What do I eat?: Breakfast edition

So I’ve been thinking about this whole eating healthier thing and how I’ve looked around for awesome things to eat. I mean, it’s really exciting to make the decision to live a healthier lifestyle, but then you also have to take into account the reality of having to plan out your meals for the day.

Honestly, yes, it’s a pain in the ass. But it’s worth it. I always wonder what other people eat when they’re trying to be healthier but also have a normal job and not tons of time, but often find that it’s apparently a deep and dark secret that not many people will share.

Yes, there are recipes online for healthy eating, but let’s be realistic here, we don’t all have an hour in the morning before work to prepare a beautiful spinach and feta egg white fritatta. So today, I thought it might be kind of nice to talk about some of the quick and easy things I bring with me to work for breakfast, or what I do when I don’t have time to bring food with me, etc. Don’t worry, lunch and dinner are not going to be forgotten about, but this post would end up being way too long if I included both!

Breakfast

Breakfast has been probably one of the easier meals to plan. To start, the most important rule to follow, (and perhaps you should be prepared to have your mind blown) is to EAT BREAKFAST. Without it, you’re killing your metabolism. I think I’m just always hungry anyway so skipping breakfast would probably make me a cranky Franky, so I never miss it. That being said, I like to switch things up depending on if I’ve gone grocery shopping and what I’m in the mood for.

If I’ve gone shopping, my typical breakfast is a 6oz. cup of Lucerne Greek nonfat yogurt, a banana, a little low-cal cereal (Kix, Special K), and 2 Brown ‘n serve turkey sausage patties.

The yogurt is 130 calories but has 11g of protein and is delicious. I add the turkey sausage to my breakfast for extra protein and to balance the sweet vs. salty, and 2 patties are 90 calories. You can’t go wrong with some cereal in the yogurt for crunch, or just on the side. I had been doing granola but the extra calories didn’t seem worth it to me, so I switched for a little cereal at 110 calories per serving (less if I go with Kix). I usually eat my banana between breakfast and lunch as a little snack to keep me going through the morning. In total, my breakfast tends to be around 325-400 calories and I always feel full and good.

On days where I’m just flat out lazy and didn’t pack myself breakfast, you’d think, OH NO Danielle, what are you going to do? Are you going to eat horrible doughnuts or a scone? Well no, I’m not. I’m fortunate enough to work in downtown Seattle, so there are probably 5 Starbucks within 2 blocks of where I work (no joke). While I don’t LOVE their espresso, the drip coffee isn’t bad. And they also have awesome breakfast sandwiches/wraps that vary between 280-320 calories.

Lately I’ve been going with the Spinach and Feta Egg white wrap, for 280 calories and plenty of protein. Today, I was feeling a little saucy and went with a turkey bacon breakfast sandwich. 320 calories, lots of protein, and pretty delicious. I pair that up with an iced coffee with some Equal and a touch of nonfat milk, and I’ve got myself an awesome breakfast. Comes out to around 360 calories. when I go with the wrap, it’s around 320.. Not bad!

Weekends are nice because I can actually take the time to make us food, or myself something if Matt is more in the mood to do his own thing. I’ve now made us those amazing whole wheat-buttermilk waffles a few times, but I’m also a fan of doing egg beater scrambles.. Usually I’ll put in one turkey sausage, feta cheese, and spinach. Often I’ll have a piece of fruit on the side and a cup of low-cal cereal. I’ve considered getting some awesome 100-calorie high fiber English Muffins when I’m having a craving for toast on the side, but haven’t hit that point quite yet.

So yeah, that’s what my typical breakfast consists of! I switch it up so I don’t get tired of one thing or another. I try to keep breakfast around the 300-400 calorie range, sometimes spreading it out through the morning to keep my metabolism going.

That being said, as much as I love my current breakfasts, I would love to hear from some of you what your breakfasts are all about, especially quick and easy ones you can eat in the office, calories, and any other stuff you feel is important.

