Tag Archives: breakfast

Better Than Before: How Diet Effects Mood with Elizabeth Somer

Elizabeth SomerQuite frankly, with the type of winter we have had so far in New York – and continuing to have, now into March – I sometimes think that only a trip to a Caribbean island will make me feel better! Thoughts of a swim in the warm ocean, lying around the sun-drenched white sand, and having one (or ten) of those drinks with the little umbrellas will undoubtedly do the trick. But obviously most of us can’t hop right on a plane to a tropical island. And, snow and cold aside, why aren’t we enjoying winter, anyway? Sledding, skiing, skating aren’t just for watching during the Olympics! And after all, being Better Than Before is all about living in the moment.

I took my query to Elizabeth Somer, author of the bestselling Eat Your Way to Happiness, and highly sought-after and respected source of nutritional information and lifestyle changes. I was hoping she could share some good news on how to keep in a good mood – not to mention not gain twenty pounds from all those hot chocolates with mini marshmallows – while we wait and wait…and wait, for spring.

JWM: Let’s start with the obvious basic question: Why does our mood often plummet during the winter?

ES: At its foundation, it’s biological. The seasonal drop in sunlight throws brain chemistry out of whack, making some of us more anxious, depressed, and tired this time of year. We snap at the kids, sleep more, crave sweets, and as a result, gain weight.

JWM: Can depression, mood swings, and chronic irritability be symptoms of more serious problems than just winter blues? Other than PMS or menopause, that is.

ES:. Yes, it could be Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. The winter blues and SAD rest on the same continuum, differing only in their degree of severity. In other words, a person suffering from winter blues might feel grumpy and tired, while someone with SAD suffers serious depression, with feelings of desperation, anxiety, and exhaustion. If your depression interferes with important aspects of your life, such as your job or relationships, or if you have feelings of hopelessness, these are possible symptoms of SAD that should be discussed with a physician.

JWM: Who suffers from it? Other than we confirmed hypochondriacs, of course.

ES: Approximately 10 to 20 percent of Americans battle the winter blues. The reasons why our moods slip and our appetites take over by mid-winter could be simply that we’re cooped up, bored, and restless; or it could have a deeper cause, resulting from a drop in serotonin, a brain chemical that regulates mood and hunger. Whatever the reason, most people have some kind of behavior change in the winter. Children and teens can suffer from the winter blues, too.

JWM: What could be some of the signs?

ES: The main ones are obvious – depression and fatigue that lingers. Or, ask yourself the following: Has your mood plummeted along with the temperature? While you stare forlornly out the window at another bleak, winter day, is your spouse dozing rather than playing with the kids? Do you find yourself power snacking on Skittles by the 5th day of rainstorms. If so, you could be battling winter blues or SAD.

JWM: Are there foods and activities — other than Skittles– that you recommend that can boost our mood in these darkened days?

ES: Absolutely. First of all, you might consider finding more light. If your mood improves while vacationing down South, for example, it’s probably more the sunshine than the trip. [Or the drinks with umbrellas.] The researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland, are among those who have linked dark winter skies to low levels of serotonin, which makes some people drowsy and more prone to depression. Ample sunshine hitting the retina of our eyes triggers a cascade of events in the brain that raises serotonin levels. Voila! Moods improve! Up to 80% of SAD and winter blues sufferers report at least some relief when exposed for 30 minutes to 1 1 /2 hours daily to sunlight or a specialized light box that emits light 5- to 20-times brighter than typical indoor light. Check out the internet for a local resource for these lights.

JWM: How about diet? Any suggestions?

ES: Eat Regularly: Don’t attempt to skip breakfast in an effort to cut calories. You’ll overeat later in the day, struggle more with mood swings and fatigue, and battle a weight problem in the long run. Be sure to eat breakfast, but make it light and include some carbohydrates, such as cereal, fruit, and milk. Then have lunch. Something as simple as a sandwich, nonfat milk, and a piece of fruit will fuel your brain, body, and mood.

JWM: One way a lot of us make the cold hours pass better is with something to nibble on. What about snacks?

