Cookbooks and Surviving the Low-Carb Life

We are a house divided; nutritionally speaking. Two of us readily resist the pull of grains and carbs, while the rest of us eat what they like.

A while back I reviewed the book Keto Clarity after a friend asked my thoughts about it. We had a robust discussion here about the pluses and minuses of that lifestyle. At the end of the day, I rejected the plan for two reasons. The first is that I didn’t think I could sustain it long term, and the second is that I really enjoy eating fruit. Fruit is the thing that satisfies my desire for a little something sweet, and there’s very little margin in the keto life for regular servings of fruits, or many vegetables that I love, such as carrots.

Along the way to that conclusion, however, I ran across a lot of really great recipes in ketogenic cookbooks. These are helpful, for while I am not interested in living the keto life, I am fully committed to a lifestyle that restricts starchy, carbohydrate laden foods.

Among the keto cookbooks I most enjoyed were the wonderful Mark Sisson’s Keto Reset Diet Cookbook, as well as Dirty, Lazy, Keto. Both of these have great recipes, but most of my cooking and eating is more aligned with The Whole30 approach to nutrition than the keto approach. One thing from the ketogenic approach that I have really appreciated are the bread recipes. I have not embraced the rejection of bread the way many people seem to be able to do.

Last night’s dinner was a big salad topped with seared ahi tuna slices. Given that everyone in our house had been out for a run yesterday morning (and I’d done some weight training later in the day), I knew that the salad alone would be little light after a long, hard day. So I decided to make dinner rols to serve on the side and add a little heft.

For those who preferred the traditional bread option, there were yeast rolls:


For those of us who didn’t want the yeast rolls (I wanted them but they are antithetical to my fitness goals), there were these keto rolls from a recipe I found at Kerbie’s Cravings:


So everyone was able to enjoy a roll with their salads, and the inspiration for that came from my time perusing ketogenic cookbooks. One thing I have learned is that not all keto breads ar ecreated equal. Many taste very eggy, which I don’t like, but these rolls have a wonderful texture and mouth feel.


I don’t often review cookbooks, and I don’t often use them despite having many on our bookshelves. However, switching from the standard American diet was a revelatory transition, as I’d never really considered how nutritionally sparse our diet had been until I began to give it more scrutiny about 8 years ago. Reading cookbooks during that time helped to spark my culinary creativity.

What role do cookbooks play in your cooking and eating life? None? Some? A lot?



4 thoughts on “Cookbooks and Surviving the Low-Carb Life

  1. bikebubba says:

    My mother was an avid collector of cookbooks, and I’ve followed in her footsteps–starting with the Better Homes & Gardens cookbook, going more now to things like Julia Child and James Beard. Even though these are more “standard” than Keto, the differences between them and “SAD” are amazing. I am, however, starting to get rid of a fair number of things like church cookbooks simply because if I want to “use a package of this or that, mix it with this, etc..”, I can just go into the aisles of the grocery store I don’t visit very often these days. I’m trying to persuade my kids of the same thing–that looking up recipes online simply isn’t the same. Sometimes it’s a hard sell.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Elspeth says:

    My favorite traditional cookbook is “The Gift of Southern Cooking” by Edna Lewis and some dude whose name I don’t recall. That’s followed by BH&G, America’s Test Kitchen, and Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat. The latter is about the overall food content than the recipes per re.

    Because I have found that there is a definitive and concrete link between carbs and managing my weight that wasn’t as clear 5 or more years ago, I’ve had to open up my mind to creative ways to enjoy my favorites.

    Hence the alternative bread rolls.


  3. Elspeth says:

    ‘Tis true. Technically, avocado is a fruit. And I really like avocados, but it doesn’t do anything for my sweet tooth, LOL.

    Believe me, I’ve tried the whole never eat any fruit but berries (very limited season!) thing. It just sets me up for a big failure later. I find much greater success eating the rainbow. And surprisingly (thanks to my husband) sprinting workouts. I never would have thought at this stage in my life I’d be doing this kind of exercise. Jog, yes. Sprints? Never. But never say never!

    It’s summer. Peaches and nectarines are perfectly perfect right now. And they’re low in calories at least if not low in carbs.

    Liked by 1 person

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