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27 Comments

Filed under Getting healthy, Healthy cooking, Weight Loss

27 responses to “What do I eat?: Breakfast edition

  1. Matt M

    Some other quick options are:
    the Starbucks Oatmeal, which is only 140 calories on it’s on, and they give you a pack of brown sugar (50 cal for the full back), a pack of dried fruit (100 calories) and a pack of mixed nuts (100 calories) to mix in. I usually do the brown sugar and fruit for a total of 290 calories. OH! And oatmeal helps lower cholesterol, so that’s an added benefit.

    The Starbucks Fruit and Yogurt parfaits are also good, filling and around 300 calories.

    On weekend, I can’t do Egg Beaters (something they put in there kills my stomach. I’m guessing it’s the food dyes) but I like scrambled Egg Whites with lots of minced garlic, a sprinkling of cheese and maybe some cut up turkey pepperoni (though I’m tempted to try chorizo). That’s like 200 calories MAX for a large serving.

    Looking forward to what other people post!

  2. I love this!! I never thought about sharing this before. My stay healthy and not claw my face off due to hunger breakfast plan is : nonfat whole grain eggo waffles with a spoon full of peanut butter or! A bowl of cereal. Special k, Apple jacks, fibery cereals, etc. I’m pretty boring in the morning and I can’t live without peanut butter! For a snack I usually have a fiber one bar in chocolate flavor. Yum!

    • I feel like I look all over and people have good recipes or are losing weight but never really talk about what they have on a daily basis! It’s interesting to stop and think about what exactly you’re eating and how many calories it is, etc. So to have a post to discuss what everyone is eating every day is kind of neat and I’m loving the responses I’ve gotten throughout the day.

      I totally forgot about the waffles; such a good idea to put peanut butter on them. I am stealing that idea for sure. Also, those FiberOne bars are so good. I loooove the peanut butter ones!

  3. I’m pretty open about what I eat. It’s ALL about meal planning. We make Sundays our cooking day. And yes, it takes all day but being set up for the week is well worth it.

    Here’s an example of a typical week –
    Breakfast – Muesli: http://domestocrat.wordpress.com/2011/04/19/recipe-reboot-muesli-bars/
    Lunch – A one-tupperware wonder of some kind: http://domestocrat.wordpress.com/tag/lunch/
    Dinner – Make ahead, heat up when we get home: http://domestocrat.wordpress.com/2011/03/15/recipe-basil-and-cheese-meatballs/

    • It really is all about planning; it’s a pain but worth it in the end when you don’t have to worry about what your lunch or dinner is going to be for a few days.

      I seriously want to start spending part of my Sundays making food for the week.. like soups for lunch, or some of your recipes. The basil and cheese meatballs sound AMAZING. I think we will have to make those.

      • Once you get in the routine of doing it, it feels like second nature. Since I’ve been using Sundays as cooking day for like 8 years I look forward to Saturday being my play day and Sunday being my getting ready for the week day.

  4. anonymous

    Be careful of eating a whole banana, there is a ton of sugar in it. Natural sure but a lot. Also careful on the Starbucks wraps and food, there is a large amount of sodium.

    • Matt M

      Banana has 70-80 calories and when the rest of the diet is low in sugar it really isn’t too much of an issue.

      As for the Starbucks wraps and food in general, again, when the rest of the diet is low in sodium, and it’s not a regular thing, it’s really not an issue. And funnily enough, the potassium in the banana helps with the sodium, and as long as you drink a lot of water, it also helps to flush it out. You don’t want to eat them for every meal, but once or twice a week for one meal is ok.

    • I’d argue that a banana has a lot of other benefits that outweigh the negatives of what, sugar. Also, it’s one medium banana per day. Not every day either. Sometimes I like to do strawberries or blackberries or an apple or pear. All fruits have sugar in them, but uhh, I’m not about to ditch them because of that.. That’s just silly.

      Also on the Starbucks wraps, I think it’s fair to say they have a decent amount of sodium. My point was more that there ARE options out there in case you forget to pack a breakfast for yourself, in that you don’t have to eat a scone or something else in order to stay on point.

