Join Riley and Roni for a fun conversation with Carolyn about food, recipes, the keto diet, and so much more! Carolyn Ketchum is the evil mastermind behind the popular keto blog All Day I Dream About Food and the best-selling author of The Ultimate Guide to Keto Baking. A major carnivore and an unrepentant sweet tooth, she is devoted to creating innovative and delicious low carb recipes that don't sacrifice on flavor. See Carolyn in action on her YouTube channel or catch her on Facebook.
Follow her on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fooddreamer/
Full list of her keto books: https://alldayidreamaboutfood.com/keto-cookbooks/
Find the recipes Carolyn talks about in this episode:
Devil’s Food Cake – Keto and Sugar-Free
Low Carb Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
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I'm Riley and I'm Roni. And this is the plan to eat podcast, where we have conversations about meal planning, food, and wellness. To help you answer the question what's for dinner.
Roni: Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of the Plan to Eat podcast, Riley and I are really excited to share an interview that we got to do today with Carolyn Ketchum.
Of all day, I dream about food. She is a food blogger who focuses on low carb gluten-free and keto recipes, and she has six different recipe books, and we had the best conversation with her
Riley: We really did. We talked about her food journey, how she integrated this into her family, um, why she started doing keto at all. It's chock-full of tips, tricks information, and we know it's going to be so beneficial to people who are, who are new to keto and want to try it, who have been doing keto for a long time or something that they know that they need to do for their health.
So we can't wait for you to hear it. We hope you love it.
Roni: The [00:01:00] information contained in this episode of the Plan to Eat podcast is not intended as medical or health advice. The following information is not a substitute for medical or health advice from a professional who is aware of the facts and circumstances of your individual situation. So hi Carolyn. Thanks for being on the Plan to Eat podcast with us today.
Carolyn: I'm so happy to be here.
Roni: Yeah. So we just want to get started to get to know you a little bit. We already like had a little intro where we talked about your website and stuff, but don't you just give us your bio?
Carolyn: Oh, um, okay. Let's see. I have been doing the keto well, low carb diet for about 12 years, which seems crazy to me now. and then sort of, I guess I realized it was going more and more in the direction of keto. Five or six years ago. So, I started my blog after I had gestational diabetes with my youngest, and it [00:02:00] was a real struggle to keep my blood sugar under control because at that point they were telling me that.
Sort of, you know, normally like don't let your carbs go too low because you know, you'll damage the baby. So you're really scared. Um, and so after she was born, things were great for a while and then things started to creep up a bit, um, and up more and more and more and more. And about six months after she was born, I thought I've got blood sugar issues.
I like to say it that way instead of diabetes, um, I feel very strongly that I'd be, would be a full blown type two diabetes. If I didn't drop my carbs. And so I just started doing it and I'd always liked to play with recipes and mess around. And so I started doing that and I had some serious failures. Um, but yeah, I started writing recipes and people started paying attention.
Riley: That is amazing. I, I always love to hear from people when they're what they do now grew out of their own need or their own, you know, like they're not just, [00:03:00] I mean, not to like downplay accountants or something, but like they went to school, then they became an accountant. Like, but your journey is so integrated into who you are and, in a need that you had.
And I, I love stories like that.
Carolyn: Yeah, it's very personal to me. I mean, I know a lot of, um, I'm really connected to the blogger community and as bloggers get bigger, they hire people to do their recipes and I just can't. Um, I, and I can't even, I have, I struggle even having somebody help me out on social media and it's not really a control issue.
It's more like this is me. This blog is me and I'm the blog and you can't really take the two of them apart.
Riley: I love that.
Roni: Yeah, that's really, that's a really sweet sentiment. I really love that.
Carolyn: well, I'd say ask my husband cause I'm not sure he loves it so much. It's like so intense.
Riley: Oh, it happens to so many entrepreneurs. I understand
Carolyn: You guys probably know.
Riley: we do it. We do get it.
Roni: So then, uh, you were probably at like five years getting into five years ago, getting into [00:04:00] keto. That was probably like wasn't super popular. Then did people think you were kind of weird for that kind of eating?
Carolyn: Um, the low carb community was already sort of tapped in there. Um, and then. They start. There's a particular publisher who happens to be mine who, um, re it did the same thing with paleo. They start like putting out cookbooks like crazy. And I was one of the first that they approached, there were probably three or four of us at that point that they approached and they kind of blew the whole thing up, but keto was becoming really popular already at that point.
Um, When I first started low carb, I had no idea what keto ketosis or, or that stuff was. I knew ketoacidosis having had diabetes because your endocrinologist beats that one into your head. but I just really sort of thought. When I write these recipes, they're so low carb. And so I started testing for ketosis and things like that.
And I was already there. Um, I don't really test for [00:05:00] that anymore because I know what works for me. So I test my blood sugar and that's the most important piece to me.
Riley: So what would you for the sake of our listeners define the difference between keto and low carb.
Carolyn: It's a, it's a spectrum. So keto is low-carb, but not all low-carb is keto. because some people are just eating, you know, say 50 to a hundred grams of carbs in it in comparison to the standard American diet. That's low carb, that wouldn't necessarily put them in ketosis. So really the only. The real difference is eating low enough carbs that your body goes into ketosis and starts burning fat for fuel rather than glucose for fuel, but low carb can be a part of that.
And people tend to go in and out of ketosis anyway, based on exercise and age and, you know, for women, your cycle.
Riley: Yeah. So then that number of carbs probably just varies for every person on what gets them low enough to be in ketosis.
Carolyn: A lot of people use the guideline of 20 [00:06:00] grams of net carbs a day, meaning I'm subtracting fiber, but it really does depend on the person like I'm really active and I run and I do Crossfit. And I think a higher carb count kept me in ketosis more because I needed it a little, except I still really needed, you know, the protein and the fat.
