Keto and Low Carb Success

Thinking Outside the Box

March 29, 2023 Miriam Hatoum Season 2 Episode 43
Keto and Low Carb Success
Thinking Outside the Box
Show Notes Transcript

Episode 43: Thinking Outside the Box: Creative ideas for breakfast and lunch.

No toast, muffins, bagels or donuts for breakfast?

Calm down lads and lassies. It is possible to make breakfasts without toast, bagels, donuts and muffins. There are non-grain substitutions for all of these, but I urge you to step away from the baked goods for now, until you shake off their shackles.
In this episode hear how you can enjoy breakfast and lunch without your usual high-carb fare.

1:38.      Thinking Outside the Box
5:37.       Let's Talk Beyond Eggs
8:28.       I love Coffee Sides
12:09.    Using your breakfast worksheet
14:44     An important step to STOP DIETING
15:58.    Onto Lunch Without Bread
17:06.    Tendencies toward carb addiction
21:38.    No bread? No problem!
23:37.    Good-Better-Best Method
25:45.    Lunch Worksheet
28:00.    This week's actionable coaching advice
29:33.    Episode 44 coming up

Breakfast and Lunch Worksheets
Free 35-Page Keto and Low Carb Planner
Conquer Cravings with Keto
Breaking Free Facebook Page
Recipes:         Keto Bagel
                           Caprese Salad
                           Charcuterie Plate

BLOGS:    Carbs in Yogurt and Bacon
                      Paradigm Shift
                      Mindset Shift

Access Transcript Here

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Episode #43 Thinking Outside the Box

You’re listening to the Keto and Low Carb Success podcast, Episode #43, Thinking Outside the Box.


Enjoy Keto and Low Carb success by becoming aware of what foods work best in your body and why. Master your mindset to make the journey an easy one. Learn all this, and more, with this podcast based on my trademarked Granny Keto Transitions Program. Join me, Miriam Hatoum, health coach, course creator and author of Conquer Cravings with Keto, as I give you actionable coaching advice with each episode that is sure to empower you and take any confusion out of following a Keto or Low Carb diet. It’s like being a private coaching client while you listen at your convenience!

But before we start, I wanted to offer my free gift to you for just for taking a peek at my course, Roadmap to Keto and Low Carb Success. No obligation – just take a peek! At the bottom of the page you will find a spot to put in your name and email address and like magic, my 35-page Keto and Low Carb Planner will appear in your in-box! The feedback on this Planner has been fabulous and it is yours free for just taking a look over at The direct link will be in the show notes and transcript.

1:38     And now to the episode, Thinking Outside the Box.

No toast, muffins, bagels or donuts for breakfast?

Calm down lads and lassies. It is possible to make breakfasts without toast, bagels, donuts and muffins. There are non-grain substitutions for all of these, but I urge you to step away from the baked goods for now, until you shake off their shackles. 

I hear all the time “But I’m sick of bacon and eggs.” I don’t blame you there. Consider some of the following for ideas for a keto breakfast.

1)  All manner of frittatas. Yes, I know they are eggs, but several steps above scrambled, fried or poached. They also can be made in muffin tins and travel well! Check cookbooks about how to make frittatas if you have never made one – they can be done entirely on the stove or half on the stove, finished in the oven. Here are some suggestions for what to put in them:

  • Ham
  • Cheese
  • Sausage
  • Chorizo
  • Diced vegetables
  • Spinach
  • Leeks
  • Broccoli
  • You get the idea!

2) Plain Yogurt, Greek or Regular with berries or other fruit as mix-ins. Use full-fat yogurt, or at least do not use non-fat. The non-fat can sometimes be higher in carbohydrates. 

3) If you are still eating grains on a low-carb plan, go ahead and enjoy that oatmeal or other cereal that you like. 

  • Make sure it is the pure cereal grain and not one that contains several ingredients, including sugar! 
  • That packet of instant oatmeal that you have probably is not just oatmeal. 
  • However, if you plan to move all the way to Keto, I would suggest getting your taste buds used to other breakfast foods and not have cereal 7 days a week!

A 4th idea is Hamburgers – yeah, I know. But either a plain hamburger or one that has been mixed with diced peppers, onions and celery, makes a very filling breakfast. Top it with cheese!

