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8 Low Carb Lunch Recipes to Energize Before Yoga

by Lauren Hailey

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Yoga is a lot of movement, twisting and turning. The last thing you want before a class is a stomach ache, cramping, or gas,” says Lisa Hayim, a registered dietician and founder of The WellNecessities. 

But knowing what will benefit you before hitting the mat isn’t as simple as it seems. “Most just don’t know what to eat, period, and many make the mistake of not eating at all, leaving them hungry, starved for energy, and unable to perform at their best.

Contrary to popular belief, what you eat before yoga has a big impact on your performance. Your body is looking for a sufficient amount of stored up energy in order to get the most out of your yoga routine that day–an energy that’s best acquired from rich nutritious foods, like avocado, eggs, and cauliflower.

I’m always looking for the next best bite to eat before I hit the mat. Luckily, I’ve accumulated quite a few go-to recipes whenever I’m in a rush but really, really need to fit some yoga time in. These meals aren’t only simple and quick to whip up but incredibly beneficial as well. I will present them starting with the ones I like a lot, working towards the ones I love most.

8. Low Carb, High Fat Caesar Salad

low carb keto caesar salad

What you need:

  • a large handful of leafy greens - baby kale
  • sliced spring onions
  • 4 baby tomatoes cut half
  • cucumber cubes
  • chicken
  • blue cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  • homemade mayonnaise
  • anchovies

There is nothing I love more in the world than a low-carb, high-fat Caesar salad. This bowl of greens lets you load up on nutritious fats like cheese while still keeping it simple and clean. This recipe is meant to be adaptable to your preferences, which is the beauty of LCHF salads, so have some fun with it. Try adding a vinaigrette or Chipotle sauce for some zest.

7. Bacon Broccoli Cauliflower Salad

bacon broccoli cauliflower salad

What you need:

  • 150 g broccoli chopped
  • 150 g cauliflower chopped
  • 3 slices bacon diced
  • 1 spring onion sliced
  • 150 g sour cream
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 50 g nuts and seeds optional

Another low-carb, high-fat salad that you’ll find yourself making extra of just to have some leftovers: the Bacon Broccoli Cauliflower Salad. There’s crisp steamed vegetables, rich sour cream, and smoky slices of bacon. What’s not to love here? The protein in this salad will really give you that boost you need for peak yoga performance.

6. BLT Stuffed Avocado

blt stuffed avocado

What you need:

  • 2 medium avocados
  • 2 slices bacon
  • 1/2 cup grape tomatoes (halved)
  • 1/2 cup Romaine lettuce (chopped)
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

There is nothing in the world better than a stuffed avocado, except maybe this BLT stuffed avocado. The real highlight of this recipe is the avocado, which everyone knows for its rich vitamins and antioxidant benefits–perfect before a yoga session. As Wholesome Yum points out: “Another great thing about this BLT stuffed avocado recipe is that it’s friendly to so many dietary restrictions, if you have any, but it doesn’t taste that way. These BLT stuffed avocados are low carb, ketogenic, paleo, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, egg-free, THM S, and whole 30 approved.”

5. Parmesan encrusted halibut

parmesan crusted halibut

What you need:

  • 1-2 pounds halibut (about 6 filets)
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon panko bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley

This Parmesan-encrusted Halibut recipe could not be more delicious if it tried. The texture and flavors of the Parmesan cheese with the crispy halibut makes this dish a real pleasure to eat whenever I whip it together. It’s light but still flavourful. The low-carb, high-fat nutritional value helps me get the most out of my yoga workout when I need it.

4. Low Carb Pepper Jack Cauliflower

low carb pepper jack

What you need:

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into 1 inch florets
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 4 ounces Pepper Jack cheese, shredded
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled

The ultimate comfort dish: a bowl of cauliflower mixed in with the rich creaminess of pepper jack cheese, butter, and whipping cream to give your tastebuds a real treat. Sometimes if I feel like eating something for the sake of comfort (but still want to be able to keep it together on the mat), I’ll reach for the cauliflower and do with this slow cooker recipe what I can– it’s versatility allows you to add in, or take away, any ingredients you’re feeling that day.

3. Easy Baked Pesto Chicken

baked pesto chicken

What you need:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper for seasoning chicken
  • 1/2 cup basil pesto (I used my homemade Basil Pesto with Lemon, but you can use purchased basil pesto.)
  • 2 oz. (1/2 cup) grated mozzarella cheese (or more if you like it cheesy!)

This Easy Baked Pesto Chicken is the ultimate dish to load in some protein in your body before a good yoga session. According to Kalyn’s Kitchen, it’s also one of her most popular recipes with more than 2.5 million views! There’s something about the simplicity of the pesto and mozzarella together that makes it so good, every single time. Add a squeeze of lemon and it’s the perfect bite to give you that boost of zesty energy you need.

2. Coffee Walnut Bars

coffee walnut bars

What you need:

  • 110 g butter melted
  • 5 tbsp granulated sweetener, of choice or more to your taste
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 125 ml strong coffee essence
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 60 g coconut flour
  • 8 eggs medium
  • 55 g walnuts chopped

These Coffee Walnut Bars are so addictive, you won’t be able to stop reaching for them. Simply grind all the ingredients until they become a paste, form a bar and freeze for 30 min. I’ve always been on the hunt for a good energy bar because I don’t always have time to cook before hitting the mat, but with little success in store-bought purchases. However, once I found this recipe, I realized that I’ll never be able to let go! Any coffee lover will savor the caffeine, vanilla and coconut flour combination in these bars. “Porridge (a carb) with nuts (a protein) will provide longer, sustained energy to get you through a power-yoga class than a carb-based snack alone,” says Kayleen St. John, RD, a nutritionist at New York City's Natural Gourmet Institute.

1. Mexican Keto Deviled Eggs with Avocado and Bacon

mexican keto deviled eggs with avocado

What you need:

  • 6 large egg
  • 2 tbsp avocado (just scoop with a measuring spoon)
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 3/4 tsp Taco seasoning (use salted seasoning; add 1/4 tsp salt if seasoning is unsalted)
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes (finely chopped, seeds removed and liquid drained; divided)
  • 1/4 cup bacon bits (cooked; divided)
  • 2 tsp fresh cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional - to taste)

With regards to my previous question, there’s only one thing that may be better than stuffed avocados: stuffed deviled eggs. This recipe with avocado and bacon (and fresh cilantro and cayenne pepper!) is a real treat when you’re craving all the richness of Mexican food. The low-carb, paleo-approved dish (that only clocks in at 134 calories!) packs in all the flavor you could ever desire while still being inherently healthy. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself making these three (or four) times a week.

Wanna kickstart yourself into a routine of healthy eating habits? A yoga and detox retreat is the ideal place to start. 

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