Meal Plan – adapting carb free for the family

medley of veg, family meal plan,Liberty on the Lighter Side

Meal Plan – adapting carb free for the family

Because Athol (my husband) is on a carb free diet but the kids are not (I sort of am too), this week I’ve had to prepare separate dishes some nights. This has meant quite a bit of extra prep, at the time of the day when I have the least patience and energy. It’s much quicker and easier to boil a pot of pasta or rice to accompany a dish (ok for the kids but not for him) than to chop up and stir fry a medley of Mediterranean vegetables (great for him but ‘gross’ for the kids) and time consuming to have to do both!

It took me a few days to realise that I could outsource some of the less onerous cooking duties – Athol and the kids are willing chef assistants, provided I don’t have a Gordon Ramsey moment when things don’t go my way.  And apart from the fact that I actually love the veggies myself, it’s been good for the kids to have to try and eat things they wouldn’t normally pick for themselves. Cooking and prepping the food has taught them to appreciate and enjoy it too.

Some disturbing statistics came out in the news this week on grocery spending in Ireland. Parents are spending twice as much on junk food than they are on vegetables per week – and junk food is cheap here! That possibly goes to show why this country is struggling with one of the highest obesity rates in Europe and the world. I’m a firm believer in creating your own normal around the food you eat as the best way to get children to try and get used to a wider array of healthy foods and vegetables.

If my kids say they don’t like something, I give them a small piece to try every single time I make it, without a fuss. I don’t like stress around meal times so I try my absolute hardest to keep calm. (Some days a glass of wine is my fall back plan although sadly not so much lately as it’s CHOCK full of carbs!!).

Meal Plan - adapting carb free for the family. Family meal prep for a week with shopping list Liberty on the Lighter side
pin it!

So what’s cooking this week?

This week we have guests coming over for dinner and I’d like to make them something tasty but not too complicated. The slow cooker is ideal for this and my lovely friend Hazel, who is the first person I’d say yes to if I ever get a dinner invite, helpfully pointed me to this wonderful website called The Recipe Critic. It’s filled with delicious looking and scrummy sounding recipes. The Beef Barbacoa below is from the site.

Alt in bracket refers to the alternative options I’ve made to replace the carbs for that night.


  • Sunday: Baked Ham, baked potatoes, green beans, Caprese salad (Alt butternut squash)
  • Monday: Smoked peppered mackerel, green salad, new potatoes (Alt with avo, cottage cheese and feta)
  • Tuesday: Chicken breast with (half tin) coconut milk and lime, sweet potato wedges, broccoli, carrots
  • Wednesday: Stir fried bacon and kale, fusilli pasta with olive oil and Parmesan, beetroot and feta salad (Alt mixed Mediterranean vegetables)
  • Thursday: Lasagne (Alt aubergine instead of pasta in one smaller dish)
  • Friday: Fowl Pie, which is turkey mince cottage pie – dunno what the correct name for this is! Peas, sweetcorn (Alt courgette, thyme and lemon with butter)
  • Saturday: Beef Barbacoa with wraps and salad (Alt cauliflower rice – cauliflower cooked in (other half tin) coconut milk and mashed with butter.

Shopping List:

Once again this week you can’t go wrong with buying lots of fresh vegetables, try something you’ve never bought before!

  • Medium Smoked Ham
  • Potatoes
  • Caprese Salad ingredients (tomatoes and mozzarella)
  • Smoked peppered mackerel fillets
  • Avocado
  • Cheese including cottage, feta, Parmesan, mozzarella and cheddar)
  • Chicken Breasts
  • Coconut milk
  • Limes (at least 4 for two recipes)
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Vegetables including carrots, broccoli, peas, sweetcorn, cauliflower, aubergine, onions beetroot, kale, green beans and courgette
  • Bacon rashers
  • Fusilli Pasta
  • Beef mince
  • Tinned tomatoes or passata (x2 for two meals)
  • Tomato paste
  • Turkey Mince
  • Beef brisket or house keeper’s cut
  • Wraps
  • Sour cream or plain Greek yoghurt

Download your free printable meal plan and shopping list here: Family meal plan mixed carb/non carb

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18 thoughts on “Meal Plan – adapting carb free for the family”

  1. I’m really interested to read this Liberty and well done for supporting your husband as a family. It’s a complete habit change isn’t and I admire you for putting this together. I am taking note because we need to do something similar here as we’ve become rather lazy with the cooking and are most definitely eating all the wrong things. Thanks for sharing with #tweensteensbeyond and enjoy!

    1. It does take some extra planning and preparation but I’m hoping for his sake it’s all going to be worth it. It’s really difficult for me to stick with him in this, I love bread too much, but he’s unbelievably dedicated (although he did have a piece of birthday cake with ice-cream yesterday!) I think you need to be motivated by a specific reason in order to stick with any diet. At least this one’s with tasty food and there’s never a need to feel hungry. Thanks again for having me. 😊

  2. Liberty I am loving this! There are too many carbs in my house particularly when my son is home! He is all about carbs. I need to cut them out. After 12 weeks of convalescing and no proper exercise I need to ditch some calories. Also I prefer more vegetable based meals to be honest. I want to know what the results are. Has your hubby noticed a big difference? And what about his energy levels. When I tried this no carb route before I feel so lethargic. Downloading your menu now. #TweensTeensBeyond

    1. That’s brilliant Jo. He says his energy levels are more consistent, he doesn’t get the mid afternoon slump any more. The trick is to up your data or butter, coconut oil so that you are not hungry. My previous post describing his carb free diet would be helpful for you to read as it explains it in a bit more detail. It’s tricky to introduce this to young fellas though as they do love their bread and pasta.

  3. It is possible to save so much time by pre-preparing meals and getting your groceries in. This is super useful Liberty and reading it has made me hungry! I need something like this because it saves me having to think! For me, it’s a nightmare scenario having to cater for more than one diet. I have had to produce variations of the same dish to cater to the different tastes of my family and I absolutely hate it. I now prepare one dish and they have to pick out what they don’t want and pass it to the person sitting next to them! Thanks so much for sharing with us at #TweensTeensBeyond

    1. That’s such a great method Sharon -I love it! I have to say there are many days when I dread cooking but funnily enough once I get going I’m ok, maybe it’s the creative component I enjoy. After a busy day, the last thing we have any energy is for thinking as WELL as cooking 😊. You could subscribe to my mailing list and get a menu plan to your inbox every week. 😁😁

  4. I’d love to cut down on the amount of carbs we eat too but as you say so easy to just cook pasta/rice for children. Have pinned for looking at later. Yours meals for the week sound yummy and easy to make too.

    1. It does take some extra prep, but I suppose it potentially means only cooking one extra pot of veg or making sure you just make loads of them in the first place to fill you up. It takes a bit of getting used to but soon becomes second nature. Good luck and thanks for reading and sharing 😊

  5. Good luck in this adventure–adapting any meal plan to fit new diet requirements, whether elective or medically necessary (e.g. allergy based), isn’t an easy feat, and finding ways to make it work for everyone involved (including the meal preparer) is always a helpful thing. πŸ™‚

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