Monday, June 19, 2017

4 Fast & Easy Breakfasts for Busy Mornings

I have partnered with the National Honey Board to bring you this blog post and the delicious recipes included. All opinions are my own.

It’s no surprise that breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. I LOVE breakfast because there are so many healthy and equally delicious options. From eggs to nut butter, toast to smoothies, there are so many choices and you really can’t go wrong. A healthy breakfast is incredibly important for properly fueling your body for the day, and I love that breakfast can be totally customized to your preferences.

One of the most common requests from my nutrition clients is for on-the-go breakfasts. A lot of them eat breakfast on the way to work or at their desks. They simply don’t have time to make a labor-intensive breakfast and clean up on top of it all before rushing out the door for the day. As their coach, I wanted to find realistic options for morning meals– a balanced combination of protein, carbs, and fat to jump start their metabolism and prevent a serious case of mid-morning munchies.

Here are four breakfast ideas that can be made ahead of time (meal prep is a lifesaver!) for an easy grab-and-go meal or one that can be made in a matter of minutes. So, no matter how little time you have, you know that your breakfast will keep you going until lunchtime!

Savory Honey Muffins on the Move

If your mornings are hectic, these muffins are calling your name! Prepare a batch ahead of time, store in an airtight container, and simply grab-and-go in the morning. Breakfast doesn’t get easier than that! And, my gosh, these muffins are delicious. The combination of honey, chives, and Gruyere cheese will excite your taste buds on so many levels! The sweet flavor of honey is the perfect complement to the tangy chives and aged cheese. You might even want these muffins for an afternoon snack, too!

Savory Honey Breakfast Muffins

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup low-fat milk
  • 4 T butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. chopped chives
  • 3/4 cup shredded Gruyere cheese + 1/4 cup for sprinkling on top of muffins

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk together the milk, butter, eggs, and honey in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the flour, baking powder, salt, chives, and cheese, setting aside 1/4 cup of Gruyere for sprinkling on top of muffins. Line 8 cups of a muffin tin with paper liners (or coat with non-stick cooking spray). Divide batter evenly between cups. Bake muffins for 20 to 25 minutes and remove from oven and then sprinkle remaining Gruyere cheese over tops. Turn oven to broil and broil muffins for another 2-3 minutes until cheese is melted and lightly browned.

Honey, Stay-in-Bread Pudding

You guys probably remember this recipe from my Day In The Life post, but it’s just so amazing I had to share it again! Made with an all-star cast of both nutritious and delicious ingredients, this breakfast is just as satisfying as it is delicious. Honey is the perfect complement to creamy vanilla yogurt, protein powder, and cinnamon for a tasty twist on traditional bread pudding. I love mixing up a few batches at the beginning of the week for a quick and easy dessert-like breakfast! And if you have kids at home, I have a feeling they’ll love this recipe, too!

SAMSUNG CSC

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 large slice whole grain bread
  • 1/4 cup nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup low-fat milk
  • 1/2 T honey + 1/2 T for drizzling on top
  • 2 T unsweetened vanilla protein powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Directions:

Cut bread into 16 small squares and then add to a Mason jar or container with a lid. In a small food processor or blender, combine Greek yogurt, milk, honey, protein powder, and cinnamon. Pour over bread, allowing it to fully soak in. Cover and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, drizzle remaining honey on top, grab a spoon, and dig in!

Smooth as Honey White Bean Spread

This Smooth as Honey White Bean Spread is my new favorite – the texture is absolutely incredible and is just bursting with flavor. Mixing white beans, almond butter, honey, and cinnamon together might sound a little strange to you, but I promise it’s a winning combination! It reminds me of my favorite flavored nut butter, but with additional nutrients from the beans. The honey sweetens up the spread, so you don’t taste the beans at all! Prepare this recipe ahead of time and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. In the morning, just spread on toast, an English muffin, or pancakes. You can also mix this into oatmeal or a smoothie for a quick and seriously satisfying addition to breakfast.

Honey White Bean Spread (853x1280)

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup canned white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 T creamy almond butter
  • 2 T honey
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions: Combine ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. Use a spatula to transfer spread to a glass container with a lid. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week. Spread on toast, rice cakes, or fresh fruit.

