Karen Sorenson Keeps it Low Carb, One Day at a Time

As a low carb mom, there has been one blog that’s been an inspiration to me for over a year now.  Living Low Carb…One Day At A Time is a blog written by Karen Sorenson. She shares the most delicious and drool-worthy recipes, and occasionally talks about events and giveaways that would be of interest to other low carbers.

About Me Picture

What you might not know about Karen, though, is that she began this lifestyle and her blog in order to stay on track and maintain weight loss.  She had been experiencing some health problems and was determined to make a change for the better!

Low Carb Inspiration

I love that she gives her readers the confidence to stick to their convictions in what they eat, while inspiring us with beautiful, practical meal and dessert ideas.  It is a labor of love and much appreciated within the low carb community.


Since she seems to be eating in a way that is very similar to how my family eats, I just had to reach out to her!  I had the pleasure of interviewing Karen, and couldn’t wait to share her answers with you.

What advice do you have for a mom on the go?

While I’m not a mom myself, yet, I am always on the go. My biggest advice would be to plan ahead. I know that is easier said than done, but I save so much time by prepping and making meals ahead of time.

Every weekend I make my breakfasts and lunches for the week so all I have to do is portion everything out the night before and throw it in my lunch bag. I take my breakfast and lunch with me to work every day so I usually make breakfast skillets with meat and veggies for breakfast and for lunches I usually add some protein to a slow cooker and roast some veggies on Sunday and I can eat off of it all week for lunch.

Both of those options have a lot of variety and I’m able to change the protein and veggies I’m using every week. Also, if I get bored with the same thing everyday then I make small adjustments like turning it into a salad, adding some broth for a soup, etc.

What are some good low carb choices while out and about?

Some good low carb choices when you are on the go are smoothies, almonds (what portion size), canned wild salmon, canned wild tuna, cumbers, celery, almond butter, avocados, coconut chips, and homemade nut/seed bars, just to name a few. These are the things I use all the time for snacks and meals on the go.

How do you get your family on-board with the low carb lifestyle?

The easiest thing to do to get a picky family on board is to slowly make changes. For example, start switching to a potato substitute by using 75% potatoes and 25% cauliflower. Over time slowly start reducing the percentage of potatoes until you are using all cauliflower. By this time, your family will be used to it and it won’t be such a shock.

Also, in the beginning it may be easier to get your family on board by making substitutes for your favorite high carb items. If your family loves pasta, make zucchini noodles and try replacing some of the pasta with zucchini until eventually it is all zucchini.

At my house we went cold turkey into low carb, but I like to experiment and try new things. Not everything you try will be a success,but you will learn what works for your family. Remember this is a journey, going cold turkey doesn’t work for everyone, so take it one day at a time and each day strive to do better than the last.

How do you respond to people that try and get you off track?

You are always going to have people around you that try to tempt you into going off track. I always think about why I made changes to my diet in the first place and all of the weight I have lost. I don’t ever want to go back to where I was so it’s important to me.

You have to be strong and be able to tell people why this “one slice of cake” will derail your progress and your health goals. I try not to put myself in situations where I don’t have food that I know I can eat. I always bring food with me to parties and events so I don’t get tempted to reach for something I shouldn’t eat. The mindset of “just one slice of cake isn’t going to kill me” usually ends up derailing your progress and you end up right back where you started.

On the other hand, don’t beat yourself up if you get off track. Strive to do better the next day and not let the carbs control you.

Thank you so much for allowing me to pick your brain, Karen!  Congratulations on your weight loss through a healthy, low carb way of life.

before and after

Karen Makes It Easy to Live Low Carb

To find out more about Karen, and to see her delicious recipes, visit Living Low Carb…One Day At A Time.  While you’re there, you may want to check out one of her favorite recipes, low carb Moose Tracks Ice Cream.

What is your favorite recipe of Karen’s?

4 Tasty Low Carb Picnic Lunch Ideas

With the warm weather upon us, it’s time for enjoying family get togethers and picnics outdoors.  It doesn’t have to be difficult to stay low carb, even when you don’t have access to a kitchen.  Here are 4 low carb lunch ideas that you can carry along with you in a cooler to enjoy on the go.



Salads are an incredibly versatile food and can be made to suit anyone’s tastes!  They are so easy to make up and store in a lidded container.  Just remember to keep your dressing in a separate container so your lettuce doesn’t wilt.

