In-N-Out Salad

In-N-Out Salad

No matter how healthy you eat on a daily basis.... When you live in California, you eat at In-N-Out on occasion! For those of you not "in the know", there is a process to ordering your meal at In-N-Out.  The menu has 3 options: Hamburger, Cheeseburger and Double-Double (2 patties), Aside from fries and fountain drinks, that's all that is posted on the menu.  BUT... there is a "secret" menu and specific terminology when it comes time to order.  Two of the most popular are "animal style" (includes grilled chopped onions, pickles and mustard) and "protein style" (a burger without the bun and wrapped in an iceberg lettuce leaf instead).  

Lots of people who eat low carb diets order "protein style" and it is not at all uncommon to see people eating burgers with a lettuce instead of a bun.  In-N-Out also has a "spread" that is very similar to Thousand Island salad dressing... the spread and "protein style" gave me the idea to calculate a salad using the same ingredients and flavors.  For older kids and adults, a small hamburger patty wrapped in lettuce would be a great option to bring with you.  On average, a hamburger patty at In-N-Out weigh about 30g, a lettuce wrap in place of the bun weighs about 65g (I have gotten as little as 30g and needed to ask for more) and 2 slices of tomato is about 30-40g.  Here are links tot he main In-N-Out Burger website, the nutrition information (some of you may be able to actually order right off the menu!) and a link to a post detailing the "secret menu"  (make sure you click the slide show) because there are even more options than what they tell you on the In-N-Out website!

Makes 1 serving

3:1 ratio

298 calories

7.79g protein

1.81g carbohydrate

In-N-Out Salad



70g iceberg lettuce

25g 85% ground beef, cooked (I roll tiny meatballs and pan fry them.  I store them in the freezer)

10g dill pickles, Bubbies brand

20g mayonnaise, Hellmann's

9g coconut oil (I think they add sweetener to the "spread". The coconut oil adds a little sweet flavor instead of using an oil like olive.  But, use whatever you would like!)

5g tomato puree, canned (you could use sugar-free ketchup as well)

5g dill relish, Bubbies brand



Chop or shred the lettuce.  Top with the meat and pickles.

Mix the mayonnaise, coconut oil, relish and tomato puree together to make the dressing.  Season with salt and pepper.  Toss the dressing with the salad and enjoy! (Ask for a free water while you're at it!)


You could add tomatoes or chopped hot chilies if you would like.

The dressing can hold more oil if needed to increase the ratio.

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Go Bag

Go Bag

Do you have "Go Bag"? I have had a bag like this fully packed and stored near my front door since 2012 when this post was originally written. There have been some minor changes to the contents helping to make it lighter and more efficient, but the basics are still the same.

This particular bag is a small brief case size rolling carry-on bag.  It holds 3 days worth of supplies for my two kids and myself. This includes food, clothing, personal care items, medications and keto supplies.  The only item not actually in the bag is water, we keep a few 2.5 gallon jugs right next to the bag in the closet.  Here is the breakdown of what is included in the bag.

*UPDATE - We now use an ultra-lightweight hiking backpack that weighs about 2 pounds decreasing the weight considerably. Also, we have added cash! This is probably one of the more important items to have on hand. Small bills are recommended.

The front section includes:

Tissues, wipes for surfaces, baby wipes, plastic silverware, small bottles of dish soap, a bag of instant coffee, powdered cream & sugar.  A baggie containing a scraper, 10ml syringes, a can opener and an extra spoon. The zippered pouch contains personal care items: shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, a hairbrush, hair ties, Tylenol & Advil for kids and adults, prescription medications and lotion.

The next section includes a scale (and extra batteries) and *printed* recipes for the ketogenic meals (the ingredients are worthless if you don't have ketogenic meal calculations printed!) made from food that is included in the bag. There is also coconut oil, peanut butter, mayo, green beans, tuna, squeezable fruit, Lara Bars, pecans, macadamia nuts and my sons clothing.

*UPDATE - The full size scale in the picture has been swapped out for a very small travel scale about the size of a credit card. More convenient packaging is now available for many keto friendly food items including nut butters, coconut oil, olives, meat sticks etc. Consider looking for single serve squeeze packets whenever possible. 

