Grain-Free Cream of Wheat and My Daily Diet

Low Carb Hot Cereal RecipeFine, fine, fine.  You’ve worn me down and I am going to do it at long last.  I have thought about writing this post many times, but something has always held me back.  But finally, here I am, writing a post about what I eat day-to-day.  I am sure some of  you are thinking “Whoop-de-doo, who cares what your daily diet is?”.  But I’ve been asked for this post  more times than I can count.  Some of you are diabetics, wondering how you can control your glucose levels through diet and exercise.  Some of you are runners, wondering how to get the nutrition you need on a low carb or gluten-free diet.  And some of you are just…nosy.  I’m kidding, of course, as most of you have  vested interest in your nutrition and are curious about what I eat.  I get that.  So, here we go.

(Should you not be the least interested in my daily diet, feel free to skip to the recipe…I don’t blame you for a second!).

Low Carb Hot Cereal Recipe

Now, let me just say that I’ve resisted this post not because I don’t want to share or I don’t think it’s a good idea.  My biggest issue is that I am an inveterate snacker, a “grazer”, if you will, so three square a day is not my usual routine.  I am also the opposite of a creature of habit, I like huge amounts of variety, so what I eat changes greatly day-to-day.  My typical day is very un-typical.  Plus I am also really lazy and a post like this is much harder to write than a cute little anecdote about the recipe.  But as I have also come up with a great new recipe for breakfast, that also happens to have fueled me through a grueling 14-mile run, I figured it was time to share.

Breakfast:  I am usually up by 5am, and I start every morning with a cup of coffee with cream.  That’s probably the only thing that remains standard from day to day.  After that, it’s some sort of low-carb baked good (homemade, natch!), because I love muffins and scones and such with my coffee.  If I don’t have some baked goods on the go, I am at a loss and that’s when I am more likely to eat something I shouldn’t.  So I try to have something made the majority of the time.  Now that I’ve come up with this low carb hot cereal recipe, I have that to fall back on (and it’s good!  And it fuels you through 14 rainy miles!).

Low Carb Pecan Pie Muffins

Mmmm, hello delicious Chocolate Pecan Pie Muffins!

Second breakfast/snack:  When you’re up as early as I am, second breakfast is almost mandatory.  And if I’ve gone for a run, I usually come home starving.  That’s where the omelets and veggies come in.  A 2 egg omelet with cheese and half an avocado is pretty typical, and maybe some tomato slices.  If I don’t have an omelet, then it might be full-fat Greek yogurt with some nuts or berries on top.

Lunch:  I’ll be honest, I don’t usually have a proper lunch.  I am often full from my omelet and working hard in the middle of the day, so I snack on nuts, maybe a few slices of cheese, and some steamed vegetables with walnut oil.  Plus I often eat a few bites (at least!) of whatever I am taking pictures of for this blog.  If I do feel the need for a bigger meal, it’s usually leftovers from the night before, some meat or fish and some vegetables.

Snacks: I do love my snacks, and I spend much of the afternoon snacking.  Half an apple, veggies, peanuts, maybe a muffin or low carb treat (homemade, natch!).  In a pinch when I need fast energy, a scoop of peanut butter on a spoon.

Snack Attack! Zucchini Chips with Smoked Paprika

Dinner:  Dinner is easy.  Well, maybe not so easy when you have three kids to feed.  My kids are not that picky, but they have their likes and dislikes and it can be a struggle to find things that all three will eat.  And I refuse to cook separate meals for everyone just because I am a diabetic, so they are learning to like the food I put in front of them.  And it’s pretty darn great food, in my opinion.  Often it is meat, chicken or fish, with a huge salad or several servings of vegetables.  My kids do eat salad.  And they like their broccoli, red pepper and carrots, so dinner is time to chow down on the veggies.  If we don’t have meat or fish, we have something with eggs or tofu.  Protein, fat and vegetables make up the bulk of our dinners.

Dessert:  If you read this blog, you know I love dessert.  I have seemingly devoted my life to creating desserts that people following a low carb, gluten-free diet can enjoy.  And as far as I am concerned, it’s a very noble cause indeed!  So yes, I always have dessert.  Sometimes twice a day.  And sometimes for breakfast.  Because the great thing about low carb dessert is that there is no sugar or flour, and it’s about as healthy as anything else you could put into your mouth, so why not???

