Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. If you don’t make time for a good breakfast every single morning, well — you’re missing out on lots of bacon and peanut butter, and nobody in their right mind wants to miss out on that.
I start almost every single day with the same basic meal:
- 1c. egg whites with chopped/sauteed spinach, onions, mini bell peppers, garlic, Sriracha sauce, and salt-free Mrs. Dash Southwestern blend; topped with 1/4 avocado
- 20 grapes or 1/2 banana (I eat the other half post-workout)
- 2 slices of center-cut bacon (And no, I NEVER sub turkey bacon for regular bacon. I just can’t.)
- Ezekiel Toast with PB&Co. Cinnamon Raisin Swirl OR some type of muffin creation
If it sounds like a lot of food, well… It kind of is. Breakfast really is important, you need to make time for it, and you need to eat a good meal. If you don’t like cooking in the morning or “aren’t hungry” when you wake up, buck up and get over it.
I will say that I love sleep as much as I love breakfast, so I don’t like to spend a ton of time cooking my morning meals. To cut down on prep work, I chop all of the veggies for my eggs when I do weekend meal prep and put together a bag of spinach, onions, and peppers for each morning. (No, they don’t get all gross and slimy by Saturday morning — I squeeze the air out of each bag and store them in my crisper drawer). I usually bake a batch of protein muffins over the weekend to eat throughout the week.
Back in my less-healthy days, I’d make stacks (on stacks on stacks) of Creme Brûlée French Toast, cheese-laden casseroles, and these amazing banana crumb muffins that were equally as addicting as I’d imagine any illegal drug to be. (Sorry, totally not appropriate.) These muffins are LEGENDARY, I tell you, but holy cow — not remotely healthy. A couple of weeks ago, I was determined to find something to fill the massive void that the muffins had left when I stopped eating crappy food, but with WAY less butter and brown sugar. I came up with an acceptable substitution, and while they’re not as tasty as the version of my 200+lb. past, they’re pretty delicious and extremely healthy.
Cook time: 25 minutes
– 4 scoops (~80g.) BioTrust Vanilla Protein Powder (or whichever brand you prefer)
– 3/4c. oat flour (OR just take 1c. rolled oats and grind them up in a food processor… Same thing)
– 3/4c. egg whites
– 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
– 1/2c. baking Stevia
– 1/2c. nonfat Greek yogurt
– 2 tsp. vanilla
– 2 tsp. cinnamon
– 1 tsp. baking powder
– 1 tsp. baking soda
– 1/2 tsp. banana extract (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 and line a muffin tin with liners
- Combine protein powder, oat flower, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda in a large mixing bowl
- Mix mashed banana, Stevia, vanilla, egg whites, and Greek yogurt in a separate bowl
- Combine dry and wet mixtures until you have an even batter. (Do a quick taste test to see if you need more sugar or cinnamon!)
- OPTIONAL STEP: Add 1/2c peanut butter or chocolate chips. This will alter the nutritional information, but I bet it would taste awesome.
- Fill muffin liners 1/2 to 2/3 full with batter
- Bake for 15-18 minutes
I keep these in a bag with a slice of bread (keeps them from hardening up) and eat them during the week. I usually microwave them for about 20 seconds and top with 1/2 tsp. Better’n Peanut Butter in the morning. YUM.
That “13 Nutrition Lies” Article You’ve Probably Seen On Your News Feed…
You’ve may have seen it already, but I saw a Business Insider article posted to Facebook last night that caught my attention. Once I dove into it, I immediately wished I’d read it YEARS ago. But, because of the way marketing and the media work, this isn’t something that you see from a bigger news source every day. HUGE kudos to Business Insider for publishing this last month. If you haven’t read it yet, DO IT NOW. Here are my 4 favorite parts that resonated most:
- Myth #2: A Calorie is a Calorie: If you’re counting calories and expecting to see results, you need to change your perspective immediately. ALL CALORIES ARE NOT CREATED EQUALLY. Do you think that 100cal of broccoli is going to have the same nutritional benefits as a 100cal pack of Oreo thins? Nope. Not the way it works. I spent years trying to only eat 1500cal/day and worked out on a daily basis, sometimes 2 hours/day. It. Was. Miserable. I lost a whopping ZERO pounds and did not improve my fitness whatsoever. Today, I eat closer to 2000cal/day, but I focus more on the TYPES of calories I’m consuming instead of the overall number. Yes, the total amount does matter, but the quality of the foods you eat is equally as important. This is why you can’t expect to just eat a Big Mac with fries and a large Coke (~1500cal) every day and expect to be healthy. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
- Myth #5: Everyone Should Be Eating “Heart-Healthy” Whole Wheat: Remember the food pyramid that we all had drilled into our brains throughout school? What was at the bottom? LOTS of bread, cereal, and other carbs. I certainly don’t believe it’s a coincidence that obesity became a nationwide epidemic soon after this pyramid was blessed as the way to build a healthy diet. Yes, the government has replaced it with the new “MyPlate” that is more balanced, but those of us who were raised on the older, carb-heavy depiction were taught to eat a ton of stuff that we really shouldn’t be filling ourselves with. Carbs aren’t ALL terrible, but eating loads of simple carbs at every meal isn’t going to help you lose weight. Choose complex carbs (quinoa, brown rice, sweet potatoes) or vegetables instead. Yes, broccoli is a carb. So are bananas.
- Myth #12: Sugar is Bad Because it Contains “Empty Calories”: This is correct, but not the full story. Sugar sucks for so many more reasons than just the “high calorie count/little nutritional value” detail. It makes you want to eat more unhealthy foods while wrecking your metabolism. If you change nothing else about your diet, try cutting out added/refined sugar. This alone will make an incredible difference in the way your body looks AND feels. Once you stop eating loads of sugar, you’ll crave it less. Your taste buds will re-adjust and learn to appreciate the taste of real foods. Extra-sugary things will probably taste gross. Natural sugars from fruits aren’t as bad, but refined sugars should absolutely be kicked out of your diet.
- Myth #13: Fat Makes You Fat: Your body needs fat. Plain and simple. And, fat does not make you fat. I know this sounds crazy, but HEALTHY fats are good for you and crucial for health. A personal anecdote: I’ve been eating an equal amount of fats and carbs for the last 2-3 months and caring less about keeping my fat macro percentage at 20%. Guess what? Suddenly, I have muscle definition in my arms, legs, and abs. You can see my triceps when I’m not flexing, which has never been the case before. It’s like magic (but really it’s just the science of nutrition). I eat bacon, avocado, and nuts every single day. I don’t eat white bread/pasta or refined sugar. End result: my clothes are all too big and I really need to go shopping. The clothes don’t lie.
I’m no nutritionist, but I’m living, breathing proof of all of this. After battling with my body for most of my life, I finally realized that REAL food is GOOD food, and the things that I’d personally bought into from the diet industry (pills, surgery, and stuff like NutriSystem) did nothing to help me become happier with the way that I looked or improve my overall health. Eating whole foods and being conscious of what I’m putting into my body was the “trick” (but in reality, it’s not a trick at all).