I love my breakfast foods, and as matter of fact, I love them a little too much.
Before I began the change to a healthy lifestyle, it was not odd for me to make loaded omelets with french fries. Or to order an Irish Skillet from the Diner (Two over medium eggs over corned beef hash and breakfast potatos... with cheese). Pancakes.. Hooray... Waffles... even better. There was even a 3 month period in which I would have a McGriddle every morning... with a Blended Caramel Frappe.
Then I realized that, even though I love these things... they were not a "normal" breakfast... They were hurting me, and actually changing my view of food in general.
A healthy breakfast to me can be, and is not limited to:
Hard Boiled Eggs
Cut up fruit
Nuts and Seeds
A protein bar (if I'm in a pinch).
As of recently, it has become habit for me to pack a yogurt, and go to work. It's easy, and quick, and doesn't require a lot of effort (more about that thought in a minute). We do have a a fully stocked break room at work, complete with refridgerator, microwave, keurig machine and toaster oven. I can heat up or make anything... But, I would go for the easy route.
Last week.. The yogurt started to feel like PASTE in my mouth. That's a clear sign that I am getting bored with what I am eating. I have tried different types of yogurt, and the ones that come with the extra doodads (Cereal, granola, fruit, nuts, candy...) And, all I have noticed is... The portion size is cut down to make room for the extra stuff... and there isn't that much of it! I thought this was odd.
So, I decided to look up how much a Yogurt Bar, in my own refridgerator, would impact my calories.
First things first, I realized that the "doesn't require a lot of effort" thing was complete BS... Healthy eating, a healthy life... requires a little effort... and if you want it... you do it... Case closed.
So, I went through my fridge and tried to see what I had already that could be part of my yogurt bar.
I came back with:
- Dried, unsweetened, coconut flakes
- Dried, unsalted, sunflower seeds
- Hershey's Cookies and Cream Cereal
- Hershey's Semi-Sweet Dark Baking Chips.
I knew this wasn't enough, so when I went grocery shopping I picked up:
- Dried Cherries
- Dried Cranberries
- Cheerio's Dulce de Leche Cereal.
Instead of buying individual 1/2 up servings of yogurt, I bought a QUART of Dannon Light & Fit Greek Vanilla.
Now: the point of this was to add flavor and texture to my breakfast, without adding a ton of extra calories.
This is what I came up with:
- If I wanted to do the yogurt with the cereal options, I would do a 1/4 cup of yogurt and a 1/4 cup of the cereal. Then I could add a dried fruit... (a couple of teaspoons)
- You could do a 1/2 cup of yogurt with a dried fruit, the seeds and the coconut (a teaspoon of each)
- You could do 1/4 cup of yogurt with dried fruit/coconut/seeds (a couple teaspoons) and the chocolate chips (1 teaspoon).
All of these options came out equal if not over 10 calories what a normal yogurt container would yield.
And, with 7 options you can mix and match for days.
Being creative with your food is fun.
We need to get it through our heads (and help others see) that healthy and boring should not go hand in hand.
What's your favorite healthy breakfast?