Friday, April 27, 2012

Breakfast. Just Do It.

Ah, breakfast... the most important meal of the day. The meal where we have so much opportunity to set the course for the day and the meal where most people fail miserably. A cup of coffee is not breakfast. A greasy, heavy, processed McAnything is not breakfast. A sugary puff of pastry and cream is not breakfast. A bowl of factory created, sugar coated cereal is not breakfast.

A soda is not breakfast!

Breakfast is 'breaking the fast' that your body has been on for 6 to 10 hours while you were sleeping. Your body repairs and restores itself overnight and when you awaken, it's important to add in the best fuel possible for your day.

If you use the wrong kind of fuel - refined grains, sugar, fat and caffeine - you will sabotage your body for the rest of the day. You'll end up tired, unable to focus, have digestion issues, headaches, and cravings.

You'll also overeat all day if you load up on junk stuff.

If you use the right kind of fuel - whole grains, fruits, veggies, plant proteins and natural stimulants (like spirulina) - you will be energized and focused. You will feel amazing!

Step 1 - Drink Up!

The first thing you should do is have a big glass of ice water. This gets the body started slowly with digestion. Water is very important. Sometimes I have iced decaf green tea. I do what I call 'enriched water' every morning. I mix up barley grass juice powder and spirulina into my water or tea. Google them to find out how great they are for the body. They are my coffee equivalent. They nourish every cell in my body. I can feel it. I'm just not the same if I skip that.

If you want to have something hot, choose green tea. (again, I prefer decaf and unsweetened) or a mug of miso soup in the morning is beyond amazing. Try it sometime.  Just warm up a cup of water and add a couple teaspoons of white miso. It's comforting and delicious. I also like to add a little no chicken bouillon to mine.

I know many people can't live without coffee but it would be good to try and cut back to one cup in the morning. I won't lecture you on coffee but I think most people know more than a cup or two a day is a problem. That is especially true if it's loaded with cream, sugar, syrups and whipped cream. Those drinks have the same calorie count as a meal.

Step 2 - First Breakfast

Yes, I eat two breakfasts every day! The Hobbits know what they are talking about! I love to eat and when you follow a whole food, plant based diet, you can eat all day long and never worry about your weight and never have guilt. I am usually up by 4:30 or 5 in the morning so I have my enriched water and then between 6:30 and 7:30 I will have my first breakfast. I almost always have a plate of fresh fruit.

Fruit is digested quickly and easily so it allows my body to warm up and get going. I shoot for 3 servings but I might have more depending on my hunger. I always have a red grapefruit cut into sections and then I have whatever is in the house! A handful of berries, a champagne mango, a bunch of grapes, cherries or kiwi. I usually use a banana at my second breakfast.

Step 3 - Second Breakfast

My second breakfast falls between 9 am and 10 am everyday and I almost always have oatmeal. 1/2 cup old fashioned oats combined with 2/3 cup water and microwaved for 2 minutes. I add in 1/2 to a whole diced banana, a dash of cinnamon and a scant handful of walnuts. That is usually as sweet as I need it unless I've had sugar in the past 24 hours and then I might add a teaspoon or two of sucanat (a natural brown sugar).

Once in awhile I wake up with some craving .. if that happens I may go off course and get crazy and have a salad or soup or bean burrito or roasted veggies at 10am. If my body wants it, it usually gets it. It's important to listen to what your body is asking for. If you suddenly want a salad - there is a reason. I will eat anything at any time of the day. I am not bound by any rules. If I can have pancakes for dinner than why not a BLT for breakfast?

I Can't Eat That Early!

I know there are people in this world (like my husband) who have trouble eating in the morning. I'd suggest making the effort to get a little something in your belly that is whole and healthy.

Minimalist ideas:

- one fruit serving .. just a banana!
- a slice of whole wheat toast or english muffin half with nut butter
- hot cereal like Malt O Meal or oatmeal
- 3/4 cup any plain whole grain cereal like Grape Nuts or Shredded Wheat w/ nut milk
- a glass of datorade (4 dates blended with 10 oz of water poured over ice)
- an apple with a handful of nut
- shake made with nut milk, plant based protein powder, frozen fruit and flax seed

Workin' For The Weekend!

I think we all live for the weekends, even if our own personal weekend falls on Monday and Tuesday (I'm looking at you, retail and restaurant workers!) and sometimes you want a big old breakfast! I personally try and have my big old breakfasts at dinner time but to each her own!

You have to be careful with big old breakfasts because too much fat, too much sugar and too much food can put you into a coma that has you beached on the sofa for the day! (unless that is what you're going for!)

Some ideas:

- traditional English breakfast with crusty bread, baked beans, soy or seitan sausage, sliced tomatoes, and roasted veggies really hits the spot!
- tofu scramble with tempeh bacon, fresh fruit, hash browns and whole wheat toast.
- pancakes with fresh fruit, nuts and homemade syrup (recipe below!)
- vegan cinnamon rolls with gooey frosting

Recipe: Pancakes & Blueberry Syrup

My husband wasn't a huge pancake fan until we made these. I think because they are vegan, they are lighter and fluffier and just really tender. We try and do Pancake Fridays each week.. sometimes we don't but when we do, he cooks the pancakes. The dogs always get silver dollar sized ones with the leftover batter but they skip the syrup. I like mine with fresh berries, walnuts and maple syrup. My husband likes his with my homemade blueberry syrup, which contains no HFCS like the ones at the store!

I'd suggest mixing up the batter and letting it sit for about 20 minutes before cooking it.

Kim Barnouin's Pancakes
from Skinny Bitch Everyday Cookbook

Makes 8 pancakes


1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3 tbsp evaporated cane juice (sugar)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 cup almond milk (sweetened or unsweetened)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp canola oil

Combine the dry ingredients and set aside.
Whisk together the wet ingredients.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk until smooth.
You know how to cook pancakes.. so cook 'em.

Shelly's Blueberry Syrup

1 cup frozen blueberries (or fresh)
1/8 cup evaporated cane juice (sugar)
1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1/8 cup water
1/8 cup maple syrup
1 tsp lemon juice

Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and simmer until thick. I like to smash up some of the berries. It's really yummy served warm!

No comments:

Post a Comment