The last section includes: microwavable ravioli (this was for my son who was 5 years old at the time. It is no longer in our bag), mushrooms, green beans, chicken, olive oil, Cliff Bars, apple sauce, baby food sweet potatoes, and clothing for my daughter and myself. All of the food in the bag can be eaten without being rehydrated, heated or cooked.  It might not taste the greatest, but it would do in an emergency with no power or cooking source.


The ketogenic meals are calculated using only the ingredients contained in the bag.  There is more than 3 days worth of oil, but it's always a good idea to have extra!  Things like the Cliff Bars are good options for non-keto meals since they are high in calories but only take up a small amount of space. Every 6 months or so, take the food and medications out and replace with new ones so they do not expire.

*UPDATE - Prescription Medications and Medical Supplies

This is usually one of the most important items that is most often forgotten or not supplied well enough to last. Fill prescription medications on the day they are approved for refill by your insurance company! For most insurance companies, this is about 1 week to 5 days prior to the medication running out. If you do this every month, you will end up with a small excess of medication. Having a few weeks of extra medication could be lifesaving in an disaster situation where supplies are limited or even cut off completely. For medical supplies, such as glucose and ketone test strips, feeding tube supplies (including a power source), oxygen tanks and other essentials, think through how you would function in an environment with no power or water (even if it's your own home) and make a plan!  Never rely on shelters or aid organizations to have the medication or supplies you will need.


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Traveling With Oil, My Favorite Method

Traveling With Oil, My Favorite Method

This is my favorite way to travel with oil.  I can weigh the oil in the syringe and know it is safe being bounced around in a bag. The idea to put the syringe in a toothbrush holder came to me a long time ago, however, finding a holder that fit the syringe was no easy task! I finally found this one at Bed Bath & Beyond.  Here are a few pictures of my system which has worked out wonderfully while on the road!

A slight modification is needed to make it fit.  I just snipped the edges of the plunger with scissors.

You have to put the plunger end into the shorter end of the holder, otherwise it will not close completely.

All safe and snug!

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3-Day Cooler Bag & TSA Info

3-Day Cooler Bag & TSA Info

Flying and travel with a keto, takes a lot of preparation, organization, and work!  I'm taking 3-days worth of food with us for a 5-hour flight.  Not only do I not have to worry about delays, I don't have to worry about cooking ketogenic meals for 2 days following our arrival.  I'm already planning on this being a busy, hectic time for us. From past experiences, I have learned that busy+hectic+not at home = mistakes while cooking keto meals!  This allows me to have one less thing to worry about.

First, here is some information that obtained directly from the TSA regarding bringing food for medical reasons on-board an airplane.

    • A cooler containing medically necessary food does NOT count as a carry-on.
    • You need to "declare" that you have food or liquids greater than 3.4oz while in the TSA security line. This means that you just have to tell the TSA agent that you have these items.
    • Coolers are recommended to be no larger than 9" high x 14" wide x 22" long.  They are supposed to be placed under the seats, not in the overhead compartments.
    • Ice packs are preferred over loose ice or ice in plastic baggies.  If the ice melts, you need to keep removing the liquid.
    • You are not required to bring a letter from a physician regarding medical diets, however, it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to make the process go smoothly.
    • Here is a phone # for TSA so you can call them yourself! 1-866-289-9673

This is what I am bringing...

The meals are all the same for each of the 3 days.  It was a lot easier to prep that way.  Also, they contain most of the needed fat within the meal so I do not have to worry about weighing extra oil on the side.

Strawberry yogurt + 10g coconut oil

macadamia nut doughnuts

crunchy chicken salad + 10g coconut oil

spinach bites + Walden Farms Ranch for dipping


I write on the lids of some containers (it does not work on all plastics) with a wet-erase marker so I don't forget to give extra oil.

This is the bag all packed up!  Also included in the bag in the front pocket is a scale, jar of coconut oil, 10ml syringes for giving the oil (already filled with oil), spoon, and scraper.  The plan is to ask for a cup of hot water to melt the syringes of oil.  I also have a letter from our doctors explaining why we need all of this, just in case.

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