So I know I promised you that I would start posting some of my recipes to help get you on the right track to eating wholesome, real food. I thought I would start with a breakfast I made for Christmas. Eating healthy is always a struggle through the holidays. But let’s face it, it’s also a struggle for the rest of the year as well, which is why so many of us find ourselves at the end of yet another year realizing that once again we didn’t accomplish those weight loss goals we had in place. You can’t just go into another year saying, “I will change”. You have to make those changes happen by being prepared. In this case, I took control by offering to make the meal for our Christmas breakfast. By doing so I knew I would have a selection of food to eat that was actually good for me. When it comes to other social engagements, I might offer to bring a healthy dish to a party so I know I’ll have something healthy to pick at. Or, I might just try to fill up at home before leaving for an event to help prevent too much extra grazing.
There is ALWAYS time carved out in my schedule at the beginning of a week for meal prep. If I am going to spend the time cooking I make sure to always make extra to help get me through the busy week. It hardly takes any extra time to cook larger meals, but it DOES cost of lot of time to cook several different meals on separate occasions. (However, if you have the time and you love to cook, then go for it!) It’s worth every extra minute to schedule in a meal prep time during your week to help save that time in the middle of a busy week. Not to mention, you will find yourself much less tempted to reach for those unhealthy options when you have plenty of healthy options right in your fridge.
This breakfast shows how you can prepare even breakfast items in bulk so that you can start each day off with a healthy meal. It’s chock full of good veggies, good sources of protein and good fats to start the day off right!
To start, pick out some of your favorite veggies for sautéing. I chose an onion, some bell peppers and my favorite… garlic. Chop these up however big or small you like and throw them into a large pan to sauté in either grass-fed butter or coconut oil.
Next I cubed some sweet potatoes and threw them into a cast iron skillet with some grass-fed butter and cooked them until soft. (In this case we put a few too many potatoes in the skillet, but with less you can get them browned and crispy).
I also cooked up some butternut squash in the oven on 350 degrees seasoning it with butter, thyme, salt and pepper. This can be added to your breakfasts during the week or to any of your lunches or dinners. Again, preparing things in bulk like this saves you a lot of time during the week.
For those of you trying to follow a low carbohydrate diet, skip the potatoes and squash. They definitely add in a good dose of vitamins and nutrients but because they are carbohydrates they can contribute to higher insulin levels (I spoke about this in my last blog which you can find here). I generally only reserve these things for special occasions (in this case Christmas breakfast) and try to control my serving sizes of them by filling up on veggies and fats. Remember that everyone is an individual so you have to find what works best for you. While some people, like diabetics or those with insulin resistance, may find they need to lower their carbohydrate intake to as little as 20g per day, others may find their sweet spot to be as high as 100g per day. For reasons discussed in my last blog (link above) I wouldn’t recommend going much higher than this.
I looove my bacon, so of course this is often a part of my breakfasts. Of course I am picky about the kind of bacon I eat being sure to use bacon that is not cured (no nitrites or nitrates). Remember to always check your ingredient lists. Try to choose a version that adds little to no extra sugar and doesn’t contain anything you don’t recognize. I find cooking bacon in the oven on foil leads to a lot less oil splatter on the cook top and a much quicker clean up. I usually bake mine on 350 degrees and wait until it’s just the right amount of crispiness (usually about 20 min). This too can be thrown in the fridge and heated up in the mornings.
Once everything was cooked to our liking we scrambled up a large amount of eggs and breakfast was ready to be served. (If you are really short on time during the weeks you actually CAN soft scramble your eggs and save them for later. I often will do this and they taste great just re-heated. There are also other versions of eggs you can do ahead of time like casseroles or egg muffins which work great too).
I love to top most of my breakfasts with some fresh avocado for an extra dose of veggies and healthy fats to fill me up and keep me going for hours. On this particular occasion, I actually forgot to add greens, but I almost always add greens (spinach, kale, arugula…) to my breakfasts in the mornings as well. It’s a great way to add some extra nutrients to your day.
So there you have it... A breakfast that adds in vitamins, nutrients, healthy fats and proteins all made from fresh, REAL, WHOLE food. Now go off and have yourself a great day. And remember…