Roni: So when you first started going low carb, was that, did you also go gluten-free at the same time or was that a gradual progression?
Carolyn: did only because at that point, well, there were a couple of weird products. Like there's something called car Carmelos or car Ballou's flour, which is wheat based flour, which is supposedly low carb, but it tastes really odd and it behaves very strangely. So I started just playing with almond flour and coconut flour and turned out that a lot of my recipes were gluten free.
So I started. Um, labeling them as such, because at that point low-carb, wasn't really as much of a hot ticket thing that brought some readers to kind of my [00:07:00] doorstep and, and, but, and so mostly I am gluten-free, I won't get sick if I have a tiny bit of gluten in something. Uh, cause it's not a reaction and it's not an, a tolerance, but I mostly stay away from gluten containing things mostly because they're higher carb.
Riley: Um, so how did you introduce this lifestyle to your family, to your husband? Um, let's
Carolyn: Uh, sure. I sat on my floor and I cried. No, I'm really serious because I'd always like to bake. And I went to my blood sugar. So I had this really strange endocrinologist when I was pregnant with Maggie and, but the one good. She was an odd bird, but the one good piece of advice she gave me was to test every so often.
And as she put it after I sinned, which meant having something sweet, Yeah, she was weird. And, um, and so I started to do that and I start like at first, right after Maggie was born, there was sort of like a honeymoon period of about three months where it could eat almost [00:08:00] anything I wanted. Now, granted, I considered myself a pretty healthy person, but, and um, but then, you know, couple months later it just kept going up and I got really concerned and I started doing a lot of reading and I.
Sat on my kitchen floor and cried and said to my husband that I needed to go low carb. And I thought that meant the end of my baking life, which was very, very much a part of who I was. I was always the girl who was like, I'll bring the cake, copping the cookies kind of thing. And so I just started playing.
I mean, I, you know, I picked myself up off the floor mentally and started playing with these other ingredients that I had heard of, but not really tested out. And then. Discovered that, know, I said, plenty of failure at the beginning, but started to figure out what worked and, you know, you start easy, you start with things like muffins and pancakes.
And then you start attempting slightly more difficult stuff. So it was a slow introduction for them. I didn't try to get them all on board for a while, but I said, my kids [00:09:00] healthier muffins. That was great. Um, then I had them all on board for a while, but now I've got teenagers and they don't want to have anything to do with my food.
Riley: So now, do you, do you make two meals or do you just like make something extra for them? Or how do you.
Carolyn: Right. Well, for example, last night's dinner was fish and salad and they had some rice. Or actually, I think my husband cooked mashed potatoes. He loves mashed potatoes. I was like, that is the weirdest thing to go with fish, but okay. And, but the, the rule is because a couple of them will eat all the mashed potatoes and then be like, I'm too full.
So I said, you have to eat the fish and the salad first, and then you can eat the mashed potatoes. So that's, it's tough because I've lost. I mean, I used to. I wouldn't can say I tried to control their diets, but I used to be able to convince them to eat a lot of what I made in terms of baked goods. And now, you know, they're with their friends and they've got some spending money and they're going to the [00:10:00] convenience store after school.
And there's nothing I can do to control that. And if I make it a battle, I'm only going to push them further away.
Riley: You know, I'm speaking out of turn because I have a two year old, but my own life, I feel like I've come around to the things that my parents were trying to convince me of in high school. Um,
Riley: you know, like I rebelled against it or whatever it was, you know, like the, um, whatever. I can't think of an example.
Exactly. But I've come around to like, okay, I'm really grateful that this was, uh, a foundation. They laid for me, even though I rebelled against it, come around. And I realized like, okay, this is actually a really good thing. And they knew more than me.
Carolyn: Yeah, I think that that's, I mean, I really think that's going to happen, um, to a degree, if they don't end up with diabetes, they'll probably still be like, oh, I can indulge sometimes. But I think, you know, even my middle kid seems to be the most amenable to trying things that I've made. And I made myself a big chocolate birthday cake for last week.
Cause that was my birthday. And thank you. [00:11:00] And it was one of the best cakes chocolate cakes I've ever made, like bar none. It was just everything about it turned out well, and she's just been helping herself happily. And so, but she'll also then sometimes go to town and like a bag of chips and you'll discover it in her bedroom and be like, wow.
But I mean, she's also, my kids are pretty active, so hopefully that helps. But yeah, I mean, it's just, I think what, what I'm offering them is an alternative. If they have health issues down the road, I think if they don't have health issues, they'll probably. It probably won't push them to do it completely.
Riley: no, sorry, go ahead, Roni.
Roni: No, your question is probably more relevant.
Riley: It was just a statement like they'll have, they won't have to like battle for the solution. have that. They'll already have that foundation. They'll have you to call and
Riley: um, hitting this. Okay, what do I do? They won't, maybe they won't have to have the crying on the kitchen floor moment.
For that, which I mean is a huge, I don't know, it's just a big stressor later in life, if you have [00:12:00] to navigate it. So the fact that they can, can, they know they've got you and they know they have that foundation. They can revert to that if they need it.
Carolyn: I hope so. I mean, I think that it was a lot harder. I will also say 12 years ago to start this because there weren't nearly as many options, even in terms of things like sweeteners and flours, there weren't as many options and these days. You know, you can get Walnut flour, you can get chickpea flour. I don't consider that very low carb, but you can get so many different things now that you couldn't get back.
Then I used to have to order stuff from a site called Netrition net nutrition, like nutrition, but with an E and now, you know, Amazon carries everything. Even my local grocery stores carry the sweeteners I use. And so it's just a whole different ball game now.
Roni: Yeah. So. talking about those, uh, things about the different ingredients that you use, what, uh, would you say is your process for kind of constructing your recipes? Do you find, you know, recipes as inspiration and then make swaps and just [00:13:00] kind of redesign the whole thing as you go? Or what's your process?
