Fine, 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!).
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!).
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.
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???
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.
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
- 2 tbsp chia seed
- 2 tbsp flax seed meal
- 2 tsp Swerve Sweetener or other erythritol
- 1/3 cup hot water
- 2 tbsp heavy cream (optional)
- 2 tbsp nut butter (optional)
- Berries (optional)
- In a small bowl, stir together chia seed, flax seed meal, and Swerve.
- Add hot water, stir and let sit for 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in cream, nut butter, berries, raisins, chopped nuts... whatever floats your boat.