Carbohydrates have a bad rep. However, carbs are friends AND food. They are necessary to any and every diet. Our bodies break down digestible carbs into sugar, which then triggers insulin production. Insulin is what tells our bodies to absorb this sugar which gives us energy to exert, and also helps in the important process of sending sugar to our brains and throughout our bodies.

Cutting carbohydrates out of your diet is not realistic, but there are ways to tailor your carb intake by knowing the good versus bad. Eating on a low-carb diet has its pros and cons. During this past year, for health reasons, I’ve had to count carbs before I eat anything, and it has factored largely into how I structure my meals.

Some of my favorite foods, like chai lattes and pancakes, are on the high end of the spectrum of carbs. There are some super easy and healthy ways to transform your high-carb meals into low-carb ones, and the outcome is just as satisfying and delicious. Some of these ways include:

1. Substitute coconut milk or almond milk in your coffee drinks.

2. Substitute bulgar or quinoa for brown or white rice.

3. Add egg whites to anything you can. Eggs have no carbs and lots of protein.

My favorite meal is without a doubt breakfast, and breakfast recipes are often loaded with the not-so-good carbs. Of the many recipes I’ve tried out, here are a few of my favorites.

1. Banana Oatmeal Pancakes


Photo by Shivani Mandavilli

These pancakes call for rolled oats instead of flour, a banana instead of sugar, and many other substitutes that drastically cut down on carbs. I personally prefer to substitute chocolate chips with blueberries.

2. Blueberry Almond Meal Cookies


Photo by Shivani Mandavilli

These breakfast cookies are the perfect way to satisfy your sweet tooth while staying low-carb. Substituting all-purpose flour for almond flour makes a huge difference, and also gives the cookies added flavor. Honey is a healthier, more natural way to sweeten any baked good.

3. Oatmeal


Photo by Shivani Mandavilli

Nothing can beat oatmeal for a filling, healthy breakfast. I recently learned that rolled oats are so much better for me than instant oatmeal. I’ve tried oatmeal with raspberries and strawberries, but my favorite will always be bananas. Add a tablespoon of peanut butter for protein or check out these vegan toppings to spice things up.

Eating low-carb doesn’t mean you have to stop eating your favorite foods. Eating this way has made me feel a lot healthier and full of energy, and hopefully you’ll love these recipes too.