Carolyn: Uh, that's. I do a lot of that. I mean, dinners and things are easier a lot of the time, because you know, you can focus on the meat and the vegetables and you can replace rice with cauliflower rice. When it comes to baked goods. I. Troll Pinterest all day long. And I have a particular set of bloggers who I'm constantly going save, save, save.
It looks amazing. But then I have to consider how to make it. It's often cakes. I have some pretty standard cake recipes that if I'm just changing the flavor profile, I know I can use those. So I have like a chocolate coconut flour cake, and I also have an almond flour cake. I have ones that. Both flours.
Um, and I'll just decide which of those to use as the base. Cause they already stand up to stood up to the test of time. Sometimes it's completely, I'm trying to think of something recently that I had to really rework. There've been a couple people keep asking me to make puff pastry and I'm like, oh boy, I have, I could, [00:14:00] there are some flours out there that call themselves keto, but they're wheat.
Um, king Arthur flour makes them, and if you're going to trust anybody, you're going to trust king Arthur flour. you know, I tried to still avoid those I'm not really sure how they affect my blood sugar. They don't, um, I still use them sometimes. They, I tried them out a few times because people wanted me to, but yeah, I'm trying to think of something that there have been a couple where I basically have to start from scratch and really consider.
What's what parts I can make, uh, easily keto and then have to like experiment with the other parts. Like, I guess one thing that I made, I finally tested out was, um, Swiss, merengue buttercream. I tested out a couple of years ago and it is hands down my favorite frosting because. Uh, it just it's, it has structure without having, having to have too much sweetener, which is one thing that happens for a lot of people when they go low carb, is you still like the sweets, but everything tastes a little too [00:15:00] sweet.
So you have to cut back and that's where it becomes tricky to figure out.
Riley: It's funny that you say that because right before we started recording, I've been trying, so, okay. Let me backtrack. Roni gave up sugar for the. January right
Riley: junior. And then I gave it up for the month of February, cause it's a short month. Um, and then I started doing a more low carb diet in March, um, and just stayed off the sugar.
and I had something yesterday that, Stevia sweetened, I think, or it was one of those zevia drinks.
Riley: and it was so sweet.
Riley: Almost like sickeningly sweet. Like you don't realize you cut it out for so long, how sweet things can be
Riley: you start, when you have them again, even like with artificial or with, um, you know, like a sugar, sugar substitute of some kind.
Carolyn: Absolutely. And so, and, and also a lot of those things are very much a matter of like, we experienced them all very, very differently. So [00:16:00] somebody w in the same recipe, one person will be saying, it's too sweet. And another will be saying, it's not sweet enough. You know? And oh, this was really bitter, especially when it comes to chocolate.
And I'm like, no, it's not bitter for most people because everybody's raving about it. you found it not sweet. You know, so it's just, pallets are very, very different and that's a hard part to guide people on because you write a recipe and they want, you know, if they want specific amounts and you can't always use, sometimes you like sweetened a little more to take.
Roni: Riley. And I talk a lot about recipes on the podcast and we're both very creative
Roni: home chefs, I guess. You know, we both like to just kind of play around with our recipes or a lot of times not use a recipe at all. Uh, and so that's, uh, we know that some people are intimidated by that idea of just make it what tastes good.
She, you, and, you know, make it what your family likes.
Carolyn: Yeah. People will even ask me, like, can I switch vanilla extract for lemon extract? And I'm [00:17:00] like, yeah, of course it's not going to change anything. I mean, it's, it's this tiny bit amount. That's not going to change the consistency, but they're so afraid of doing things wrong. And it's just a lack of comfort in the kitchen.
Like if you grew up around parents who cooked and, and people who cooked and they were just throwing things together, sometimes then you feel like that's an easy thing to do.
Riley: Would that how your childhood was, or have you evolved into that kind of person?
Carolyn: ma I mean, my mum had read lots of recipes. She said lots of cookbooks, but she was a very comfortable cook. So sometimes it was just about like, Hey, I'll throw this in. know, soups are super easy to do that with too, but people still want very specific instructions. And so I try to be super specific when I'm writing a recipe, but there are just times you can't, you can't accommodate for tastes.
Roni: So I kind of want to hear a little bit about your business journey because you just started this blog and then you became a cookbook author of multiple, you have six cookbooks, right? [00:18:00] so how did that evolve, uh, into be your, I guess it's your full-time business?
Carolyn: Yes, it's absolutely my full-time business. Um, that's a long, it's really interesting because people will ask me now, like how do I start a blog and start making money right away? And I'm like, oh boy, it took me four years to get there. So, but people do because they ha they really. Blogs can be moneymakers.
I didn't realize that at the time that I started it. And so it was a hobby and really just a place to kind of put my recipes and re you know, but then I, I joined at that time. There weren't too many options for kind of connecting with other bloggers, but there were a couple of little networks, one which died.
But it was called, what was it called? Food buds. I think that's where I started kind of connecting with other bloggers and then realizing that people were making some money. It was just really, before social media was blowing up. I think the only social media Facebook existed. Wasn't really a place where people shared recipes and [00:19:00] things.
Um, Twitter was often I hate Twitter now, but it was often where people were like, oh, I just wrote a new recipe. And then Pinterest didn't exist at the beginning. And Instagram didn't exist. That early on. And so it was just trying to find ways to get people to your blog, which was mostly about connecting with other bloggers.
And then, you know, it happened so that a lot of my, I made some good friends and they, somebody would say, oh, do you know anybody who writes diabetic recipes for diabetics or, you know, and so, and I was one of the first, in the low carb space. So. I mean, there were a handful of us at that time. And because of that, I got known, but it took a while to build it to a point where I could, so influencers didn't really exist back then.