      I have to be kind of honest and say I wish you’d just say who you are, even if I don’t know you in real life. Posting anonymously is kind of silly and I think it’s pretty fair to just post under your real name and have a conversation about your points vs. posting anonymously and hiding behind a fake e-mail address. Just saying.

  5. Danielle, I’m so inspired by your healthy eating plan. I’ve been trying to do the same thing, and it’s super hard. You’re lucky that Matt is on board the healthy eating train too. πŸ™‚

    For breakfast I usually have a serving of oatmeal with various things mixed in. Some of my favorite mix-ins are: 1 Tbsp. peanut butter and 1 Tbsp. jelly, 1 square dark chocolate and 1 tsp. jam, 1/8 cup roasted pecans and half a banana; 1/4 cup strawberries.

    I also sometimes have Special K with almond milk and some plain non-fat yogurt.

    I eat every 3 hours though, because of my hypoglycemia, so breakfast only has to tide me over until about 11 a.m.

    Also. Kim/Domestocrat, I made that pasta salad you posted recently, and it’s really good! Have you tried putting tuna in it? I’m thinking of adding some tuna but that might be a bad idea…

    • Thanks so much, it is really hard but literally having Matt on board has made it so much easier. When I’d tried in the past it was difficult to do it on my own, but now we have each other’s backs and keep the other one going. It’s really an amazing thing to be working as a team on something like this. πŸ™‚

      Also, okay I am all about the bananas in my oatmeal. All of your mix-ins sound amazing and I’m pretty sure I’m now going to try all of them. And I’m the same way about eating. If I don’t eat every 3 hours or so, I start to get a little lightheaded, so I make sure to have a snack in between.

  6. Hi Danielle,
    I was referred over to your blog by your hubby, a high school friend of mine. I think this is great! I recently started doing the same thing – changing my diet / activity and blogging about it. Such a great way to stay on track and be supported!

    I’m all about eggs and coffee in the morning, otherwise I get HANGRY later. It’s not a grab and go meal, but getting up 15 min earlier is worth it to me.

    I’m also on board with your mid-morning banana. Don’t be scared off by the sugar! Sugar in fruit is ok because there’s so much fiber included. Dr. Lustig, who is an expert on this stuff (and anti-sugar) is pro-fruit so I’m not worried about it.

    Good luck with the meal planning! It’s a lot of work but can be fun too!

    • Matt M

      Hey Monica!

      Yeah, it’s working out pretty well and it sure as hell makes me feel better. And I’m already almost down a pants size, so yay for that! Eggs and coffee are a good call. I may start throwing that together in the morning since I get up a little earlier, and just make sure I clean up as soon as I get home. That way I can get some protein. Or if I just switch between that and the oatmeal depending on if I want to sleep in a little or not. πŸ™‚

      And yeah, I need my coffee every day. One of the first things I did when we changed our eating habits was to figure out a way I could still have a latte or some kind of coffee throughout the day.

      – Matt

    • Monica, this is awesome that you commented! Sometimes eggs and coffee are all you need in the morning. I’m definitely not sweating the sugar in fruit; fruits have been known to be healthy for a reason! This is a lot of work but I’m enjoying it and having Matt with me on this journey is pretty awesome. πŸ™‚

  7. Caitlin

    Hey Danielle! I hear you on eating breakfast but also having a work schedule to stick to. Some of the quick breakfast things I’ve been starting to do are a piece of wheat toast with cottage cheese or strawberry jam, those same sausages as you!, mini wheat or multigrain bagels (they have a lost less carbs than a regular size bagel), yogurt, or a bowl of cereal and coffee. They are always small breakfasts, but they are at least speedy!

    • Totally! I’ve definitely taught myself to jump on the coffee train vs. high-calorie lattes, etc. It’s nice to be able to have my coffee and not feel bad about it. I’m thinking of trying to make a whole wheat bread from this Weightwatchers cookbook I have that would be awesome for breakfast. If and when I try it I will post it here with the recipe and photos.

  8. Meaghan

    Gonna copy some of these tasty breakfast options. I am in such a breakfast slump. Usually just some kashi heart to heart. This morning I actually did go for some whole wheat waffles with smart balance and jam, but the peanut butter lauren suggested sounds better!

