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Wednesday
Dec052012

Dinner for Breakfast?

Eating breakfast is a staple of a Healthy Way of Life.  It sets the tone for the entire day, whether that means suffering through a caffeine and sugar-induced roller coaster, a whole-grain provoked “loosen the bloated belt” kind of day, or smooth sailing with consistent energy after a balanced, real-food based meal.  Breakfast doesn’t have to be limited to the old standards you may have long since grown bored with.  After all, did the General of the mills order you to eat cold, crispy gruel every morning?

Breakfast, just like other meals should promote a rise in energy, satisfaction, and readiness to tackle the day’s tasks.  To accomplish this most smoothly, we need to include proteins, fats, fibers, and appropriate carbohydrate choices from the least processed foods we have access to.  Below are a few creative, non-traditional breakfast ideas you should try out next time you watch the sun rise. 

Salad! – a nice mound of greens and crunchy raw vegetables provides a filling host of fiber to keep your tummy from growling for hours.  The cool, hydrating power of fresh vegetables in the morning may seem a bit odd, but it can perk you up just as well as a cup of joe.  Be sure to add a twist of sweet or crunch by sprinkling with fresh berries or roasted nuts and seeds.  Add a protein of your choice if you want to maintain more of that lean tissue you’re carting around.

 Chili – although you may not want another alarm blaring at you in the morning, a nice cup or bowl of chili sure gives you a spicier “stick to your ribs” fullness than bland oatmeal without sacrificing the protective soluble fiber to keep your gut healthy.  A tasty helping of leftovers of your house recipe including black beans, kidney beans, and/or white beans along with some cleverly-hidden seasonal vegetables is a sure bet to keep energy stable.  Their slowly digesting carbohydrates will fuel your brain power for hours before hunger strikes again.

Stir-fry – instead of firing up your egg pan, toss your wok on the stove, melt some coconut butter and sesame oil, lob in the last of the pre-chopped broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots, and slice an onion to sprinkle in after a few minutes.  Jazz it up with a handful of cashews, red pepper flakes, ginger, garlic, and a shot of gluten-free soy sauce for a refreshing far-east start to your morning.  Chop up the left-over steak or chicken from grill night and you’ll keep your lean figure defined!

Chicken – yeah, yeah, yeah…you’re tired of dried out grilled chicken breasts.  What about succulent leftovers from that rotisserie chicken you picked up from the store the other day on the way home from yoga?  Yeah, that one; heat up some of the scraps you picked off the bones and top with your favorite salsa over a scoop of rice from carry-out night.  Your taste buds will be ready to go!

Fish – you may be thinking this one is a bit gross, but some countries and cultures love eating fish and seafood for breakfast.  Personally, the best is using some smoked salmon to put a twist on boring old omelets.  Fill your standard two or three –egg omelet with a few ounces of smoked salmon with swiss cheese and pre-cooked wild rice.  It will blow you away with flavor without blowing your waistline.

Soup – if you prefer hot items for breakfast but run short on time like many adults, give soup a shot for breakfast!  Homemade soup is easy to make and you can include a host of veggies you already like along with your favorite protein source – beans, chicken, turkey, or beef.  Combine your favorite veggies and proteins with some organic broth for a super simple, warming meal anytime!

Beef – ground beef isn’t just for hamburger helper any more.  Grass-fed beef, rich in healthy fats to keep our nervous system and hormones in healthy balance, also offers a pleasant flavor and appetite satisfaction.   Simply brown some 85% lean grass-fed beef with a medium diced onion and minced zucchini, season with sea salt, pepper, and a touch of chili powder and you’ll have a filling breakfast base to keep you productive through your lunch hour.  Wrap a few spoonfuls in warmed corn tortillas and top with a dollop of guacamole or salsa for a south of the border breakfast.   Serve over a ½ cup of rice or shredded sweet potatoes to fuel or replenish your morning workout.

Cheesecake (well…not really) - This dessert-lover’s breakfast is sweet, simple, and satisfying.   Blend together a ½ cup of cottage cheese, about 15 grams of vanilla whey protein powder, a heaping handful of your favorite berries, a dash of cinnamon, and a few tablespoons of gluten-free granola until smooth.  You’d never know this treat packs a nutritiously balanced punch behind all of the flavor!

Nourishing your body to better health should never get boring – it should be invigorating!  What are your favorite non-traditional breakfast foods you start your day with?  Share below and help other readers break out of their breakfast boredom!

Written by Paul Kriegler, RD/LD, CISSN – Life Time Weight Loss

This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader.

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