It was probably five or six, five years maybe into it. That influencing was a big thing, in the social media space. And so it certainly became easier to get eyes on a blog post and a recipe. If [00:20:00] w with social media, so that, I guess I grew up kind of that way. Um, but it really started very slowly and I had no idea what I was doing.
And I did things badly at the beginning that I'm still sometimes going back and correcting, you know, because, oh, Google wants you to do this. And I'm like, oh God, when I wrote that, 12 years ago. I didn't do that. So, so it's just about, and then, and then the cookbook thing, I'm just trying to think. I was pretty well known by other low carb and keto bloggers.
And again, there weren't that many of us, and then. The victory belt decided to really push into the keto space. And my name got kicked around by a couple other people, including Jimmy Moore. Who's very well known for low carb. Um, and that just sort of took off. So, but readers have been asking me diehard readers.
I mean, I have some people who followed me for the whole 12 years. It's astonishing. and they were asking me for cookbooks that whole time. And [00:21:00] it just, you know, in my head, I was like, well, why would you want that? When you can get all the recipes for free right on my blog. But people want handheld things.
And the in the cookbooks are generally not also on the blog because publishers want new material.
Carolyn: became so much easier to sort of make it a business when sort of being an influence marketer or influence marketing became a thing.
Riley: I'm just trying to think I go ahead.
Carolyn: um, well I'm curious about, do you mind if I am I allowed to ask you a question?
Carolyn: Um, I'm curious about how you guys started because meal planning has never really been my thing only because I'm home now and I'm cooking all the time. So it's pretty easy to just decide to make something but meal planning.
And it's a big business. I mean, it's a really interesting business too.
Riley: It is,
Carolyn: And you guys started doing it how long ago?
Roni: Well, so Plan to eat started, uh, 2009, right?
Carolyn: [00:22:00] Oh, wow. So you've been doing this longer than I have.
But no, I know it's not a blog, but still
Roni: Yeah, we do. I mean, we do have a blog, um, and I think they started the blog Right. from the very beginning. So there is blog content from, you know, 2009 or
Roni: on we've got like a thousand blog posts on our site. But, um, yeah, it was started by our CEO, our founder.
Who's also a. And his wife was the meal planner in the family. And she basically did, what we call quote unquote traditional meal planning. So she did recipe books, like a, like a calendar or a planner. And then she would hand write her recipe or her shopping list every week. And, she was trying to basically become a better cook herself.
So she was like trying unique recipes and trying to try different skills. And so. A lot of the times it took her a really long time to make her unique shopping list every single week with the recipes that she was trying. Um, [00:23:00] and so it started out from her idea. For her husband to develop something that was digital, that would kind of ease that pain of.
I have to hand write a hundred ingredients every single week. Um, you know, and compile all of the different sizes and the quantities that I need to buy at the grocery stores where they can make the recipes. So that was kind of where it started and it's developed from there. And, you know, we've added a good Jillian features since the original, just like meal planner, shopping lists.
Carolyn: That's I mean, it's brilliant and it's, it's necessary these days. I mean, people are so busy and I, I know people want me to do more of it myself. I just really struggle with it because I'm, uh, you know, I'll think, oh, I'll make this today. And then, or I'll make this sometime this week and then partway through the week, I'll be like, no, you know, so I'm always changing it.
I don't like to get locked in.
Riley: you know, we did talk about that, like the type that likes to be more spontaneous. And I think because our plans are digital, you really can switch things around, but once you purchase [00:24:00] your ingredients are kind of locked in. So it's kind of a give and take for sure.
Carolyn: and I hate food waste. So I really get mad at myself if I buy something with the intention of making XYZ and then I don't do it. And I'm like, no, don't let it go bad. I have to find a way to use it.
Riley: Yeah. Yep. Yeah. That's a big thing we talk about. at Plan to Eat the too, it's just how, like a consolidated list can really help reduce food waste, but then if you don't cook it, you're still in the same position I'm with you. it's
Riley: Um, Ron, Roni and I both really fell into meal planning because of the cut because of starting to work for Plan to Eat.
Roni started working with Plan to Eat four years ago. Right. And
Riley: working for Plan to Eat at about, um, I guess seven and a half ish years ago.
Riley: so, you know, at the time I was like 24.
Carolyn: Oh, wow.
Riley: or 24. math is hard. Just kidding. Um, it was right around that. I can't remember exactly when I started. And so like I was, it was kind of pre when I would even want a meal plan.
Like why would I to, I just kind of bought whatever and ate whatever and ate weird stuff. And,[00:25:00] then I really it's really evolved for me because of working for Plan to Eat it and seeing the necessities and how it saves money and time and of those things. But it's something that we love now.
Carolyn: It really does save money. I think that, you know, especially, and especially, you can change things around, like you go to the store and something's on sale and I'm a big, I mean, one of the things about keto that people worry or complain about is the cost because it's very meat, focused. Not always people can do vegetarian stuff, you know, and they asked me how I keep costs down and I'm like, I'm a sale girl.
If I see a sale, I mean, granted I have a big freezer, but if I see a sale, I will stock up and then I'll plan things around that, because I think that that makes such a difference for cost. And if you can stick things in the freezer, you know, one of my most popular blog posts is keto freezer meals, because we'll always make twice as much as we need.
And we'll either eat it again that week or we'll stick it in the freezer.
Riley: I find that when I double recipes, it doesn't, you know, if, especially if it's like a [00:26:00] soup or something, that's really easy to freeze, it doesn't cost that much to increase the size. so you're not spending double really, when you double a soup, you might, you're going to spend a little bit extra, but it's not going to be double.
Riley: and so it really can cut costs there too.
Carolyn: That's another point that is interesting to me is people will see. This is another thing that happens, especially with baked goods, they'll see the cost of a bag of almond flour, almond flour. And I'm like, well, but you'll use it again. You're not just, I mean, you're not using the whole bag for one recipe.
