Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Breakfast

What do you eat for breakfast? I have read that "experts" call it the most important meal of the day. So maybe if we want to lose weight, we should pay attention to what we put into our bodies first thing in the morning.

As I have said before, when I was a kid, breakfast was chocolate ice cream, or pizza. Sometimes I got cinnamon toast, sugary cereal, or cream of wheat with a chunk of maple candy melting in it. (Yum). By age 12 I had no time for breakfast. I took those notoriously long teenager-style showers and then dashed out to try and catch the bus with my hair still wet in the dead of winter. Who has time for breakfast? Later on, when I got married, I started making breakfasts (normal ones like cereal or eggs or pancakes) but by the time I was divorced, working, with kids in school or daycare, my breakfast had turned into something ugly. A couple of stale Food Bank donuts on my way out the door to work, or a couple pieces of leftover cold pizza when pizzas were on sale. Later, when I had more $$, the breakfasts got even worse: big slabs of frosted cake, slices of chocolate cream pie, or 3/4 of a giant Entenmann's cheese danish (meant for like 8 people). This would be followed 2 hours later with a light snack of hot dogs and Coke with a side of Cheetos. I was on the fast track to diabetes and a heart attack.

So, what's a person to eat? When you want to lose weight, it can be hard coming up with ideas for your meals. So let's tackle breakfast first.

I have several favorite breakfasts. In the winter, I eat oatmeal for breakfast almost every morning. I LOVE it. None of this instant Quaker sugarfied artificial crap. I get the nice old fashioned rolled oats (or sometimes steel cut oats) and I cook 'em up on the stove top. The add-ins are endless: fresh berries, sliced bananas, peanut butter, vanilla, cinnamon, canned pumpkin, applesauce, cocoa, or just a bit of maple syrup or brown sugar. Excellent and filling. But I don't like oatmeal in the summertime. Last summer, I had a mango smoothie for breakfast almost every single morning. Just fat free yogurt, sliced mango, orange juice, and ice. Very nice and refreshing.

This summer I have been eating the same thing almost every day: a Kashi Honey Oat waffle topped with almond butter and a handful of fresh blueberries. Six months ago, I was on an egg kick. Every morning I made an omelet out of Egg Beaters and a slice of Kraft 2% American cheese, and a slice of 40-calorie wheat toast. That was good, too. Sometimes I like to have a whole red grapefruit for breakfast with a slice of wheat toast spread with peanut butter. That's also a great combination.

There are so many good, healthy options for breakfast that there is just no excuse to ever eat a donut or a danish to start your day. Veggie omelets are great (my favorite: an Egg Beater omelet with a slice of crumbled bacon, a bunch of onions and spinach, and a bit of light Swiss cheese). Fresh or frozen fruit smoothies are always a hit even with the kids. How about some whole grain pancakes with fruit? Or a simple bowl of whole grain cereal with berries or sliced bananas on top? And don't forget that you don't have to eat "breakfast" foods for breakfast. You can have leftover dinner foods. Just watch your portions or calories or whatever you count. I still have a slice or two of leftover , cold (thin crust, Hawaiian) pizza for breakfast once in awhile! But not chocolate ice cream...

Would love to hear your favorite breakfast foods! Please leave them in the comments section so we can all benefit from your cool ideas.

30 comments:

spunkysuzi said...

Well i always have a cup of tea probably because i'm english ;)
I love bran flakes, fibre one, banana and a few walnuts with almond breeze.
I sometimes make oatmeal pancakes with warm blueberry sauce.
I love steel cut oats.
Oatmeal with cocoa, banana and a tbsp of peanut butter on top.
Of course, eggs, turkey sauce, or ham and a slice of whole wheat toast!!
Just a few of the breakfasts i like. Can you tell i always eat breakfast??

Anonymous said...

I don't normally cook much for breakfasts, but some of favorites I have had:

banana walnut pancakes (made with light pancake batter)with sugar free syrup

yogurt (I prefer Yoplait light french vanilla) with about 1/4 cup of fiber one (original) and a bit of fresh strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries... or any fruit.

Fiber one with light vanilla soy milk and a bit of fruit.

egg muffin... WW english muffin, light cheese, egg beaters and thin slice of canadian bacon

Paula

Anonymous said...

I love steel cut oats and I love peanut butter. Never thought to put them together but I'm sure going to try that. A great combo of grains, carbs, protein and fat. Thanks for that!

helen said...

