Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Breakfast Evolution

Some say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  Is it?  Not sure, they're all pretty important as far as I'm concerned.  Some say that eating breakfast every day will help you to lose or maintain weight. Will it?  Not sure about that either, there are studies that go both ways on that.  I do know that if I don't eat breakfast, by 10:30 I'm totally crabby and likely to have a headache.  Then I'm also likely to eat the first thing I can get my hands on because I'm too crabby and headachey to make something.  I'm sure I'm not the only one who gets like this.  And that is one of the reasons for siting breakfast as an important part of weight management.  You really don't want to be stuffing down a doughnut because you're starving.

 I don't like to eat breakfast right away in the morning.  I get up about 6:00 am but don't eat until I've been at work a little while, usually around 8:30.  For the last several years I've been bringing the same food to work every day. An oatmeal packet, a yogurt and a banana.  Every day, a Quaker Apples and Cinnamon oatmeal which has now evolved into Nature's Path Flax Plus oatmeal because my tastes have changed.  The Quaker oatmeal seems way too sweet to me now but the Flax Plus has just the perfect distribution of salty and sweet. Seriously, I love it.  My yogurt has also evolved over the years.  I was into Activia vanilla for ages.  It was expensive and small and that too eventually started tasting too sweet.  There was a time when I thought it was the best tasting thing out there but now I can barely stand it.  A year or so ago, I wanted to switch to Greek yogurt which took some getting used to.  I finally found some Chobani flavors I really enjoyed like black cherry and passion fruit.  Well, with 17-20 grams of sugar (the total recommended daily allowance by the American Heart Association) I started to rethink that too despite the fact that I really, really liked it.  My latest and greatest breakfast yogurt is exactly what I wanted to share with you today.  I so love my new breakfast that I've been known to "Mmm" aloud at work while I'm eating it.
The current yogurt of choice is Fage.  I like that its 2% (can't seem to find full fat in the store).  It's not organic but at this stage of the game you can't win them all.  Eating is tricky business these days so you have to pick your battles sometimes.
I take about a half cup, or just shy of that, and put it in a to go dish when I get up in the morning.  (This could just as easily be done the night before but I'm just not that on top of it).
I get my bag of blackberries out of the freezer (they're in season for about 5 minutes so frozen is the way to go).
I also use frozen blueberries, these add sweetness to the plain yogurt.  Blueberries are a super food full of antioxidants and fiber.
I don't typically measure but for the purpose of this post I did.  I figure I use about a half cup total of berries or a touch more.  That's about a serving of fruit.
Next I throw on about a tablespoon of coconut, unsweetened.  Ever since I learned that the sweet stuff is made sweet using propylene glycol (aka anti-freeze) I stick to the unsweetened.  Creepy.
So then I just stick it in the fridge until I'm ready to head out to work.  But wait, there's more.

Chia, another super food to add to the list.
  Those are the seeds in the jar on the right.  I keep a baggie of them at my desk at work and add about a tablespoon to my yogurt every day.  There are so many good things to say about adding chia to your diet that I'll just let you read this Top Ten List for yourself.  I swear that they get the credit for my most fabulous HDL reading (67 thank you very much- anything over 60 is considered protective against heart disease).
I also keep a little baggie of granola at my desk.  When I don't have homemade I find this one to be quite nice.  This adds a little more sweetness and a fabulous crunch to the ensemble.  I use about a quarter cup of granola, maybe a touch less.
When I'm ready to eat, I just add the chia and the granola, by then the berries are defrosted but everything stays very cold. (no need to refrigerate it at work)
So just mix it all up and have at it! I couldn't take pictures at work, that's why this is in a different bowl.  This fabulous breakfast comes in around 330 calories and only 7 grams of sugar (half of which are natural sugars from the berries and yogurt).  This breakfast bowl keeps me so full that I usually don't need the oatmeal.  I still have a banana every day, an hour or two after I eat this awesomeness.  If I'm out of something or don't take the time to put it all together I stick with my trusty oatmeal.  But the yogurt is truly missed.  If you're looking for a nice, easy, healthy and filling breakfast, I highly recommend this one.


  1. Go chia! I have friends that run a local family dairy farm in Jordan, it's called Wake Robin Farm. You should give their yogurt a try sometime. Available at the regional market, Syracuse Real Food Coop or at their farm store - which isn't "staffed" but works on the honor system... how great is that!

    1. I've been out to the farm! We tried yogurt and a couple of their cheeses, the curds were my fave.