The breakfast problem

Patient Expert

I'm on a low-carbohydrate (LC) diet, and for some people who embark on this way of life, figuring out what to eat for breakfast is a big challenge.

It wasn't a problem for me, because years ago, long before my diagnosis, I had started eating meat and vegetables for breakfast. I couldn't figure out why we Americans thought we had to have special food for breakfast. Maybe we'd been brainwashed by the big cereal companies.

But why was it OK to eat bacon or ham for breakfast but not pork chops or lamb chops? It made no sense to me, so I decided to stop trying to eat "breakfast food" and just ate whatever was around. The first morning, as I saw the lamb chop and buttered broccoli on my plate, I got the giggles because it seemed so weird. But I soon became accustomed to it.

Now I eat whatever I can find in the fridge. My favorite breakfast is reheated leftovers, because that's fast and I'm not quite awake at breakfast time. Sometimes I'll have a stir-fry. Sometimes I'll have veggies with some cheese melted on top. Sometimes I'll have a boiled egg or an omelet with some kind of veggie (I've gotten to the point at which it doesn't seem like a meal to me unless it includes some kind of green).

However, I realize that for other people, the idea of eating this type of food is not appealing. Maybe you don't want your diabetes to make you change your way of life completely. Hence you want some kind of sweet starch for breakfast.

I occasionally want that type of food too, and here's my solution: bran pancakes. The egg and fat help to keep me full until lunchtime, the fiber is good for me, the flax contains beneficial soluble fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, and the nuts add other nutrients.

When you think about it, the primary appeal of pancakes is not the flour they contain but the butter you drizzle over them, and the sweet syrup. If you use just a little butter on the bran pancakes and use a sugar-free syrup like DaVinci, you basically have all the benefits of pancakes without the carbs.


1 Tb wheat bran (or rice bran or corn bran)

1 Tb flaxseed, freshly ground

1 egg

A few nuts (I prefer roasted almonds), ground coarsely

A few berries if you can tolerate them

A little butter and/or oil

Mix egg, nuts, bran, and flax. Melt a small amount of butter (or use oil if you prefer) in a pan and fry, turning once. Put berries and a small amount of butter on top of the pancake and drizzle with sugar-free syrup.

If you don't have flaxseed or don't have a grinder, just use 2 tablespoons of bran. It's not quite as healthy, but it still makes good "brancakes." You can also make a bunch of these and freeze them to heat up quickly when you're in a hurry.

I use DaVinci brand syrups, which come in a huge variety of flavors. I've been putting German Chocolate Cake (which I don't like in kefir) on my pancakes. Blueberry is also good. And I just had one with Pumpkin Pie.

Without the berries, one of these pancakes hardly raised my blood glucose at all.