Which is a shame. Besides all the health benefits of breakfast, I can't imagine having one less meal every day. I plan meals hours ahead of time. I think about them. And count down toward them. And drool over the thought of them. I already only get three a day; I couldn't possibly settle for two.
And breakfast has slowly become my favorite meal of the day. I used to think of breakfast food as sugary cereal, white flour pancakes, and frosting-covered rolls. All of which made me MISERABLE. As someone who suffers from IBS, nothing makes me more bloated and crampy than traditional breakfast food.
Then I discovered oatmeal. I originally tried it as an attempt to include more soluble fiber in my diet (because of the IBS thing). I started with the instant packets, and eventually weaned myself onto preparing my own on the stove with old-fashioned rolled oats. Which I recommend to everyone. Because seriously, what's more appetizing to you: "maple and brown sugar oatmeal," or "oats cooked in almond milk with banana, raisins, cinnamon, and almonds"? I choose the latter.
But I've become obsessed with breakfast. Omelettes, toast, smoothies, whole wheat pancakes/waffles, muesli, any sort of porridge, egg sandwiches, etc. I find that being excited for breakfast helps me get up early, which is why I never sleep past 9.
And since I know many people who find breakfast a pain to prepare, I decided to log my efforts for a week, just for fun. :)
Rules for my breakfasts:
1. At least one serving of fruits or vegetables must be included.
2. Be diverse (ex: don't overdo grains, like having oatmeal with toast).
3. The entire breakfast must reach at least 400 calories, which is usually done by pairing two things (ex: oatmeal and smoothie, eggs and toast, etc.).
4. Some good form of protein should be present (peanut butter, eggs, almonds).
5. No meat.
6. Keep dairy to a minimum (dairy is an IBS trigger). I use almond milk for everything, but when I use cheese, I use it sparingly.
DISCLAIMER: None of my classes start before 10, so no, I'm not in a hurry these mornings. However, I worked at 8 AM all summer, and I still got up early enough to prepare these same breakfasts.
|Broccoli and cheddar omelette; banana, peach, and almond smoothie|
Also, my smoothies are always vegan. I use frozen bananas to get that creamy texture. You're aware that blended, frozen bananas have the same consistency as soft-serve ice cream, right? RIGHT?! I buy giant bags of overripe bananas for $.99 at my local grocery store, and then I slice them up and store them in the freezer. Super cost effective.
|Muesli with fresh peaches and almond milk; toast with peanut butter and jelly|
I fell in love with muesli when I was in Ireland. I had never had it before then. Europe has a fantastic brand called "Alpen," and I ate it every single morning over there, except once, when it wasn't provided (darn you, Shannon Court Hotel!). Over here, I've struggled to find a brand that compares. Right now, I'm settling for Bob's Red Mill Old Country Style Muesli. It's okay. But it's certainly not Alpen.
This breakfast took me about ten minutes to prepare, most of which (once again) went to pealing the peach.
This is my most typical breakfast: smoothie and oatmeal. It may be a stretch to call my banana ice cream a smoothie, but at the end of the day, it's frozen blended fruit--a smoothie. I made it super thick this morning so it would actually be the consistency of ice cream instead of an actual smoothie. And the source of the chocolate comes from a splash of Silk's Dark Chocolate Almond Milk. Just enough to add a hint of chocolate and help liquify the mixture. Oh, and the oatmeal... Fantastic. :)
This breakfast took about ten minutes to prepare. I did not peal the peach this time. ;)
Are you ready for this? Forty minutes. Yes, I spent forty minutes preparing this little beauty. But:
- It was worth it.
- It was time consuming only because I had to grill an entire batch of pancakes, meaning I'll have leftovers! Another morning, all I'll have to do is reheat that puppy. :) So time spent now is time saved later.
- I don't have class until 3 today. So I'm in absolutely no hurry. ;)
The pancakes are vegan, which I love because I can eat the raw batter without fear (no eggs!). I encourage you to check out the recipe; it contains no refined flours or sugars, and it will make your house smell like banana bread. I almost always use vegan recipes for pancakes and waffles, simply so I don't use up my precious eggs as fast (and so I can lick the batter from the spoon...).
The spiced peaches...mmm. I wanted to do something resembling a peach compote, but all the recipes I looked at included a truckload of sugar. What? They're peaches. They don't need sugar! So I just chopped up the peaches and heated them up in a saucepan with cinnamon, vanilla, and nutmeg, and I let all of it simmer until the juice thickened, as if I were making a reduction sauce. It worked beautifully. And it was plenty sweet.
|Egg sandwich on multigrain thin bun; banana-peach-almond smoothie|
So that's five days of breakfasts in my life! Two things stick out as unusual:
- All the peaches! This week has been quite a luxury.
- None of my smoothies are green. My smoothies are almost always green. I really need to get to the store and buy some spinach.
Looking over these pictures make me smile. My brother told me once last week that I use more dishes preparing breakfast than he does over the course of the whole day. I denied it at the time...but I knew deep down that he was absolutely correct. ;)