Sunday, January 15, 2012

Breakfast of Champions...Stoke Your Fire

Tip #2: Eat a good breakfast

Your Mother probably told you breakfast is the most important meal of the day. She was right. After fasting for about 12 hours your body needs fuel. You need something with protein to sustain your hunger, and some carbs to start the burning process. I like to think of the carbs as small twigs and kindling, and protein as the big logs in a campfire. It takes both to get a roaring fire going, and that's just what I want for my metabolism. I want to become a burning machine. If you limit your calories too low, the "flame" goes out , and your metabolism slows.

I alternate between 4 breakfast meals so I don't get bored. Here are my favorite breakfasts:

#1:Protein Shake. Everyone asks me how I make my shakes, so here are my directions. I know there are more expensive protein powders on the market, and they might be worth their higher price, but I have found the protein powder off the shelf at my local Wal-Mart has worked just fine for me. I like the taste of the Pure Protein whey powder...this one is vanilla cream, and the frosty chocolate flavor is good, too.I use 8 ounces of skim milk, one scoop of protein powder, and frozen fruit. ( I put a banana in a zip bag when they start to get too ripe to eat, and break it up a bit and store in the freezer.) Sometimes I add a handful of frozen strawberries, blueberries, or mixed fruit I get in the freezer case at the grocery store. There is not really a specific recipe...just experiment and make it to your taste. Throw all in the blender and voila...breakfast. I often add a few drops of almond or vanilla know for variety.

While I am on the subject of blenders, let me plug my Ninja blender. This thing has some power! It has 3 sets of blades, and it gets the job done. It has been used and abused this past year, and it still works great. Bed, Bath, and Beyond has them for about $100.00, but they always accept expired coupons, so you can usually get additional $20.00 off. Not cheap...but so worth it if you need a good blender. Also note the neat milkshake straws I found there. They have a larger diameter , and make it much easier to drink a shake from.

Breakfast #2: Oatmeal is so good for you...Dr. Oz says so...It will also keep you from getting hungry later in the morning. I like the steel cut oats because they are less processed than the kind that is steamed , rolled, and then cut. No time you say? It only take about 5 minutes to cook on the stove top. I add 1/2 cup of blueberries (frozen berries are fine...they will thaw right away when they get stirred into the oatmeal),some cinnamon, a splash of skim milk, and sometimes I add a teaspoon of maple syrup or honey. Slivered almonds on top are good, too.

#3: This quick...go to breakfast is a bowl of cereal in skim milk. I have a large Rubbermaid cereal dispenser, also from Wal-Mart, that I keep a mixture of cereals in. These are the 2 most recent cereals I have purchased. Kashi cereals are delicious, and the Fiber One cereals have tons of fiber in them. I like the Kashi Island Vanilla wheat squares, and Go Lean Crunch or Go Lean Crisp. Just try to pick cereals with lower sugar and higher on the fiber and protein. I always cut up 1/2 banana and throw in a handful of frozen blueberries to my cereal.

#4: If we have a leisurely morning, we will whip up a veggie omelet. We mix up three egg whites and a couple whole eggs (this is for 2 people) and some fresh spinach leaves, chopped onion, bell pepper, and diced tomatoes. I cook in a nonstick skillet sprayed with Pam cooking spray. You could add whatever veggies or lean meat like chicken or turkey that you have on hand . This is good with a little salsa spooned on top. Sometimes I add just a touch of shredded cheese, too.

I have found that eating every 3-4 hours keeps my hunger cravings at bay, and gives me the energy I need to get through the day.

I eat 5-6 times a day, and I try to eat as clean and unprocessed as possible. I try to incorporate protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats into each meal. Think of food as fuel for your body. You wouldn't put Kool-Aid in the gas tank of an expensive sports car, so you can't expect to put junk in your body's fuel tank and expect to "run on all cylinders".

I try to think of eating the way God intended for us to eat. He gave us fruits, nuts, seeds, fish, grains, lean and healthy meats, and veggies. Staying with His plan works so much better for me...funny it works that way, huh? After all , our body is His temple. Confession time...every now and then I have something that's not really on my food list, but I savor it fully, and get right back on track at the next meal.

Sorry this is such a long post, and that there is nothing magical about my plan, but it does work, and even after a year of eating this way, I am not bored.

Healthy eating this week...and eat your breakfast!


Pine Tree Home said...

I love Kashi cereal and alway buy lots of it. Before bed instead of ice cream or cake, I have a small bowl. It keeps me satisfied until morning. There was a period of time I was waking up in the middle of the night having low blood sugar, so this helps. The protein in the milk and the carbs in the cereal.

Denise Rose said...

I have such a struggle eating breakfast, so thanks for the great ideas! I need one of those blenders!