    • Yeah seriously, peanut butter is the bomb dot com and I can’t believe I haven’t been embracing my love for it more often in my breakfasts! I think because it’s high calorie it freaked me out but I’m trying to do a better job of really spread out my calories in the day versus tending to leave more for dinner. Sometimes I end up coming short on calories for the day because my dinner isn’t as high as I thought it would be. Peanut butter is a good way to use up some calories but in a healthy tasty way!

  9. Becca

    Spence- I know I haven’t seen you in forever but I really like your blog! It is awesome that you are looking for new ways to eat healthy. I totally agree with Caitlin on the cottage cheese. Really filling because of the protein and pretty low cal. To save time and money I buy bags of frozen fruit (like a berry mix of sorts) and put that over low fat cottage cheese. I usually use this for lunch so the fruit has time to defrost, but if you put some in the fridge over night it is a good option for breakfast too.

    • Ummm do you know how excited I am that you posted here?! Horan it’s been FOREVER but hearing from you still puts a smile on my face. πŸ™‚ And thanks, I’m glad some people seem to enjoy my blog.. It’s been a great way to keep myself on track with being healthier, do what I love to do most (write), and talk about funny stories or post fun photos from my life. ANYWAY! I remember when I was little, I really liked cottage cheese.

      For some reason, I must’ve had a bad experience with it or something as I got a little older because for a long time I just refused to eat it. I think it reminded me too much of ricotta. However, now that I’m trying to open myself up to healthier foods, I’m really interested in giving cottage cheese and fruit a try again. You ladies have inspired me to give it another shot; when I hit up the grocery store this weekend I will be buying some cottage cheese and frozen fruit. Awesome suggestions. πŸ™‚

  10. Liz

    Danielle-

    I am loving your blog!

    For breakfast I scramble 2 egg whites (50 cal each) with a splash of non fat milk( I even cook it in the microwave for a minute to save time) then top on a toasted whole wheat thomas english muffin (120 cal – 3g fiber) andfinish with a piece of low fat cheddar cheese (50 cal) on top. Sometimes I jazz it up with a piece of turkey bacon. Then have a piece of fruit on the side. Very filling and less than 300 calories!

    Keep these great posts coming! πŸ™‚

    • Liz, I love this idea so much! Easy to-go breakfast sandwich that takes like zero time to make? Sign me up. I’m totally going to start doing this. Healthy breakfast for under 300 cals, heck yes,.

      Also, I’m so excited you’re reading my blog! I really love hearing from people, it keeps me going with my writing and journey to be healthier. πŸ™‚

  11. Me again. I have the BEST weekend breakfast for you: Dutch baby! I’ll even make it on the week days if I’m feeling fancy. This little guy topped with a Tbsp of jam or some fresh fruit is un-freakin-believable. And it’s pretty low cal! Here’s the recipe with the nutrition stats for you:

    http://www.livestrong.com/recipes/monicas-dutch-baby-for-two/

  12. Jessie

    It’s ALL about carbs and fiber. Cut out everything white (bread, rice, pasta) and up the protein, fiber and veggies. Avoid processed food, and go with low fat dairy — light string cheese, greek yogurt, low salt cottage cheese — and avoid fruit high in sugar, even bananas. Add in almond butter and whey protein, and work out. Try HIIT training and intervals, and weight lift!

    • I’ve made a serious effort to cut out the white stuff, and if I AM going to eat bread, rice, or pasta, it is of the whole wheat variety. I’ve also upped my intake of fiber, and love snacking on light string cheese and greek yogurt. I am also willing to give cottage cheese another shot.

      Exercise is a whole other post, so I’ll get to that later on, but thank you for the suggestions!

  13. Jessie

    Check out Women’s Health Magazine and consider investing in some at home workout DVDs. FitSugar is an AMAZING resource. But in the beginning, if you’re really big you really just have to cut out all carbs to lose the weight.

  14. Pingback: What am I eating? Lunch edition | A Weighty Mix

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