Banana Honey Toast

If you only have a few minutes to make breakfast, here’s an easy on-the-go recipe for you. In a small bowl, just mash a ripe banana with honey and cinnamon and spread on toast (or English muffin or bagel). Easy as that! There’s no excuse to skip breakfast!

Ingredients:

  • 2 pieces of whole grain bread
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions: Toast bread. While it cooks, mash banana with honey and cinnamon. Spread mixture on toast and enjoy!

Question of the Day

What’s your favorite fast and easy breakfast?

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Dear Mark: Fat Roundup

Butter. Traces of a knife. Question markLast week, I wrote about my 16 favorite fats. You had questions. For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’ll answer some of them. First, I explain why my keto salad recipe didn’t include any dense protein. Second, I explain a few options for steaming heavy cream. Third, I tell where I get my mac nuts. Fourth, I discuss whether you should worry about dioxins in pastured eggs. And fifth, I address the question of dietary fat and fatty liver.

Let’s go:

JUST CURIOUS – LOVELY SALAD – BUT NO OTHER PROTEIN SOURCE IS INCLUDED???

—Frances

Yep. I intentionally left it out of the recipe. About half the time I’ll throw in some hardboiled eggs, a can of sardines or tuna, or some leftover meat, fish, or fowl from the night before, but not always. As I mentioned in the Definitive Guide, dietary protein, along with glucose, is a source of oxaloacetate. It’s the absence of oxaloacetate that inhibits ATP generation via Krebs’ cycle and necessitates ketone production. Too much protein can inhibit ketone production.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t eat protein. Protein can really help curb appetite, retain lean mass during weight loss, and improve physical performance. In fact, most people eating standard diets probably need more. And certain populations, like seniors and the ill and infirm, require more protein than the general population for the same effect.

But people seeking deep ketosis, whether for health reasons or simple curiosity, will often need to eat less protein. That’s what I’m interested in, at least for the time being. Hence the somewhat lower protein intake.

I just learned about Steamed Heavy Cream. Any tips from anyone on the proper way to do that?

—Nikko

If you have an espresso machine, that’s the best way to steam it. Few have one at home.

Heat the cream on the stove, then whisk it furiously. Incorporate as much air as you desire and pour into coffee.

Heat the cream on the stove, then blend. Stick blenders and stand-up blenders both work.

Get a cheap milk frother. Froth away.

Get a better milk frother. Froth even more.

Heavy cream won’t foam up like milk or half-and-half. The bubbles are smaller, denser, and more velvety.

Mark, where do you buy macadamia nuts and what brand are they?

—RFB

I have a few sources.

Trader Joe’s carries a nice dry-roasted, salted mac nut from Australia. If I’m there, I’ll grab a few bags.

These are good from Thrive.

Hawaii Costcos carry an incredible 2-pound (or so) bag of mac nuts. The brand escapes me, but it’s definitely not Mauna Loa or Kirkland. They’re the sweetest ones I’ve ever had. Not sure if they’re roasted or not. Whenever I’m on Maui or Kauai, I make sure to grab at least 5 bags to take home.

I don’t worry much about organic. Mac nuts are a low pesticide nut. Their shells are quite hardy, and most producers are able to grow them without using additional chemicals.

I do stick to raw or dry-roasted mac nuts. Just plain “roasted” usually means “fried in substandard vegetable oil” (that goes for any nut).

I am wondering, I eat quite a lot of eggs every day for my weight (woman, 55 kilograms). I eat about 4 eggs a day (local, pastured), but many sources say that mainly those eggs contain a lot of dioxin because chickens pick the polluted ground. What about the potential negative effects of higher dioxin in your pasture raised (also meats) food? Or is this effect negligible?

—Laura

They used to think that grass-fed beef had more dioxins due to the cows ingesting more polluted soil. It turns out that the cows they tested were eating out of dioxin-contaminated troughs and had industrial waste mixed in with their feed. The same has been shown to happen with pastured-raised chickens and their eggs—living in contaminated hen houses spikes dioxin levels. Soil dioxin levels matter, but they’re not the only source of dioxins in eggs.