I heart dessert…and these Mini Maple Pumpkin Cheesecakes!

Total Carbs:  In a day, I probably hit between 70 to 100 g of carbs.  That’s not as low as some people go, I realize.  I am fortunate in several ways…that I am slender and fit as it is, and that my diabetes stays well-controlled in this range.  But I am mindful of every single bite I put in my mouth.  I balance it out, I think ahead, I know when I’ve had too much and need to compensate.  And I sometimes fail.  Like anyone, I am human and I have my weaknesses and temptations.  There are days when I am drawn to the things I know I shouldn’t eat, and I give in.  But what’s astonishing is how “controlled” my indulgences are now.  There is always that little voice in my head letting me know I could be damaging my health beyond control should I go too far.  I thank goodness for that little voice – it saves me some guilt now, and it will surely save my health later on.

Low Carb Cream of Wheat

And now, to the recipe.  This seemed like a great recipe to pair with a post about my daily diet, because I have to say, this one is going to be a keeper.  It’s an ideal breakfast, since it’s easy to make, super healthy and keeps me full for a while (a rare feat of any breakfast food for me).  As I said, it recently fueled me through a 14-mile run and I never needed anything else except water.  I call it “cream of wheat” because that’s what it tastes like, although there is no wheat within 14 miles of it.  It’s mostly chia seed and flax seed meal.  I am fairly new to chia seeds and they make me laugh.  They are so goopy and sludgy, you can’t imagine why anyone would want to actually eat them.  And then you do eat them, and they taste great and give you lots of energy.  They are apparently the superfood that the amazing lost tribe of ultra-runners in Born to Run eat, so I figured they were worth a shot.

Thumbs up…it tastes great and is perfect on a cold fall morning.  Try it with some nut butter mixed in for extra energy.

Grain-Free Hot Cereal

Yield: Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp chia seed
  • 2 tbsp flax seed meal
  • 2 tsp erythritol (I used Swerve Sweetener)
  • 1/3 cup hot water
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream (optional)
  • 2 tbsp nut butter (optional)
  • Berries (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, stir together chia seed, flax seed meal, and erythritol.
  2. Add hot water, stir and let sit for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Stir in cream, nut butter, berries, raisins, chopped nuts...whatever floats your boat.

Notes

Serves 1. Each serving (without optional stir-ins) has a total of 18 g of carbs and 18 g of fiber. Whoa, that's a lot of fiber! Total NET CARBS = 0 g.

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Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing your day-to-day routine. I’m not much of a breakfast person, but am starting to appreciate having a little protein (eggs or cheese) in the morning. Oh, and hot cereal used to be a favorite of mine. Haven’t had it in a while though.

  2. Lisa Hiatt says:

    Thanks for the post! I love breakfast cereal in the winter. I have another recipe that is made with ground almonds and flax. I like chia seeds as well! Will definitely try this!!!

  3. Your eating sounds much like my brother’s, who’s been just about carb free for over 15 years now. He’s lucky though; he doesn’t ever crave sweets. I tend that way too, but I’d sorely miss pasta, potatoes and rice.

    Do your kids ever get a yen for the high starch carbs like those to go alongside the meat and veggies? Do you?

  4. I just got a delivery of Swerve sweetener yesterday, I’m stoked about that. I’ve been doing low-carb all this week and came to the same conclusion about dessert: there’s no sugar or flour, nor are they high in carbs or empty calories, so why not eat them as often and as guilt-free as I’d like? My low-carb treats are just another way to get healthy fats and protein and fiber, lol. It’s sort of genius. ;)

  5. As you know I have tried and tried oatmeal. I suppose I will probably keep trying. My breakfast is typically eggs and veggies/cheese. I’m thankful that my kids like eggs too!

  6. thank you so much reading your day to day sounds very much like myself and I am trying real hard to improve the items that I love to eat and snack on daily and stories like yours help very much!.

  7. I was recently diagnosed with diabetes…it really hit out of the blue and struck my eyesight, with no family history. I am working hard to get as slim as I can and overhaul my diet. I appreciate your willingness to share your routine. I was so excited to find your blog and yummy recipes. The hardest part for me right now is building up a low carb pantry. :) I’m hoping I can eventually manage things without medication.

