First, some breakfast essentials.
Below I have listed the common sources for each
- Time to believe it, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Eating breakfast helps prevent the inevitable midday crash, insatiable cravings and overeating throughout the day.
- For my clients trying to lose weight, I recommend that breakfast should be between 180-300 calories. Some may find that breaking up breakfast into two smaller 150 calorie meals works best, and some clients wake up hungry and a 300 calorie meal works best.
- Sometimes a piece of fruit is the perfect item to balance out a breakfast. If for instance, you’ve had a typical egg white omelet with low-fat cheese and veggies, and still feel hungry, an apple mid-morning might just do the trick.
- The best bet for breakfast is a combination of protein, carbohydrates from whole grains and fruits, fat, and fiber.
Below I have listed my suggestions below for the best tasting, most nutritious breakfast options. However, be careful of serving sizes on packaged goods, especially cereal. You may even want to invest in a kitchen scale to measure the amount of cereal by weight (grams) instead of volume (cup)
THE SWEET STUFF (a.k.a, not eggs)
Banana Berry Smoothie: Throw the following into the blender until all fruit is thoroughly pureed and has reached preferred thickness.
½ cup frozen blueberries (i.e. Cascadian farms)
½ frozen banana
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1/3 cup apple juice
2/3 cup vanilla soy milk
Oatmeal Pancakes: Stir together the following and pour into a non-stick skillet as you would pancakes. Cook over medium heat until both sides are golden.
4 egg whites
½ cup rolled oats
1 T Splenda and cinnamon mix
¼ cup cottage cheese
Serve w/ 1 tsp of Brummel and Brown spread and and/or 1 T sugar-free or light syrup (optional)
Egg White Blintz: Whip the following together for 4 minutes until fluffy and pour into a lightly sprayed non-stick pan. Cook over medium heat and allow mixture to rise.
4 to 6 egg whites
1 T Splenda and cinnamon mix
2 drops of vanilla extract
Before folding the blintz over add 2-3 T of low-fat cottage cheese or skim ricotta and 1/3 cup of berries.
French Toast: Mix together the following and then place 2 slices of whole-grain bread in mixture until mixture is thoroughly absorbed. Cook in sprayed skillet over medium heat until golden on both sides.
½ cup egg beaters (or egg whites)
3-4 T low-fat milk
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 T Splenda and cinnamon mix
Pinch of salt
Serve with 1T sugar-free or light syrup (optional)
Muffins: Warm either one Our Daily Muffin or one 2 oz. Vita-muffin, slice in half and spread with Laughing Cow Light Cheese
Peanut Butter and Banana: Spread 1½ T of peanut butter (or any nut butter) over ½ whole grain English muffin and top with ½ banana
Waffles: Top Vans Belgian 7-grain Waffle or Kashi Go Lean or Heart-to-Heart Waffle with ½ cup whipped low-fat cottage cheese and 1 T sugar free or light syrup and 1/3 cup berries
Breakfast Cereals: I recommend the following for taste, nutritional balance, and staying power. Remember to check the serving sizes, and eat with low-fat milk or soy milk (Silk or 8th Continent)
- Protein: low-fat dairy products including low-fat cheese, cottage cheese, total Greek yogurt; lean meats including Canadian bacon and turkey bacon and deli meats (lean turkey, ham, or chicken); eggs and egg whites; tofu or soy based products; protein powders
- Carbohydrates: whole grain, high fiber, low-fat, low-sugar breads, waffles, muffins, cereals; fruits and vegetables, beans, hummus
- Fats: nuts, nut butters, seeds, flax seeds, olive oil, reduced fat cheeses, avocados
- Fiber: whole grains including unprocessed bran, fruits and vegetables, legumes, seeds
- Try your hardest to vary your breakfasts. Breakfast burnout just leads to bad habits such as skipping breakfast all together, or simply grabbing the first thing you see or smell cooking in the morning
Creamy Cinnamon Almond Breakfast: Combine the following
1/2 cup part skim ricotta (or low-fat cottage cheese)
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 T Splenda/cinnamon mixture
Put in microwave briefly until warm. Serve over ½ whole wheat English muffin and sprinkle with 6 crushed almonds.
