Breakfast is the most important meal because it fuels both your brain and body to work healthfully throughout the day. I am not a big breakfast person; I am rarely hungry when I wake up and need some time to slowly come back to reality my few hours in dream world. I usually need just run on Dunkin coffee until I have to urge to eat. However, I love breakfast foods and in my quest for a healthy life, I have been trying to bite down on breakfast more often.
Some mornings I am too tired to even get out of bed and wind up have to run to catch my train. Other mornings I wake up before the sunrises and go for a run before I get ready for work. Either way, I don’t have much time for make breakfast.
Recently, in Fit Nation Magazine, I found a solution to this problem. Planning and preparing your healthy breakfast beforehand can allow you to start your day off nutritiously, while still avoiding extra effort into your morning routine.
All of the recipes are easy to make and most had to ability to freeze so that you precook your meals for the entire week. This past Saturday, I decided to take my own advice and make Modern Day Moms “Mini Make-Ahead & Freeze Frittatas.”
Ingredients you will need:
Muffin baking pan
Unsweetened almond milk
Your favorite add-ons (spinach, mushrooms, peppers).
Set your oven for 350 degrees.
Whisk the eggs in a medium-sized bowl. The recipe calls for a pinch a salt, but instead I added a dash of pepper.
Dice your favorite ingredients and mix together. I used green and orange peppers, tomato, spinach, and mushroom (all purchased from my local farmer’s market).
Pour in ¼ cup of almond milk (the recipe uses half-and-half, but I didn’t have any and this is a healthier option) into the beaten eggs, and stir.
Drizzle the egg mix into the muffin pan (that you sprayed with Pam so it doesn’t stick when baking) about half way. Then, add in the add-on mix of your favorite veggies.
Stick in the oven and bake until the eggs become a golden color. This morning I heated up one of the frittatas by itself with some tea after my morning run, but Saturday morning I put it on a bagel with some ketchup. Store the rest in the freezer and move each one to refrigerator the night before for a quick, on-the go protein and vitamin filled meal.
If there aren’t already a million reasons why we love chocolate, recent news has given us one more, proving claims that dark chocolate is healthy. We all know that dark chocolate contains antioxidants, which promote a healthy immune system, warding off cancer. However, researchers from Louisiana State University found that bacteria in our belly feed on the cocoa powder and turn it into anti-inflammatory compounds that are good for the heart.
This health finding is specifically related to cocoa powder—not the sugary, creamy milk, mouth-watering treats—meaning the results do not translate to your favorite milk chocolate bar. But you could add a dash of cocoa powder in your oatmeal for breakfast to reap the benefits.
There is also long-standing belief that dark chocolate lowers blood pressure and improves cholesterol levels. In another chocolate study sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and Mars Inc., maker of M&M’s and Snickers bars, 18,000 adults from Boston and Seattle will be given chocolate pills every day for four years in attempt to prove its relationship with low blood pressure. Cocoa triggers relaxation within blood vessels, which make then naturally widening to increase blood flow and decrease blood pressure.
The capsules given contain cocoa flavanols, the bio-active chemicals from cocoa beans, which will provide the participants with all the good stuff chocolate has to offer, without the added fat and sugar of a chocolate bar (the amount given in pill form = 5 chocolate bars per day). Researchers will study their heart health and results are expected in three years.
Now that I have an excuse to indulge, I needed to satisfy my chocolate craving. I am trying to eat healthy and control, or at least tame my cravings, but the constant news has chocolate on my brain, sending urgent messages to my stomach.
To satisfy my chocolate craving the healthy way, this morning I made a breakfast shake that was packed in protein to keep me full until lunch. I used Carantion Breakfast Essentials (I normally would use chocolate whey, but ran out!), which is high in sugars (12g), but contains high amounts of vitamins A, B6, B12, C and E, and is high in calcium, magnesium, riboflavin and iron. I blended together the chocolate breakfast powder with a small amount of almond milk, water, 1 banana, and 1 teaspoon of organic peanut butter. It tastes divine and I feel less guilty about my chocolate breakfast shake than I would from baking and eating the box of gluten-free brownie mix I have waiting for me at home.
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day the healthy way with all day avocados
St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, so you are just in luck if you plan on preparing healthy meals on the day of the Irish. These recipes are easy to make and are delicious and nutritious. Avocados, which are included in every recipe listed, are a health prevention powerhouse. This fruit is packed with vitamin E, which protects us from many diseases. They are high in high in beta-sitostero, which lowers cholesterol levels. The folate and monosaturated fats are heart healthy and prevent strokes. The folate, along with thiamin, helps boost metabolism, and riboflavin aids in fat and carb processing. And these are just some of the health benefits.
You don’t have to sacrifice your diet (or feel guilty about drinking that Guinness) with these recipes that will keep you slim, making all your friends green with envy.
Preparation: 30 minutes marinating, but 20 minutes to cook
Calories: 178 (per serving, serves 8)
2 (8 oz.) boxes fresh white mushrooms
2/3 cup prepared balsamic dressing
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. coarse ground garlic salt
1 green onion, finely chopped
2 ripe, Hass avocados, halved scooped out
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Take off mushroom stems and put the tops in a sealable plastic bag with the balsamic dressing. Let this marinate for 30 minutes. While that marinates, combine lemon juice, salt, onion and avocados, mashing them all together. Place the avocado mix into a plastic baggie and cut a small hole at the bottom of the bag when the mushrooms are ready. Squeeze the mixture through the hole into each mushroom cap and lightly sprinkle feta cheese on top.
Calories: 711 for 1 avocado (I know this is high in calories—not to mention fried—but it because it is okay to indulge every once in awhile. Keep in mind that I am not suggesting eating the whole snack by yourself. Instead, use this as a appetizer for your St. Patty party.)
Oil For Frying
2 Eggs, beaten
1 and 1/3 Cup Bread Crumbs
1 Teaspoon Lemon Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Cumin
Mix the breadcrumbs, lemon pepper, salt and cumin in a bowl and set it aside. Halve the avocados into 4” X 1” wedges. In a frying pan, heat 3 inches deep worth of oil. While the oil is warming up, place the avocado slices in the breadcrumb mix, then into the beaten eggs, and then one more time in the breadcrumb mix. Now put the fry the avocados for about 2-3 minutes, until golden brown and let them dry on paper towels for 10 minutes.
Cilantro Lemon Dipping Sauce Ingredients:
5 Tablespoons of mayo
3 Tablespoons fresh cilantro
Juice from 1/2 of lemon
Place all ingredients into a blender and mix until creamy and smooth to serve with your appetizer!
Boil eggs and let them for 15-20 minutes before placing them in an ice bath for 5-10 minutes. Take off the shells and chop them in a bowl, combining finely diced onion, dijon mustard, mayo, dried basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Lastly, add the mashed avocados and stir all together. Serve in a whole grain pita pocket, or with a lettuce cup.
Scoop out avocados into a mixing bowl and squeeze in the lime juice first, then the rest of the ingredients, mashing together until semi-smooth. Let the guac rest at room temperature for 10 to 20 minutes. Serve with healthy crackers or chips pre or post dinner.
What are your favorite avocado recipes? Share in the comments below!