Friday, February 3, 2012

Fast Five Friday

The first challenge I had when I began to change my diet was figuring out what to eat. Searching the web and bookstore shelves only yielded complicated recipes meant to impress. I had no interest in gourmet meals. I just wanted to eat better. I also didn't want to completely restock my cupboards right off the bat and spend hours in the kitchen.

Our diets are closely tied to who we are and how we live. It's more than the ingredients. It's our routine and our comfort zone. Swapping a box of Pop Tarts for a frittata may be a healthier choice, but if you have to get up at 5 in the morning to do it, chances are you aren't going to stick with it. What you need is a healthier choice that's easy to grab and eat in the car, like the Pop Tart.

To that end, each Friday I'll be sharing some simple everyday go to ideas for conventional foods. I'm sticking to five, but please share any idea you have in the comments section. If this is successful, I'll build a 'Fast Food' page for future reference and build on it each Friday.

Breakfast is on my brain, so let's start there, shall we?

Toaster Breakfast Food

Toaster Scrambles were our go-to school morning breakfast meal for years. It was so much more appealing as a parent to hand my daughter a warm protein source of sausage and egg wrapped in a light crust than a flat, hard Pop Tart covered in sprinkles. Unfortunately, it was only incrementally better. The chemicals in those things are almost as ridiculous as the hunger I felt an hour after eating one.

For the same grab-and-go convenience plus protein, try kefir. Kefir is a yogurt drink that comes in a myriad of flavors from pomegranate to blueberry. My girls absolutely love it. It tastes like a forbidden treat but is actually full of healthy probiotics to support digestion and the immune system. You can buy a box large box of individual bottles from Costco. Kefir can also be purchased in quart size jugs at any grocery store.

Instant Oatmeal

Creamy Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal on a cold morning. Heavenly. Also crazy loaded with processed sugar and other chemical. But don't despair. You can still have your oatmeal with maple and brown sugar, but let's go for the real thing rather than a powdery substance from a brown envelope. Bob's Red Mill Quick Oats cook up nearly as easily and without the gluten or processed sugar. For flavor, add real 100% maple syrup. (If you are concerned with blood sugar spikes, try maple flavored agave syrup. It's really good.) For brown sugar, I suggest a better sugar that happens to be brown, coconut palm sugar. Derived from the sap of coconut palms, coconut palm sugar is minimally processed, tasty and way easier on your system than conventional brown sugar.

Drive Thru Breakfast Sandwich

This was the tough one for me. I loved Starbuck's breakfast sandwiches, but they pale in comparison to a warm plate of sweet breakfast casserole. No, I'm not suggesting you get up each morning and whip up a full casserole of egg, sausage and cheese, wait 45 minutes to bake and then dive in. Instead, over the weekend, make your usual breakfast casserole as individual servings in a muffin tin. Allow to cool, then freeze, one or two 'muffins' to a small Ziploc. Before bed, take a bag out and put in the fridge to thaw. (I have managed to take them straight from the freezer to the nuker with nearly as good results.) I've also been known to keep a stash in the office freezer for emergency breakfasts or afternoon pick-me-ups.

I'll admit, until recently, I would occasionally swing by Burger King for a low carb breakfast value meal. They define low carb as the same meal minus the bread. Hardees will do the same. The BK near my office knows my gluten concerns and does a good job of keeping my food GF. However, it's not nearly as tasty or healthy as individual casseroles.


My kids still love their bowl of cereal. I just can't get them to completely break the habit, but we are working on it. One way I get them to skip the bowl is to hand them a milkshake. That's right, a chocolate milkshake for breakfast. I make a large batch of coconut chocolate ice cream on the weekend and we're set for the week. In a blender, combine a can of full fat coconut milk, 1/3 cup honey or agave syrup and 2 Tbsp cocoa or carob powder. Pour into your ice cream maker and follow your machine's instructions. It will come out like soft serve but harden further in the freezer overnight.

The ice cream alone makes a great after-school treat, but for breakfast, I put two scoops in my Magic Bullet with whole milk and a scoop of chocolate protein powder. Away I whirl and quicker than I could prepare a bowl of corn flakes, I am the coolest mom ever for serving up a 'dessert' for breakfast.

I should also add here that I am discovering the Arbonne shakes I've been consuming over the last week are excellent for breakfast. I've yet to be hungry before lunch and I've had loads of energy. After my 30 day program, I'll be keeping it around for breakfast most mornings, if not all.

Donuts and Danishes

I don't think many of us go out of our way to eat donuts for breakfast. They just seem to pop up like a bad penny. Big meetings and Friday office indulgences appear to require some kind of sugar-laden time bomb ready to derail you no matter your best efforts. To keep yourself on track, keep some fruit or healthy nuts at your desk at all times. I keep cashews, almonds or macadamia nuts in my desk drawer. I have a coworker who I swear has never gone a day without a bunch of bananas within arm's reach. It's much easier to keep with the program when you have other options and you don't feel deprived.

I hope that gives you some new ideas for starting your day. I'd love to see your ideas and suggestions in the comments.

Take care!


Day 6 Dining
  • Vanilla Arbonne Protein Shake with almond butter and carob powder
  • Squealer's 1/2 smoked chicken with sweet potato and broccoli
  • 4 cubes Almond Coconut Protein Fudge Cubes
  • Arbonne Pomegranate Fizz Drink
  • Leftover smoked chicken from lunch and another sweet potato. Have you noticed I love sweet potato?

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