So the cake doesn't cost $13 to make, you know, so people get a little confused by that when they're factoring in costs and you know, things that last well on yourself, you don't need to worry about.
Riley: Absolutely. We just did a budgeting podcast episode and we both, spend some time like being very intentional and has setting a really strict budget. And one of the things that, um, we talked about is things like that. Like what you've already got on hand use at
Riley: because you already paid for that.
So it doesn't have to factor into your [00:27:00] weekly
Riley: you've already got it. Or freezer go into your freezer first and utilizing those things instead of buying more. all those things are really helpful tips for keto to, I hadn't
Carolyn: Yeah. Yeah. I think people, I, a lot of my ingredients for recipes are bought on a business expense. So that's a little different, but even then I'm still looking for the best sales, because I just really like sales. I like saving money and then, you know, and then I'm sticking it in the freezer to use in the future.
And. If you're a meal planner who it's gotta be tough for the people who live in, say an RV, that's gotta be tough because you don't have the freezer space. And I know lots of retired people live in their RVs now and have a great time traveling the country. And I it's tougher for me to help them with recipes.
I feel like.
Roni: Yeah. I could see how that would be the case. I actually, um, I occasionally still answer support emails, and I have been emailing with this woman who [00:28:00] is, uh, her and her husband are I live on a sailboat. And so they're getting ready to like take a trip from Mexico to. Somewhere, somewhere else. I don't remember where they're going.
But so she was like, she made a meal plan so that they could like know that they had all of the right food and all the right quantities for their trip, because they're going to be literally in the middle of nowhere be able to get extra food. and so I would think that people who are like RV owners maybe have a little, um, easier time because they're probably stopping in cities fairly frequently, but it is that idea of.
You know, planning ahead is actually really helpful in that regard, because then you're not like, well, we're out, you know, we're going to Moab or something and we're out in the middle of the desert for four days and we ran out of food and now we have to drive all the way back in instead it's like, oh, we planned ahead.
And we already know that we're completely taken care of for this
Roni: when we know that we're in between places or whatever.
Carolyn: Yeah, that's just where you can't batch cook as easily.
I mean, I like the batch cooking. I do that even with baked goods, I'll make a big, like [00:29:00] if there's a particular muffin that I really liked and it's just easy to grab, I'll make a double batch and stick them in the freezer. And that's a lot tougher when you live in a small space.
Roni: Yeah. So, so your most recent cookbook was your baking cookbook,
Carolyn: yes, the ultimate guide to keto baking.
Roni: yeah. So, uh, I'm signed up for your email newsletter and it seems like a lot of it recipes, email out. Probably related to that cookbook or they're like, they're there, you're like yummy sweet recipes, but like, how do you eat in real life?
Uh, what's your, I don't know, kind of like day-to-day habits.
Carolyn: That's a very good question because I make a lot of, because I like to bake. People are like, do you really eat all of this? And I say, I eat it. I don't eat all of it. First of all, I have a family. Um, and I try to save dessert for dessert. I have to be honest. Chocolate cake was calling my name and I really struggled to not eat it in the middle of the day, but, [00:30:00] um, I really do try to save dessert for dessert.
So I do. Sometimes I do muffins and things in the morning, but often I just do leftover meat, um, or some eggs. Um, that's, that's usually after some, some sort of workout and then middle of the day, um, depending on if I'm making something, sometimes I'm picking at it enough that I, I, and it can be dinner, but it can also be desserts on picking at things enough that I'm not as hungry in the middle of the day and then eat.
And then I have my dessert, sometimes something so good that it's calling to me and I'll eat it in the middle of the day, but I really try not to, because as much as these things are still keto and they're, sugar-free. They fill you up and they keep you from eating and protein. And so I feel, but I do realize in a lot of people have said to me, I love your desserts, but they trigger me too much.
And I'm like, then stay away. You know, I get that. you are somebody who really struggles with that sweet taste and just kind of keeps [00:31:00] putting it in your mouth, then. Choose your times. Like if you want to make a, if you love to bake and you want to make a big cake, it when you know, you're having people over or you're going to some event where other people can take the burden of eating it all from you.
And I even do that. I mean, I have, right now I'm trying to. I'm doing some e-books these days and it's kind of fun and I'm going to do an ebook based on cakes. And I started to make a lot of cakes and we can't eat that many cakes. So I have sort of a circuit of friends that I drop things off and yeah, they, and they're not necessarily keto, but they love it.
I have a particular friend who loves desserts and cheesecakes. So if ever going to be cheesecake or if it's going to be lemon, it goes to her house. I keep some of it. I always keep some of it. I always have a taste of everything I make
Riley: That's fantastic.
Roni: Is this yummy chocolate cake that you've been telling us about happened to be the mayonnaise cake that's on your website.
Carolyn: no, but that one's really good that one's because that one's in a published cookbook. I couldn't put it [00:32:00] on in another book because
Roni: Oh, okay.
Carolyn: by victory belt. But, um, and I'm allowed to share some things on my blog as sort of a entryway to try and get people to buy the books. That's how they see it.
Um, this is. It's actually the cake itself is my devil's food cake, which is on the blog. Anybody can get that. And then the frosting is my, just the classic chocolate buttercream frosting, but I made it a little more chocolate with chocolate this time with a little added cocoa powder and some added cream.
And it was just, I don't know why it was so good this time. I don't know.
Riley: So I am guilty of being one of those people, um, who like a dessert, like that is a little bit of my gateway drug, you know, like if I'm not eating like sweets or sugar and I have something like that and it's like, oh, I can't stop. So I have been avoiding the cakes on your website, but I have been utilizing your recipes a lot.
And I see that the chocolate Mayo cake. I see that one every time I go and I'm one day, I'm going to try it, but instead I'm going to try the one you just mentioned and I'll save it. A special occasion, like
Carolyn: [00:33:00] Yeah.
