Keto and Low Carb Success

Cooking and Shopping for Low Carb

August 17, 2023 Miriam Hatoum Season 3 Episode 63
Keto and Low Carb Success
Cooking and Shopping for Low Carb
Show Notes Transcript

Episode #: 63 Grocery Shopping and Cooking for Low Carb

 You’re Listening to the Keto and Low Carb Success podcast, Episode # 63, Grocery Shopping and Cooking for Low Carb.

As I said last week, and I hope you took heed, there is nothing that you cannot have while eating a low carb diet, and there is never an issue of deprivation. You are in the driver’s seat as you plan your meals and decide how to use your carbohydrate allowance. You are not denying yourself any foods, but you are making decisions based on what foods and what quantities make you feel best.

For this episode I am going to pull from Episode #14, Cooking for the Family, which aired September 1st, 2022, and Episode #15, Grocery Shopping, which aired September 8th, 2022. 

Review of Foods to Limit
There is no need to eat so separately from your family.
What mistakes are we making and why?
What are the costs of making these mistakes?
Calling out a new way for
planning your meals
 Ideas for family meals
All about grocery shopping
This week's Actionable Coaching Advice
Next week's episode: 
Fnding your balance with Kaizen 

Get all my free guides
Take a look at this great course
Join me on Facebook
Follow me on Instagram
Check out Pinterest
And don't forget my book!

Episode #: 63 Grocery Shopping and Cooking for Low Carb

 You’re Listening to the Keto and Low Carb Success podcast, Episode # 63, Grocery Shopping and Cooking for Low Carb.

 Did you know that you don't have to spend money on a diet program or weigh, measure and track your food? What if you could learn to have success by following an easy roadmap that takes you on adventures from learning how to change your mindset so that you can believe in yourself, to learning about what foods work best in your body and why? Join me, Miriam Hatoum, health coach, course creator and author of Conquer Cravings with Keto, as I give you actionable coaching advice that is sure to empower you so that you will finally find peace with food and learn to trust your body’s signals. You’ve got this, girl! 

 Be sure to go to to get all the free guides to help you along the way. I am in your shoes, my friends, and I wrote these guides for both of us. The link is in the show notes and transcripts.

 Oh, and before we start, I want to let you know that the primary purpose of this podcast and the course is to educate and does not constitute medical advice or service, and I’m keeping up with the science as fast as I can so I can share with you the latest breaking research in this area to help you achieve your dreams!

Now on to today’s episode:

For this episode I am going to pull from Episode #14, Cooking for the Family, which aired September 1st, 2022, and Episode #15, Grocery Shopping, which aired September 8th, 2022. 

As I said last week, and I hope you took heed, there is nothing that you cannot have while eating a low carb diet, and there is never an issue of deprivation. You are in the driver’s seat as you plan your meals and decide how to use your carbohydrate allowance. You are not denying yourself any foods, but you are making decisions based on what foods and what quantities make you feel best.

You can set up an “eat-this-not-that” system, where you know if you want a sandwich for lunch, you might forgo carbs at breakfast and go lightly at dinner. If summer fruit is in abundance, and you know you want a plate of watermelon or bowl of cherries, then make sure you don’t eat those foods every day, as it is the fructose that is an issue, even more than the carbohydrates in the fruit. 

Remember, there is no set definition of low carbohydrate eating, and the best way to settle on how many carbs you will be eating will depend upon using your scale and measuring tape as data to make that decision. Keto is usually set 20 carbohydrates or less, counting them either as total or net. If you are in good metabolic health, you can even eat more while still staying in ketosis. Most people comfortably eat a moderate low carbohydrate diet while eating up to 100 carbohydrates a day, or even 50 carbohydrates per meal. There is nothing physical to monitor as with Keto, where you measure your ketones to see whether or not you are in ketosis. Instead, put on that lab coat of yours and become an observer, not only of the scale and the tape measure, but also of how you feel with your meals. Having energy and feeling good are other indicators. 

Before getting into cooking for the family, I want to start at the grocery shopping stage and investigate what goes into your cart.

Foods to Limit

A low carb diet typically has you limit bread, sweets, and starchy vegetables. Certain types of fruit may also be high in carbs, and so you will want to keep your fruit selections to no more than 2 per day. Figuring out which staple foods will work best for you isn’t always easy. Your total daily carb target determines whether you need to merely limit some of these foods or avoid them altogether. 

