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8 Healthy Breakfasts

Posted: July 10th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Breakfast, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 2 Comments »

How many days do you wake up and consume only a cup of coffee before heading out to work? We all know that eating breakfast is the right choice – but how often do we just live our lives skipping that oh-so-important meal? If you aren’t in the habit of eating breakfast – start now! Here are eight of my favorite breakfasts – ranging from traditional, to not so traditional.

1. Oatmeal: Cook a pot of steel cut oats at the beginning of the week. Serve yourself 1/2 a cup of cooked oats, with an optional 1/2 cup of milk (or almond milk), a tablespoon of nut butter. When you get into the habit of eating oatmeal, you can have a lot of fun with it. Sometimes I add coconut butter, or dried fruit, or maple syrup, or fresh berries. I’ll stir in a spoonful of nutella for a sweet kick, or go savory and add spinach, garlic and soy sauce.

2. Open faced sandwich – A slice of whole grain toast, topped with a tablespoon of nut butter (peanut, or go peanut free – I like Barney Butter) and a large orange. Or, instead of nut butter, I might top it with hummus, and serve it with carrot sticks or red bell pepper.

3. Whole Grain Pancakes – Make your own pancake mix, or use a healthy (just add water) mix such as Bob’s Red Mill, or Kodiak Cakes flapjack mix. I like these because I can make myself a single pancake, and not have to crack open any eggs. Top with 1/2 cup of fresh berries such as raspberries or blueberries, and a tablespoon of real maple syrup.

4. Eggs – 2 egg omelet with 1/2 cup chunky salsa. If I’m hungry, I’ll add a half cup or so of cooked beans as well. Also tastes delicious with a boatload of spinach.

5. Yogurt cup – 1/2 cup of plain, full fat yogurt. Top with 1/4 cup granola or rolled oats, a tablespoon of jam, and if desired some sweetener such as a tablespoon of honey or maple syrup. Add fresh berries if you have any.

6. Cereal –  If you adore cereal, look for cereals with HIGH FIBER (5 grams per serving or more), and LOW SUGAR. A favorite of mine is Trader Joe’s High Fiber Oh’s. Stick to the serving size, and actually portion out the cereal rather than pouring directly into the bowl.

7. Overnight Oats – The night before, add half a cup of rolled oats (raw), 1/4 cup of yogurt, and 1/4 cup of milk or almond milk. Top with a few dashes of cinnamon, and stir. In the morning, take it out, give it a stir, and eat! Sometimes I pour some real maple syrup or honey on in the morning as well, and top with fruit if I have some.

8. Turkish Breakfast – a small slice (1 ounce or so) of Turkish white cheese (brands such as Valbreso or use feta), a few slices each of cucumber and tomato, a few olives. And a hard boiled egg if desired. Serve with a slice of toast or pita, and honey or jam to drizzle.

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Combating the Munchies

Posted: March 2nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Breakfast, Dinner | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

 

cereal and milk

Last night I got 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep. In addition to my yoga yesterday session I also managed to get in about 5000 steps – it’s wonderful how good exercise can help you sleep.I probably could have slept for another two hours judging from the way I woke up completely immobilized and zonked.

This morning’s breakfast was Trader Joe’s High Fiber Oh’s, with some Straus milk. I’ve been combating the munchies over the past few days, and decided to start with something fairly sensible. Also, when I get milk, which is fairly rarely, I usually end up having cereal five days in a row.

trader joes ohs

Last night for some reason I had the munchies. While making my dinner, I snacked on 4 of these vanilla wafer cookies. I actually avoid having snacks like this in the house, because I’m not very good at controlling myself. A little birdy left these instead of taking them to work, and so I made a bad choice. At least I cut myself off at 4.

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Dinner was Goan black-eyed pea curry from ‘5 spices, 50 dishes’ (you can read my review of the book here) It’s a really simple dish to make, and has some lovely coconut milk in it. I ate it with some rice and a really large portion of homemade chutney.

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After dinner, I still had the munchies. I made myself a bowl of oatmeal, with a spoonful of almond barney butter, a square of dark chocolate, and a square of coconut white chocolate. Not the healthiest decision. I couldn’t figure out why I was craving so much food…

oatmeal

And then a  funny thing happened – sometimes you can’t figure out something until it’s staring you in the face (in this case as I looked over my blog posts). I wasn’t really sure today why I was having these food cravings – and then it occurs to me that maybe they were misplaced, as somehow I neglected to eat *any* vegetables all day long. I’ll have to remedy that today!

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Oatmeal and Candlelight Yoga

Posted: February 22nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Breakfast, Exercise | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

I’m still struggling to get enough sleep these days. I’m definitely an 8 to 9 hour sleeper, and getting 6 to 7 throws me off and makes for a cranky morning! Last night I decided that I was going to be proactive though, and I registered for a yoga class for this morning, knowing that even if I wasn’t feeling up to it, I’d go, because I had already paid for it. I think this is the trick!

