Upgrade Your Breakfast
Breakfast is often referred to the most important meal of the day. Some people get this concept some don't. Breakfast for a lot of people actually looks lot more like dessert. Just yesterday we were in a local restaurant and watched a guy sitting in the booth across from us enjoy waffles à la mode. Really, ice cream for breakfast on top of a sweet bread, topped with liquid sugar and whip cream. Why is that even an option for breakfast? Seriously!!!
They all look pretty delicious don't they!
You might recognize that waffles à la mode isn't an ideal breakfast but do you know why?
#1 - The obvious one is this type of breakfast is packed with sugar. I don't think I need to explain why the sugar in this amount is bad.
#2 - We love our fat but we also love getting it from quality sources and this type of breakfast is also extremely fat dense. This combination of high fat and high sugar/carbohydrate is the reason we have the obesity epidemic that faces us in this country. The calorie density is through the roof when you combine sugar and fat, our brains just don't know when to say enough is enough when you combine those things.
#3 - Breakfast is also a unique meal. If you look at it's name "Break - Fast" this is the meal that breaks what is likely a 8-10 hour fast depending on when you last ate the previous night. It is because we are in this fasted state that our body is primed to absorb more of the energy that we provide it.
This happens mainly due to us being more insulin sensitive after a fast. That means that your body will easily transport blood glucose (carbs) into cells. Now if you worked out at 6 a.m. and you then consume a carb dense breakfast that carbohydrate/glucose will get transported to muscle tissue. That's a good thing! If you roll out of bed and have an Ego waffle, bowl of cereal, or a bowl of oatmeal topped with brown sugar and raisins, that carbohydrate will likely get stored in fat cells.
#3 - Lastly, a meal like those mentioned so far is lacking almost all nutritional value. In general, color is a sign of a food's nutritional value. If you didn't cook a waffle, that whole plate would be white = zero nutrition.
When you combine combine, calorie dense, blood sugar spiking, and nutrient poor all together in one food/meal you are either having one hell of a treat meal or trying to develop diabetes.
How do you upgrade your breakfast?
#1 - Eat a balanced meal or for some a lower carbohydrate meal depending on how sensitive you are to carbohydrates. Balanced meal means getting equal amount of calories from protein, fats and carbs. The one that is hardest for most is the protein source. Some of our favorite ways to add protein to breakfast is egg whites, protein powder via a shake or pancakes, or meat of some kind. Studies have even shown that a protein dense breakfast will help stave off hunger throughout the entire day, meaning less snacking and more calories consumed.
#2 - Add some vegetables! Yeah we said it veggies for breakfast. Not only does this up the nutritional value the meal it also adds some fiber. Try to make 1/3 of your plate a veggie! Our go to is sauteed broccoli slaw or steamed broccoli. By adding fiber you you slow down the digestion process and therefore will avoid blood sugar spikes and as much of that energy getting sent off to fat cells.
#3 - Keep it simple. The morning can be a tough time to put a fancy breakfast together. Why do you think cereal is a breakfast staple, convenience. So just make something else that fits the above criteria convenient for you. For a long time this meant have a shake for breakfast that was balanced nutritional and loaded up with some greens to get veggies. Overnight oats that contain some extra protein, greek yogurt with berries, or egg muffins.
#4 - Find something that you like and works for you and stick with it. Variety is important for diet but that means throughout the day, not day to day. Breakfast for us is almost identical 5 days a week, eggs, broccoli of some form and plantains. Find what works for you.
The common thread that connects all these tips, is having a plan. That starts with maybe building anywhere from an extra 5 minutes up to 20 minutes to prepare an upgraded breakfast. It means having some healthier options stocked in the fridge, freezer and pantry. It means knowing ahead of time what you are going to make or meal prepping earlier in the week.
We would love to hear what are your go-to breakfast options?
Want some healthy breakfast options along with an entire week oF healthy, simple recipes? Just follow the link below and we would love to share our 5 Day Meal Guide with you.
