Well it’s almost Thanksgiving and you know what that means? Lots of buttery, sugary, yet yummy casseroles and pie. Then Starbucks will release their peppermint goodness, cookie exchanges will start, throw in some holiday parties and you’ve put on 5-10 pounds easy. So how can we keep the pounds down? Solid healthy meals and snacks and plenty of exercise and water in between all the goodness (since I never deprive myself of the goodness.)
Lets focus on breakfast. I feel if you start the day on a healthy note, you’re more prone to continue on that healthy path for the rest of the day. Start off with a Starbucks peppermint mocha and a scone, you are setting yourself up for one disaster of a day. Apparently it takes 87 consecutive minutes of crunches to burn off a peppermint mocha. That doesn’t even include the scone. You’re screwed.
And don’t even think about skipping breakfast! Even if you binged on calories the night before, the worst thing you can do is not eat breakfast the following day. You will lose energy (having less effective workouts), your metabolism can dip, you lose out on calorie burning, your hunger is increased, you get cranky, and you have a decreased ability to concentrate. Need I go on? Look at how happy this kid is! He clearly has breakfast every morning.
Here are some healthy and easy breakfast ideas, most of which are under 300 calories.
Fruit and Yogurt Parfait: The key is choosing the right yogurt. I like Greek Oikos triple zero or Siggi’s. They have high protein and fiber and low sugar. If you prefer thick and creamy, chose the Oikos. Add any fruit you want!
Avocado Toast with an Egg: This might sound a little crazy, but you have to try it. Toast some wheat bread and top it with ripe, smashed avocado and a sprinkle of salt. You can then top that with a sunny side up egg for some protein.
Scrambled Eggs with Veggies: So easy! Beat 2 eggs, add some veggies (tomatoes and spinach leaves) and a little cheese. Put them in the microwave for 30 seconds, stir, and then cook again for 30 seconds. You can make this ahead of time as well.
Make Ahead Oatmeal: The night before, combine 1/2 cup milk, 1/3 cup rolled oats, 1/2 mashed banana, 1/4 cup chopped nuts, and a little cinnamon to task in a sealed container. In the morning, heat for 1-2 minutes and you have a delicious, simple breakfast.
Egg Sandwich: (my favorite). Saute spinach and fry 2 eggs. Place on a whole wheat muffin with a slice of cheddar cheese. Wrap it in foil to melt the cheese and enjoy!
Spinach and Bacon Omelette: For any omelette I use 1 full egg and 2 egg whites. Add 2 slices of cooked and crumbled turkey bacon, 1 cup of baby spinach and mix that into an omelette. I usually sprinkle in some cheddar cheese and pair it with a slice of wheat toast.
Peanut Butter and Banana Pancakes: Combine 1/2 banana, 2 teaspoons peanut butter, 1/3 cup prepared whole-grain pancake batter to make the pancakes. Top with 1 teaspoon of honey rather than syrup.
Banana and Almond Butter Toast: 1 slice of rye or wheat bread topped with 1 tablespoon almond butter and 1 sliced banana
Breakfast Casserole: If you are a casserole kind of person, I’m just copying a link, because the list goes on and on and I never make them.
Smoothies: Keep in mind what I said above about choosing the right yogurt. I’m also not a fan of using juice as a liquid base because you are usually putting fruit in the smoothie so that’s too much sugar. Here are a few favorites smoothie recipes:
1 banana, sliced
¾ c (6 oz) vanilla yogurt
1 Tbsp honey
½ tsp freshly grated ginger
Green Tea Blueberry Banana
3 Tbsp water
1 green tea bag
2 tsp honey
1½ c frozen blueberries
½ med banana
¾ c calcium fortified light vanilla soy milk
1 c low-fat or light vanilla yogurt
6 ice cubes
1 c pineapple chunks
1¼ c light soy milk
½ c frozen loose-pack blueberries
½ frozen banana, sliced
2 tsp sugar or 2 packets artificial sweetener
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Kale Pineapple Yogurt
½ cup frozen kale
½ cup frozen pineapple
½ cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup water if needed to thin it out
Green Apple Spinach Ginger
1 green apple (with skin, cored, and cut into chunks)
½ cup frozen spinach
½-inch piece peeled, fresh ginger (cut into small pieces)
½ cup water if needed to thin it out
Spinach Avocado Apple
1 1/2 cup apple juice
2 cups stemmed, chopped spinach (or kale)
1 apple, unpeeled, cored, chopped
1/2 avocado chopped
2 cups spinach
2 cups blueberry
3-4 large mint leaves
1 cup coconut water
1 cup ice