Build a Better Breakfast- Quick Fixes!

December 30, 2012

Breakfast- dubbed the most important meal of the day, and yet, also the most skipped or hap-hazard meal of the day.  Why?  Because for most of us, it’s hard enough to get out the door on time…let’s be honest.  That being said, please consider the following before looking at some quick, tasty, and healthy options to start your day.

Consider this- the average adult stops eating for the day around 7 or 8pm.  You relax, sleep, wake up, get ready, and then zoom off to work with only a coffee in hand.  No breakfast.  “No problem” you tell yourself, “I’ll grab a snack mid morning, or probably won’t even be hungry til lunch.”  Let’s assume you have that snack mid-morning at 10:30am.  Your body has gone about 15 hours without food!  15 hours!  Not only is your blood sugar level totally wonky, but your metabolism is grinding to a screeching halt and your body is in starvation mode.  You’ll be more likely to eat a ton more by lunch…but your body has decided to not give up any of your fat stores for fear that you won’t feed it.  Thus sabotaging any plans for weight loss.

So, what can you do?
The obvious answer is EAT SOME BREAKFAST…  but it’s easier said than done, right?  That is, until you try some of these…  Most of these are things put together over the years, and a few are from different recipe guides from fitness programs (ChaLEAN Extreme, for one!)  Most are pretty healthy, and all are QUICK!!  Here are my weekday breakfast GO-TO’s:

1.   Flat Belly Pancakes- I LOVE these little babies.
     2 frozen oatmeal pancakes
     1 TBSP Almond butter
     1/2 cup fresh berries, rinsed.

Toss your pancakes in the microwave for 30 seconds.  Top with almond butter and toss back in for another 30 seconds.  Take out of microwave, throw your berries on, and eat.

(286 calories, 12 g fat, 4.5 grams protein)

2.  Mug O’ Eggs- You can do these so many ways, and they are ready in 1 minute flat…who doesn’t have a MINUTE to make some eggs?  Here are 3 of my favorites from Hungry Girl’s 300 Under 300: ( Add a piece of fruit for a filling breakfast!

Bacon, Tomato, Avacado Egg Mug(175 calories, 7.25 g fat, 3 g fiber, 19.5 g protein)
1/2 cup fat free liquid egg substitute  (I’ll admit, I usually use just a real egg…)
2 tbsp real crumbled bacon bits
1/3 cup chopped tomatoes, patted to remove excess moisture
1 ounce diced avocado (about 1/4 of an avocado)
2 tbsp salsa

Spray your mug with nonstick spray, add egg substitute. Microwave for 45 seconds, then add bacon and tomato.  Microwave for 45 seconds more.  Top with avocado and salsa- Dig in!

Greek Style Egg Mug
(117 calories, 2g fat, 1 g fiber, 16 g protein) 
1/2 cup chopped spinach
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 tbsp diced tomato – patted to remove moisture
2 tbsp reduced fat feta, crumbled
1/2 tsp chopped basil
1/2 cup FF egg substitute

(TIP:  If you take a few minutes to chop and prepare the veggies/ cheese on Sunday and put them into measured baggies, you can just dump it all in)

Spray mug- add egg substitute, add veggies and cheese…mix.  Microwave for 45 seconds, stir, 45 seconds more- Dig in.

Taco Egg Mug (168 calories, 1 g fat, 2 g fiber, 26.5 g protein)1/4 cup frozen ground beef-style soy crumbles (They really aren’t bad, I swear!)
1/4 tsp taco seasoning
3/4 cup ff egg substitute
1 tbsp ff shredded cheddar cheese
4 multigrain tortilla chips, crushed
1 tbsp salsa
1 tbsp ff sour cream

Spray mug, add soy crumbles and microwave for 45 seconds til thawed.
add taco seasoning, mix.  Add egg substitute, stir and microwave for 1 minute.  Stir and add cheese,  Microwave for about 45 seconds to a minute more.  Top with crushed chips, sour cream, and salsa. YUM!

3. It’s Breakfast, Aye?- Canadian Bacon Breakfast Scramble! (285 calories, 3 g fat, 31 g protein)
(WARNING: This one takes a little time!)
    3 slices chopped Canadian bacon
   1/2 cup frozen shredded hash browns
   1 cup chopped bell pepper
   1/2 cup chopped red onion
   1/2 cup egg substitute (again, a lot of the time I just use real eggs)
  2 tbsp ff shredded cheddar cheese

Spray skillet and bring to medium high heat.  Add bacon and hash browns and cook about 2 minutes- stir it now and then.  Add peppers and onions to the party… stir and cook another 4 minutes.  Toss in your eggs (substitute or whisked)  and scramble it all up for about 3 minutes.  Top with your cheese and let it melt.  Eat up!  OK, so it took like 10 minutes… some mornings that just won’t work, but if you have the time- try this one, it’s tasty!

