Things That Are Trifling

Thoughts on Food, Gender, Race, and Popular Culture

Worst Breakfast Advice Ever

I came across this blog post this morning and I cannot believe that a registered dietician actually recommends this food.

Do you eat #breakfast every morning? 7 days of quick & #healthy breakfast ideas to keep you going. http://bit.ly/VkX3YE  pic.twitter.com/vyBG2C4Z

While I agree that some breakfast is better than no breakfast at all (which leads to overeating later in the day), I am particularly concerned because basically everything that she suggests has added sugars or refined carbohydrates. Putting this stuff in your body at the start of the day, for many people, makes them ravenous by lunchtime (or by mid-morning); these meals spike your blood sugar and, I believe, screw up with insulin regulation. I’ve seen many studies that compared people who ate eggs or other high-protein, low-carb breakfasts with those who had the traditional cereal and juice, and the protein eaters reported feeling more satiated until lunch. And don’t get me started on the nutritional travesty that is juice. I know we grew up with it but that doesn’t mean this form of concentrated sugar is good for you. Eat the fruit!

Because this is how I roll, let’s break it down.

Moms and nutritionists all agree: Breakfast is vital for focus, energy, and stamina throughout the day. It’s your body’s first chance to refuel. When you miss nutrients at breakfast, they’re rarely made up for during the day, which starts a vicious cycle of eating a larger meal toward the end of the day and not being hungry for breakfast the next morning.

To get the nutrients you need first thing in the morning, focus on a blend of protein and carbohydrates at breakfast. Hearty carbohydrates will give you a boost of energy to jump-start your day, mixed with protein for the staying power to keep your body going strong over the next three to four hours until lunch.

If you’re not hungry first thing in the morning, start small. Try a piece of fruit or half a carton of yogurt. Get ready for work and pack a breakfast to eat later. Select grab-and-go items you can bring to work or school, and when hunger hits, pull out your breakfast.

A Week’s Worthy of Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Try a new breakfast menu this week. Here’s some inspiration:

Monday: Whole-grain, high-fiber cereal with diced bananas and low-fat milk or alternative milk

My thoughts: Many cereals use  words like “whole-grain” and “high-fiber” on their front-of-label packaging when they are actually just sugary crap in a box injected with inulin, which is fake fiber, and have some passing representation of whole grains. Bananas are high in potassium, but are super carby. And most cereal serving sizes & calorie counts posted on the side of the box are much smaller than what you would actually eat. Most people probably eat double the serving size. Finally, milk didn’t come out of the cow low in fat. Fat is good for you! What is the alternative here? This isn’t anywhere near as healthy as it looks.

Tuesday: A bagel with hummus or peanut butter and a piece of fresh fruit

My thoughts: Bagels have been known to be enormously larger than they once were, averaging 300 calories. Add 200 calories of peanut butter (are you really going to measure out the two tablespoons you should?)  Additionally, few bagels are made entirely with 100% whole wheat and most have at least some form of enriched flour in them.

Wednesday: A breakfast smoothie and hearty whole-grain muffin

My Thoughts: Breakfast smoothie…. for many is a recipe for sugar bomb. I hope nobody read this and thought “I should go to Jamba Juice”, unless they were in the mood for entering diabetic shock on their morning commute. Same as with bagels, muffin sizes have increased exponentially over the years. And nearly every muffin recipe I have seen, even if it’s gluten free, nut free, wheat free, whatever-free, is NOT sugar free, with the exception of the little rocks I have in my work freezer which have 4 packets of stevia in them and which I doubt any sane human besides me would actually want to eat on a regular basis. A kale smoothie and one of my rock-sunflower seed biscuits would be  a good alternative.

Thursday: Old-fashioned oats with dried fruit, sliced almonds and low-fat milk or alternative milk

My thoughts: The author must actually have eaten this breakfast on Thursday which prompted her to share as this is a relatively good idea. Also, she doesn’t mention oatmeal packets, which have tons of sugar in them. However, dried fruit in and of itself is often sugar-heavy. And again with the low-fat nonsense. At least the almonds have some fat.

Friday: A breakfast burrito with turkey sausage, diced peppers and tomatoes, shredded low-fat cheese, and salsa with 100 percent mango juice

Mango juice? at 27 carbs perserving? Please. And what is the tortilla made out of? My guess is that it’s a refined white flour tortilla.  The inside is good. How about turkey sausage, diced peppers, tomatoes, and cheese with some, oh I don’t know, EGGS?

Saturday: Low-fat yogurt with fruit and cereal

Saturday is the day that your hair falls out because you haven’t fed your body any nutritious fats all week.

Sunday: Frozen whole-grain waffle, toasted and topped with low-fat ricotta cheese and sliced strawberries

Sunday is the day that Kellogg’s sells you their bullshit about their “made with whole grains” waffle that’s probably 90% white flour, 10% whole wheat, and 100% bullshit good for you.

More Breakfast Ideas

Preparing a healthful breakfast is easier than you might think. Here are some tips and ideas to get you started:

  • Make mini loaves of pumpkin, apple, zucchini, or banana bread the night before, then serve with a breakfast smoothie.
  • Set out your bowls and cereal at night and you’ll be one step closer to eating breakfast the next morning.
  • Make a shopping list and purchase grab-and-go items at the grocery store, like individual cartons of pudding, fruit, applesauce, cottage cheese, raisins, oatmeal packets, string cheese, milk chugs, and granola bars. This is incredibly expensive and wasteful!
  • Buy bite-sized, whole-grain cereal.As opposed to giant-sized cereal? So I can eat it mindlessly out of the box? Good idea.
  • Keep whole-grain frozen waffles, bagels, and English muffins on hand. Earth to everyone: just because the package says whole grain on the front does NOT mean it is healthy! Trifling!
  • Make a yogurt parfait. Mix low-fat yogurt with crunchy granola, dried fruit, or nuts.
  • Top a pudding snack pack with 1/2 sliced banana and granola for a breakfast banana split. I just don’t like this one because pudding makes me gag. It also has artificial sweeteners and stabilizers in it. And granola serving sizes are like 2 flakes of oats. NO thanks.
  • Toast a waffle and top it with yogurt and a small sliced banana.
  • Serve canned fruit like pears or peaches with cottage cheese. Wow this is actually reasonable EXCEPT that canned fruit is often covered in oh, that’s right… heavy syrup.
  • Eat leftovers from the night before. Uh, what if your leftovers are cold shitty pizza? Or pasta? or some other terrible carb?
  • Create a breakfast smoothie. We’ve been over this.
  • Have a fruit pizza for breakfast. Hmmm… pizza…hmm…yeah no.
  • Toast leftover pancakes and spread with peanut butter. Better sell this one to IHOP, I see $$$ in the making.
  • Roll a tortilla wrap with diced avocados or low-fat shredded cheese. Uh, hope this isn’t meant to be eaten cold?!?!
  • Stuff a pita pocket with fruit salad. Ok,  this is just gross. I love soggy white refined bread in the morning.. Mmm..
  • Bake muffins or breakfast bars over the weekend or the night before. Freeze extras for future breakfasts. This is the type of advice that lures people into thinking that homemade food is good for them. No matter if you put sugar in it. Or chocolate. Or Icing. Or sugar. Or sugar… sugar.
  • Create a nontraditional breakfast like a homemade veggie pizza.
  • Take an apple and hard-boiled egg on the go with you. Oh, it finally got to her… the actual ONE GOOD, fast, easy, definitely healthy, whole-food, real breakfast on here. 

Fuel up, start the day right, and give breakfast a chance!

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