Be sure to carefully consider the carb content of each add-on when you’re building your salad so you can stay on track with your goals.  Don’t forget to pack a fork!

Ideas for topping greens to make tasty salads include:

  • slivered almonds
  • chopped hard boiled eggs
  • chopped lunch meat
  • avocado pieces
  • shredded cheese
  • sliced steak
  • toasted pecans
  • olives
  • bell peppers
  • bacon
  • cucumbers
  • grilled chicken


Whether you make your wrap with a low carb tortilla or a huge leaf of lettuce, wraps are a fun and portable lunch.  There are so many ways to wrap your meal.  Here are a few suggestions:

  • low carb tortilla spread with no sugar added nut butter and jelly
  • large leaf lettuce stuffed with grilled chicken, shredded cheddar, ranch dressing, and spinach
  • low carb tortilla rolled up with taco meat, pepperjack cheese, lettuce, sour cream, and salsa
  • large leaf lettuce filled with tuna or chicken salad

Deviled Eggs

What is a gathering without a huge batch of deviled eggs?  The good news is that they make a tasty entree item that’s easy to take along on the go.

Thinking about mixing it up and creating a new variety?  Choose one or more of these to change your regular recipe and really spice things up:

  • capers
  • hot sauce
  • finely chopped ham
  • chives
  • dijon mustard
  • shredded cheese
  • crumbled bacon pieces
  • green chilies
  • avocado
  • crab
  • wasabi
  • curry


Sandwiches are sometimes seen as a rare treat in the low carb world, because bread can have such a high carb count.  There are many alternatives to help you cut the carbs, such as using portobello mushrooms or lettuce instead of bread.  You could even serve it open face on a single slice of bread or on a low carb flatbread.  Still, there are many great pre-made low carb breads, mixes, and recipes out there so that you can partake in a more traditional sandwich.

Sandwiches are a picnic staple, but that doesn’t mean they have to be boring!

Here are a few yummy options:

  • turkey, avocado, spinach, and red onion with a dash of salt and pepper
  • shredded beef with onion and sliced cheddar
  • BLT
  • meatloaf and cheese
  • salami, pepperoni, provolone, onion, and a little oregano
  • ham, gouda, dijon mustard, and pickles

Picnics are a great way to connect with friends and family.  Eating on the go can be both easy and satisfying.  Be sure to stock your cooler with some of these low carb entrees, paired with some fresh cut veggies.

What is your favorite picnic food?

Watch A Buff Dude Make Chicken & Salsa

I don’t know about you, but the dude in my life doesn’t really hang out much in the kitchen except to eat!  Looking through low carb recipes on Youtube, I found this one featuring a Buff Dude making a really low carb meal in the slow cooker. As I watched I realized this is one of my favorite meals to make for my family!  Pair it with low carb tortillas, use it for a kicked up chicken salad, or eat it with rice.  Enjoy the video!

5 Delicious Low Carb Breakfast Ideas You Will Love

Breakfast can be a tricky meal for a low carb lifestyle.  It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut, eating the same couple of things over and over.  If you would love some creative and fresh ideas for breakfast, today is your lucky day.  These 5 recipes will make your taste buds sing and inspire you to stick to low carb for life.  They’re also all family friendly and easy to prepare.


Broccoli and Cheese Mini Egg Omelets

The first food I think of when eating low carb is an egg.  These broccoli and cheese mini egg omelets transform this ordinary ingredient and takes it to a whole new level!  I made it in a brownie pan instead of the traditional muffin tin, but either will work.  A serving is 2 of these, and each serving has only 2.5 net carbs.

Spicy Sausage Breakfast Taquitos

Another delicious recipe that uses eggs is Peace, Love, and Low Carb’s spicy sausage breakfast taquitos, which make use of low carb tortillas.  Each serving is just under 10 carbs, and you get 2 of them!  They are huge, so you will feel full and satisfied.  These would also freeze well for a quick breakfast you could pop in the microwave for 1-2 minutes to heat and eat.

Strawberry Crunch Smoothie

Speaking of quick, what is faster and easier than a smoothie?  This low carb strawberry crunch smoothie is packed with nutrition and will take just a minute to prepare.  Each smoothie has a mere 8 carbs.   The addition of the chia seeds makes it so filling, too!

