Saturday, October 16, 2010

Leggo your Eggo

 Our mothers and grandmothers have been telling us for years, that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  They were right.  A substantial breakfast gives you  energy to get your day started and helps prevent high calorie late night snacking.  Many dieters think that by giving up breakfast they are saving calories and well on their way to weight loss.  WRONG!  Breakfast should consist of 400-700 calories depending upon your calorie needs.  This does not mean you want to indulge in biscuits & gravy each morning, but it does mean that wimpy bowl of Special K won't cut it either.

Not everyone likes typical breakfast fare, which is fine since a lot of typical breakfast foods are worthless. Foods such as pop-tarts, eggo-waffles, and white toast with margarine are almost exclusively refined carbohydrates that will leave you running on empty within an hour or two.  If you like foods such as chili, beef and bean burritos,  turkey sandwiches, stir-fry, or lasagna, have them for breakfast.  They all contain a balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fat.  By having a substantial breakfast you may soon find yourself better able to concentrate at work and needing less coffee to keep yourself awake at the office meeting.

While eggs may be a typical breakfast item, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower certainly are not.  Twice this week I made a protein packed veggie scramble for breakfast before work.
1/3 cup frozen mixed vegetables
1/3 cup MorningStar Farms sausage crumbles
1 egg
1 Tbs catsup

In a nonstick skillet heat a small amount of olive or canola oil over medium high heat.  When the pan and oil are hot, add the frozen vegetables and sausage crumbles.  Cook, stirring frequently until the vegetables and "meat" are cooked through, about 3-5 minutes.  Crack an egg over the mixture breaking the yolk.  Move the mixture around in the pan, making sure all of the egg gets cooked.  When the egg is cooked move to a plate and top with a sprinkling of shredded cheese or catsup.
Nutrition: 189 kcal, 8.8g fat, 14.5g carb, 14g protein, 591 mg sodium

Add a slice of whole wheat toast or in my case 1/2 of a sprouted grain english muffin with a smear of low-fat cream cheese and blackberry jam.  I also had a banana and 2 cups of coffee with just a dash of 1/2 and 1/2.  Total my meal came to:
456 kcal, 16.4g fat, 60g carb, 21g protein, 711 mg sodium (that's a little high, mostly from the sausage crumbles and catsup).  This breakfast is high in vitamins B6 and B12, copper, phosphorus, riboflavin,  and thiamin.  All of which are important in normal cell function and metabolism.

So the next time you want to reach for a Nutrigrain bar while running out the door, grab the leftover chicken casserole instead and reap the benefits of a high quality breakfast.


  1. Hey Brenna! Are you or any of your classmates going to FNCE in Boston?

  2. Not that I know of. I think my boss might go. I'm going to Atlanta in Dec. for Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Workshop though.

  3. Hi Brenna,

    Thanks for the great breakfast ideas! I was just thinking I need to spice up my morning after eating my usual poached egg :) Have a wonderful day!

  4. Would be interested to know how much fat and calories would be reduced if egg beater was used instead of the egg, and also turkey sausage. (Not familiar with the morning star.) The mixure could also be made ahead, scooped into a low fat whole wheat tortilla, then wrapped in wax paper and stored in a plastic bag in the freezer. Pull out and zap in the microwave for breakfast on the run!

  5. Morning Star is a brand of meat substitute products, similar to Boca. I like the idea of making it ahead of time and freezing.

  6. The sprouted grain English muffin looks really good. I'll have to look for them the next time I'm at the store.

  7. They are in the frozen foods section.