ES: Snack, but not on sweets. A voracious sweet tooth during the winter months also might stem from low serotonin levels. Chowing down on sweets works temporarily – serotonin levels rise and we feel better. But that high is followed by a crash, setting up a roller coaster of highs and lows that causes overeating and weight gain. Replace these foods with more nutritious sweet treats, such as fresh-sliced kiwi mixed with nonfat strawberry-kiwi yogurt, a half papaya filled with lemon yogurt, fresh fruit layered in a parfait glass and topped with a dollop of low-fat whipped cream, or nonfat milk whipped in a blender with fresh fruit and a sprinkle of nutmeg.

JWM: But how about people who have a sweet tooth? As you said, sugar is counter-effective in the long run. What should they do?

ES: One way to sooth your mood and save your waistline is to switch from fatty sweets to high-quality carbs, such as whole grain breads and crackers, brown rice, oatmeal, or starchy vegetables like corn or potatoes. Plan a mid-afternoon all-carb snack, such as half a whole wheat English muffin with jam, 3 fig bars, or drizzle honey over a toasted cinnamon bagel to counteract the desire to eat sweets at this crave-prone time of day. Also include carb-rich foods in your meals, such as pasta primavera or marinara, whole wheat couscous, or yams cut into strips and baked on a cookie sheet to make ‘French fries.’ (Serotonin also improves sleep, so a serotonin-boosting evening snack, such as air-popped popcorn or a scoop of sorbet, will help you sleep better, too!)

JWM: There is a lot that has been written about omega-3 fat DHA elevating your mood. How do you feel about that?

ES: You can definitely boost your spirits by taking either omega-3 fat DHA supplements of food rich in it. Research shows that this fat helps boost mood all year long, especially in the winter. In fact, DHA curbs depression by up to 50% in people who are the most difficult to treat; and even helps those who just battle a bit of grumpiness. Interestingly, researchers have found that people who are depressed have much lower levels of omega-3 fats in their blood, fat tissues, and brains — up to 36% lower than happy people. In fact, as omega-3 levels drop, so do levels of serotonin, leaving people grumpy, blue, and downright depressed. If your DHA levels are low, you have a 2.6 times greater risk of getting really crabby and blue compared to someone who keeps those levels high. On the other hand, up your intake of omega-3 fat DHA and serotonin levels rise and mood improves. The evidence is so overwhelming that the American Psychiatric Association in 2006 recommended omega-3s be included in any treatment for depression.

JWM: What are the best foods for omega-3 fat?

ES: You can get all the omega-3 fat you need from flaxseed, walnuts, canola oil, leafy greens or soy to help lower your risk for heart disease, but those foods will do nothing for your mood or memory. That’s because there are three omega-3 fats, and they are not all created equal. It is only the omega-3s in fish, especially DHA, which will boost your mood. Aim for 2 servings of omega-3-rich fish such as salmon every week, choose foods fortified with DHA, and/or take a daily supplement that contains at least 220 milligrams of DHA.

JWM: If we don’t see any improvement in our mood or appetite after a few weeks on a high-carb menu, what should we do?

ES: Try substituting some of those carbs for more protein. New research from the National Institute of Mental Health shows that some people don’t experience a mood boost when they eat high-carb diets. So, if you still feel grumpy after a week’s worth of the high-carb choices, try cutting back on the carbohydrates and  increasing protein intake by adding a slice of turkey or a glass of milk to the meal. Protein has a satiating effect that keeps you full longer and curbs cravings in some people.

JWM: A lot of people drink coffee to improve their mood. But for some, like me, it has the opposite effect. What are your thoughts about this?

ES: It’s better to limit coffee. While caffeine is a great pick-me-up, if you are drinking more than 3 small cups a day, it could be fueling fatigue. For the person who is sensitive to sugar or caffeine, simply removing these substances from the diet may be all it takes to reduce or even eliminate depression, according to research from the University of South Alabama. How coffee affects mood is unclear, although caffeine is a drug that affects the nervous system. Cut back or eliminate coffee, tea, chocolate, cocoa, colas, and caffeine-containing medications, such as Excedrin, Dristan, and Dexatrim.

JWM: We spend so much time in heated rooms in the winter, leading to not only dry skin, but dry everything. Is that a factor?

