Thursday, June 20, 2013

Breakfast and the Lazy Girl

I like my sleep.  Unfortunately, that often comes at the expense of breakfast which leads to munching away at my desk and vending machine prowling by 10 a.m.  I need to get better about breakfast if only to avoid lunch time desperation that leads to ridiculous amounts of fast food.  So, quick breakfasts that aren't cereal (but that is ALWAYS an option!) for those of your who are tired of the cold bowl routine:

-Microwave egg scramble.  I haven’t tried this yet, but there are rave reviews online.  Less than 3 minutes to prepare

-Steel Cut Oats.  The recipes are very flexible, you can add ingredients (dried cherry craisins are my favorite!)  or try with different milks and sweeteners.  The recipe I used was under 300 calories (I unfortunately didn’t “Save” the recipe and have had to find others that I have not tried yet).  One batch will make your house smell delicious and there is usually enough for a few days.  You can pre-portion it out and heat it up at home or take it to work and eat it there.   I’ve also included the link to CHOCOLATE steel cut oats as well.

-Refrigerator Oatmeal.  I love how portable, fast, flexible and easy these are.  And they’re pretty cheap depending on what ingredients you use.  I prefill my jars with oats and chia seeds and then add the fresh/wet ingredients as I prepare them for the day/week.  The link says you can keep them for 4 days (recipes not using bananas) but I’ve frozen these and had success.    I use honey or sugar substitutes because I don’t care for maple syrup, less if I use a presweetened ingredient like Nutella (the cocoa wasn’t “right “ for me in the chocolate banana) or Peanut butter.  Here is a list of recipes, but you can play with different ingredients for different flavor combinations! 

*There are bonus recipes for oatmeal smoothies, overnight steel cut oat recipes, and breakfast recipes at the bottom, too*

-Fruit and Cheese.  Prepackage a few ounces of cheese, some fruit and a handful of nuts in a container and you’re ready to go.  This can be as complicated or as easy as you want, but you can assemble it ahead of time using ingredients that fit your tastes and budget.  It can be as simple as a low-fat cheese stick, an apple, and a handful of almonds.

-Shake it up.  When I first started losing weight, I looked into shakes.  I could write a whole blog about shakes alone.  One thing I’ve always had a problem with is being ok with having a shake as my meal and calling it a day.  I feel like I need to eat something with it.  So while I looked into it, I found out that shakes just really weren’t for me.  But if I could, I would definitely choose to drink them this way instead of following the powder directions exactly because of the variety of flavors you can try, the added protein, and because this gives it a more milkshake flavor instead of gritty protein powder.  If you’re not using ice, you can blend them the night before or at the beginning of your morning and let it cool and get thick in the fridge while you get ready for your day.

Protein Shake Basics:
 1-2 scoops whey protein powder
 Liquid (milk, water, almond/coconut milk, whatever)
 Powdered sugar free jello (to taste),
 Ice cubes (can be omitted for a thicker, creamier shake)
 2 tablespoons cottage cheese
 Sweetener (to taste)

Blend in the blender or with an immersion blender. 
Flavors to try (I’m just listing flavored ingredients):  
Chocolate protein powder+ berry jello (strawberry, raspberry, cherry)
Vanilla protein powder +orange jello
Chocolate protein powder+ Peanut butter or PB2

-Yogurt parfaits.  So quick, so easy, so delicious and healthy without the drive through (you know where I’m talking about!  Seeing that clown in the morning seriously ruins my day).  Buy a large container of yogurt, frozen fruit of your choice (fresh if you have the $, plus time to clean and slice it), and granola.  Depending on the quality of your frozen fruit, you can assemble while the fruit is still frozen but you may have to thaw it out first.  Layer fruit and yogurt in a reusable container; Portion granola into resealable plastic bags or super small reusable containers (do not add right away, to avoid sogginess).

-Muffins.  Find a good muffin recipe with fruit and nuts and make a batch on Sunday and you’ll have muffins through the end of the week.  On the way out the door, pair your muffin with another piece of fruit, some yogurt, or some cheese for a balanced meal.

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