5) And on that note, any leftovers from dinner work well for breakfast – think outside the box. You think some of those foods you can’t face in the morning, but you would be surprised!

Back to eggs. Eggs any which way are fine.

  • If you are looking to add fat, I would go for eggs scrambled with cream and cooked in butter or ghee. 
  • On the side you can put 
    • bacon 
    • salami 
    • sausage
    • full-fat kielbasa
    • full-fat hot dogs
    • steak 
    • and don’t forget olives and avocado.

Whenever I scramble eggs, I always throw in a handful of baby spinach or sautéed mushrooms. 

If you are sensitive to chicken eggs, duck eggs are becoming more available in some markets. Very often people will have sensitivity to one but not the other. 

If you do eat eggs

  • make sure you search for the hundreds of Keto crustless quiche recipes 
  • there are recipes for those both baked and made in crockpots. 
  • Ditto on the hundreds of wonderful grab-and-go egg muffins that can be made with all sorts of goodness like the frittatas like
    • ham
    • cheese
    • sausage
    • leeks 
    • all sorts of other vegetables
  •  Let’s not forget hard-boiled eggs and egg salad!

5:37    But let’s talk Beyond Eggs

After a certain point, especially if you were a cereal or baked-goods breakfast person, you may tire of eggs. 

  • Often, I have turkey breast rolled up in a cheese wrap.
  • Countless mornings I have had ham and cheese rollups in lettuce leaves. 
  • One of my favorite breakfasts is a fried beef burger or chicken burger. 

There are several brands of Keto granolas,

  • They do not contain wheat products and are made primarily from nuts and seeds (or you can make your own). 
  • Just be careful to count these as total carbs no matter what the fiber count is.
  • If you are counting net carbs only, you can do that, but watch your quantity.

There are several full-fat plain yogurts and Greek yogurts that are very low in carbs

  • Personally, I pick a very low-carb plain Greek yogurt and do not count it when I am following Keto macros, as I also have only a small amount – about ½ to ¾ cup. 
  • I’ve done a blog on sugar in yogurt and bacon and I will put a link to it in the show notes and transcript. When you read it you’ll see why I do not count it if I use a small amount.
  • To this I add seeds and nuts or Keto granola, or cut-up cucumbers and mint.
  • If you are eating berries, go ahead and add them to the yogurt, although I would save this combination for a wonderful dessert later in the day, especially if you add a few chopped nuts.

I have made stunning breakfast plates with 

  • smoked salmon
  • olives
  • one or two cheeses
  • radishes
  • celery sticks 
  • sliced cucumber

I also suggest a caprese salad. It is no more than sliced mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, balsamic vinaigrette and olive oil.

Full-fat cottage cheese and ricotta cheese are allowed on Keto, but make sure you count the carbs.

8:28    I love Coffee Sides

Even though I suggest not going with Keto baked-good substitutes, you are highly unlikely to go overboard on these morning “coffee sides” that follow. These are great ideas for a keto breakfast especially if you are on the run with coffee in hand.

The reason I call these few breakfast baked-goods “unlikely to overeat baked coffee-sides” is because their sweetness factor is minimal, which often drives the “I can’t stop eating this” behavior. 

Give me a Keto cookie or cake or sweet Chaffles with a sugar alternative maple syrup, and it’s another story!

  • Cloud bread
    • Google “cloud bread” or “oopsie rolls” and you will find dozens upon dozens of recipes and directions.
    • Basically, it is just four ingredients: eggs, cream cheese, cream of tartar, and salt! 
    • I add cinnamon and a little sweetener for my morning recipe.
  • Keto Egg Loaf with Blueberry and Lemon
    • This is a recipe is from the website Have Butter Will Travel and it makes a wonderful breakfast. It is good enough for company. 
    • True story: I served it for a Thanksgiving brunch and as people were finishing it, I whipped up a second one – it was the hit of the brunch. 
    • It’s great to grab-and-go or to enjoy leisurely at home.
  • Keto Bagels
    • If I have a really strong hankering for a bagel there are many Keto bagel recipes in cookbooks and on the Internet. I even have a recipe for one on my own website and will link to it in the show notes and transcript.
    • However, unlike the cloud bread and Keto Egg Loaf, there is a larger sense of disappointment because although you can slather it with cream cheese and top it with tomatoes, onions and smoked salmon, it does not fool you into thinking you are eating a “real” bagel.
    • However, if you miss bagels and really want to have something like that to hold in your hand, go for it!
    • There is, what I call, a Palate-Brain Disconnect. This means that when you eat Keto baked goods you have a disappointment factor because a Keto bagel isn’t a real bagel. However, if you do start to experiment with Keto baked goods along your journey, you will develop less of a disconnect between your palate and your brain. You might actually enjoy the Keto bagel.
  • You may have heard about Chaffles
    • Using a waffle maker, you can make these sweet or savory. 
    • There are hundreds of recipes on the internet.
    • There is even a Facebook page devoted to them!
    • Just a warning though – if you have trouble with sweet things – even if they are not sweetened by sugar, go easy on these. They do, however, make a great pizza crust if you want to go the savory route.