ES: Absolutely. Actually, the first sign of dehydration is fatigue, which is the stepping stone for depression. Many of us are mildly dehydrated, because thirst is a poor indicator of your body’s need for water. Drink twice as much water as it takes to quench your thirst, or at least 8 glasses daily. Drink even more water if you exercise intensely or drink a lot of coffee and tea.

JWM: Are there any other supplements that you recommend that can affect our moods?

ES: It is difficult in winter to constantly keep up the proper quantities of fresh vegetables and fruit. So several nutrient deficiencies, including the B vitamins, are more common in the winter that indicate a link to impaired mental ability and mood swings. More than one in four patients with depression is deficient in vitamins B2, B6, and B12, and folic acid. B-rich foods include chicken, legumes, fish, bananas, avocados, and dark green leafy vegetables. A moderate-dose multiple vitamin and mineral, supplies these B vitamins and can fill in the nutritional gaps on those days when you don’t eat perfectly. In addition, preliminary evidence suggests that low vitamin D levels, which can occur due to lack of exposure to sunlight, might contribute to winter blues. So make sure your supplement has at least 1000IU of this important nutrient.

JWM: What about exercise? Please don’t say to take a spin class or use the elliptical machines, my two fitness nemeses in any season!

ES: Any kind of exercise is good. It’s well proven that people who are vigorously active almost every day are at much lower risk for developing any form of depression, including winter blues.

Now if I can get my husband, The Lawyer, to sprint to take omega-3 supplements while drinking a gallon of water, I might have some peace around here before springtime!

Why You Should Stop Making Excuses & Cook at Home

IMG_4493As a fitness expert, I know everyone wants to look like a supermodel and eat like Miss Piggy. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work unless you are one of those rare individuals with exceptional genetics and metabolism. Eating out all the time is too tempting and thus we blow our diets. So I recommend that most people cook at home. In most cases I encounter initial resistance, and a lot of “genuine” excuses. From my experience, the best training results from being careful about what you consume and eating a healthy, balanced, protein-rich diet with fiber, healthy carbs, and healthy oils. Unless you have a personal chef, you will need to shop wisely for healthy, affordable food and cook at least some of the time.

Let me share with you some objections to healthy food preparation that I have heard from my clients, along with my own commentary and insights:

“It’s too expensive for me”
True, it costs more to buy healthy food, but at the end of the day, it’s worth it to add a few more dollars to the grocery bill in order to boost your intake of essential vitamins and minerals for the benefit of your skin, hair, body and immune system. There’s no doubt organic food is more expensive than conventionally grown food, but it’s so worth it. It’s your body and you only get one. Even if you buy organic, cooking at home ends up being cheaper when you factor in the cost of health care. Food is prevention; food is a cure to whatever ails us. So many diseases are stopped dead in their tracks by your immune system when you get the nutrition your body needs. We are all exposed to the same environmental stressors (viruses, pollutants and so forth), but not everyone gets sick or to the same degree. Viruses are more likely to thrive in an unhealthy body that is full of pollutants such as chemical additives, preservatives and saturated fats and lacking in vitamins and minerals. Your immune system needs proper fuel to function. Invest in yourself and your health by cooking at home, and spare yourself the days off work, the medication, and the medical bills.

“I don’t have time”
Maintaining health takes time: time to train, to shop, to cook, to research, to plan, to attend workshops, to watch educational or inspirational videos. He who doesn’t invest time in his health will eventually spend that valuable time treating and recuperating from disease. Those who want something badly enough will find the time to accomplish it. If you are a busy person, simply cook for the whole week in advance on the weekend — partition the food into meal-sized portions in Tupperware containers and freeze half of it. Before you leave the house, just grab a container of prepared food and you have a healthy meal ready to eat. If mornings are chaotic and rushed, prepare your breakfast the day before. For example, prepare your shake/smoothie the night before by loading the blender with the various fruits and vegetables and put it in the refrigerator; then in the morning simply take it out, and the ice, liquids (almond milk etc.), powders (protein powder, green powder, etc.) and hit the Smoothie button. Or prepare steel-cut organic oatmeal the night before and reheat it in the morning for a quick and healthy breakfast.

