One major change I brought BACK into my life was breakfast. We’ve all heard it: breakfast is the most important meal in the day. But we still struggle to fit that meal into our busy schedules. I can honestly attribute part of my weight loss success to eating breakfast because it wakes me up, revs up my metabolism, and helps me focus. That is, until my mid-morning snack.
You want to have a high carb + high protein breakfast to give you energy but also help you burn calories and build muscle. Most weekdays I start my morning with a protein shake.
– 6 oz of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
– 1 scoop of Whole Foods Soy Protein Powder with Spirulina (chocolate)
– 1 handful of quick oats
– 1 small spoonful of coconut oil
– 1 banana, sliced
– 2 handfuls of ice cubes
– dark roast coffee (optional)
Blend almond milk, powder, oats, coconut oil, banana, and ice in a blender until you reach your desired consistency. It’s ok if you have a cheap blender (like I do) and still have chunks of ice. Pour the shake into a glass but leave some room at the top. Pour desired amount of hot coffee into your glass and mix with a spoon.
Now, you probably noticed my very imprecise measurements, but you really can make this any which way you want. Just be sure to use less almond milk than the protein powder instructions require if you’re planning to add coffee.
A few pointers:
• Coconut oil will be in chunks since it’s solid at up to about 76 degrees. If you add hot coffee, the coconut oil will melt, but it will eventually solidify again. It looks a little strange, but as long as you keep stirring, it’ll still be tasty.
• An alternative to hot coffee is iced coffee. You can brew coffee and refrigerate the left overs. You can also make coffee ice cubes and add a few to your drink when blending. Or, you can use the Toddy Cold Brew System, sold online and in World Market stores, which I LOVE! If you have the time, you cold brew coffee for 12 hours and keep it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. This method reduces up to 67% of the acidity in coffee but will make the caffeine content up to twice as much. So beware!
• Another reason I add my coffee to my protein shake is to start my day off with less sugar. Like a lot of people, I need my cup of coffee in the morning, but I’m trying so hard to reduce my sugar intake. By adding the coffee to my shake, I don’t have to try drinking my coffee black (which never works. I give up after 2 sips). I’m sticking with sugars found in fruit.
• Finally, I chose a Whole Foods brand protein shake because I trust that brand. A Consumer Reports article revealed metals and other contaminants are found in A LOT of the most popular protein shakes. (You can find the article here.) You can also read about Whole Foods’ quality standards here .
If you have any questions about the ingredients listed to make this protein shake, be sure to consult a health professional.
TO GO ORGANIC OR NOT…
First of all, if you can afford it then just do it. It’s probably one of the best things you can do for yourself. But if you’re like me, you’re probably on a budget. I’ve caught myself in a conundrum plenty of times where I’ve psyched myself out of buying “conventional” or “non-organic” produce and meat, left the store with nothing, get hungry and desperate, then head to Whataburger. That’s obviously not ideal.
The only time that I really put my foot down in the grocery store is when it comes to meat, chicken, and eggs. If you can’t buy organic, opt for grass-fed, cage-free, hormone-free. I’m more scared of hormones in meats than pesticides in produce. That may not make sense, but I also want to make sure that the meat I eat was a happy animal before. I also don’t want to deprive myself of produce because I can’t afford organic. You can live without meat, but can you live without produce?
Fortunately I live in a city filled with stores like HEB, Central Market, Whole Foods, Randalls and plenty of farmers’ markets. We’re also about to get 3 Trader Joe’s in the area, and there are many small health food stores like Natural Grocers and Sprouts. Even my neighborhood convenient store is filled with health-conscious items.
I recognize that not everyone has access to stores that offer organic. My point is, don’t feel bad if you can’t afford it or don’t have access to it. It’s still a better choice over fast food and frozen TV dinners.
So what do you eat for breakfast? Have any ideas to share? Please let me know.