Riley: or something.
Carolyn: I mean, that's the way to do it. It's not, I mean, I love to bake and so, and, but I also love to share, I think that. You know, it's not, I'm never baking just for me. now that my kids are a little poo-pooing things that I make, I can't guarantee that they'll eat them. So I have, you know, I can, I have a next door neighbor who's dairy-free so if I make anything dairy free, it goes to them and they always send me little texts, like raving about stuff.
There's some people at the street who will take anything I offer. And then there's my friend who loves her cheesecake and lemon desserts. So I always end up those ones that ended up at her door. So. You know, sharing is part of the fun, and it's also a great way to get feedback on something. So there have been occasional times when I thought, Ooh, that wasn't sweet enough or was too sweet and I'll see what they think.
Riley: Yeah, that's awesome. So I do have a question that came to mind while we were talking about this and how you eat in your daily life. Um, and that is how do you overcome challenges of like eating [00:34:00] out with friends or going to a friend's house for dinner? I am personally gluten-free and sometimes it feels like such a burden to be like, and by the way,
I'm, I've got this high maintenance thing.
I've got to tell you. Um, so how do you navigate.
Carolyn: if it's, if it's a restaurant, um, I usually look at the menu beforehand. I always choose something that I can eat. My, my friends and family are pretty cognizant of what I can eat and not eat. Although sometimes there's a lot of conflation of, of gluten-free with keto and that's or low carb. And that there is, they aren't totally necessarily the same, like I don't eat rice flour cause that would spike me pretty badly.
So if it's a restaurant, I try it. You know, occasionally it's a place I can't really do so, but there's always a salad on the menu. So I'm, you know, and I'll try to bring some snacks with me and just sort of, or eat before I go, which cause I don't want this to be anybody else's burden and I totally get what you're saying when I'm going to [00:35:00] somebody's house for them.
If it's somebody who knows me, they'll make sure that there's something I can eat or I'll bring something. Um, if it's a, I can't think of a situation I've been in a couple, I guess, sort of press situations where they invite, you know, bloggers and press to an event. And there's not a lot I can eat, but again, I'm always like, Hmm.
Have a few things on hand for myself and people always apologize. The one place where people they know, I like desserts. So the one place where people are constantly apologizing to me and I'm always like, don't worry about it. not tempting. By sugary cakes anymore. If they aren't like can skip dessert at your house or at a restaurant.
It's and they apologize as they're eating it. I'm like, no, go ahead. It's not a problem. So it's, it's, I don't feel most of the time. And I just try to make sure people don't feel like they have to cater to me now when I'm just going out with my family and my husband's like, I want to go to this pizza place and I'm like, there's not a thing on the menu I can eat.
We're not going.[00:36:00]
Riley: It's totally different when it's your family and you can be a bit more vocal.
Carolyn: Right, right. How do you manage it?
Riley: Um, yeah. I'll look at menus ahead of time. Or I'll, if it's a place where we're like maybe a more of a potluck situation, I'll always take something of course that I can eat or I'll take than one thing that I can eat.
Riley: up to take the. Uh, some kind of vegetable side dish, I'll also take, know, something else
Carolyn: right. Some gluten-free rolls or
Riley: for sure that I can eat. and then I don't feel like it's going to be a big problem. and I, people apologize to me about desserts too. and. It doesn't bother me at all. And I actually think it helps me, like knowing it's not even gluten-free is like cool I'm out. And particularly right now in the last couple of months of like, not eating sugar, it not being gluten-free, it's just like an added bonus.
Cause I wasn't gonna eat it anyway. Uh, cause it's like, you know, it's like, it's cool and I don't have to, I'm not even, I'm not even really tempted anymore. To be honest, it doesn't feel, [00:37:00] uh, it doesn't feel like I have to stop somewhere on the way home and get my own dessert. Like I don't feel that way at all.
It's just, I'm I'm good.
Carolyn: And sometimes, sometimes I keep something like lilies or Chuck zero, um, peanut butter cups in my purse.
Carolyn: am like, Ooh, I want something sweet. I've got that right there.
Riley: idea. Yeah.
Carolyn: You know, and nobody's really the wiser for it, but yeah, I just it's, I'm really, I actually saw one of my readers on, in a Facebook group the other day say keto so hard, you know, and I thought.
Because it's become completely second nature to me. So kind of taking a quick look at a menu and, and, you know, I always have to, if even if we go to a place that serves wings, I can't assume that they're not breaded. So I have to ask, but you know, I also think it's easier now than it used to be because there are more restaurants cognizant of what of specialty diets.
Riley: Yep. And like you mentioned all the ingredients that you buy, you can buy them locally now. Um, or on [00:38:00] Amazon or something, that's very easy, like a thrive market, you know,
Riley: that. Those are accessible for people. So it really has become so much easier.
Riley: really helpful.
Roni: Yeah, I was going to say too, we live in Colorado and I know That we are, uh, Riley, you can correct me if I'm wrong, but I see on lots of menus that it's very, we're, we're at a place where there's lots of access to, you know, like different types of things on menus and lots of things that are labeled as either being gluten-free or vegetarian and vegan and all of those things that our restaurants are very accommodating to different eating styles, which I know is not the case in a lot of other places.
Carolyn: That is true. Yeah. That is, I think it really depends on where you are and whether you're in what they call a food desert, you know, whether it's just, and people are a small town. I mean, if you have a couple of diners in your hometown, they're not catering to all your, but you can always order like bacon and eggs, right.
Or. But they don't necessarily have the gluten-free options.
Riley: Roni, we're very, uh, [00:39:00] very accessible here.
Carolyn: same here. Same here.
Riley: one. That's a bit the wall,
Carolyn: sure. I like off the wall.