“I have no idea how to cook”
Everyone has family (parents, aunts, uncles, cousins) or friends who know how to cook. Spend some quality time with them in the kitchen and — who knows — you might even enjoy it! Also, we live in the Internet age, with so many recipes, tips, and instructional videos available at our fingertips. With this wealth of information there’s no way you won’t understand how to cook. Be willing to experiment, to make mistakes, and it will turn out fine.

“I’m not a good cook”
This one is a total cop-out. This means you haven’t put enough effort into it. With enough trial and error, you will get to competence. There’s no need to cook gourmet meals to eat well and healthy. Start with something simple, like an omelet, and move on from there. Take it one step at a time, like a child learning to walk. You wouldn’t expect a baby to run long distances at one year old, so don’t set unreasonable expectations of yourself as a cook either. Encourage yourself every step of the way, celebrate your successes, and be patient with yourself. Like anything, the more you do it, the better you’ll be at it. One day you just might surprise yourself by teaching someone else to cook.

You can find me online at www.orionsmethod.com

The Best Grab-N-Go Superfood Breakfasts

tumblr_mj4j59lg5R1rnp953o1_500If you’ve read some of my recent articles, you’ll know that I not only believe breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but that it should also be the largest. Not just for the reasons you likely heard as a child (i.e. improved mental focus and test scores), but because a big, nutrient-dense meal at breakfast also supports things like:

  • A healthy body weight
  • Stable energy due to less fluctuation in blood sugar levels throughout the day
  • Improved digestive function (a.k.a, stimulation of a regular, healthy bowel movement)
  • Manifesting your modern day superpower (mine happens to be finding decent parking spots)

Most days, I don’t have the luxury of a leisurely breakfast, and more days than I’d like to admit, breakfast happens while driving in my car. So, after many years of perfecting my need for grab-n-go breakfast options that meet my nutrition requirements, I landed on a few favorite options that give me everything I need to feel great and get my day off to a healthy start.

Superfood Muesli 

This is a recipe I was given while in naturopathic medical school. It can be eaten warm or cold, and it’s super easy to make. You can store a big batch for weeks and then place a scoop in a Pyrex dish the night before so you can literally grab it out of your fridge and go. I like to use soy milk as the liquid and add some honey for sweetness. It is incredibly dense and gives you a “stick to your ribs” kind of feeling which is great if you have a busy day ahead.

Superfood Smoothie 

One of the reasons I love smoothies is that I can throw supplements like vitamin D, fish oil and multivitamins into the mix to streamline my morning ritual even more. This recipe was my go-to breakfast almost every morning through both of my pregnancies. I’d often grab a handful of peanut butter pretzels as well to balance out some of the sugar from the fruit. Tip: Put all your smoothie ingredients into a large mason jar before going to bed so all you have to do in the morning is take it with you (if you happen to have a blender at work), or blend at home and then put back into the mason jar to use as a travel container.

Nut Butter Balls 

I came across this recipe while looking for snack options to have on-hand for my boys to eat. It turns out this recipe is not only easy to make and kid-approved, but a great on-the-go breakfast option. I like to add lots of goodies like chia seeds, flax seeds and fresh shredded coconut. You can make a big batch and keep in a large Pyrex container (create layers in the container using wax paper) for up to a week. Two or three of these balls and you’re satisfied until lunch, no problem.

Nut Butter Toast

When your best attempts at planning and prepping don’t manifest, there’s always basic nut butter toast. I like to trade between almond and sunflower butter, and when I know I have a big day planned, will make this into a toasted sandwich using two slices of stone-ground bread with a thin layer of jam. Basic and perhaps a tad boring? Yes. Super fast to make and easy to eat while driving? Absolutely.

Like this post?


Photo credit: Instagram @riiaberg

4 Delicious Breakfasts More Interesting Than Cereal

kefir-blue-1024x768No one can skimp on breakfast. My son’s kindergarten teacher said that she could tell which kids had eaten a good, nutritious breakfast. They were the ones who were still alert and interested at 10:30am circle time and kept right on going until lunch. I had to come up with a quick and low maintenance way the get my kids to eat a nutritious meal– and quick! Here are 4 easy, tasty, and nutritious breakfast recipes that are way more interesting – and healthier! – than breakfast cereal or any other average morning fare.