4. Make Ahead Pumpkin Spice Muffins
These are seriously easy. 2 ingredients…12 muffins…duh.
Literally- 2 ingredients.  A lot of the versions of this recipe don’t specify what kind of cake mix, so I will just tell you through my trials and tribulations with making this as tasty as possible, USE THE SPICE CAKE MIX.  I’ve done chocolate, I’ve done yellow, I’ve done angel food (which turned out REALLY wrong) – use the spice cake mix.

Alright so you dump your boxed spice cake- DRY- into a bowl. Then you dump 1 15 oz of canned pumpkin in, and you stir like hell.  If you want to avoid dry little lumps, I recommend dumping 1/2 the pumpkin, then half the cake mix, STIR LIKE HELL, and lather, rinse, repeat with the second half of both the pumpkin and the cake mix.  When it’s good and mixed, it will be really thick and kind of sticky- thats why we sprayed the tin, my friend… make it easy on yourself and spray your big spoon before you scoop these into the muffin tins- helps the batter slide off easier! Pop them in @ 350 for 22 minutes. 

That’s it- thats all you do. If you feel so inclined, add some powdered sugar on top!

5. Breakfast Burritos to Go!
Another one of those “make a huge batch and freeze them” meals.
1 pack of white flour tortillas (unless you want to be crazy healthy and go whole grain- good for you!) 
1 cup LF or FF shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup cooked cubed hash brown potatoes
1/2 cup diced onions (sauted for a few minutes)
1/2 cup diced peppers  (Sauted)
1 cup Jimmy Dean Turkey Sausage crumbles
10 large eggs, scrambled.

Divide ingredients among your tortillas, roll up, wrap in wax paper, and place in freezer baggies.  I usually do 2 per baggie because usually Kevin wants one too.  You can also substitute in a slice of precooked turkey bacon if you prefer.

To thaw and eat- Take out of freezer, remove from baggie and wax paper, pop on a paper towel lined plate… heat for 1 minute in the microwave, flip, heat for 1 minute.

6. Goat Cheese and Tomato Omelet- from ChaLEAN Extreme food guide! (250 calories, 16 g fat, 18 g protein)

2 whole eggs, whisked with 1 tbsp fat free milk (or skim- whatever!)
1 plum tomato, chopped
1 oz crumbled goat cheese

Heat skillet over medium and coat with nonstick spray.  Add eggs and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes.  add goat cheese and tomato and fold over into an omelet.  Cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes.  Top with green onion or scallions if desired.   Freaking delicious.

7. Cinnamon Ricotta Crunch (I use to make this in college- little did I know it’s a ChaLEAN recipe too!  200 Calories, 6 g fat, 12 g protein)

1 cup skim ricotta cheese
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp slivered almonds
1/2 cup mixed berries

Scoop ricotta into a bowl, mix in cinnamon and berries. Top with slivered almonds. 

8. 90 Second Egg Sandwich
Remember how we made mug cups?  Well, you can do that for a sandwich too.

1 egg, cracked into microwave safe ramekin
1, 100 calorie sandwich thin- toasted
1 slice low fat or fat free cheese of your choice
1 slice Canadian Bacon

Crack your egg into the ramekin, pop in the microwave for 1 minute (don’t whisk it)
While that’s cooking, throw your sandwich thin into the toaster.
Assemble your sandwich.

9. Smoothies- Always a good “on the go” go to…
I use Shakeology ( but whey protein powder or yogurt works too.

My favorite is this:
3/4 scoop chocolate shakeology
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup orange juice.

Blend in Magic Bullet blender, dump into To Go cup.

10. Waffle with Ham and Egg (from Cook This, Not That)
1 frozen multigrain waffle
1 slice Canadian Bacon
1 egg
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tbsp shredded cheddar

Spray a skillet and heat over medium- cook Canadian bacon for a few minutes each side until browned and a bit crispy. (yum!)  Remove.. coat same pan with another quick spray of cooking spray.  Cook your egg sunny side up til whites have set but yolk is still runny.  Meanwhile, toast your waffle.  Top with your bacon, maple syrup, cheddar cheese, and your egg.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper…and parsley if you so desire.

(Calories- 270, Fat- 11  grams)

There you go!  10 breakfast ideas to get you started for 2013…I hope you find a few that work for you.

Until next time,
Happy Eating!

Sorry for the lack of pictures… I swear, I’ll post some from the new camera soon!

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