Besides: eggs and other animal foods that may be higher in dioxins possess more of the nutrients that reduce dioxin toxicity.

Vitamin A has been shown to protect against dioxin toxicity; pastured eggs are higher in vitamin A than other eggs.

Dioxins exert damage through lipid peroxidation; people who eat pastured eggs show less lipid peroxidation than people who eat normal eggs.

I don’t think it’s a big deal, but I’m also not one to worry too much about things you can’t really control. What’s the alternative—eating battery-farmed eggs and missing out on higher levels of vitamin E, omega-3s, vitamin A?

No thanks.

Mark, what is your take on what Art De Vany said on the Tim Ferriss in that interview you linked to a couple weeks back? He said paleo folks are eating too much fat, leading directly to fatty liver. He also wondered why they need all that energy. I was surprised to hear that after all the good things I’ve heard about fat from you and others.

—Fittsdawg

Excess fat—fat that exceeds caloric requirements—does increase the chance of fatty liver. But it’s not the fat, specifically. It’s the excess. A recent study out of China found that the best predictors of non-alcoholic fatty liver were diets “higher in energy, protein, fat, saturated fatty acid (SFA), and polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA).” After adjusting for BMI and age, the best predictor was high “total energy intake.” In other words, people who ate a ton of just about everything were more likely to have fatty livers. 

It can’t be the fat alone. De novo lipogenesis—the process by which carbs are converted into fat—plays an important and causative role in the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

And most significantly, the studies are quite clear that the best way to lose liver fat is to go low-carb, high-fat. You don’t have to do it that way. It’s just the way that the most people seem to find the most tolerable and sustainable.

A pilot study using the ketogenic diet helped non-alcoholic fatty liver disease patients lose weight and drastically improve liver health markers.

A Spanish ketogenic diet (keto with wine, basically) cured people of the metabolic syndrome and improved health markers of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, with over 92% of subjects improving their liver health and 21% resolving it entirely.

Note that just because these were “high-fat” diets doesn’t mean they were eating “loads” of fat. Seeing as how they lost weight, they were most likely reducing calories overall. That’s just how low-carb, high-fat, ketogenic diets pan out. You inadvertently eat less. It’s how they work.

That’s it for today, folks. Thanks for reading.

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Battle Of The Pancakes

We are having the most gorgeous morning!! It’s warm, sunny, and breezy – the best combination.

Last night I made Mona Lisa ravioli with a homemade sauce for dinner.

I used a can of San Marzanos plus dried herbs, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and spinach from our garden. Little a’this, little a’that.

Goat cheese on top!

Mazen has been on a summer schedule of staying up late and sleeping in, so I sent Gus in to wake him up this morning.

And I promised him pancakes for breakfast! I’ve been eating the Great Harvest pancake mix for years, and just recently saw Kodiak Cakes at Costco and thought I’d get a box for old time’s sake. Today was my first time making them again. So….how do they stack up? (HA!)

Convenience: Kodiak wins because it’s “just add water” (GH calls for eggs and oil)

Texture: Great Harvest wins because of oats and things. The Kodiak was almost gummy to me? Not necessarily bad, but the texture was a little unexpected.

Ease of cooking: Kodiak wins. The surface was so smooth without the oats that flipping was a piece of cake! The GH pancakes can be tough to flip if you don’t time the browning perfectly.

Ingredient list: Gotta hand it to GH for being the freshest you can buy. I didn’t know this Kodiak box had whey protein added when I bought it, which isn’t my favorite ingredient, but I guess it’s good for extra satiety.

Taste: Great Harvest by a hair. I think it’s the fresh flour. But the Kodiak’s buttermilk tang is damn good too, so it really was close!

Note the sprinkles. Mazen insists!

What’s your favorite pancake mix or recipe?

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How To Marinate Different Types Of Meats

How To Marinate Different Types Of Meats

Photo copyright: nikkytok / 123RF Stock Photo. Photo used under license.

Barbecue season is in full swing here in these parts, so I thought it would be a good idea to review how to properly marinate… Read more →



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