I woke up at seven, and made myself some of my already made steel cut oats, and stirred in a tablespoon of Justin’s Maple Almond Nut Butter, and some cinnamon. I moved it all around with my spoon until I couldn’t eat anymore, and then just popped it in a container and took it with me. (I’m actually still eating it as I type this). Sometimes, I just can’t get in very much breakfast, but I try to have even a little bit to wake up my metabolism.

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I headed out to Valencia street for my class at the Yoga Tree over in the mission. I loved practicing this week at the Yoga Tree on Castro, but Valencia is a tad closer to where I live if I want to get in a session before work in the mornings, and I thought I’d check it out.

Getting in a little early though, I headed in to Ritual Roasters, to have a teeny tiny cup of coffee. I opted for a single shot cappuccino. Just a little one! Not too much caffeine for me!

Ritual Roasters

Here it is:

Ritual Coffee

Their foam art is so pretty!

The fellow across from me was reading the Financial Times. Aside from being an incredibly interesting newspaper, they print it on a salmon colored newsprint. I used to see a lot more of these on the East Coast, but apparently people in SF are less likely to be interested? A lack of investment bankers?

Ritual Coffee and Paper

I read my copy of Runner’s World to give me some motivation to put lots of energy into my yoga practice. I’m not really a dedicated runner, but the incredible stories in that magazine are great for any sort of personal achievement motivation.

Half of Coffee

I love how my heart flower stayed at the top until I finished my coffee!

Energized, I headed over to Yoga Tree.

More Candlelight Yoga

Candlelight yoga is a class where deep asanas are practiced with the lights off and the room lit only by candles. It’s a great way to start the morning and increase your presence and focus. There were about 40 people in the room, and we got cozy with one another! It was so beautiful!!

Candlelight yoga

The class was led by Pete Guinosso, who is currently leading a 40 day consecutive practice of yoga. There were quite a few 40-day folks in today’s class, and I have to say, I’m kind of in awe of this dedication. I enjoyed Pete’s guiding of our session – but must admit that a few times found myself giggling because he is an entertaining fellow! (I don’t see anything wrong with some lightheartedness in a hard session – he led us well.)

During my yoga, I thought about my health, being thankful that I’m able to move and push my body more and more every day. I noticed a marked increase in my flexibility, even from last week. I also thought about my friends and family, and even the people who I have struggles with.

After about an hour and fifteen minutes of some hard practice, I was sweating up a storm! (There’s no after shot today, because I had to get to work!) I’m really hoping that this is something I will do more often. The high after the fact is pretty wonderful.

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Savory Breakfast – Kale, Bacon and Ponzu

Posted: February 14th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Breakfast | Tags: , | 3 Comments »

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I woke up this morning and made myself a cup of Gingerbread Coffee, while I settled in to watch a Valentine’s day morning Shark show with Devon. We love Sharks, so this was pretty exciting.

Now, if you don’t have a Valentine today, may I suggest Chef MIng Tsai? (I think he’s technically married with children, but one can swoon.)

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(photo: People magazine)

I love Ming Tsai. I dearly miss his restaurant, Blue Ginger , in Wellesley, Massachusetts, the town where I went to college. This guy is hunky hunky, an ex-jock, engineering student turned professional chef. The food he serves at his restaurant is fusion at it’s best – bursting with flavor and the stuff I still dream about. If you ever get a chance to go, I was particularly fond of the Crispy Fried Calamari, the Sake-miso Marinated Alaskan Butterfish, and the Mom’s Famous Three Vinegar Shrimp.

I get my nostalgia fix by watching the guy on PBS – his shows ‘Simply Ming’ and ‘East Meets West’ are refreshingly down to earth, devoid of tv magic, and pretty darn entertaining. Last night, I watched a tivo’d episode of ‘Simply Ming’, and was inspired to make something using Ponzu sauce – a citrus based sauce- and bacon, his main ingredients. In the episode, Ming made bacon wrapped shrimp on radicchio with a ponzu and bacon glaze, a warm bacon, shallot and mushroom  frisée salad, and some bacon-pineapple fried orzo, with a ponzu vinaigrette. Pretty mouth watering stuff.

Fortunately, I happen to have some delicious Kikkoman Ponzu Lime sauce that I received from the Foodbuzz Tastemakers Program. This was one of my favorite condiments that I tried at the Winter Fancy Food Show this year, and although they were serving it with tempura shrimp and tempura avocado, I must admit that I’ve been using the stuff in pretty boring ways such as seasoning for my rice and not much else.

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So I woke up this morning with new inspiration and decided to make use of the ponzu in a kale stir-fry, to compensate for yesterday’s vegetable shortage. I sauteed some shallot and ginger in olive oil, added some chopped turkey bacon (from Trader Joe’s), dumped in my bunch of chopped dino kale, and added a tablespoon of the lime ponzu sauce. Even the kale hater liked it. Me: It’s kale! Him: Yeah, but it’s meat kale. Note to self – three slices of turkey bacon negates picky anti-kale sentiments.

This made for a good brunch on it’s own, although if more hungry, or serving a crowd, I might have served it with some poached eggs. Happy Valentines’ everyone!

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