    • I am so sorry to hear that, Chris. I need to do a low-carb pantry post, I really do. But for a starter kit, I recommend…almond flour, erythritol, stevia, xanthan gum, high % cacao chocolate to use as chocolate chips, unsweetend cocoa powder, whey protein powder. And eggs, lots and lots of eggs to make baked goods that satisfy without sending your glucose soaring.

      • I have been using the truvia for baking (it was easily available at the grocery store, I’m in a tiny little farming community). Which do you prefer the best, Swerve or Z Sweet?

        Thanks again!

  8. Thank you for this recipe. I am going to try it out soon. I am a hot cereal junkie. = )

  9. Same, same and same! Absolutely loved hearing about your day-to-day, it sounds so much like mine. I used to take milk & sugar, but I’ve come to love coffee with heavy cream even better and I have it every morning. Homemade baked good, check. Lots of them yours :) Late breakfast and then snacky stuff over lunch and mid-afternoon. My kid is so small she doesn’t know I’m diabetic, but we all eat more or less the same dinner and I feel great feeding my family healthy food without added sugar and excess carbs. I don’t really know anymore how many carbs I have in a day, and I’m guessing it’s probably more than I think. But I am also doing very well with this way of eating for now so I’m not worried about it.

    • I don’t track my overall carbs either. But I do test enough that I have a good sense of what my body can handle.

  10. Great post! And I’ll have to try this recipe :)

  11. Thank you for sharing! I love seeing what bloggers eat:)

  12. I’m sitting down with a bowl of this hot cereal right now, with chopped up pecans. Yum! This would be great on backpacking trips too – easy to pack and prepare. I love hot cereal for breakfast.

  13. love seeing what you eat, so insightful! looks like a great breakfast.

  14. Great post Carolyn – loved reading about what you eat to keep yourself fueled throughout the day. Sending this along to my brother who is pre-diabetic.

  15. Yum! I’m having this for breakfast today — I had to add 1/2 t of cocoa powder, too :) Mmmm

  16. Katharine says:

    Thanks for this post! I eat very similarly (well, since finding out about diabetes). I maybe tend closer to 60-75g carbs a day as I can’t seem to handle much more than that. I’m eager to get my A1C again in November to see how I’m doing big picture. It’s really nice to see how others are managing their diet! Thanks for sharing about yourself!

    • I find having some baked goods on hand really helps me stay more on track. If I don’t have anything that I can grab in a pinch, that’s when I am more likely to stray.

      • Katharine says:

        Which of your low carb baked goods do you find yourself making and freezing over and over again? For your early morning coffee companion or snacks.

        • Hmmm, good question. I adore my Almond Crusted Butter Cake, and although I don’t freeze it (because I eat it too quickly), I make it over and over again. It can be turned into muffins though, and frozen. I’ve done that with the raspberry jam filled muffins (the batter is the same as the butter cake recipe). The pumpkin “bran” muffins froze really well. Scones are super easy to make and I don’t freeze them because I eat them so quickly too. I’ve made the cheddar jalapeno muffins a few times and they froze well. All of my cakes freeze really well too (un-iced).

  17. Thanks for giving us some insight into your eating routine Carolyn! Congrats on the 14 mile run too. I miss cream of wheat – we used to eat it all the time for breakfast when I was a kid and now that the weather is cooling down I’m missing a comforting bowl of hot cereal! I’m going to try this soon though I may replace the flax with hemp seeds and see if that works!

    • I haven’t tried hemp seeds yet…where do you get them? Do they taste good?

      • I love the flavor of hemp seeds – kind of walnut meets pine nut flavor and they are loaded with Omega 3′s and magnesium so super healthy for you. I get mine at our local Costco but you can order them online from places like nuts.com or any other natural foods site for a good price as well. Try them out, you’ll love them!

        • the hemp seeds are really great! I put them in my salads and on top of cakes. Really yummy! I, too, get mine at costco…

  18. what dishes do you use…i love your little white bowl!!
    i am looking to invest in some white dishes and i love the square and rectangle designs.
    thank you!!

    • Oh dear, I wish I could tell you. Problem is that those ramekins came in a set from my father-in-law long ago and I have no idea where they are from!