Cream Cheese Pancakes

Cream cheese pancakes are a light, low carb take on the family classic.  They are so fluffy and 4 pancakes have just 2.5 net carbs.  This leaves you with a little wiggle room for toppings, such as berries or sugar free syrup.  My favorite part about this recipe is its simplicity and short ingredient list.

Chocolate Iced Coconut Donuts

Finally, I want to show you these chocolate iced coconut donuts.  Yes, you heard me right.  Low carb donuts!  Imagine warm cake donuts, iced with luscious chocolate and optionally sprinkled with shredded coconut.  Each donut has 6 carbs.  Can you believe that?  I can, and it is exciting to think about being able to eat donuts again.  

Everyone knows that eating breakfast is an important part of a healthy diet.  Low carb breakfasts do not have to be monotonous.  Whether you have 1 minute or all morning to prepare breakfast, these 5 recipes keep the first meal of the day exciting while keeping you on track for the day.

Is there another low carb breakfast that you would add to this list?

Easy Low Carb Snack Ideas To Overcome Temptations


Three dangerous temptations threaten to derail all of your low carb efforts:

  • Your Kids
  • A Busy Lifestyle
  • Late Night Cravings

Prepare yourself for these very real threats, and you’ll be able to stick to the plan.  Here are some great snack ideas that everyone in the house can stick to.

Everything listed below is less than 5 net carbs per serving!

Fun Kid Friendly Snacks

Have you ever been tempted to stray from healthy eating by the snacks your kids eat?  Living a low carb lifestyle is difficult unless the whole family is on board.  First thing’s first: we have to get the kids eating healthy, too!  There are many snack options that they will eagerly eat and are fine for you to eat as well.

  • Pickle Wraps: Wrap a dill pickle spear with a slice of your favorite lunch meat.
  • Stuffed Celery: Fill the ribs of celery with peanut butter, almond butter, or cream cheese.
  • Cottage Cheese: Half a cup of this classic is great on its own, but can also be delicious with a few small berries thrown in.
  • Chicken Wings: Bake wings plain and then toss with butter and your favorite hot sauce.
  • Sugar Free Popsicle or Fudgsicle
  • Sugar Snap Peas: A small handful of these fun snacks are delicious and high in Vitamin C.

Snacks on the Go

Today’s busy lifestyle keeps most of us distracted and engaged, so when it’s time to eat, we need to eat now.  So many snacks are simple to take along with you to have ready for those, “Uh oh, I’m starving!” moments.

  • Hard boiled Egg
  • Almonds Dusted with Cinnamon
  • Trail Mix: Make your own with almonds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds
  • Beef or Turkey Jerky
  • Cheese Squares with Pepperoni Slices
  • Pork Rinds

Late Night Munchies

Is late night your weakness?  The house gets still and quiet, you get a chance to put your feet up and relax a little bit after dinner, and you suddenly feel like eating something decadent to reward yourself for all of your hard work during the day.  Low carb doesn’t have to mean “diet food” or a grumbling tummy at night.  Treat yourself to one of these goodies to really hit the spot in the evening.

  • Lettuce Roll Ups: My favorite is to take a large leaf of Romaine lettuce and stick a slice or two of lunch meat, some cheese, and salsa or a tiny bit of guacamole, roll, and enjoy!
  • Sugar Free Jello with Cool Whip Free
  • Sliced Peppers, Cucumbers, and Broccoli with Ranch Dressing
  • A Small Low Carb/Sugar-Free Chocolate Bar

The Family That Snacks Together, Sticks Together

Snacking always makes the family feel like they’re getting a special treat between or after meals.  Make sure that the choices that you make for your family’s snacks fit in with the low carb lifestyle, whether it’s for the kids, on the go, or late at night.

What is your family’s favorite low carb snack to share?

3 Yummy Low Carb Chocolate Recipes Even Your Family Will Enjoy

Going low carb does not have to mean giving up on delicious chocolate goodies.  I have compiled my top 3 yummy low carb chocolate recipes to share with you.  These will hit the spot when you are craving chocolate without adding a lot of unnecessary carbs and sugars to your diet.  Remember to enjoy these goodies in moderation!


Cocoa Crunch Mix

Makes 40 snack-sized servings with just  3.4 net carbs per serving.  Inspired by Danielle at DK Gets Fit.