Riley: so I know a lot of people struggle when they start eating low carb or keto and they feel bad. Maybe they feel mentally bad or they feel physically ill. Like I know it's been a long time for you since you've kind of made this transition, but I mean, you have readers who are transitioning all the time to
Riley: of diet.
So what kind of tips or advice, or why does this happen? Anything about that? I'd love to hear about it.
Carolyn: Yeah, that's not an off the wall question at all. And I wish we had sort of tackled it earlier cause it's important. Um, I do remember very clearly when I started to drop my carbs. Now I didn't go keto right away, so I didn't have like a massive. You know about of the keto flu, but I did feel it was weird having, having blood sugar issues.
I always felt like I was low sugar. Like I had low blood sugar and then I test and I didn't, um, it was like a weakness in my. Yeah, I never got a fluid [00:40:00] feeling, but it was sort of like this. I don't have enough energy in my body. Um, and that's the transition period. You're, you're transitioning from burning glucose to burning fat and protein, and it always felt so strange and I felt.
It's like artificially hungry, like my belly wasn't growling, but I felt like I needed something. And that is where I had to gut it out a lot. I could eat something, but it had to be low carb. And it was that sort of finally starting to, to recognize my true hunger symptoms, like the actual growling and your stomach and your belly feels empty.
Yeah. And realizing that. So that was pretty important. Um, but tips for overcoming that are generally, and I wish I'd known these at the time, drinking a lot of electrolytes and there's some great, I have, I have this electrolyte powder drink that I love. Um, it's called. ultima U L T I M a and they have a bunch of flavors.
There are some flavors that don't like the raspberry one tastes like cough medicine, but the lemon is really, really good. [00:41:00] And when you're feeling sort of light and foggy, um, that can electrolytes can really help because they put the salts and the potassiums and things back in your body, which gives you a little more energy things like bone broth can really help there too, because it has a lot of electrolytes.
And just recognizing, like talking yourself out of it a little, be staying active and busy. Like don't just sit around going. Ah, I wish I could eat something or I wish I could eat something high carb. Um, you gotta get out going for a walk sometimes would kind of distract me, get distracted away from that sort of feeling and just be ready for it to take a little bit.
And it's interesting. A lot of questions I get are for people who are athletes. Who go low-carb and they think, well, they preview here too, you know, before that they would always like carbo load before a race. And I used to do the same thing and I started to, as I got, and it was probably like six months to a year before I started to realize that if I ate something carby before a race, I used to think that that gave [00:42:00] me an advantage and start to make me feel sick. And so I ran my best half marathon fueled on a two egg omelet. So that's where I was like, I don't need those carbs. And I feel like that takes a lot of time. So if you're used to being super active and you're, you've been burning glucose for fuel, you need to be ready to spend some time. Changing how your body burns fuel.
And that takes effort. And for the first little bit, the problem is a lot of the studies on those things will last for two weeks. And that process takes much, much longer than two weeks. So they're like, oh, well athletes need carbs. They don't, but they have to learn. Train their body out of that. And so it's for everybody, it's the same way, even if you're not an athlete, you know, it's a different process because you're not getting super active out there, but you still are going through a similar process where you're training your body to not crave those carbs and to not need them for fuel.
So it's a hard one. It's a, you have to gut it out a little at parts [00:43:00] of it, but there are some things you can eat and drink that can help.
Riley: That's great advice. I've think Roni and I both drink electrolytes seen the ultima ultima brand.
don't know how you pronounce it. Ultima.
Riley: I've seen that brand. And then Roni uses element
Carolyn: oh, oh, I've seen that. Actually. A lot of people rave about those ones. I haven't tried them.
Roni: That's yummy. Yeah. They have a mango chili. One that is really good.
Carolyn: that we've got new things to go check out. I love that's the other thing that I love doing, I get on Amazon or sometimes thrive market and they just start perusing, like I put in keto and I kind of see what comes up I just go, Hmm. Maybe I'll try that. Maybe I'll try that. And some of it's awful, I've wasted.
I've actually wasted a bit of money on those things. Um, but a lot of it's pretty good.
Riley: yeah, I've been in the same boat, like searching, trying to find new things. And I'm glad to know. There are certain things that I really don't like. I, you know, I'll just mention, I really don't like, like Parmesan, crisps,[00:44:00]
Riley: and that's like always a thing that comes up. And so I'm like, I'm just going to skip it. I don't even have to try. I don't need a chip. I don't need something crunchy. I'll just, I don't even need to try it.
Carolyn: You know, actually, you know what you would like, I'm going to give a little plug for her because she's a small business in, I think she's an Idaho, but, um, to make these almond flour crackers in the called real fat and the fat is spelled F P H a T and they are, I make my own crackers and they're really good, but she's got commercial equipment, so she gets them so thin and they're so crispy and I've turned on.
Lots of keto, non keto people around here. They're like, those are the best crackers they're so good. They're just really, really good. And so if you want a little crunch and if you're, gluten-free absolutely try those
Riley: Perfect. I wrote it down. I'll definitely try them.
Carolyn: and the Rosemary ones are so good with a little Brie on top. That's all
Riley: Ooh. I love Rosemary. So I'm all about it.
Carolyn: Yeah, me too. I love experimenting with new products.
Riley: So do we.
Roni: One [00:45:00] thing that, so my mom was went keto for, I think it was like a year, a year and a half let her big thing with it. She also has a sweet tooth and she likes to have dessert. but she had a lot of issues with the different, like fake sweeteners, the alternative sweeteners.
Um, so how do you get around that with some of your dessert recipes?
Carolyn: why I have a whole, so in the ultimate guide to keto baking, I spent. The year and a half that I wrote that I spent experimenting with different sweeteners, different flours. I also read up a lot on the science of baking both conventional and gluten-free because I wanted it to be, I've always been a big fan of America's test kitchen.