1. Coconut Milk Kefir


  • coconut milk – 2 cups, full fat
  • Body Ecology Kefir Starter – 1 packet


Shake the cans before opening them. This mixes the milk and the whey so that it is easier to handle. Empty the contents of the coconut milk cans into a clean quart mason jar.

Empty one packet of the kefir starter into the coconut milk. Mix well with a wooden (not metal) spoon.

Cover with a towel or a plate, but leave some room.You want to make sure that air can get into the jar. If it is airtight it will not turn into kefir. Let it sit for @36-48 hours. When it starts to thicken and has a mild “tang” it is done. The colder the place it is stored, the longer it will take and vice versa.

When it is sufficiently “kefired,” put an airtight lid on it and keep it in the fridge. It will keep for a few weeks. It will thicken up more when it is cold taking on the consistency of yogurt.

I use it in place of sour cream, as a fruity yogurt drink, as a yogurt topping on my berries, with apple crumb pie, as a base for smoothies, as a yogurt and  as a “cream” for soups.

2. Gluten-Free Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins


  • chia seeds – 1/2 cup, ground
  • hemp seeds – 1/2 cup, ground
  • coconut flour – 1 cup
  • garbanzo bean flour – 1 cup
  • coconut – 1/2 cup, shredded
  • Xantham gum – 1 1/2 tsp
  • baking powder – 1 tsp
  • himalaya salt – 1/2 tsp
  • bananas – 3 mashed ripe
  • vanilla – 2 tsp
  • coconut oil – 1/2 cup, melted
  • maple syrup – 1 cup
  • almond milk – 1 cup
  • dark chocolate chips – dairy-free 1/2 cup


Preheat oven to 375

Fill muffin tins with baking cups or spray pan with a non-stick spray

Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Stir well.
Mash bananas in a medium size bowl with the back-side of a spoon.

Add almond milk, coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla and mix well.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine thoroughly. Fold in chocolate chips (I use a dairy-free one called Enjoy Life or you can substitute raisins, dried cherries, walnuts, or any other add-in that you think would be yummy). I add chocolate to everything I can.

Spoon the batter into the muffin tins. Fill about 3/4 of the way because they will rise. I like to sprinkle a little bit of coconut sugar onto the tops of the muffins before I put them in the oven.

Bake for around 25 minutes.

These are a great breakfast, a lunchbox or snack. Give one to your kids when they are saying “When’s dinner going to be ready?” and it’s still 1/2 an hour away. It’s just enough to satiate them but not so much that it spoils their dinner.
These muffins are packed with Omega 3’s, potassium, fiber and protein. Not bad for a little muffin.

This recipe yields about 50 mini muffins which is equal to approximately 10 regular sized ones.

3. Oat and Almond Breakfast Bars


  • garbanzo bean flour – 2/3 cup
  • Xantham gum – 1/4 tsp
  • chia powder – 1/2 cup
  • hemp seeds – 1/3 cup, ground to fine flour
  • gluten-free oats – 1 cup, ground to a fine flour
  • almonds – 1 cup, raw, ground to a fine flour
  • coconut – 1 cup, shredded
  • himalaya salt – pinch
  • figs – optional
  • jam – optional
  • coconut oil – 2/3 cup
  • maple syrup – 2/3 cup


Preheat oven to 375

Combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Heat the coconut oil until liquid. (At room temperature it has the consistency of margarine.) Add the syrup and the oil to the dry ingredients. Mix well.

Line a 7X11 baking tray with parchment paper. You’re going to have to use your hands to get this flat and even in the tray.

This mixture does not rise and it does not melt. Whatever shape it has when it goes into the oven is exactly the shape it will have when it comes out.

Bake for 20 minutes. Do not overcook. It will become too hard. The center should remain soft.

Let it cool before you cut it into squares.

I keep the bars in an airtight container on the counter. When you are ready to eat them, cut them in half and add whatever filling strikes your fancy. I rotate between strawberry jam and figs but it can be whatever filling is appealing to you. To make the fig filling, soak a few dried figs overnight, and then blend until smooth.