Although you don’t have to eliminate any foods on a low carb diet (the way you would on a Keto diet), I did talk about the following in last week’s Episode #62:

·       Bread and Grains 

·       Legumes 

·       Fruit and Fruit Juices 

·       Starchy Vegetables 

·       Yogurt, Milk and Other Dairy Products 

·       Sugar 

·       Gluten-Free Products 

Moving on to this episode, I want to talk about cooking for the family first, then about how to arrange your grocery list to accommodate what you are eating and cooking.

There is no need to eat so separately from your family. 

·       There are plenty of ways to be a part of family meals – whether at home or at a restaurant – that are inclusive and don’t make it obvious that you are dieting or following a certain eating style that your family might not be following with you.

·       You can decide on any eating style, and the internet is filled with recipe and meal ideas for any one of them. 

·       Even keeping things simple with no recipes can be easy. A protein, a cooked vegetable, a salad, and pasta or rice on the side – have it or not, bread if you serve it, and dessert if you serve it. Any eating plan will support a meal like this. What and how much you eat of this is not dependent upon what and how much your family eats of it.

·       If your family would balk at a meal like this and instead looks for their hamburger helper or tuna casserole, I bet you can find recipes for these within your eating style – even if you pull out a portion before putting it into the oven and making it with some cauliflower florets instead of pasta. Yes, that is an adjustment that you will make, but it is not preparing, fully, a separate meal then sitting there sulking that you can’t have what the family is eating.

·       It can be easy to cook for the family in a way that includes your eating style.

What mistakes are we making?

What mistakes are we making before we even put the food on the table?

·       There are two mistakes that most of us make. 

o   The first one is thinking we must cook separately for ourselves.

o   The second one is thinking that we need our families to change their way of eating to support us.

 Why are we making the mistake of thinking your meals must be different from family meals?  

·        Our beliefs are at the root of all of this.

o   Diet culture has led us to believe that we are either on a diet or off a diet. 

o   Those beliefs include thinking that our way of eating is set apart from “normal” (air quotes) eating. Everyone else eats normally. We dieters eat, but are usually deprived and on a diet.

o   Even if we don’t eat the traditional diet foods – like boneless skinless broiled chicken breast or broccoli with no butter and salad with no-fat dressing – we still believe that we cannot eat a regular family meal with all the fixins. 

o   While this might be true to some extent, based on which eating lifestyle you choose, there is certainly no reason to make a gorgeous, sumptuous meal for the family while you sit eating a Lean Cuisine with a salad and no dressing at the end of the table. 

o   And why should anyone’s opinion and support, or lack of support, the reason you change the way you eat. 

o   Let’s take the gorgeous, sumptuous meal you have prepared for the family. Why is it anyone’s business whether or not you take a helping of potatoes? And if you do take some, why is it anyone’s business how much you take?

What is the cost of making these mistakes?

o   If you keep making the mistakes of believing you must cook meals that are totally separate from the family’s meals, or the mistake of believing that you can’t do this without their support, you do face consequences.  

o   The first consequence is that this is not sustainable unless you want to make yourself miserable. It is also expensive to cook separate meals.

o   The second consequence has nothing to do with the monetary and time costs and effort of separate meals. It is that so much of weight re-gain is that we ate according to a prescribed diet and never really took the time to make those subtle necessary shifts, such as finding our own strength and beliefs in ourselves.

Calling out a new way for planning your meals

·       As you continue listening to this podcast and reading my blogs and books, you will begin to learn how to make your meals fit the way in which you have chosen to eat, and still serve family favorites.

o   Honestly, if you don’t say anything to anyone, your friends and family might never know you are eating a different way. 

o   Let’s say you have chosen to eat low carb: Make your usual rice, pasta or potato. Serve fresh bread. Put some croutons on the salad. Serve dessert. 

o   BUT, keep your head about you and don’t throw a pity party that you can’t have this and that. With a determined attitude you are in no danger of eating all the other food once you make up your mind you are going to eat this way. 

o   One way to dissolve the tension in wanting to eat all the things is to just take a breath and ask yourself, “If I loved myself would I eat this?” The answer to that is not always easy because we have become accustomed to not loving ourselves based on what the scale says. But sometimes just taking a breath and a few seconds even if it does not include the question, can reduce anxiety. I know this sounds a little “woo” but it works, really.

o   This is what I mean by having your own back. Cook and serve what the family enjoys. Don’t make them give up their favorites. 