12:09   Using Your Breakfast Worksheet

I put together a breakfast worksheet for you with ideas for thinking outside the box when it comes to breakfast. It is available inside my course, and also for a very short time at Grab it while you can!

I am going to read it to you now just so you can see all the ideas, but as I said, grab it now while you can.  I also have the lunch worksheet with it.


  • Eggs: Fried, poached, scrambled, hard-boiled, egg salad
  • Omelets and Quiches made with
    • Cheese
    • Bacon
    • Salami
    • Kielbasa
    • Sausage
    • Hot dogs
    • Vegetables
  • Rollups with any deli meat
  • Sides of avocado and olives
  • Keto or low-sugar granola
  • Yogurt with
    • Keto Granola
    • Nuts and seeds
    • Cucumber and mint
    • Berries
  • Caprese plate (mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar)
  • Charcuterie plates with
    • Smoked salmon
    • Cheese
    • Meats such as salami and prosciutto
    • Olives
    • Vegetables
  • Baked goods
    • Keto Selections that I recommended here 
    • Others that you like
    • Other:

I leave you space on the worksheet to fill in your own ideas, and give you prompts such as:

  • Ways to make eggs
  • Sides and mix-ins for eggs
  • Rollup ideas
  • Yogurt mix-in ideas
  • Combination Plates

 As you can see...

  • There are plenty of ideas for a keto breakfast without muffins, bagels, toast or donuts. 
  • A lot of these suggestions can even be made into handheld fast food! 
  • Let go of what you are used to and try a few new things. 

This letting go is what I talk about in my blogs about making a paradigm shift and making a mindset shift. I will link both those blogs in the show notes and transcript for this episode. 

14:44  Truly, this thinking outside the box is an important step to STOP DIETING

  • Once you begin to look at keto or low carb as lifestyles it becomes less a matter of going ON a diet or going OFF a diet.
  • You make choices based on health. In my case it was to lower my blood sugar and to get out of pre-diabetes range.
  • You make choices on how foods make you feel throughout the day.
  • I find I am lethargic all day if I have something like pancakes or muffins for breakfast, but I will absolutely dance through my day if I make breakfast healthy with protein and vegetables.
  • Make choices based on other goals in your life. In my case, another goal was to eliminate binge behavior, something I found so much easier when I started my day with filling and healthy breakfast choices. 

Make wise non-carbohydrate choices at breakfast and you will set yourself up for a successful day! Not a measuring cup, measuring spoon or in sight!      

15:58   Now on to Lunch without Bread? “I can’t give up bread,” you say.  Yes, you can. 

I am talking ALL bread here – even Keto bread made with almond and coconut flours…for now. No bread? Yes you can have lunch without bread - I promise! 

·       It is best to get bread out of your system, not look for substitutes.  

·       As with the sweeteners, some people will never rid themselves of cravings if all they do is substitute one type of bread for another. That’s why I suggest not going with the Keto breads at the start of your journey.

·       Once you are very comfortable with Keto, and find that you are no longer triggered by bread, you may experiment with having Keto bread if you want to.  

·       If you are following Low Carb, it is probably a better choice to have less of the real thing that will fill you and nourish you, instead of eating the light bread options

17:06   Tendencies toward carb addiction

·       In blog on starchy vegetables, that I will link in the show notes and transcript, I wrote a bit about carb addiction.