  •  1 Cup Seeds (Sunflower or Pumpkin – or a mix of both)
  • 2 Cups Chopped, Sliced, or Slivered Nuts (Almonds are my favorite, but any nut or mix of several will work)
  • 1 Cup Almond Meal (or Almond Flour)
  • 1 Cup Unsweetened Coconut (Bits, Chips, or Shredded)
  • 1/2 Cup Melted Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 – 1/2 Cup Honey
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2-3 Tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. In one bowl, mix dry ingredients, and in a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients.
  3. Combine wet and dry ingredients until the wet ingredients are fully incorporated in the mix.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Use a spatula to move the mixture around to help prevent burning.
  5. Bake an additional 5 minutes.
  6. Remove pan from oven and allow it to cool completely before breaking it apart into small pieces and storing in an airtight container.

Chocolate Almond Low Carb Shake (or popsicles)

The entire shake has only 5.3 net carbs.  This treat is a variation of a smoothie from Primal Toad.


  • 1 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1/4 cup ice
  • 1 Scoop Stevia or 4 Drops Liquid Stevia (Plain or the Chocolate flavor rocks!)
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened Almond Butter
  • 1 Tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Avocado (Trust me on this!  It makes the shake SO creamy.)


  1. Blend all ingredients together and drink!   This is also delicious as a popsicle.  Just pour into molds, freeze until hard, and enjoy.

Double Chocolate Cookies

This made about 20 small cookies for me, with only 3.2 net carbs each.  Developed using the Chewy Chocolate Cookies recipe from Wellness Mama.


About 15 minutes after I made these for my family, only 3 cookies remained to photograph!


  • 1 1/4 Cup Unsweetened Almond Butter
  • 1/4 – 1/3 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 2-3 Eggs (depending on their size)
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Flour
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/8 – 1/4 Cup High Quality Chocolate Chips or Chunks (I prefer 62% Cocoa or above as it contains less sugar)
  • A Few Drops of Liquid Stevia (optional, to taste)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix ALL ingredients together in a medium sized bowl using either a mixer or a spoon.
  3. Shape dough into small cookies and place them on a cookie sheet.  Note that these cookies will not spread or rise, so shape them and flatten before baking.
  4. Bake for 9-14 minutes.  These will get drier once you take them out and as they cool, so do not overbake them!
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes before moving them.

Living a low carb lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite treats, like chocolate.  Whether you want something crunchy, creamy, or chewy, I’ve got you covered.  Give them a whirl and tell me what you think!

Low Carb Chai Latte Made Easy

I nearly forgot to take a picture of my yummy Chai Latte tonight… I’m afraid it was nearly finished by the time I remembered.


Don’t be looking for a recipe on this one.  I discovered this at the store just today:


Of course I’ve had the almond milk before, it was the Sugar Free Chai Tea Latte that I’d never heard of.

Here’s a close up of the label:


I’ve mixed a 1/2 cup serving of the Chai Latte  with a 1/2 of the almond milk and heated it up in the microwave. It would be just as good over ice I think.

My sweet cup of tea is just 1.5 carbs.

I checked and sure enough, you can find this brand on Amazon:  Sugar Free Oregon Chai

Low Carb Fast Food: Wendy’s Chicken BLT Cobb Salad

I’ve been eating ‘super clean’ for awhile now and one of the things I love is that I can actually drive through a fast food restaurant and pick up a fresh, delicious salad anytime I want.


This Wendy’s Chicken BLT Cobb salad is my favorite fast food salad – they definitely beat the McDonald’s salads for consistency of quality.  At McD’s I get an ‘on the edge’ of not being fresh salad one in three visits.  (They prep the salads ahead of time.)  At Wendy’s they make it right wen you order it – I’ve seen them do it over and over.  I’ve had six salads in the last eight days and haven’t ran into any wilted lettuce.

This is not a sponsored post – though I know I sound like a commercial here ;)

The whole salad with the Avocado Ranch dressing packets is 8 net carbs. 

In this pic you see I’ve got an extra little ranch cup – and that adds a couple carbs to my total.  It’s not that the salad needs more dressing, but I’m not a chicken breast lover (would rather enjoy dark meat) and sometimes I like to dip the chicken into ranch separately, then dig into the salad on it’s own.