I give my son 2 bars and a bowl of berries most mornings. This combination makes a delicious and nutritious breakfast that requires very little effort. Works for me!

4. Flax and Sesame Seed French Toast


  • sesame seeds – 1/3 cup
  • flax seeds – 1/3 cup
  • natural organic sugar – 1/3 cup
  • Udi’s gluten-free chia millet bread – 3 pieces
  • egg – 1
  • fresh berries – 1 cup
  • maple syrup – dollop
  • sesame seed oil – 1 tablespoon


In a dry saucepan, toast the sesame and flax seeds until they begin to pop.
Put the seed mixture in a grinder or a blender. This mixture can be kept for up to 6 months in the freezer, so you can grind a large quantity and save it for future use.

Combine the seed mixture with the sugar. Beat the egg in a shallow bowl wide enough to fit the the bread. Soak the bread in the egg, then, coat it with the seeds and sugar.

In a hot pan, cook the french toast with 1 tablespoon of good quality oil for high heat. I use Sesame Oil. Cook until the bread has got a nice brown crust on both sides. It should take about 2 minutes per side.

Serve with berries and maple syrup.



Originally published on my website, Tapp’s Tips.

Weight Loss Tip: Eat Your Dinner for Breakfast

GirlEatingDinnerFor many years, I operated a private practice as a naturopathic doctor in Southern California, specializing in the treatment of digestive diseases and side-effects of cancer treatment. Although weight loss support was never a service that I proactively marketed, it was an all too common issue that I found myself needing to address with my patient population. Really, this wasn’t a surprise to me, given that close to 70% of all adults in this country are overweight or obese. Every doctor, no matter their specialization, can likely relate to my experience – given the epidemic of overweight and obesity in our country, the need to treat these diseases is fundamental to successfully addressing the vast majority of other symptoms and illnesses plaguing our society today.

The weight loss protocol that I created was conceptually quite simple and consisted of two basic recommendations:

  1. Decrease reliance on packaged and fast foods and increase consumption of whole foods
  2. Make breakfast the biggest meal of the day, lunch the next largest and dinner the smallest

I consciously avoided complicated rules and trends such as those found in diets like “The Zone” or “Atkins”.  My goal was to create a mental shift in my patients from seeing a diet as a temporary thing to do to lose weight to a life-long way of approaching food in a healthy manner. Personally, I don’t have the time or interest to count calories, weigh my meals or eat the same frozen dinners over and over. Perhaps it was my own irritation with these trendy plans that played the biggest role in the advice I ultimately shared with patients.

To get started, I would often suggest a patient make one simple change: eat their dinner for breakfast and their breakfast for dinner. So, if they typically ate a chicken breast, green salad and slice of bread with butter for dinner and a bowl of cereal for breakfast, they’d just switch them up, simple as that. Although the idea of eating chicken breast and salad for breakfast was often a bit of a mental struggle, it was about as easy a change as you could make…no modifications to your grocery shopping list, no new recipes, no calorie counting.

More times than not, when I would see them at their next appointment, they had lost weight…amazing but true. With the idea planted (and some nice weight loss results as motivator), I would then work with them to find more suitable meal ideas grounded in whole food ingredients that followed the same approach of eating the largest meal at breakfast and the smallest meal at dinner.

Last week when I came across a study recently published in the journal Obesity that followed this same approach I was incredibly excited. I was even more excited when I read the results of the study that found significant weight loss as well as other improvements in fasting glucose, insulin and triglyceride levels in the treatment group. How wonderful it was to see this approach studied and to see it demonstrate such positive and measurable results.

I have often joked that I discovered the next diet fad and have even come up with a few potential names, “The Dinner-Fast Diet”, “Eat Steak but Only at Breakfast Diet” or maybe, “The Upside Down Diet”. Too bad I don’t have a publishing deal…it seems like I really may be on to something!

Like this post?

Jump Start Your Day with A Whey Protein Smoothie

Part of the ‘Nutrition Prescription’ by my anti-aging doctor is to increase the protein component in the mornings.  I now add 30 grams of protein (whey ion-exchange) to my breakfast smoothie which I drink while taking my supplements.  If I’m out of whey, I substitute with a large egg white omelette.  I’ll also have a protein shake immediately after heavy exercise.

