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?
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.
July 16th - 19th we packed our bags, left Eli with my parent's and headed to Nashville, TN to spend 4 whole days with our Beachbody family...to say we were excited was a bit of an understatement!
This event is something we look forward to every single year for quite a few different reasons:
I won't bore you with all the details of what we did since I have pictures of most of it...but to summarize: there were workouts with Shaun T and Autumn Calabrese, listening to Simon Sinek speak and also DeWitt Jones who is a photographer for National Geographic, delicious food, amazing trainings, knowledge, insight and inspiration shared and LOTS of walking!
"Every One Matters" was the theme for this year...and that couldn't be more true. We're in this business to help people live HEALTHY and FULFILLING lives. Your health really is one of the cornerstones of your life and it impacts every area of your life. If your health is suffering, everything else seems to go downhill as well, right?? So our goal is to get people to focus on health...and how it's a lifestyle and not a diet or a short term fix. It can't be if you want to live life to it's fullest!!
We are already looking forward to next year...and can't wait to have so many more people from our team there!!
Last weekend my parents were in town for a quick visit so we spent all day on Sunday with them and my brother's family. We went to church, went to brunch and then spent the afternoon hanging out by the lake where their new house will be built next year! Our brunch adventures this week took us to Victors on Water in Excelsior, MN...right off of Lake Minnetonka. This tiny town has so many cute shops, restaurants and coffee shops...I love it!!
Anyway...this was our first time to Victors and everything was just spot on. The food, the service, the atmosphere...we will definitely go back!! The picture above is what Dan had and it was the Polenta Benedict w/ asparagus, king crab, poached eggs and parmesan fondue....and obviously an arugula salad on top. He loved it. I had the Pork and Vegetable Hash with two eggs and toast. It was delicious and I ate every single bite. I also had a bloody mary that was seriously good. One of the best I've had in a while! Great flavor and thick...which I like.
My view at lunch...isn't he cute?? And miraculously, Eli slept in the Ergo the entire time. It was LOVELY!!!
And then we ended the afternoon/evening with some time on the lake, some naps and cuddle time and then some sushi. Sundays are my FAVORITE!
Oh and YES, we would highly recommend Victors on the Water. Go check out the weekend brunch and then walk down by the lake and enjoy the view!
We love eggs!!! We eat them daily, which means we cook them daily. We like our eggs over easy to over medium, there is just something about that runny yolk that just makes eggs so good. I'm not sure where I picked up this trick on cooking the perfect over easy egg but it is so awesome and easy to do. You don't have to worry about breaking the yolk open when you flip it or try to get them out of the pan. Once you master it, which won't take long, you will have a super simple way to cook your eggs perfectly every time.
Here is our second installment of "Brunching in the MSP"...even though our brunch spots will be all over the Twin Cities, we'll just say MSP for the sake of ease and the fact that there are no hashtags with that name :)
A few weeks ago it was a GORGEOUS day so we decided to hit up a spot for brunch and then walk around Lake Calhoun. A few of my favorite things to do on the weekends: walk around a body of water, go to a farmers market and go to brunch. Do all 3 and then sit outside and read books and I'm a happy camper!!
We had been to Lake & Irving before when they had first opened and it was pretty delicious then and it did not disappoint this time either.The service was spectacular, the food was tasty and the bloody mary was delicious...although I could have used a few more "additions" to my bloody. I love them loaded with a beef stick, pickle, cube of cheese, bacon...and this was just kinda plain. Oh well, the actual bloody itself was delicious.
My cute date
My other cute date
Dan and I tend to gravitate towards the same things...so we often get two things and then share them, but today we didn't do that. I ordered the open faced kalua pork torta, which had duroc kalua pork, sourdough, guacamole, poached egg, chile japones and a mixed green salad.
And Dan ordered the brisket hash, which had smoked brisket, poached egg, herb potatoes, carmelized onions and roasted red peppers.
They were both a perfect way to start the day! I know you're thinking...aren't these people supposed to eat HEALTHY all the time and be good examples for everyone? Umm no. We are REAL. We're people. We love bloody mary's...heck...that's basically vegetables isn't it? :)
We know eating out can be hard so we really do try to be intentional about where we choose to go eat. We stay away from chain restaurants and try to go local as much as we can. We love farm to table restaurants and places that serve fresh, real ingredients. We do tend to also gravitate towards the healthier things on the menu and stay away from the sugary, sweet, because we know how much better they'll make us feel.
Peace out. Make it a great day!
We wanted to switch it up for you guys this week and give you a great breakfast option for a meal. I know we've focused more on dinner type meals but everybody loves breakfast, right? This would be a great dish/meal to throw together Saturday morning for the whole family. Feel free to scale the spice level to the people for which you are cooking. You could also double this recipe and have leftovers for the entire week. This recipe will give you about 3-4 servings of the hash.
We really love our breakfast hashes because they are super easy to prepare and usually just involve throwing together whatever ingredients are available. Some easy swaps even with this recipe would be to use regular potatoes. You could also throw in some leftover taco meat from last night. We love adding greens to our hash, so some spinach, kale, or chard would be a great add on to this dish. If you want to go vegetarian you could easily leave the bacon out of this dish and you still get a serving protein and veggies. So many options!
If you are new to hashes, start with this recipe and feel free to venture out and get creative with ingredients you like. The key is adding veggies to your breakfast. It is easy to add fruits and breads to breakfast and start your day on the sweet side and also high in carbohydrates and low in protein. This is one of the keys that we promote with our coaching clients to burn fat and manage hunger throughout the day.
I like brunch...a lot.
It's one of my absolute favorite things to do on the weekends so we've been trying to make it more of a habit lately. So we figured why not document our brunch journeys and share them with you guys?? Because honestly...who doesn't like pictures of breakfast food??!
This last weekend we went to Blackbird Cafe - a "farm to fork" cafe in Minneapolis. It's one of those places where no matter when you go (lunch, brunch, dinner) it's ALWAYS delicious and the service is always great. Pictured below is one of my favorite breakfast items, the Oxtail Hash: oxtail & root vegetables topped with two basted eggs & hollandaise. with toast and homemade jam.
Dan ordered the Veal Sweetbreads Benedict which came with two poached eggs, fresh baked english muffin, steamed spinach & hollandaise.
If you go there for dinner there are some really delicious options as well...a few of my favorites:
The Twin Cities definitely has a lot of delicious, local restaurants. We'll be sharing a few of our favorites every week...so stay tuned!!
The Cook & The Coach
Healthy is a LIFESTYLE.