Tuesday, January 5, 2010

There Is More To Life Than Just Salad: Part 1- Breakfast

Are you tired of living on celery sticks and lettuce leaves? Wondering what the heck you could possibly eat that is quick and easy and is good for you? Well, here are some ideas I'd like to share!


Now, breakfast really IS the most important meal of the day. After years of being an anti-breakfast eater, I discovered just how much better I feel and how much more energy I have when I eat breakfast. Also, after 2 months of being a breakfast eater, I've learned to enjoy it, welcome it and appreciate the benefits it gives my body. I also find that I eat less throughout the day, that I'm less likely to over-indulge. Plus, it's important to eat enough calories throughout the day. Not eating enough is just as bad for you as eating too much. You need to intake calories to burn calories, or your body goes into starvation mode and turns the calories you do eat into fat to store for later. It's our body's "fight or flight" mechanism.

Some of the things I eat for breakfast are:

Oatmeal (1/2 c. instant oatmeal to 1 c. water, microwave 2 minutes, add fruit, nuts and spices to taste. I like frozen blueberries because it cools the oatmeal off quickly)

Waffles- I prefer Nutrigrain, but recently read that there's supposed to be a shortage in upcoming months due to a plant close. I tend to eat my waffles plain, but you could spread a Tbsp of peanut butter on them for some protein.

Yogurt- I mix about 2 Tbsp of Grapenuts in. It gives a nice crunch to the yogurt and softens the cereal so it's not like rocks.

Crustless Quiche- usually, this is left over from dinner the night before. And, honestly, I can't make pie crust to save my life, so I decided years ago to skip the crust (since I don't really like it anyways) and just go for the good stuff.

4 eggs (or egg beaters if you prefer)
1/2 c. non-fat milk
dash of Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy seasoning blend
1-2 c. veggies of your choice, pre-cooked (I usually use steamed spinach- squeezed out or broccoli, sun dried tomatoes- not oil packed!, but you can use anything, really)
cheese- cheddar, feta, swiss- only a couple ounces, grated
Pre-cooked meat source, about a handful- but not always. Ham is especially good. A little crumbled bacon goes a long, long way

Pre-heat oven to 375. Spray a pie pan with non-stick spray, set aside.
Beat eggs, milk and seasoning together.
Add in veggies, meat and 1/2 the cheese (unless using feta, then toss it all in), Mix well
Pour into pie pan
Bake for 25 minutes
Sprinkle remaining cheese on top, bake just until melted and golden (about 10 minutes)
Remove from oven and let rest about 5 minutes
Slice into 8, just like a pie

Makes 8 servings

Now, I know what you're thinking. Quiche is notoriously high in fat, cholesterol, and calories! Yes, but... We didn't use crust, remember? We've also modified the recipe. And you're only eating 1/8th! Not the whole pie! 1/8th of this is around 200 calories. I'm too lazy to do the math right now. Cheese is being used in moderation. Did I mention the lack of crust? It's like an oven made omlet casserole and it reheats well, unlike omlets. Remember, "diet" food doesn't have to be boring, or salad!

What about having a serving of low-fat cottage cheese, a piece of whole grain toast and some fruit? Or two mini bagels with some neufanchel cheese? Or blend up a smoothie with some protein powder? What? You need a recipe?

For those Non-Breakfast Eater Types:

This is how I started out learning to eat breakfast. These three recipes helped me so very much while I was adjusting. Plus, they're a great way to squeeze in some extra protein, which helps keep your blood sugar level and stave off the mid-morning slump. Personally, I tend to not get enough protein in my diet unless I'm being conscientious about it. Protein powder (like Gold Standard 100% whey) helps. You'll get extra amino acids our bodies need too! And no, it's not just for body builders. And it won't make you bulk up, unless that's your goal, in which case, this isn't the blog for you anyways!