  19. I used to be a grazer as well for many years. I still tend to do that when cooking – not such a great idea as it often spoils my meal. I find though more often than not that when I’m hungry, I cannot wait to eat! I don’t run or do any exercise of note, other than leisurely activities such as walking my dog, lifting small weights for toning “granny arms” and running on the spot when I have the energy and have been sitting for too long. I refrained from getting a maid and do my own housework. I have a gardener for my huge, beautiful tropical garden though – that would be impossible. I have managed to cut down on grazing substantially since incorporating IFing from time to time; not that grazing is bad if your body can deal with it. I also have my carbs in the range you mention and sometimes eat even more. I eat bananas, a small amount of rice mixed with tons of veggies and other fruit so that’s where they come from mostly. I don’t bake a huge amount anymore, but usually something once a week or so. I have a cheat day a week when I go to the city, but typically it is nothing too terrible. I can be lazy about cooking and baking.

    • I love being a grazer…right now, it works for me. And if I had your lush tropical garden, I would get a gardener too! I do have house cleaners, though, and thank goodness, because keeping up in this large house with three kids…impossible!

  20. Cathy McNally says:

    That is really nice! I didn’t realize how much I missed hot cereal! thanks

  21. Jen Houck says:

    I reAlly miss cream of wheat and this looks good. I have never seen chia seeds in the store. Do you think this would be good if I just added more flax meal?

    • Honestly, no. Chia seeds get sort of gummy when you add water, which helps thicken the whole thing. You might try ordering some online. Do you have a Trader Joe’s near you?

    • U could experiment with ground psyllium husk (if u can find them!) They have a similar gloppy effect. :)

  22. My hubby bought a packet of chia seeds, I will make this hot cereal. Looks delicious.

  23. super fabulous idea Carolyn! You are the best!

  24. Yay, I’m glad you wrote this post! And you know, it’s the goopy sludginess that makes me love chia seeds. I guess it’s because it reminds me of Jello, which I don’t eat anymore. :)

  25. I made this, this morning and man was I surprised at how yummy it was. I wasn’t too sure it would be because the chia seeds are like goop when I have used them before. I liked this recipe and will be using it often! I add water to my chia seeds and let it soak overnight and drink it throughout the day. Its really a great food…

  26. oh my.. you gave me such a Lord of the Rings flashback! Second breakfast is as you may or may not know a concept well loved by hobbits!
    Thanks for sharing!
    I look forward to a pantry post..

  27. I’ve been doing the Laura Dolson’s Flaxseed Meal/PB Hot *cereal* and LOVE it but am looking to mix it up. My question: Are the chia seeds whole or is it meal too? Thank you for great recipes. I have been a LC’er for the past 2-1/2 years and have lost a a total of 110lbs with another 8 or so to go. Love the LC lifestyle. Oh, and I am 52 and last month RAN my first 10k.

    Gail Blain Prather

  28. Found your blog a few weeks ago. I’ve was a LC’r for about 2 years then started cheating. Previously, I shunned all sugar, but I think that set me up for failure. Then I found your blog, and I’ve tried this recipe plus chocolate pecan pie muffins and your pumpkin bran muffins. I have to say “YUMMY” to all of them. I’ve had this grain free hot cereal several mornings in a row. It carries me to lunch with no problems. I’m so glad I found your blog! Thanks for sharing,

  29. Tammy Dunlap says:

    I had to laugh reading your post of your daily diet eating habits…. You sound just like me! Thanks so much for sharing your recipes, it makes it so much easier to find more great low carb recipes to add to my weekly meal plan! Thanks goodness for people like you who take the time to do that!

  30. Susie Hanigan says:

    Thank you so much for the yummy hot cereal. I have made something similar with almond meal and flax but I love the chia seeds !!! I am a Type 1 diabetic diagnosed at age 46. I am 50 now and living and loving the low carb life. It’s great sites like yours that keep diversity in our diets while keeping the blood sugar in range. Like you, I am a runner. I just completed my first marathon (Chicago) two weeks ago and am set to do another in January1 Keep on cooking and keep on running !!!

  31. Boy this looks deliciously healthy!

  32. I finally got my order of chia seeds and Swerve in and this morning I tried this *cereal*. First I have to say that I subbed out the water for unsweetened almond milk – I always preferred my cream of wheat made with milk – added 1/2 c. red raspberries and the cream but passed on the nut butters (this time). OMG — this was so wonderfully delicious!! Really was a *cream of wheat* type experience. I’ll be making this again and again :)

    Blessings~Gail

  33. Jennifer Malmberg says:

    This is silly good. I’m So relieved to gain this recipe. Breakfasts had been a “quest” bar lately because I just couldn’t get my act together. I travel a lot and I have been pre-bagging individual servings in my carry on.