 Ideas for family Meals

The suggestions I am making are slanted toward being as low sugar and low grain as possible, but you can make adjustments according to your own eating plan. The point is to show you that you can make an abundance of family-friendly meals without freaking everyone out with “Oh gosh not another diet…”

            How about…

o   Buffalo chicken wings or tenders using any Buffalo sauce without sugar.

o   Chicken cacciatore with home-made marinara or a very low-to-no sugar bottled sauce.

o   Mushrooms, onions, peppers and beef or chicken strips sauteed in garlic-butter. Serve with pasta or soft taco shells for the family.

o   Chili and taco bakes – there are dozens of non-sugar chili and taco recipes!

o   Chicken roasted with fresh garlic and white wine, salad with dressing, and broccoli or Brussels sprouts roasted with garlic and topped with crumbled bacon.

o   Oven-roasted pork chops with shredded cabbage sauteed with butter, onions and a touch of apple cider vinegar.

o   Include starches, observing any limit you have for yourself such as

§  Rolls and bread 

§  Rice, baked potatoes or sweet potato fries

§  Tortilla or fajita wraps – there are even some fabulous non-grain or low-carb ones

o   People from certain cultures might find it almost impossible to cook “light” family meals. It is not hard, I promise you! Some examples would be:

§  Chorizo and Jalapeno Breakfast bake which combines bell peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes, spinach and cheddar cheese into an egg delight.

§  Fajitas can be served without tortillas, or taco salads can be served without the chips.

§  Dominican favorites are pollo guisado and repollo guisado, Dominican chicken and stewed cabbage, respectively.

§  With Asian selections look up any eating style you are following and there will be a plethora of recipes for Asian cuisine. If you are ordering at a restaurant order any steamed versions being offered as well as roast pork and roast duck. 

o   Use any of your own familiar recipes without flour or regular breading. If something calls for potatoes and you are not eating those right now, still make the dish. Remember: You have your own back, and no one is stopping you from leaving the potatoes on the side!

 Episode #15, which aired on September 8th, 2022, was all about grocery shopping. I addressed your food budget and going overboard with things that you really don’t need when starting with a new eating style. I emphasized that your success will depend upon the front end work of planning everything out and making a coherent list before walking into the grocery store or making an on-line order.

 Let me start by saying I still do everything with pen and paper, but you are welcome to do this on the computer.

·       Print out any meal plan you may have made for the week, even if it is only for the next two or three days. As a matter of fact, if you get overwhelmed easily with meal planning I suggest that you go no further than 3 days at a time. 

·       Take a blank sheet of paper. 

·       Every time a food is on the meal plan put the ingredients for it on the blank sheet of paper. 

·       Then arrange it according to food types and add quantities. 

·       I basically have the same breakfast every day. I might vary how I made eggs or have a plate with cheese, olives and sliced vegetables. When I was working, I would generally take the same lunch every day – that big salad I talked about in Episode #8 which aired July 21, 2022, about protocol meal planning – but my protein might be whatever I had for dinner the night before. 

·        A preliminary grocery list that takes care of breakfasts and lunches.

 | Eggs | Cream | Butter | Bacon
 | Mushrooms | Onions | Bell pepper | Baby spinach
 | Chopped walnuts | Black olives | Feta cheese | Cherry tomatoes
 | Mesclun mix | Romaine lettuce | Ranch dressing | Unsliced salami
 | Chicken bouillon | Cheese wisps | Avocado oil | Olive oil
 | Blueberries | Strawberries | Pickles | Greek yogurt
 | Celery | Cucumbers | Blackberries | Radishes
 |   |   | Leeks | String beans

 This list – which I have in the transcript so you can see my example – takes care of my breakfasts and lunches for the week if I am basically having the same thing every day. I include snacks and other ingredients that I might need to replenish like butter and olive or avocado oil. If you feel overwhelmed with planning and shopping for an entire week, then, as I said, just do it for 2 or 3 days. You would list what you need for everything for those few days, including snacks for other days and variations on your breakfasts and lunches.

