Low-carb seems pretty reasonable, healthy and do-able until you are wrangling with a 14 year old 8 minutes before she's got to be out the door to school.
Much of the time I make her a scramble, or an omelette. She doesn't like eggs much and tends to not eat more than a bite, sadly, to make me feel better. Sometimes I make grilled sliced kosher dogs or gourmet sausages (the apple-gouda or jalapeno-jack or chili or cheddar types). She doesn't really like that either. (Had I put them in a bready bun with ketchup and mustard, ok, but sliced and grilled, no.)
Sometimes I make her a mock -- slang for a sort of distinctive food-ish-thing you make in a microwaveable bowl. 1 egg, 1+ oz of cream cheese depending on how much you really want to eat it as cheesecake, some flavorings, spices, sweeteners, a drop of fresh fruit puree, broken pieces of dark chocolate bar, whatever. Soften cream cheese, stir with everything else, you can leave little chunks of the cheese, then nuke -- in my microwave it's about 1.5 minutes, might vary. Note that this can also be done savory with leftover chicken and rosemary, or cumin and taco meat, or crisped pepperoni and shredded mozz, or whatever. The sky's the limit. Over at the ACL forum (lowcarber.org) "kitchen" board there are a couple threads on "mock danish" and "bowl muffins" that probably have 200 variants. Some add almond or coconut or flax meal... depending on your ingredients this can range from a heavy muffin to bread pudding in texture, from an instant chocolate cake rather molten in middle to a garlic-caraway-flax-thing you can put a topping on.
I normally avoid things like the above because years of low-carbing refocused me on "whole foods." Well, mostly. I did mention previously that I'm relaxing more than I used to and being willing to do some processed meats and such for the sake of time/ease and that seeming better than ending up offplan entirely.
The one I made the other morning had some sweetzfree and truvia for sweetener, 1 egg, 3oz cream cheese, a little bit of pineapple extract, and a small handful of chopped toasted macademia nuts (from the bag in the baking aisle in market). She said it was fabulous. I felt guilty because it was 'sweet' and it seems like breakfast shouldn't be sweet. What is that? I don't know where that guilt came from. Like if it's sweet or you really enjoy it, it's the moral equivalent of a cinnamon roll, it must be bad!
Food for her is really a pain! She doesn't like the meat/eggs much and that is what I am just fine with and gravitate to. She likes veggies but often only if drowning in something like a dressing.
Tonight I sauteed a little bacon in tiny pieces, a bunch of crimini mushrooms, and some sliced leftover baked chicken, and then gave her a tiny bowl of butter for dipping the rather dry chicken. She said it was fab. I was trying to think of what would be better for her than the (bad-oils) ranch we currently have, I guess that worked.
I had my parents get me a big chunk from a roll of Amish butter recently. Honestly I did not taste anything improved over store butter and in fact I think I liked the taste slightly less. I'm sure it's healthier though. At 4x the price it should be.
An online buddy gave me a recipe for a morning smoothy the kid might like, which reminded me that we have protein powder and frozen berries and, as soon as I replenish a couple more jars to bring it back to life fully, kefir.
Part of me says this isn't food. I dunno, does chopping something to tiny bits in a blender make it less food? If the ingredients were eaten separately would it seem more like food? If there wasn't a bit of sweetener (which may be its own food-karma but aside from that, what's wrong with the rest of any given thing?) would it seem more like food?
It seems like I have a lot of belief systems that reduce me to chicken, burgers, pork loins, roasts, occasional dogs or sausages, bacon, eggs, some fresh produce (very limited), frozen berries, sometimes some nuts or seeds, and some dairy (mostly butter and cheese and homemade kefir). To me this is fine. Although it does explain why I tend to not eat, or eat super lowcarb and nearly paleo, or eat offplan, without much in between. To my 14 year old, this is so boring that it's nearly a punishment. So for her sake I am trying to branch out. Branching out into things less perfectly healthy seems like a contradiction, when the whole point is making her food at home so she eats less crap at school.
Sometimes it's hard for me to tell where food crosses the line to "food". If I nuke her sweet mocks and make her sweet or chocolaty protein drinks, am I teaching her 'diet food' that is not a long term eating strategy? Am I feeding her a lowcarb version of junkfood?
Or am I being reasonably practical about feeding a teenager who often has an entire 0.8 minute to scarf down something? (Because, as I tell her, she is the slowest human alive, the moreso the more she NEEDS to hurry!) Who if she doesn't have something decent at breakfast will spend a fortune on food so horrifying at school that it looks like an institutionalized advertisement for the bad-oils and grain lobbies?
I can't decide. Tomorrow I'm going to try a protein drink for her. We'll see how that goes.