cheese to the batter.
- Pop the tray into the oven for 15-18 minutes or until the tops are firm to the touch.
- Bon Appetit!!