THE SAVORY STUFF
Scrambled Tofu: Whisk together a dash of cumin, garlic powder, 1 T water, 1 ½ tsp mellow-barley light miso and fresh pepper. Heat 4 ounces of mashed firm tofu over medium heat while mixing in spice mixture. Stir constantly until tofu mixture is heated through. Serve with 1 piece of whole grain toast and a bit of ketchup (optional).
Sausage, egg, and cheese (not really): Scramble three egg whites with two defrosted morning star sausage links cut into pieces and a slice of low-fat cheese. Enjoy with a little ketchup and Tabasco.
½ T olive oil
1 eggs or 3 egg whites
½ T low-fat milk
Small plum tomato, chopped
1 oz shredded, reduced-fat or low-fat cheddar cheese
1 6-inch whole-wheat tortilla
1 T salsa
¼ avocado, diced or 1 T guacamole
Fat-free or light sour cream, optional
Beat egg with milk and diced tomatoes, cook over medium heat, scramble until done; add shredded cheese towards the end. Place eggs and cheese over warmed tortilla. Add salsa and avocado and fold tortilla to hold it all together. Serve with dollop of sour cream (optional)
THE PLAN AHEAD
If you’ve got some time on your hands and you’d like to prepare a few things to simply heat up in the morning, here are some easy suggestions that will last a few days.
Ham “Soufflé” (4 servings):
4 egg whites
1 ½ cups low-fat milk
1 ½ cups (6 ounces) shredded reduced-fat extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
4 slices light whole wheat bread, cubed
1 can (4 ounces) sliced mushrooms, drained
1 cup broccoli florets or 2 spears asparagus, trimmed and chopped
4 ounces lean smoked ham, chopped
½ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 2-quart baking dish.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs and egg whites until frothy. Stir in the milk, cheese, bread, mushrooms, broccoli or asparagus, ham, and Italian seasoning. Pour into baking dish and bake for 45 minutes, or until golden and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Vegetable Quiche (6 servings): truth is any vegetable or low-fat cheese will work. Enjoy with a piece of whole grain toast or half whole wheat English muffin.
1 package (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach
¾ cup liquid egg substitute
¾ cup shredded reduced-fat cheese
¼ cup diced green bell peppers
¼ cup diced onions
3 drops hot-pepper sauce (optional)
Microwave the spinach for 2 1/2 minutes on high. Drain the excess liquid. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with foil baking cups. Spray the cups with cooking spray. Combine the egg substitute, cheese, peppers, onions, and spinach in a bowl. Mix well. Divide evenly among the muffin cups. Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Savory Pancakes (4 servings):
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup water
1 T Splenda
1 1/2 cups low-fat cottage cheese
1/2 cup all-purpose (plain) flour, sifted
3 T low-fat milk
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp canola oil for pan frying
Low-sugar apricot jam
Mix all the ingredients together. Heat the oil. Put spoonfuls of the mixture into the pan and fry on both sides until golden. Serve with the apricot jam.
- Kashi Go Lean and Go Lean Crunch
- Kashi Heart-to-Heart
- Kashi Good Friends
- Back to Nature Banana Nut Multibran
- Nutritious Living 40/30/30
- Nature’s Path Optimum Slim
- Quaker Take Heart Instant Oatmeal
- Single serving steel cut oatmeal with 2 T ground flax seeds* and 1 cup of berries, ¼ cup hot low-fat milk (*Flax seeds must be ground and kept refrigerated once opened. Flax seeds have been found to benefit heart health, immunity, skin, hair, good cholesterol, and digestion. In addition, because of their digestive properties, they help make oatmeal more filling.)
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