Monday, March 16, 2015

A Weight Loss Journal: All About Breakfast

If you currently not a breakfast eater...get ready for me to fuss at you a little bit. I realize that many of you just aren't ready to eat the minute your feet hit the floor in the morning.

I get it.

This is the deal. Your body needs that fuel in the morning to set the stage for the rest of the day. I also find if I don't have enough protein in the morning I am more likely to make unwise choices towards the end of the day. Think of breakfast as the building blocks of your day. Your body needs that energy and all those vitamins and minerals that begin with breakfast.

So you can guess that I am not promoting enjoying a donut or bowl of sugary cereal for breakfast. In fact, I don't do well with cold cereal at all for breakfast. I find that it doesn't give me the healthy boost I need.

As promised, I am sharing with you some of my favorite breakfast choices. If you were expecting to find 30 ways to eat eggs in this post be prepared to be disappointed.

I'm not a fan of the egg. The Muffin and Josiah both love eggs. Eggs happen to be a really terrific choice for weight loss efforts.  I enjoy my eggs more as a sidekick to the main event. I like chopped eggs in a cobb salad or scrambled in a stirfry.

Just another little thought before I share my favorite breakfast ideas. When I first started my successful weight loss journey I ate the same thing for breakfast. Every. Single. Day. I enjoyed my overnight Refrigerator Oatmeal (recipe link below). I had terrific results with that tactic... up to point. Eventually, my body got used to my routines and needed surprising. I had a weight loss plateau to rival all other weight loss plateaus.

Now I tend to choice my breakfast choices based on what kind of time I have and what kinds of meals I had the day before. For example, if I had a carb rich evening meal the night before I will eat a breakfast that is low carb. Because I allow myself a cheat (or two) over the weekends, my Monday morning breakfast choice is always something that will help detox my system just a bit.

Here are my favs.  The star of all my breakfast choices is protein.

1. I love the ease and deliciousness of a muffin in a mug. This yummy Cinnamon Roll muffin uses almond flour. I use flax meal interchangeably. It is cheaper. I also use a whole egg.

2. One of my favorite breakfasts "evah" is to take one of those muffin a mug recipes and make a waffle! It lets me have my waffle fix and not feel guilty about all the extra calories and carbs. I do use a sugar free syrup. My guys love waffles. In fact, we usually have waffles every Friday morning. I generally make up a batch of traditional waffles (except I use 1/2 wheat flour and add some flax meal) for the boys. I just make up one waffle for myself using the muffin in a mug recipe. It takes just a few minutes.

3. For an easy breakfast I use Ezekiel Bread. Ezekiel bread has been a terrific addition to my diet plan. It is much pricier than traditional bread so I had to make room for it in my grocery budget. It only takes a minute to toast it up. I like to smear it with the lite Happy Farms cheese wedges from Aldi's. If I have a sweet craving I use fruit preserves (absolutely no added sugars) or for a savory breakfast I use turkey breast sandwich meat as my filler. If I eat my toast with fruit preserves I make sure I include some yogurt as well.

4. I really love Oatmeal. Did you know that Oatmeal has enough protein by itself for a complete meal? A great recipe is my Overnight Oatmeal. Some folks (some folks like my Momma) have trouble with the texture of this oatmeal. I personally love it. This recipe for a Slow Cooker Apple Oatmeal is divine. I use a sugar substitute and almond milk. I have found that this is a really good company dish. I make a oatmeal "bar" with nuts, raisins, sliced fruits and lots of other goodies. Because it is cheap I don't have to worry about running out.

5. Some days there only time for a quick bite. I find that keeping yogurt on hand is key. Don't chow down on just any yogurt. Some of them have enormous amounts of sugar. My favorites are either plain Greek yogurt with sliced strawberries or the Triple Zero Greek Yogurt (Dannon Okios).  Triple Zero contains no artificial sweeteners and lots of protein.

6. Another easy Breakfast choice is the Bulletproof Coffee. Simply take a cup of coffee (8-12 ounces), a Tablespoon of Coconut Oil, sweetener to taste, 1/2 a scoop of whey protein powder (use one that doesn't have a,lot of sugar. Just whirl it up in your blender. I also will add a dash of salt and vanilla extract (or some other yummy flavor). You will be surprised how far this drink take you.

7. Monday mornings are always a good morning for a smoothie. They provide a good detox for my weekend cheat and are an easy way to get everything I need to start the day in one whack. This Green Smoothie is easy peasy. I usually add a little flax meal and/or chia seeds. Sometimes the whey protein isn't in my budget. I just add an extra cup of cottage cheese. I buy cottage cheese weekly at Aldi's. If a Green Smoothie isn't exactly what I am craving I choose another kind of smoothie. The Dashing Dish has lots and lots of delicious smoothie/shake recipes. This Girl Scout Cookie Samoa Shake is delish. Again. I just use extra cottage cheese if I don't have any protein powder.

8. So I told you I wasn't an egg fan. I'm not, but it doesn't mean I avoid them altogether. I just reinterpret them. When I lived at home my mom often made delicious zucchini fritters especially during the summer when we had a bumper crop of zucchini. This Zucchini Fritter recipe is a good one that meets my dietary goals. I also enjoy a good hash. I can't fix it with my first choice; a white potato. If you, too, enjoy a good hash take a poke around the internet for some good healthy hash recipes. I am planning on having some leftover corned beef after St. Patrick's Day on Tuesday so this hash will be one of our morning breakfast meals.

Hopefully, I've given you some good ideas. I would suggest you start trying out different recipes. Maybe try something different at least once a week. Then begin building your recipe list of favorites. What do you like to serve for company? What choices are good for busy and chaotic mornings? Can any of your favorites be made ahead of time and frozen?

Make breakfast a habit. I think overtime you will begin to see a difference in your overall health and weight loss efforts.

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