Low Carb Pizzas with Joseph’s Bakery Mini Pita Bread

There’s no doubt that Joseph’s Bakery low carb breads are the best thing to happen to my low carb lifestyle since the deviled egg ;)   Take a look at these beauties!

The mini pita breads (4 net carbs each), they make a great ‘hold it in your hand’ mini pizza.

One of the 90 Day Low Carb Challenge members posted a pic of their mini pizza and I knew I had to make one ASAP.  With no pizza sauce in the house, I got creative.

I started by spreading a small amount of extra virgin coconut oil on the bread and sprinkled a bit of my favorite bread dipping spices (Dean Jacob’s Bread Dipping Seasonings Variety Pack) over that.  This provides a foundation of flavor for the other two super simple ingredients.

I cut two thin slices of tomato and cut them into six pieces each and laid them on the bread.  They looked like little tomato pinwheels.

Finally, a big blob of mozzarella cheese and into the oven at 350 until it was good and melted – less than ten minutes for me.  I could have left mine in longer but I was impatient ;)

It was GOOD!  Next time I’ll make sure I have some feta cheese around because that would be a perfect addition to the recipe.

This plate has 10 net carbs tops.

Is Coconut Oil The Best Kept Secret In The Low Carb Community?

Spend time on any low carb forum or Facebook fan page and you’ll quickly realize that coconut oil is fast becoming a fat loss weapon of choice. What was once considered harmful for the human body due to its high saturated fat content, coconut oil has slowly made a comeback packed with numerous health benefits – including weight loss. The big question is, just how is this possible?

Coconut OilIs The Coconut Considered A Fruit?

Or a nut? Or a seed? According to the Library of Congress, “Botanically speaking, a coconut is a fibrous one-seeded drupe, also known as a dry drupe. However, when using loose definitions, the coconut can be all three: a fruit, a nut, and a seed.” By the way, a drupe is a fruit with a hard stony covering enclosing the seed – think peach or olive. No matter what you may call it, the coconut is one food choice that peaks our curiosity.

The Secret To Coconut Oil Is Its MCFAs Or MCTs.

The majority of our dietary fat comes from long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs), also known as long-chain triglycerides (LCT), such as found in most common vegetable or seed oils as well as meats, milk and dairy. As Dr. Mercola explains in his article, these acids are large molecules and are difficult for the body to break down. They are predominantly stored as fat, not what a person trying to lose weight wants! By contrast, coconut oil is nature’s richest source of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), also known as medium-chain triglycerides (MCT). MCTs are smaller, easily digested, and immediately burned by your liver for energy. They boost your metabolism and help your body use fat for energy. The theory lies in that what isn’t stored as fat is burned off as energy thus assisting in the body becoming leaner.

Science Backs It Up

The folks over at Coconut Diet point out numerous scientific studies showing how MCTs in coconut oil raise the body’s metabolism and stimulate thermogenesis leading to weight loss. The authors of one quoted study concluded that replacing dietary fats with MCTs, such as found in coconut oil, could over long periods of time produce weight loss even in the absence of reduced caloric intake. Coconut Diet also points out that fat adds satiety to our meals – a feeling of having had enough to eat. A diet higher in refined carbohydrates tends to remove the fat our body needs and instead replaces fat with starches and sugars – a metabolic disaster.

Coconut Oil Cons

As with any “diet” food star in the spotlight, there is always healthy skepticism to take note of. An article published by 3 Fat Chicks reminds us that a single tablespoon of coconut oil contains about 120 calories and nearly 14 grams of fat. The “recommended” three tablespoons of coconut oil for weight loss adds up to an extra 360 calories per day. Many low carber dieters ignore their daily caloric intake which could explain why they have difficulty dropping pounds. Adding coconut oil to the daily diet may stall an otherwise successful drop in weight if calorie intake isn’t factored in. 3 Fat Chicks also state that taking coconut oil is best avoided on an empty stomach as it can lead to gas and bloating.

With that said, coconut oil is back with a vengeance. Not only is coconut oil packed with numerous health benefits, it provides another means to a weight loss end for the low carb community. If you are interested in trying coconut oil for weight loss, shop around for high quality oils. After all, your body is your temple and it deserves the best nature has to offer!

Additional articles that lend value to this discussion can be found at The Blog of Michael R. Eades, M.D., Organic Facts – Health Benefits of Coconut Oil, and the Coconut Research Center.

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