What is on your plate for breakfast? Would you like to know what is on mine?
Breakfast has evolved for me in the past year. It’s my favorite meal of the day. To be honest, I could eat breakfast foods for every meal. Eggs, bacon, toast, pancakes, waffles, oatmeal, cereal, juice…the list goes on and on. But oh, let’s not forget the bagels and donuts, right? It’s no wonder I used to tip the scale in the wrong direction.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for me and should be for us all. It sets me up for success for the remainder of the day when I do it right. My worst breakfasts are high in carbohydrate—think pancakes, waffles and cereal. These choices set me up for being hungry within two hours and do not have strong nutritional value.
A while ago I began to focus on including protein at breakfast to help keep me full longer and my energy level up. I switched from carbs to two eggs and two pieces of toast. While this was an improvement, it was higher in calories than I wanted. So I cut back to two eggs and one piece of toast on most mornings. I stuck with this and felt good for a while. But over time I started to feel too full when I was finished with breakfast.
My most recent breakfast adjustment, and one I can easily prepare most every morning, is this: one egg scrambled with fresh spinach, a sprinkle of cheese, salt and pepper to taste. I get my protein for the morning to keep me satiated, and I also give my body a healthy serving of vegetables with the spinach, calcium from the cheese, and less than half the calories of what I was consuming before.
I find it’s all about balance and making changes when needed. Our body sends us plenty of signs, and it’s up to us to listen to those signs and figure out what to decrease or increase, and what to add or take away. Finding the right balance between protein, carbohydrates, and fat to keep you satisfied and feeling good makes a world of difference.
I strive to find the same balance with my lunch choices. My worst lunches are sandwiches or when I eat out. I always eat more than I need. I really have had to tune into my body to make smarter choices. I used to have salads pretty routinely and they did keep me full, but once I did a calorie count on one and found out they were more than 500 calories.
At that point, I had to make changes. I changed from salad dressing to cottage cheese, decreased or eliminated any shredded cheese, added some sunflower seeds and sprinkled on Craisins® to kill my sweet and salty cravings. Making these small changes brought my calorie count down closer to 300 calories per salad, which is a huge change when you have a weight loss goal in mind. When I need a change from my routine salad I choose soup, usually homemade, which I have stored in single servings in the freezer ready for future meals. With warmer months coming I have another go-to recipe I would like to share. It’s simple.
- 1 2.5-ounce packet of salmon
- ½ cup of cold green peas
- 2 tablespoons chopped onion
- Dash of mayo (1 teaspoon or less)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Mix the above in a bowl and enjoy.
It’s a filling and flavorful meal that keeps me full through the afternoon.
My other go-to is my personalized version of a chop salad. I use my favorite raw veggies, such as broccoli, cauliflower, sweet peppers, carrots, green peas and corn. I chop them all in small pieces, combine everything together, add a sprinkle of cheese, about 1 teaspoon of dressing, toss and enjoy. This is a meal that is filling because it takes me forever to eat a bowl of raw vegetables. I usually get tired of chewing by the end of the meal!
My goals to continue to improve my and my kids’ meals are:
- Finding balance between protein, carbohydrates and fat for each meal
- To be mindful of what my kids and I are eating
- To unplug from technology completely during at least one meal per day
What is your favorite meal?