I have 2 breakfasts that I love.

The first one is steel cut oats, and I cook it with a tiny bit of skim milk added into the water, then I add non fat vanilla yoghurt, a teaspoon of flaxseeds, and a few raisins.

The second one is a 2 egg omelette but I don't add any cheese. Instead I warm up some chipotle salsa and put that in the middle....yummmmmmmm

Anonymous said...

I've used most of the ideas mentioned here, and I don't have much to add to that topic.

What I do want to say is that I admire the success you've had on your weight loss journey. Also, I think that you are achieving so much more depth in your writing. I admire that too!

Best wishes for lots more success in all areas of your life.

ryry the adventurous said...

I tend to lean toward yogurt for its nutritional benefits. Unfortunately, I cannot stand the texture (or lack thereof) in yogurt. So, I resorted to smoothies.

Smoothies always include:
1 container of Fage 0% Plain Yogurt
1 tbsp ground flax
1 packet of splenda

And then two of the following:
5 strawberries
1/2 cup blueberries
1 chopped mango
1 peach
1/2 cup ras/blackberries
1 kiwi

And then finish with either 1/4 cup of pomegranate/blueberry juice or 1/4 cup vanilla soy milk... or else it doesn't typically want to blend, heh.

Sometimes I just don't want to hear the loud blender in the morning, at which time I mix all smoothie ingredients (minus the juice and/or milk) in a tupperware and bring it to work to eat. YUM!

Katschi said...

I've always eaten breakfast so it's not true that people who do are thinner :)
I love eggs and lately I like them poached on english muffins. Omelettes with mushrooms & spinach with laughing cow cheese.
boiled egg on Wasa crispbread.
english muffin with PB & banana
Simply cereal with almond milk and fruit on the side.
I was on a smoothie kick earlier in the year made with almond milk and whatever fruit caught my fancy.
Cottage cheese with either fruit or abit of jam and an english muffin with butter spray or a fresh, homemade muffin.
oatmeal, of course, with all the fixins. sometimes steelcut if I want to take the time. I always add almond milk...I like it creamy.
I LOVE breakfast!

->cara said...

#1, whole grain, light english muffin toasted with light butter and sugar free peach preserves on top with a boiled egg & a cup of OJ.

#2, Kashi Go Lean cereal with blueberries and vanilla soy milk and a banana.

#3, homemade blueberry pancakes topped with honey and cinnamon.

#4, breakfast burrito: ff flour tortilla, egg beaters with 2% cheddar, turkey sausage, frozen hashbrowns (cooked), onions, reduced fat sour cream and salsa.

#5, egg beater omelet with diced tomatoes, onions, green peppers, mushrooms and 2% sharp cheddar with 2 frozen turkey sausage patties & ff milk.

#6, breakfast pizza: in 13"x9" pan layer reduced fat crescent roll dough out flat, then sprinkle 1 lb crumbled, cooked turkey sausage, then 3 cups frozen O-Brien breakfast potatoes, then 1.25 cups egg beaters, then 1 cup 2% sharp shredded cheddar and bake at 350 for 30 minutes then sprinkle with 1/4 cup grated parmesan. Serves roughly 10 people. Warms over great!! YUMMY!

Ceres said...

My breakfast is not particularly exciting, but I'm very serious about never, ever skipping it (except if I wake up late and I know I'm about to have brunch). I have an orange (I gave up on orange juice, now I have the actual fruit), 2 cups of coffee (a little 1% fat milk, no sugar), and I alternate between 3/4 cup Honey Nut Cheerios or Reese's Peanut Butter Puffs (yum!) with 1 cup of 1% fat milk. I really miss milk in the morning if I don't have any, and combined with the cereal, it keeps me going until lunchtime.

gillian said...

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, hands down.

One of my favorite breakfasts in the summer is a whole grain waffle topped with lowfat cottage cheese and fruit salsa (chopped fruit - usually kiwi, strawberries, mango, and peach - dressed with some lime juice and a small amount of sugar).

I also like to make Egg "Mock" Muffins ... a light English muffin with a single poached egg and a slice of light cheese. Sometimes I will add a slice of turkey or Canadian bacon to it.

My third favorite breakfast is to take a really good, grainy whole grain bread, toast it, and then top with a slice of fresh tomato and some light cheese, and broil it so the cheese melts over the tomato.