  34. I just got around to trying this and was surprised at just how much I enjoyed it. I’ve tried chia seeds in other contexts and haven’t really been able to taste them — they really are tasty and went perfectly with the other ingredients. (My add-ins were walnut butter, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a couple spoonfuls of Greek yogurt.) It’s also very filling!

  35. I made the hot cereal today and I really enjoyed it and the break from eggs.
    It filled me up and stayed with me for hours. Thanks so much!

  36. Is there any reason you couldn’t store a 1:1 mix of ground flax seed meal and chia seeds in the fridge to make this prep even faster?
    Love the recipe–it’s my new favorite breakfast!

  37. Love! Discovered your recipes yesterday, made this for breakfast this morning. I was tempted to slather this in butter and add some brown sugar substitute (my fave toppings for cream of wheat) but instead hit it with some cocoa and almond milk. Such a tasty change of pace from eggs, eggs, and more eggs!

  38. Hi Carolyn, congrats n your blog, very nice. One of my readers found your chia seed recipe and posted a link to your blog at our reader forum http://www.fattoskinny.net I love your creativity! I see you like pumpkin, you can check out 2 on my pumpkin cooking videos at these links;
    1- http://www.fattoskinny.net/index.php?topic=1216.0
    2- http://www.fattoskinny.net/index.php?topic=1248.0

    Nice to have met you :)

    Doug

  39. Janet Banks says:

    This hot cereal tasted so much like the cream of wheat I have enjoyed since childhood! Thanks for this! I love hot cereal all year round but going grain free has made this a challenge.

  40. Chia and flax have not been my faves, but I do use them. This is off the charts delicious. I’m from upstate NY, check Montague, NY radar, it’s cold, snowing and letting me know what’s coming for the next 5-6 months… But I’m armed and ready with my hot cereal, thanks, Carolyn.

    Deb :)

  41. I’m not trying to be gross, but I’m wondering how your system handles all that fiber right before a long run like that. Do you have to make any scheduled bathroom stops? I want to try this cereal to fuel my long runs, but I’m worried about the gastro effects it might have.

    • It was not a problem on that run. I hate having to make pit stops but I didn’t at all on that run. But each person is different, remember!

  42. I made this for breakfast today, my first concoction with my first bag of Swerve. I am pleasantly surprised! I thought there was no possible way something that looked like mine did (yours is all pretty of course!) could possibly taste good but it did!! Thanks so much!

  43. This was great and just what I was looking for! I loved Cream of Wheat, back in the day. I made this with unsweetened almond milk, no sweetener, and topped off with some half and half. I’m going to experiment next time and try grinding the chia seeds to see what that does to the texture. Who am I kidding, I’m going to buy ground chia seeds, lol. Still, I’m curious to see how it turns out. Thanks for the recipe – this looks like a great one to play with!

    • Carolyn says:

      Glad you liked it. I grind my chia seeds for other recipes in a coffee grinder. Works like a dream!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] I also really like.  Here is the recipe for a healthified version of “cream of wheat” http://alldayidreamaboutfood.com/2012/10/grain-free-hot-cereal.html Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. Filed under Uncategorized | [...]

  2. [...] carb loaded so I haven’t even tried anything similar. Then I read on another blog about this Grain Free Hot Cereal and decided to give it a try because more fiber is always great and no [...]

  3. [...] a recipe (based on this) if you’re craving some form of hot [...]

  4. [...] and it’s high in fiber and low in carbohydrate.  All of that was enough to inspire my Grain-Free Hot Cereal, which has actually fueled me through some grueling long [...]

  5. […] roundup would be complete without this recipe from All Day I Dream About Food. Carolyn’s Grain-Free Hot Cereal is low on ingredients but big on […]

  6. […] to work on long enough so you don’t pass out. Runner, writer, and blogger Carolyn Ketchum eats this mix of flax and chia before long runs, and finds it gets her energy to get all the way home for Second […]

  7. […] Grain Free Hot Cereal from All Day I Dream About Food […]

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