·       If you find that you generally cannot control yourself around higher carbohydrate foods, you would do well to stay away from bread, even if your carbohydrate allowance has room for it. 

I want you to remember:

“Whatever you do, never run back to what broke you” (Frank Ocean).  

When you cut out sugar and wheat flour, a lot of the physical cravings will subside, but if even the idea of sweets and baked goods are triggers for you, you will have no relief from “head cravings” if you continue to eat all the foods that you were out of control with in the first place.

For example, what happens if you allow yourself Keto versions of bread? 

What happens is that when you are looking for bread you won’t have learned to tell yourself NO, and you will reach for what is available.  Trust me on this: NO BREAD OF ANY KIND at least at the beginning of your journey. 

18:20   Thinking outside the box for lunch ideas

“OMG,” you ask, “how do I take lunch to work if I can’t take a sandwich?”  Some of this is being repeated from last week’s episode on busting myths, but it doesn’t hurt to hear it again.

·       With your lunch, think a little bit outside the box. For instance, take a filling with you (deli meat, tuna salad, etc.) and bring lettuce (not iceberg: it is too stiff) and make yourself rollups.

A side note: I have found from experience that any lettuce rollup made with a mayonnaise filling gets soggy in transit. Bring the lettuce and filling separately and make your rollups when you are going to eat them.

“Can I have low carb wraps?”  NO, you cannot if you are on Keto.  You can fit them into a Low Carb eating plan but remember that they are baked goods and the same as bread so be careful.  Also, be creative. Use lettuce or cheese rollups or be even more creative and get out of the sandwich habit.  

“HUH? No sandwich for lunch?”  

  • Well, first of all, anything travels without bread – use baggies and small containers and bring a fork.  
  • There are tons of grab-and-go foods too:  
    • Beef jerky
    • hard boiled eggs
    • salami and cheese (slices or rollups)
    • cut veggies and ranch dip.  
  • Come on – you didn’t get overweight by not understanding the concept of how to get food into your mouth.  

Can you do me a favor though if you are eating Low Carb? 

·       If you are taking casseroles with you for lunch, limit yourself with “starchy” things: ONE potato per day – and please make it a sweet potato more often than a white potato if you must have one (the carb count is a bit higher but so are the fiber and nutrients). 

·       Have ONE cup of rice or ONE cup of pasta or ONE cup of corn per day (not per meal).  

·       And remember, a cup is about the size your fist. 

·       Measure these things out the first dozen or so times you eat them but then you can begin to eyeball the quantity and probably be spot on with it. 

For Keto, casseroles saved me at lunch. Two favorites were a Reuben casserole and a taco bake.

You want to make this as much of a comfortable lifestyle as possible. 

  • Fill up on non-starchy vegetables (cooked or raw), fresh salads and non-cream soups.  
  • Enjoy proteins, plain or with sauces made with no added sugar.     

21:38   No bread? No problem!

  • Enjoy casseroles and soups, as long as they do not have breading and items made from flour (yes, that’s pasta!).
  • Green salads with toppings such as 
    • olives
    • cheese
    • seeds and nuts
    • pepperoncini
    • bacon bits (real ones, please) 
    • protein of your choice. 
  • Any “mayonnaise” salads such as
    • tuna salad
    • chicken salad
    • Double up on crunchy diced vegetables
      •  celery
      • radishes
      • bell peppers
      • onions
  • Make your own coleslaw using a sugar substitute or leave off the sweetener altogether.
  • Rollups: 
    • deli meat
    • tuna salad 
    • chicken salad
    • left-over sliced chicken or beef. 
  • If you use lettuce keep the filling separate and roll up the sandwich when you are ready to eat. 
  • No wraps with flour or corn, but there are wonderful cheese wraps called “Folios.” They have become so popular that a lot of grocery stores are running their own brand of these. But if can’t find a less expensive store brand and you do want Folios the least expensive place I have seen them has been at Trader Joe’s. They come in three flavors – Parmesan, cheddar and Jarlsberg. I have also seen egg wraps that are made from – you guessed it – eggs. As those are becoming more popular and more available, they are also available as a store brand. Be careful of other wraps such as those made from coconut and cauliflower. Often there are other ingredients and they are high in carbs.

