[learn_more caption=”Breakfast Ideas (click the arrow for more details)”]
Lots of Kitchen Skinny members ask us questions about breakfast. So, here’s what we do at our house.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
Breakfast is pretty much the same thing every day at our house – boring, but the girls both head out the door every morning early, so keeping it simple on school days is key.
The truth is, the girls would skip breakfast entirely if it weren’t for me making them eat it…just because it’s so easy to skip on out the door without it. So, I made a deal with them a number of years ago – that breakfast would be ready for them at a fixed time – they didn’t have to do anything – just show up & eat. No dishes. No nothing.
For me, it’s worth it because a quality breakfast has been key to helping Kady heal from her lupus and it’s actually been transformative for her behavior-wise. The protein and complex carbs first thing in the morning is critical to having solid energy all day.
- Steel cut oatmeal (cook as per package -or- 2 min in microwave -or- we just pour hot water over the oats (with toppings) and let set for a minute). We mix in 2 T. ground flax seeds, 2 T. hemp seeds (lots of protein) and 2 T. chia seeds (great for detox)…some dried goji berries or fresh organic blueberries or strawberries if in season. Kady loves some cinnamon. A handful of raw nuts is great, too. (walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds) And, a little soy milk if it’s too dry.
- Green smoothie
Those two things get us all off to a great start.
Tyler just doesn’t like oatmeal, so on her two school days, I scramble an egg for her with sweet potato and/or beans & a piece of Ezekiel toast.
Which brings up eggs: We are not against eggs…but we do try to limit all animal protein for a variety of reasons both health and environmental. From a health perspective, our feeling is that eggs are okay a couple times a week, but every day is too much. From an environmental standpoint…still a lot of hesitancy.
We also keep Ezekiel cereal in the cupboard…Kady has this some days when she’s just bored with oatmeal. Add a little almond or soy milk & a small amount of fruit.
Usually, once a week we make pancakes. Just for fun.
- Any kind of rice/beans/veggie combo
- Stir fry some beans, sweet potatoes, onion & bell peppers
- What about granola? We used to buy a lot of granola, but 8+ g of sugar is not so good on a daily basis. You could always have some fun making your own.
The biggest thing from a health perspective is just trying to get complex carbs and some protein. Hemp seeds are awesome for protein and really do the trick.
[learn_more caption=”Snack Ideas (click the arrow for more details)”]
Remember snacks are not meant to be a “sit down candlelit affair”. The purpose of snacks is to just give your body some food to maintain a constant flow of energy throughout your day. Everyone is different so everyone’s snack will vary in types and amounts based on their individual needs and physical activity levels.
For our snacks, we love green smoothies. We have two per day. One between breakfast and lunch (around 11am) and a second between lunch and dinner (around 3pm). The green smoothies give us a constant flow of nutrient dense energy, protein and a ton of fiber. There are many ways you can make them. We would recommend starting out slowly so you enjoy them and eventually morphing them into something like the Mr. Grinch, watch the video here and view the recipe here.
Fresh Fruit and/or Raw Nuts
Fresh fruit is always good. Apples are great and convenient. Fruit does contain sugars, so you will want to keep your fruit to vegetable ratio in order (especially when you are targeting weight loss, for maintenance you can incorporate more fruit). Berries have lower sugar compared to most other fruits.
A handful of raw nuts are a great snack. They are small and convenient and contain a good amount of energy along with some great healthy fats and lots of beneficial nutrients. We like raw (unsalted almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds).
As you know we are not big fans of protein bars that you can buy in the store that are pre-made. Many of them have wonderful whole food ingredients, but they are loaded with 17-30+ grams of sugar (remember, even natural sugar can cause a problem if your goal is to lose weight).
We finally had to make our own. Here is the recipe to our protein bars that are lower in sugar. We do not have these in our house all the time. But we make a batch about every other week or so.
Hummus, Fresh Veggies and/or Seed Crackers
This is a easy snack to have around the house. I usually make a fresh batch of hummus on Sunday and just have it in the refrigerator to grab as needed for a couple of quick dips. The worse part of humus is the oil. That is why we make our own. It is easy and tastes great.
We dip either celery or we have Flackers which are raw flax seed crackers. Another cracker we have in our house regularly are called Mary’s Gone Crackers, they will satisfy that crunch need, they are great for dipping and the ingredient list is all great stuff (and no oils!)
We talked about two store-bought bars that are good to have as a back up plan. You can keep them in your car, purse, backpack or desk. We would not consider them a long-term solution, but when you are watching your sugars can be used in those instances where you are stuck without any good options.
[learn_more caption=”Lunch Ideas (click the arrow for more details)”]
We love leftovers! Why, because we are lazy? Well that could be a part of it. But really the biggest problems we see is people are busy. So if you can make a little extra (of your healthy dinner) and pack it up for lunch the next day, that will save you time and money (if you are eating out). Plus you know it is a healthy option.
Quick Tidbit: I had a client that ate lunch out every day (just for the convince of it). She was making good choices (but even good choices can be bad if you are not making the food yourself). The only change I had her make was to bring her lunch to work and in the very first week she dropped over 5 lbs! I have seen how “eating out” (even when making good choices) has a dramatic effect on our body composition.
Leftovers we love them. Quick and easy! They will save you time, money and pounds! Give it a try this week. Make a little extra dinner and have it for lunch the next day
Sandwiches / Wraps
If you do not like leftovers, here are some recipes that make a great lunch – sandwiches, wraps.
Veggies & Protein Bars
Soups & Salads
Show up with any of this stuff at work and you’ll have your co-workers drooling over your lunch! (Maybe you should bring some to share!)
[learn_more caption=”Dinner Ideas (click the arrow for more details)”]
Below we have listed some ideas you can get started with. Feel free to browse our recipe database by clicking here. You are bound to find something you like. If you have questions about how to customize one of the recipe towards weight loss just ask us.
Since 1900 our meat consumption has almost doubled (not quite but close). Yet our physical activity has gone down since the 1900. Meats in genera are very caloric dense foods. Since as a society we have doubled our consumption and reduced our activity you can begin to see a problem. American on overage over consume meat. Cutting meat out at the dinner meal will reduce your energy intake (at the end of the day when your metabolism is naturally slowing down) and will potentially help align your meat intake to healthier levels.
Quick Tidbit: A great way to eat more greens is to serve a nice green salad with EVERY dinner. If you serve the salad BEFORE the main meal you will accomplish a couple of things:
- you (and your family) are more likely to eat the salad because the are hungry
- satiation signalling will start earlier (meaning your stomach will tell your brain you are full quicker) which will help you avoid the desire for 2nd servings
*The key to an enjoyable salad is the dressing. Finding a good dressing you and your family enjoy is the key. We found a balsamic dressing that our girls love (about 2g of sugar – which is totally worth it to get them to eat the huge salad they do each night)! Making salads is easy, we just have a tub of greens, then top it with raw pumkin seeds, hemp seeds, shread some carrots and then the dressing. Easy simple and full of awesome stuff.