Also, I keep packets of instant oatmeal in my desk at work, so if I am running late and don't have time to eat before I go to work, I can have something quick and easy once I'm at work.

laine said...

If I'm having oatmeal, it will be with 2 tsp sunflower seeds, a tblsp. almond butter, molasses, and ground flax.

Usually it's eggs, maybe wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla with some tiny cubes of mushrooms and zucchini.

For a long time it was a whole wheat english muffin with PB.

And this morning it was 4 homemade potstickers with ground turkey and kale as the filling. Weird, but yummy!

Donna B said...

Wouldn't think of not eating breakfast! I seem to be the most hungry this time of the day. Like you, I eat oatmeal almost every day in the winter. Lately I have been alternating between Cheerios and skim milk, or egg beaters with lots of mushrooms and a slice of fat free cheese.

MsMagnetism said...

I'm pretty consistant with my breakfast, I eat the same thing almost everyday because I have tried all sorts of different things and find that some things accually make me hungrier. I experimented until I found what worked for me and now I stick with it.

I have a whole wheat english muffin w/ 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter, a medium apple (kind of apple varies) & a Dannon Light & Fit yogurt (flavor varies)

I find that this combo keeps me full longer than anything else I've tried over the years. Usually I drink ATLEAST 20oz of water before breakfast and drink more with or right after breakfast.

I love having tea in the morning, especially in the winter time but I won't 'let' myself have a cup until after I've drank 40oz of water just so that I don't slack on the water due to drinking the tea which I have in the past.

~Barbara

Heather said...

love breakfast! I am an oatmeal person myself so I usually go for that on most days. In the summer, Quaker makes a great natural oatmeal cereal when I want something that is cold. glad that you have realized the importance of breakfast, I know I too used to view it as such an unhealthy meal or no meal at all.

Fat Lazy Guy said...

Every morning it's 2 scrambled eggs on 2 pieces of wholewheat toast. I should probably switch it up a bit more, but it works, and I like it.

new*me said...

I pretty much make breakfast a no brainer so I can do it quick for fuel and to get my metabolism revving for the day. Most weekdays, it's steel cut oats with about 2 tbs milled flax added and 2 tbs natural peanut butter with a little 1 percent milk/ or a handful of berries with a couple hard-boiled eggs. On the weekends, I make whole wheat pancakes or eggs and turkey sausage with muffins. Our old favorite is biscuits and gravy...hubby is from Alabama...we still have that about once a month

Karyn said...

I am boring...I have virtually the same thing every day:

no fat, no sugar vanilla yogurt with one serving of fresh fruit in it.

Sometimes I will add a slice of whole grain bread with lite margarine and sugar free jam (not IN the yogurt...on the side) :)

If I get up earlier than usual, I have either 1 poached egg or 1/2 C egg beaters with a slice of toast (no jam) and the yogurt and fruit.

I have not always been a breakfast eater...but being "on plan" for the last 7 months has trained my body to be hungry in the mornings ... I cannot go without, now.

BikiniMe said...

I love peanutbutter oatmeal! My other breakfast is a piece of whole grain toast topped with a handful of fresh spinach and an over-hard egg.

Tony said...

kashi cereal, peanut butter on whole wheat bread, an apple are a few of the things I eat for breakfast.

Jessica said...

I eat cereal with unsweetened soymilk. I grew up not getting to eat sugary cereals (we couldn't buy the cereal if sugar was the first or second ingredient) so I still like cereals like grape nuts, mini wheats, and wheat chex.

For weekend breakfasts I like quinoa porridge. 1/2 cup of quinoa simmered for 15 mins in 1/2 cup of skim (or soy) milk and 1/2 cup of water. Then I throw in whatever fresh fruit I have and a little brown sugar and cinnamon.

Ms Ingrid said...

My breakfast as prescribed:

2 eggs scrambled
2 oz lean ham chopped(or any meat) and added to those eggs
2 tsp oil to cook the eggs
some chopped onion/garlic added to eggs
1 cup 2% milk
6 oz fresh fruit
1 cup cooked old-fashoned oats, or any other cooked grain that is NOT WHEAT (!), like rye, millet, brown rice etc.

And I eat it all, too. Every day 7 a.m.

I've lost 155 lbs and love it

Good luck to everyone!

askwanda said...

