Baby Step #1: Change Your BreakfastJuly 20, 2010
Making a lifestyle change, whether it’s quitting a bad habit, or starting a new one, sometimes requires baby steps. For a lot people, the shock of the ‘ripping the band aid off’ approach just isn’t sustainable. It’s common to see people make a radical lifestyle change, then accidentally have a relapse, feel guilty about it, and then head straight back to the back place from which they first came.
If you’ve tried this approach to fitness, nutrition ( cabbage soup diet, anyone?), or life in general in the past, and you’re still struggling with the same problem years later, perhaps you need to find a new approach. Let’s take your leaps and bounds and scale them down to baby steps and see what happens…
Baby Step #1: Change Your Breakfast.
Whether you typically eat a bowl of Kashi, a cup of coffee, an egg white omelet, or nothing at all, there’s probably some room for improvement in your breakfast.
Remember that food is fuel. And breakfast is the most important fuel of the day. If your first meal is full of nutrient dense calories, it gives your brain and body the what it needs to have a productive morning and will positively effect your energy levels, mental clarity, and ability to make other good food choices throughout the rest of your day. And if the meal is processed, has sugar, is too high in carbohydrates, or is non-existent, your body and brain are being shortchanged before your day has even begun!
To review the types of food you should and shouldn’t be eating, read this first. Then, go out and buy a carton of eggs. Next, sit down and read this post.
Breakfast is just like any other meal. Most of us grew up thinking that breakfast was a wondrous kind of meal with special foods that you wouldn’t eat at any other meal. If you ever got the rare chance to eat ‘breakfast for dinner’, you knew you had done something right that day. That’s because you were actually being fed dessert for breakfast ( I know I was!). Sugar floating in a bowl of sugar ( aka cereal in milk) or sugar topped with sticky sugar ( waffles with syrup) don’t count as a meal.
A ‘real foods’ meal, as you now know, should consist of three basic things – a protein (usually meat or fish), a vegetable, and a good fat source. Nothing about that changes for breakfast. What needs to change, however, is your perception of what breakfast actually is. Starting today, shake that notion that certain foods aren’t ‘breakfast foods’. Chicken for breakfast? Sure. Ground beef and eggs? Yes, please. Turkey and avocado? Fill er up. Food is food, and should be eaten throughout the day, as you get hungry. It’s as simple as that!
The Magic Formula. A super simple way to transition yourself from cereal, a breakfast sandwich, croissant, or whatever you normally eat, to a ‘real foods approved’ breakfast is to learn a simple formula. (Don’t panic -its not like real math -this formula is easy…and so delicious)
Eggs + Leftovers = Breakfast
(allow me to repeat myself)
Eggs + Leftovers = Breakfast
Eggs are a great way to start off the day with a big helping of good protein. For best results here, use eggs from free range chickens. The yolks are a nice, deep orange-yellow and they taste, well, more like eggs.
Leftovers is pretty explanatory. It’s what you ate last night. If you’re eating right, then it should be some type meat and vegetable. If you’re not eating well, please refrain from putting pizza in your omelet.
Step 1: Butter a small saute or omelet pan with Kerrygold butter (GrassFed, Free-range Irish butter, available for cheap at Trader Joe’s)
Step 2: Chop up some of last night’s meat, fish, chicken, or veggies into small pieces and add to the pan.
Step 3: Crack 2 or 3 eggs ( or 4 or 5 if your body needs that many) right into the pan and scramble them around a bit with a spatula, just enough to break up the yolks and mix them into the leftovers.
Step 4: After a few minutes, once the bottom of the omelet has set, flip the omelet and cook for an additional minute on the other side. Remove from the heat and eat!
As simple as it is to eat eggs and leftovers for breakfast, we hear a TON of excuses as to why people don’t do it. Here are some of the most common, and our responses:
I don’t have time to cook in the morning – While cooking an omelet does take more time than pouring a bowl of cereal it doesn’t take THAT much more time, especially if you break the eggs right into the pan just after you add the meat. You can continue your morning routine as the egg cooks, flip it once, and eat. TIP: Set out your plate, fork and saute pan the night before, and set your alarm a whole 3 minutes earlier than normal. You can’t go wrong.
I don’t have time to eat at home / I’m not hungry when I first wake up Thank god for Tupperware! Just plop you omelet into a re-sealable container, and bring it to work/school/wherever. Eat it when you’re ready. I bring my omelet to work every day and eat it 2 hours after I wake up. I love to see my co-workers salivate…
I don’t know how to cook Now you do! I just showed you how. Its really that simple. The omelet is one of the first things that people learn to cook, so you’re starting with the basics. It’s okay if it looks ugly or if you overcook it. It’ll still taste the same, and you will learn as you go. It took me 2 full years of sloshing eggy goop over the side of the pan onto the stovetop before I learned how to flip a huge 6 egg omelet without using a spatula! ( Those 6 eggs feed two people, by the way).
I don’t like eggs Luckily, much like all of our food suggestions, there are substitutions available! First, try the recipe above once. Just to make sure it’s eggs you don’t like, and not the fake stuff that they microwave and slap on bread at Dunkin Donuts. If you really don’t like, or can’t stomach eggs, then you can just eat leftovers as is, or try some turkey with avocado, sausage with peppers, or any combo of meat & veggies that you feel like eating in the morning.
Now that we got the excuses out of the way, here are some leftovers that make for great omelets:
Ground beef and onions
Spinach and mushrooms
Chicken and peppers
Pork and hot sauce
Bacon and anything at all
Shrimp and avocado
Steak and sweet potatoes
Shrimp and peppers
You get the point….basically everything can be paired with eggs for the ultimate breakfast !
Why are we asking you to change your breakfast?
Because you’re here to make a big life change. You want to look better, feel better and become more physically capable, and making this tiny change will help you do just that.
Because breakfast is the natural ‘first step’ to take. It sets the tone for the day. It’s not easy to ruin a satisfying breakfast with a lunch that will make you sleepy and feeling gross.
Because omelets are easy to make. They are the kindergarten of cooking, and these are baby steps that we’re taking. If you haven’t made any of our recipes thus far, make this the first one you try.
Tell us what you think!
Try and omelet today and POST YOUR THOUGHTS TO COMMENTS. What did/didn’t you like? Are you unsure about whether your breakfast is ‘real foods’ -approved? Got any suggestions for newbies?
This is the first in a series of posts about slowly transitioning yourself over to eating only foods that are good for you. While the concepts may sound simple, this change can be really hard for most people, so show your support – we’re in this together!This entry was posted in Nutrition Articles and tagged Eggs. Bookmark the permalink. ← WOD: Tuesday, July 20th WOD: Wednesday, July 21st →
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