Protein Smoothie

4 standard ice cubes
1 medium banana
4 large strawberries
1 serving protein powder
1/4 c. orange juice

Blend until smooth

And an alternate:

1 serving protein powder
1/2 c. mixed berries
5 strawberries
5 oz cranberry juice
5 oz water or skim milk
5 ice cubes

Blend on high until smooth

And for the coffee lovers out there:

Brew 2 c. fresh coffee
Pour hot coffee into blender
add one scoop protein powder
add preferred healthy sweetener (I used 1 tsp. hershey's syrup, but that's me)
add soy milk or rice milk (like you would use creamer)
whip in blender until frothy.


cdncowgirl said...

That last smoothie is for me :)

I have trouble with breakfast, mostly because of the hours my day runs. Due to work its a little odd. I need something quick and small because my lunch comes fairly soon after breakfast... at least according to a 'traditional' timetable.
I love your crustless quiche, that's one I'll definitely be giving a try!

Anonymous said...

@Cdn- you'll love the last smoothie! It's what made getting started towards breakfast easier for me. I still have it when I know I won't have time to eat or need a bit of extra protein.

I do know what you mean about "odd hours" because I used to work 10-15 hour nights before I married the Corporate Prince. Sometimes, I wouldn't get a chance to eat at all during work hours, I'd come home and collapse into a short sleep before the kids would get up. Wish I had that smoothie recipe back then! I think I lived on coffee and air then!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Grapenuts in the yogurt is a good idea. I usually do flax seed, but a mouse ate through my bag and I had to throw it out. We have plenty of Grapenuts, though. I'll have to dig my old blender out of the garage (or buy a new one) and try making smoothies. I've never had one before.

Mrs Mom said...

Cool beans OS- I was thinking along these lines! Glad you read my mind and got the ball rolling though, cause I had no clue where to start.

LOVE Grapenuts in yogurt. And smoothies rock. Even my boys like them!

Laura said...

Great list, OS. I make smoothies alot in the summer, but not as much in the winter - partly due to wanting something warm in the winter and there isn't as much good fruit here in the winter (unless you want to pay alot of $$), or if an annoying teenaged step-son ate your 4 huge ziploc bags of fruit that was carefully stored away from the summer (grrrr).

I really need to work on liking oatmeal more - nice and warm, keeps you full. I just need to get over the "lack of sweetness" issue... maybe a dribble of maple syrup would be ok???? ;-p

Anonymous said...

@Laura- a drizzle of maple syrup is ok. We're learning a healthy lifestyle here, so moderation is the key. No sense in "dieting" because diets have an end, we're talking about lifestyle changes. And let's face it, none of us will go without maple syrup for the rest of our lives.

I like the blueberries in my oatmeal because they're an antioxidant super fruit, they're frozen so they cool my oatmeal quickly and they're a bit sweet. I also use raisins, which give a natural sweetness along with a generous sprinkle of cinnamon. Peaches would be good too, and you can use canned. And I fully understand about bottomless-pit-teenagers! Teen girls aren't any better! Mine can blow through a gallon of OJ in 2 days! As for hard to get good fruit, I get that too. Overall, produce in Alaska sucked in the winter and didn't last more than a day or two. Too much travel and dock time, I think. Same with milk, so I switched to rice and soy when I lived there.

Thought: Do you put milk in your tea? If so, maybe you can adapt the coffee smoothie into a tea smoothie? It would be warm that way...

@Mrs. Mom- Eat your foods! Eat your foods! You need lots of energy to keep up with the Little Mens! ;-)

@NM- haven't done flax seed, but it's probably because I had a bad experience of buying a drugged horse. Pre-ground flax seed was sent with him. And guess what? It's what contained whatever they were giving him! I almost used the same flax on myself and my dog, Freya. I can't help but think of what a close call it was!

Instead, I get my flax through Kashi cereal. I don't remember which one, but there are almonds and clusters and flaxseed in it. Love the stuff! I eat it straight out of the box!

Oh, and by the way guys, we use the vanilla flavored protein powder here. I haven't tried the others, so I can't vouch for how good (or not) the smoothies would be otherwise.