And one of my favorite books when I wasn't keto was, um, the America's test kitchen family baking book, because what they do is they're so specific about what works and what doesn't. So that book. And also then I turned it into an article on my blog has a whole post about sweeteners or whole section in the [00:46:00] book, um, and a whole post on my blog about sweeteners and how they work.
And they don't work the same, which is hard for people because people think of sugar, you know, sugar substitute. First of all, people think it's going to behave just like sugar. And then they think they're all going to behave the same way. And they don't. people do have. Very different pallets. And some people react to sweeteners in a certain way.
Um, and so the reason I wrote that whole post and, and, and in the rest in the book is because. You can change the sweetener, but it may affect the results. So for example, a erythritol based sweeteners will give you a crisp cookie. They're the only sweetener that will give you a crisp cookie. if so, if you want a crisp cookie, but you don't like erythritol, you might have a bit of an issue.
But you can sub allulose . I even did a YouTube video on this one day, I subbed allulose and I held up the cookie that was made with the erythritol and the cookie that was made with allulose and the erythritol. You could sort of snap and break it. And the allulose one just kind of [00:47:00] actually like flopped over.
It was supposed to be a crisp. You know, and it flopped right over so strange. Um, so yes, you can sub them, but you will like, don't get, you know, it's kind of like a, Hey, don't get mad at me. If you know, your cookie doesn't turn out the way that mine did because I used this sweetener. So it's more about what, you know, and being informed and making informed decisions.
So if one sweetener works better for you. Just know how it's going to affect the results. So it's tough. It really is tough because we all react to them very differently. Swerve has become my favorite in part, because it has no aftertaste for me, but a lot of people will complain about a minty cool aftertaste and I don't get it from there.
And about 70% of the people don't, but 30% do. And so you're sort of trying to cater to everybody, which is tough
Roni: Do you have any tips for people who might be trying this doing this trial and error process, but you know, like a bag of monk fruit sweetener is. like $8.
Carolyn: Ask the companies for samples. Just reach out and [00:48:00] say, I've gone keto, you know, just write to them. Most of them we'll give them to you. You know, they often at trade shows, they all have their samples right there. They're all trying to woo, like whole foods and Safeway and Kroger. So they go to these big trade shows and they give out samples guarantee.
I could almost guarantee you swerve used to send samples to everybody all the time. Just little packets of it, you know? And so ask if they have samples because you can say, I can't, you know, I can't afford to commit. And, um, often they will, or, you know, find it. If you're doing it with a friend, they buy one and you buy another and then you switch and see what works.
Riley: So those are great tips. I had never considered contacting a company for a sample,
Carolyn: they want, they want to win you over and they want you to become a loyal customer. So that's one of the best ways to do.
Roni: that's great. Do you have any more questions? Okay. Cool. So we like to end our podcast talking about recipes. I know you've already talked about a lot of recipes already, but we do like to just talk about [00:49:00] um, like what's a favorite recipe or just a favorite meal that you've eaten in the last week or so.
Um, it could be from your blog or it could just be something that you made up. We just liked to talk about food So.
Carolyn: Yeah. I like to talk about food too. I dream about food all day. Um, actually I made something the other day. I just. Small rack of lamb. It was a very small one and it was just going to be for me and my husband and I was sick of the usual, like garlic, Rosemary on lamb. So which almost everybody does. And so I did like a Moroccan seasoning.
I just made it up. I did all of oil. I CA um, cardamom, no, not cardamom, coriander, cinnamon cumin And garlic and maybe a little cayenne to give it a kick of heat. And then I sprinkled Sesame seeds on it. It was so good that I, afterwards, I was like, I gotta write that down.
Riley: that sounds amazing.
Carolyn: that was a favorite meal.
And that's not anywhere on the blog. People aren't huge on lamb. I am, I love lamb, but when people aren't huge on it, so [00:50:00] it will show up in the blog, whatever happens. I'll be making that one again. Um, and then this cake that I can't stop thinking about, there's like a quarter of that left in my fridge
Riley: I don't know what time it is for you, but hold out, girl, you got it. You got
Carolyn: I've got a ways to go here, so yeah, those are, I, I'm trying to think of things. I mean, I love food, so it's always ask me the worst thing you can ask me, especially at like a book signing is what's your favorite? No, I will not answer that because it totally depends on the day, the time and which one is most current in my brain,
Riley: Totally why we ask people what they like to eat this week, or like what you've been eating recently that you like, because it's so hard. My all time, favorite recipe is such a challenge. So.
Carolyn: Right. Especially when you have thousands of recipes on your site and in your cookbooks. And you're like, I can't even remember them all. I was, I write recipes for some brands. And the other day I was thinking of ideas for one brand and I was, you know, about to execute it. And then I thought, [00:51:00] wait, I think I've done this for them.
Not exactly the same way, but I was like, basically coming up with the same idea. So
Riley: that's funny. At least you have a database. You can go and search
Riley: make sure you didn't do it the same way or
Carolyn: Right, right.
Roni: well, I think that's all we have for you today, Carolyn, but it has been a pleasure to have you on the podcast. Thank you for coming and talking with us.
Carolyn: It's really fun. And it's really fun to talk about with people who know keto, but aren't necessarily in keto. And then we can just sort of kick around ideas. And it's also like a good perspective from people who haven't have maybe dabbled a little bit. Haven't really gone there.
It was so fun. Thank you.
Roni: Thank you for listening to this episode. If you want to connect with all of the recipes that we have mentioned in this episode, previous episodes and any episodes in the future, we now have a plan to eat account and you can get access to all of the recipes that we've ever talked about on the podcast
Riley: Simply go to plantoeat.com forward slash P T E pod. [00:52:00] And you can automatically connect with that account and get all of our favorite recipes.
Roni: Thanks again, and we'll see you in the next episode.