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!).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.
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 tablespoon chia seed
- 2 tablespoon flax seed meal
- 2 teaspoon Swerve Sweetener or other erythritol
- ⅓ cup hot water
- 2 tablespoon heavy cream (optional)
- 2 tablespoon 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.
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.
Glad to hear it!
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.
Glad to hear it!
Doug Varrieur says
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;
Nice to have met you 🙂
Thanks for sharing, Doug!
Doug Varrieur says
You are very welcome! 🙂
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!
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!
Absolutely. I’ve mixed my dry ingredients in a ziplock to take with me for breakfast when we were staying over-night somewhere.
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!
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!
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.
Gail @ Faithfulness farm says
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 🙂
Russell van Kraayenburg says
Boy this looks deliciously healthy!
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 !!!
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!
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,
So very glad to hear it!
Gail @ Faithfulness Farm says
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
Ludona H Smith says
I have been yearning for easy hot cereal for 15 years. I tried a couple that were SO complicated then gave up. I can’t wait to start tomorrow. BTW I LOVE grits so I’ll be trying my hot cereal savory style with bacon salt, cheese and Louisiana Hot Sauce!
Rikke Fogh says
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..
I may be related to hobbits then. Smaller feet, though…
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…
I was suprised at how good it was too! They certainly are goopy…
Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies says
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. 🙂
Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. says
super fabulous idea Carolyn! You are the best!
My hubby bought a packet of chia seeds, I will make this hot cereal. Looks delicious.
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. 🙂
When I had covid-19 the only food that sounded good was hot cereal. I here tried multiple recipes during my keto years but I wanted something simple my husband or kids could fix for me. Your recipe for the bill. It was delicious too! I did figure out I prefer it with 2/3 cup hot water and 2T macadamia nut milk. I like my hot cereals a little more on the runny side. I also used a pinch of pure monkfruit powder as my sweetener because I try to limit my sugar alcohol consumption when possible.
I am so sorry you had COVID! Hope you’re feeling much better.