Right now I'm on a shredded wheat kick - with fruit and skim milk. The issue for me is to have an alternate "kick" lined up for the day I look at the box of SW and scream and run away in fear! I always have Omega-3 eggs on hand, as I like a fried egg (fried in nothing, of course) and not anything scrambled or omlette-like.

In a pinch, a peanut butter sandwich on low-cal, high fiber, whole grain bread does the trick.

I can't believe I just found you - amazing weight loss and fun blog!

Anonymous said...

Some of my favorites:
Any leftover dinner food,
Fat free refried beans with salsa and cheese,
"pancake" made with cottage cheese and oatmeal,
deviled eggs,
Whole grain waffle with nut butter,
open faced turkey sandwich, piled with spinach,
smoothie made with cottage cheese,
oatmeal of course
I try to think outside the box. I have been recently caught eating a cold pork chop for breakfast, or whole wheat spaghetti with turkey meatballs.
I absolutely agree that breakfast is the most important meal. I have to have a hearty breakfast with enough protein, and this makes staying on plan the rest of the day so much easier. If I skip breakfast (which I used to do all the time), it's guaranteed I will be snacking on bad stuff later in the day.
Schmoodle

Anonymous said...

Oatmeal in winter, 1cup unsweetened cereal with a splash of milk in summer, always fresh fruit on top Vicki

radiosilents said...

If I have the luxury of time, my favorite breakfast is eggs and toast. Yes, I use real, whole eggs and make 'em over easy (fried in a non-stick pan with Pam spray), and for the toast it's Arnold's Whole Wheat with I Can't Believe It's Not Butter spray. I just love to cut and mash it all up together, or sometimes I will take a forkful of egg and put it on the toast one bite at a time.

For convenience's sake, I eat at my dek at work (ech, I know), and grab a Fruit n Yogurt parfait from McDonald's. On days when I have had an extra intense workout in the morning, or I am just feeling extra hungry, I will have a meatless Egg McMuffin.

These choices fit right into my daily allotments and keep me filled up until lunch.

I must say that your mango smoothie sounds awesome, too!

Heather said...

When I manage breakfast (and I'm trying so hard to make it a daily habit) I like to keep it simple.

A healthy whole grain cereal when I'm not worrying about carbs with some 2% milk.

If I'm watching the carbs I like a couple soft poached eggs, some turkey bacon, and a few slices of mild cheddar cheese.

I love cottage cheese with pepper and a fresh peach or pear.

And my quick and easy carb-free breakfast of choice? A can of vienna sausages, two things of string cheese, and a big glass of unsweet iced tea. I know, sounds terrible, but when you're low carbing - it's allowed!

nmburleson said...

I like a 2 egg omelette with grape tomato halves, broccoli and a little bit of cheese of 2% cheese. If I'm real hungry I'll throw in a slice of whole wheat toast and some fruit and a glass of milk! YUM!!!

Crystal said...

I love a fruit smoothie made with berries and a sprinkle of flax seed or wheat germs.

Oatmeal and a tablespoon of peanut butter is another favorite. Or, whole wheat toast and peanut butter.

Egg salad alone or on whole wheat bread is good, too.

Dinah Soar said...

I'm like you Lyn...I tend to eat the same thing for weeks or months at a time.

It's either a poached egg and a slice of toast with light spread; or oatmeal with 1/2 a banana and peanut butter/oatmeal with dried cherries and almond butter; or cold cereal with flax, fruit and Almond Breeze. And one cup of coffee with 2 teaspoons of 1/2 and 1/2.

The cold cereals I usually eat are puffed whole wheat or bran flakes. To the bran flakes I like to add a sprinkle of cinnamon and some sliced almonds.

If I'm traveling and have to eat fast food I treat myself to a sausage biscuit and leave a couple of bites..always the cup of coffee. And that's the one time I'll have some juice instead of fruit.

I did for a couple of days eat muesli, but it didn't last..don't know why because it was really good. Healthy too...hmmm..maybe I'll have that in the morning!

Chellie has Issues said...

Wow I know plain oatmeal is better for you so I've tried them with applesauce and sliced almonds and HATED it! I eat what you refer to as the sugary Quaker Oats except I do get the Lower Sugar version instead of the Weight Control (less points on Weight Watchers). I have that with some fruit, a smoothie, or a Cliff Bar if I'm in a hurry.