If you have take-in at work look for your best options. 

23:37  This is the Good-Better-Best Method that I covered in Episode 7, and it is a wonderful way to "freestyle" your eating style. It is all about making your next-best decision.

  • If Chinese food is being ordered, ask for a chicken and vegetable (no sauce) dish for yourself. 
  • Tacos? Enjoy but don’t have the shell. 
  • Deli? Enjoy all of it without the bread and chips. 
  • But honestly, if you bring your own lunch have that and just enjoy a sparkling water or diet soda from the buffet table.

Look through some Keto cookbooks to get ideas of wonderful casseroles that travel well and even taste good cold if you don’t have a microwave to heat your lunch. 

Think a little bit outside the box and you will be having lunch without bread and not even missing it!

As with breakfast, I put together a lunch worksheet for you with ideas for thinking outside the box when it comes to lunch, and especially if you have to take it with you. It is available inside my course, and also for a very short time at Grab it while you can!

I am going to read it to you now just so you can see all the ideas, but as I said, grab it now while you can. 

25:45  LUNCH Worksheet

  • “Holders”
    • Keto Breads and rolls
    • Cheese Wraps
    • Egg wraps
    • Soft-leaf lettuce for rollups
  • Fillings
    • Tuna salad
    • Egg salad
    • Deli meat
    • Cheese
  • Other proteins (that don’t need heating)
    • Canned fish like sardines, trout, herring, mackerel
    • Hard-boiled eggs
    • Sliced chicken, sliced steak
  • Salad toppings
    • Any of the protein choices above
    • Nuts and seeds
  • Dressings
    • Olive oil/vinegar
    • Full fat dressing like Bleu cheese and Ranch
  • If heating or thermos is available
    • Soups
    • Stews
    • Any leftovers that are best hot or warm
  • Snacks
    • Bouillon (with butter)
    • Celery sticks and radishes
    • Pickles
    • Salami and cheese
    • Salsa or guacamole with cheese “wisps”

 There is also a spot for you to list your own favorites. Make the Keto or Low Carb eating style much easier for yourself by learning to think outside the box. You do not have to spend a fortune buying pre-packaged items. You do not have to spend hours cooking and preparing meals. You do not have to be bored with the same things day after day. This is all covered in my new course which will go live very soon. It is also covered, along with grocery shopping and planning tips in my book, Conquer Cravings with Keto (which, by the way also fully covers Low Carb). The links to the book and the course are in the show notes and transcript.

28:00 This Week’s Actionable Coaching Advice

Please download the meal planning worksheets for this episode available in the show notes and transcripts. If you are listening to this episode past the time they are available, please email me and I will send them to you. 

I want you to check off things that appeal to you for breakfast and lunch. Then I want you to go to the bottom of each page and write in some of your own favorites. 

Go to pages 8-13 of your Keto & Low Carb Success Planner and pick one of the pages that works best for you, and jot down some of those breakfast and lunch ideas. Start with one or two meals that are outside the box for you, and every week add another one. The link for this free planner is in the show notes and transcript.

Now, let me remind you. If you’ve ever got a question you’d like to ask me or share a topic idea that you would like me to cover on a future episode, don’t be a stranger! I always look forward to hearing from listeners like you. You are welcome to email me directly… And don’t forget to leave a review wherever you listen to this podcast. Leaving a review makes it easier for other people who are looking to listen about Keto and Low Carb.

29:33  Coming up in the next episode I will be giving you all the buzzwords that you need to know for your Keto and Low Carb journey. Never be wondering again what all these crazy acronyms and sciency-sounding terms mean. It might turn out to be another two-parter like the myths and questions episode just before this one, but will be well worth your time to listen to.

So go share the show with your friends, let them know that’s coming up in the next episode, and invite them to tune in with you and learn how to become free from diet prison with my Keto and Low Carb Success podcast.

 Until then, go live free from diet worry — I’ll see you back here next time. 

 Free 35-Page Keto and Low Carb Planner
Conquer Cravings with Keto
Breaking Free Facebook Page
Recipes:         Keto Bagel
                           Caprese Salad
                           Charcuterie Plate

BLOGS:    Carbs in Yogurt and Bacon
                      Paradigm Shift
                      Mindset Shift