Monday, July 31, 2006

Breakfast Challenge

I'm having a problem figuring out what to eat for breakfast.

Eating breakfast is a good idea. I started it because it's supposed to help with weight loss, and now I'm used to having something in the morning, so I can't easily go without it.

Lately I've been having a frozen burrito and a cup of milk. It works OK and the plain frozen bean burritos are cheap and not overtly unhealthy (no lard or trans fats, for instance).

But I really want to cut refined carbs from my normal diet (I get plenty of them when I eat out or go off plan), and starting the day with a white tortilla like that doesn't seem like a great plan.

My big breakfast constraint is that I cannot do anything that takes time to put together. I just won't do it. I can't get up any earlier than absolutely necessary, and if I have to do something at all complicated for breakfast (even something like making a sandwich), I'll just stop at McDonald's instead, which is not healthy.

I tried looking at Whole Foods for similar burritos that would at least be whole wheat, but I couldn't find any that were 100% whole wheat. I can't make burritos myself - it takes too much time. (I could make them ahead but (a) what a pain, and (b) I suck at wrapping burritos).

I have considered the following options:

1. a slice of whole wheat toast with peanut butter, plus a piece of fruit - I had this today and found I cannot digest peanut butter toast in the morning; it took about 15 minutes just to get it down.

2. a trail mix of almonds and raisins - this is very high in fat and I'd really like to have some whole grains included

3. cereal, milk, banana - I won't eat any of the cereals that are whole-grainy enough to qualify as being better than the frozen burrito

4. oatmeal, perhaps with nuts and fruit - I can eat oatmeal without a bunch of added sugar, but in practice, I won't

5. eggs and fruit - cooking eggs is too hard; I don't like hard-boiled eggs very much; too high in cholesterol

Any ideas for me?


sally said...

Here are my thoughts. (These may have various problems, like being too expensive, taking too much time, being too many calories, your not liking them, and so forth, but what the hell.)

Traditional breakfast foods:

- yogurt or cottage cheese with fruit (can top with granola or, better, wheat germ)

- premade breakfast sandwich from Morningstar Farms or other vegetarian brand (I thought Amy's made a breakfast bean burrito on whole wheat; maybe it's no longer available) (pricy?)

- protein bar (I don't know which are healthy and taste good, if any)

- whole grain muffin (many brands are available premade or you can make your own ahead of time, which is what I do) or whole wheat bagel (or mini-bagel) with Neufchatel cheese

- egg substitute (e.g. Egg Beaters) and/or vegetarian sausage patty and/or soy milk as a protein source

- top a bowl of healthy cereal with a scoop of yummy cereal (Esther served cereal to me like this when I was a kid and it actually works in making healthy cereal palatable)

- Kashi cinna raisin crunch cereal (don't know if you've tried it, but I love it; the best "stand alone" healthy cereal I have had)

- oatmeal with peanut butter (don't know if this would be easier to choke down than PB toast, but it is less dry; it is delish without adding sugar; you could add banana or raisins if you like)

- add a whole grain cereal to your trail mix: I like wheat or bran chex in mine (I don't like how calorie dense trail mix is, though)

Or have something (like your bean burrito) that isn't a traditional breakfast food:

- bean soup (in a can or in a carton to which you add boiling water)

- frozen dinner (but you may already eat more of these than you want)

- leftovers (or planned leftovers) of any kind

Is there any way (e.g. begging, paying him) to enlist Mosch's assistance in prepping your breakfast? If you're willing to spend even 5 minutes on it, you have a lot of options.

Tam's momm said...

I really like Amy's Burritos. I have them for dinner but you could easly have one for breakfast. These aren't the breakfast burritos. I like the one w/ black beans (Especial) and also the one with kidney beans and rice. I'm not sure if they are made with whole wheat. You could make a sandwich the night before with the Morningstar sausage on a muffin and just nuke it in the am. I think Sally suggested something like that. I have a plain sandwich for lunch everyday that would be good for breakfast. It's just extra thin PF HW with 3-4 slices of meat substitute (soy bologna this week) I make 5 on Sunday night for the week. I don't know if you can find wheat roast there but it makes a great snack or breakfast food. It comes in a loaf and can be cut in cubes. I love it. It has wheat and peanut butter and you know I don't like peanut butter.

Debbie said...

Awesome list of ideas, Sally! I can confirm the mixing of yummy cereal with healthy cereal. I use Nature's Path Flax Plus Raisin Bran which has 11 g of fiber per 3/4 cup serving. Then I put a thin layer of fat-free granola over the top so that I get some granola in almost every bite. (I'm getting better; I used to add a thin layer of Uncle Sam's cereal to the top of a bowl of cocoa crispies.)

Instead of breakfast burritos, you could make breakfast tacos--you spread all the ingredients on one half of the tortilla and just fold it in half. (Ahead of time, of course.)

This isn't a good idea, but when I want something quick with protein in it, I make chocolate milk.

I'm also remembering smoothies. You can't make them ahead, but throw some frozen fruit and some dairy products in the blender, then put water in the blender to let it soak while you are at work, and that's pretty quick.