Pumpkin Spice Protein Pancakes
It wouldn't be fall if we didn't throw a pumpkin recipe at you. Since we love pancakes here you go! We've been making a variation of these pancakes for the longest time. However the texture on those other ones just wasn't quite where I would like it when it comes to a pancake. So just a couple little tweaks and we have this new one which I think will be our go to pancake recipe for a quite some time.
If you are wondering what the hell the broccoli is doing in the picture, I thought this was a pancake recipe, you aren't the first one to think that is a weird combo. This combo is a great a solution for a number of people that we work with on a regular basis. Two staples that people usually fall short of on a daily basis is protein and veggies. Why not start your day with a healthy dose of both?
Why are protein and veggies important? Particularly for people trying to lose weight these two things will likely be your biggest help in seeing measurable progress in a short period of time. By getting adequate protein, 20-40 grams, per meal you will fill yourself with bulk but with lower calories. Same goes for the veggies, due the high fiber in veggies you are adding bulk without adding calories. It's because of this that you are able to eat to the point of being full all while staying in a calorie deficit.
If you are curious how much protein and fiber you should specifically be eating head over to our Calorie Calculator page and submit some information and I will get you a customized plan to let you how much of each you should be eating. This will be based on your size, activity level, and your goals.
Otherwise enjoy the heck out of these pancakes, we sure did!
Protein: 10.9 g
Fat: 4.4 g
Carbs: 3.5 g
Sugars: 0.9 g
Fiber: 1.6 g
We are currently parked in a campground in central Texas between Houston and San Antonio. There isn't anything super fancy about this park or its location. One upside though is that there are pecan trees everywhere and it's pecan season! If I had the patience I could easily fill up a 5 gallon bucket in less than hour. We've been snacking on them a bit but decided to try to use them the other morning in combination with a new pancake recipe.
If you follow us you know that we love our pancakes and they are a weekend tradition. You also know we need gluten free options since I can no longer eat anything glutenous! I wouln't consider these pancakes health food but they are close. The flax in them provide a ton of Omega 3 fats which are super good for you. You also get a decent dose of protein and fiber too!
The sauce/sryup that I made is the thing that turns a fairly healthy pancake into a bit of a treat! Enjoy it though because it's delicious and a much better way to enjoy pancakes then use a boxed premix.
Kabocha Squash Pancakes
#weirdvegwednesday this week we decided to both honor our weird vegetable choice and the fact that yesterday was National Pancake Day. Why wouldn’t we use a vegetable to make pancakes??? So if you don’t like squash don’t go near this one but if you love it, you have to try it. Kabocha squash has a very similar flavor to butternut squash but with fewer calories and similar health benefits. YES PLEASE!!! I needed to go to a smaller local grocery store in order to find one, your big chain stores probably aren’t going to carry this variety, even Whole Foods. The sauce will take 15-20 minutes to make so plan accordingly when you are timing out your pancakes.
Fluffy Coconut Pancakes
Who doesn’t LOVE pancakes? I used to eat so many of these as a kid. I still love them but I really don’t love the bloated, full feeling you get from all the sugar and carbs….you know what I’m talking about. There are healthy alternatives out there and it’s been pretty fun to find them and try them out. Don’t be afraid to step outside of your box and try something new!
This is another one that I found on Instagram via @spoonfuloffit…and it’s spectacular. Go check out her website for some great recipes, workout routines and fitness inspiration: http://www.spoonfuloffit.com. AND just because I like to share what I love go check out @amandamclark on IG (http://clarkpharm.blogspot.com/). She has perfected these pancakes and done so many variations you won’t know what to do with yourself
Here’s the coconut flour that I bought off of Amazon a few months ago. It’s low in carbs, high in fiber and low in calories!
This pancake recipe has been a staple in my diet the last few months. I found it on @briana__sky’s Instagram page (which btw is AWESOME). She has so many great recipes and she just came out with an ebook with 40 recipes and a shopping list! Go check her out on http://www.shineorset.com.
And without further ado…here’s a lovely picture AND the recipe!!
The Cook & The Coach
Healthy is a LIFESTYLE.