·       For the second, and maybe final, list, put the items under headings. I use Dairy, Produce, Meats, Other, Household. The Other category would include items that might be spices or snack items that I am buying for the family. For the final list I add a Household category that would be for things like laundry detergent and sponges.

The second list which includes a few items for a planned dinner is also in the transcript.  

1 dozen eggs
1 quart heavy cream
1 pound butter
Feta cheese
Greek yogurt  (No need to add a quantity for Greek yogurt. For instance, if I always buy the same size it is understood.)
Bell peppers
Romaine lettuce
Mesclun mix
Cherry tomatoes
String beans
Blackberries (add quantities needed)
2 packages bacon
Chicken legs and thighs (8 pieces total)
Black olives
Ranch dressing
Olive oil
Avocado oil
vegetable bouillon
Cheese wisps
Chopped walnuts
Laundry Detergent

·       Include quantities in this version of the list. As I said, when doing the draft list, put individual quantities as the foods come up, such as, 1 onion for this recipe, 2 onions for that recipe and 1 onion for salads, so that your final list would have 4 onions. Take the time to do this so that you aren’t running out because you are short on something. 

·       Now, take that list and look at your fridge, freezer, cabinets and pantry. Cross out anything you do not need. Nothing is worse than two bottles of Worcestershire sauce, or lettuce that will go bad if it spends one more day not in a salad.

This is the front-end work I am talking about. Try not to make it a stressful process. You can do it leisurely, such as when you are having coffee in the morning or watching TV at night. Many of my clients make this a dedicated activity. They might plan their meals and write out their grocery list on a Friday night, because a lot of circulars come out on Thursday and show the sales for the upcoming week. They might go grocery shopping on Saturday and do some preparation or batch cook on Sunday, especially if they have to prepare lunches for the week. There is no need to give meals or grocery shopping a second thought for the rest of the week once you have done this. You can spread the meal planning and grocery shopping front-end work over a couple of days if you like to look through recipes during the week.

·       You will save time

·       You will save money

·       You will save your sanity 


·      Whether you live alone or are cooking for a family, and whether or not you have settled in on an eating plan, I want you to plan out some meals that include REAL foods.

o   Go to my blog on my website at and look for the two blogs entitled: “No Sandwiches? Keto Lunch Ideas” and “Ideas for a Keto Breakfast.” The reason I am asking you to read these two blogs has nothing to do with Keto. I am having you look at these blogs because they will help you think outside the diet box. 

o   Use the two worksheets in the blogs. I also give them to you as a download at the end of this episode. You will be able to plan a few non-diet family-friendly meals that you will find quite easy and satisfying. 

o   These worksheets, and dinner-planning worksheets, are available in my book, Conquer Cravings with Keto, my course Keto and Low Carb Success,  and my e-books available on the website.

·      I am adding another action item this week, and this is especially important for people who need to cook in a cultural manner for their families, but still want to support themselves in a chosen eating style.

o   I want you to do an Internet search using your eating-style term, low-carb for instance, and pair it with the cultural food you want to prepare.

o   In the show notes for this episode, I have resources for Italian, Asian, Dominican and Mexican to get you started.

o   I also cover this extensively in the “Cooking for the Family” module in my course.

I also want to leave you with this to think about:

·      The best feeling in the world is finally knowing you took a step in the right direction, a step towards the future where everything that you never thought possible is possible.

·      Take that step toward learning to plan your own meals with the foods that you and your family like.

·      You are smart! You can figure it out! 

And, 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. I would SO appreciate it. Leaving a review makes it easier for other people who are looking to listen and learn about Keto and Low Carb.

 Coming up in the next Episode

 Next week I will explore finding your balance with Kaizen. Kaizen is the practice of small changes, not sweeping reforms. You will be less likely to lose your balance with being successful on your eating plan when you approach it with the understanding that perfection is not welcome in your journey – only small changes, one step at a time.

 Please share this show with your friends 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. Especially share this podcast with anyone you know who is struggling with their weight or eating plan. This podcast, my book and all the free resource guides I I make available to you can be game changers if you take the information and coaching advice that are in them, they really are. It will help so many people transform their lives – not just with food but with how they feel about themselves, how they approach the food they eat, and how they make decisions about any area of their lives.

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

Get all my free guides
Take a look at this great course
Join me on Facebook
Follow me on Instagram
Check out Pinterest
And don't forget my book!