Tuesday, January 7, 2014

#HolidayDetox Part 2- Start your day off right!

You know how if you have a bad morning it can ruin your WHOLE day. Like you wake up and the dog has chewed one of your shoes, it's raining outside and you ran out of coffee?! Well a bad start to your day can give the rest of the day a nasty outlook. Similarly if you start your day with an unhealthy breakfast or no breakfast at all it can have a negative impact on all food choices that follow. So that is why the second post in the #HolidayDetox series is about healthy, easy and delicious breakfast choices. Sophia tested and approved. Me and Jennifer from Peanut Butter and Peppers gotcha covered!! She makes some of the BEST healthy breakfasts I have EVER seen!! Go to the bottom of the posts for some pics and links to today's recipe!

In the beginning of my weight loss journey my breakfast either did not exist or it consisted solely on carbs, even sugary carbs. Skipping breakfast seems like a great way to save calories, but you wind up being so hungry at lunch you not only consume what you missed for breakfast and would each for lunch, you usually eat more than you would in those two meals had you not been "hangry". LOL! It took me a long time to realize this. I also realized if I started the day with sugar I craved it the ENTIRE day! So, when I started my weight loss journey, I knew I needed a meal that would fill me up for hours, but not break the bank in calories or WW points. 

BIG change starts with a single baby step, and then several after that!

So I started making my own healthy breakfasts. I started with Greek yogurt, the pre-flavored ones, then eventually moved to plain and added in my own flavors. I learned I could make my own flavor combos that would cost me less WW point and calories, since the pre-flavored ones usually have lots of sugar added. It is all in baby steps. You gotta do what you a comfortable with. So having breakfast at all is a good step and one that may take time to become a habit. This stuff doesn't happen overnight so be patient and kind to yourself. There is nothing wrong with you! Start with a SMALL commitment. For example if you don't eat breakfast at all, start by committing to eating breakfast twice a week. If you eat breakfast that isn't so healthy, commit to a healthy breakfast twice a week. You see where this is going.  

My breakfast evolution went something like this
Farina with Chocolate Chips
Honey Nut Cheerios
Instant Oatmeal Packets
Pre-Flavored Greek yogurt
The cheesy grits phase!
Plain Greek Yogurt with fruit and Stevia
Plain Greek Yogurt with Cheerios
Instant Oatmeal Packet with Greek Yogurt Added
Chocolate Smoothies
Fruit Smoothies 
Green Smoothies with no added sugar

This is over the course of like 2 years! So this stuff takes time and I understand if you don't jump right in to the Green Smoothie, I get it. It seems weird and intimidating and like a "health food" LOL.

 Now for my first round of recipes!

Triple Toasted Coconut Oatmeal Bars

Why is this a Foodgasm?

You like coconut? Well this not only has shredded coconut inside the bar, but is also made with coconut milk and coconut sugar. New to cooking with both? Me too! But it gave it an even more pronounced coconut flavor. This has the texture of a really soft granola bar. It is kinda cakey in a way. I love the texture and I LOVE that is tastes so good I wanna go back for more! The nice thing is it is not too sweet, just sweet enough to make it feel like a treat, without that gross feeling after you eat a muffin.

Why is it healthy?

This baby is PACKED with protein and whole grains. It is also VERY low in fat and sugar. Compare the stats below with your favorite granola bar or breakfast bar. Plus you made it yourself with ingredients you can pronounce!

What you need

2 cups steel cut oats
1 cup 0% fat Greek yogurt
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/3 cup coconut sugar
1/3 cup pecan pieces
1/3 cup coconut flakes plus 1/4 cup to toast on top

How to make it

Preheat oven to 350ยบ
1- Mix together all ingredients except 1/4 cup coconut flakes for the top.
2- Grease a square 9"x9" baking pan and pour in batter and add coconut flakes to the top
3- Bake for about 35 minutes.

Nutritional Information

Happy Green Smoothie

Why is this a Foodgasm?

I discovered this by accident. I did an online challenge called The Live More Weigh Less Challenge. The second day's challenge was to make a green smoothie. It was basically a way for you to start the day right, thinking of your health. So I was like, you know what I am gonna give it a go. I was committed! I totally thought it was gonna taste gross. I thought okay what sort of greens do I have, well I had my FAVE arugula. I am basically obsessed with the beautiful peppery taste of arugula! I knew I had to cut the bitterness with something sweet- another fave honeycrisp apple! Only the best and sweetest apples EVER! Most smoothies then add water, ummmm ewwwww. I wanted my smoothie to be creamy and provide some protein so I also added some nonfat Greek yogurt and low fat milk to loosen it. You know what.....I was shocked I actually liked it and found myself craving them and it was good for me too! YAY! Score!

Why is it healthy?

Did you hear the part about the arugula and apple...non fat yogurt. It's a win all around. Antioxidents, protein, vitamins and minerals. It is also a pleasant happy green color. Not a scary deep green.

What you need

1 1/2 cups Arugula
1/2 cup Non Fat Greek Yogurt
1 cup diced Honeycrisp Apple
1/2 cup low fat milk (I used 2%)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

 How to make it

1-Put everything in a blender and blend on high until completely combined and liquified.

Nutritional Information

Jennifer's Recipes from Peanut Butter and Peppers

Get them ALL here!

Bircher Muesli

 Oatmeal Pumpkin Breakfast Smoothie

Strawberry Shortcake Pancakes