What is Whey Protein Isolate?

It is the thin, watery part of milk which contains 1% whey peptides and is also the finest and highest quality proteins known in the world.  Whey is the highest biological value (BV) out of all protein and contains 90% pure protein which isn’t damaged by heat, thus preserving the integrity of each protein fraction.

What does it do?

  • WPI is a convenient, soluble, non-contaminated source of high quality protein.
  • Intake of liquid protein improves absorption into the bloodstream compared to solid tissue protein.
  • Supports the body’s immune system and gastro-intestinal health.
  • Supplies the building blocks for over 1 million different human proteins (making it a complete source of protein)
  • Stimulates the release of CCK (the "I’m full hormones") which modifies the appetite.
  • Raises metabolic rate through dietary-induced thermogenesis.

I love my protein shake routine in the morning.  I add blueberries, almond milk, and a scoop of yogurt – so delicious!

My ‘whey morning routine’ will also lower my cholesterol levels, increase mineral absorption, and keep my teeth and bones strong.  I know this has helped me decrease my body fat, increase my lean muscle mass and boosted my immune system.

To your health,

Kim Duess


You Be Healthy



Kid-Friendly Breakfasts

  Healthy Breakfast = protein + fruits or vegetables + whole grains + calcium

• Peanut butter and fruit spread on whole wheat toast, ½ an orange and a glass of milk
• Peanut butter spread on apple slices and a bowl of whole grain cereal with milk
• Toasted whole wheat bagel spread with peanut butter and honey, topped with slices of bananas and a glass of milk
• Bowl of oatmeal with brown sugar, peanut butter and milk and a glass of orange juice
• Breakfast burrito: scrambled egg, black beans, and salsa wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla and a glass of orange juice
• Breakfast Pizza: Toasted English muffin spread with marinara sauce, topped with a scrambled egg, sprinkled with cheese and toasted. Served with a glass of fruit juice
• Toasted English muffin, a hardboiled egg, a glass of milk and a bowl of strawberries
• Morning Classic: Scrambled egg, a slice of American cheese on a toasted bagel with fresh apple slices
• Yogurt, whole wheat toast, buttered, a handful of raisins and a glass of water
• Fruit smoothie with toasted whole wheat bagel with butter
• Toasted whole wheat bagel with cream cheese, topped with sliced mango and a glass of milk
• Slice of cheese melted on whole-wheat toast with orange slices and a glass of milk
• A bowl of whole-grain cereal with milk, a banana and a glass of water
• Buckwheat pancakes with maple syrup, a bowl of melon and a glass of milk
• Carrot Cake Muffin, a handful of cashews, grapes and a glass of milk
• French Toast with maple syrup, cinnamon apples and a glass of milk.
• Grilled ham with fresh pineapple, toast and a glass of milk
• Melt a slice of cheese on top of White Bean dip (or refried beans) spread on a toasted English Muffin. Serve with a glass of fruit juice
• Smoked salmon, tomato slice and cream cheese on a toasted bagel with a glass of orange juice
• Breakfast BLT: Turkey Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato and cream cheese on toast, with a glass of apple juice
French Toast with Cinnamon Apples
French toast does not have to be a weekend treat.  Make 8-10 pieces and freeze the slices (separate the slices with wax paper) in a freezer storage bag. When a French Toast morning arrives, take the French Toast slices out of the freezer, pop them into the toaster oven and get the syrup and apples ready!
  3-4 eggs
  1/4 cup milk
  8-10 pieces whole wheat bread
  Cooking spray or 1 tsp butter
  Maple Syrup
Cinnamon Apples (recipe below)
Heat a flat, non-stick pan over medium heat.  Spray the pan with cooking spray or melt the butter and swirl around to cost the bottom of the pan. In a flat-bottomed bowl or rimmed dish whisk together egg, milk and cinnamon.  Working one slice at a time, dip both sides of the bread slice in the egg mixture and place in the warm pan.  Brown both sides of the bread using a spatula to flip the bread slice over (about 2 minutes on each side).  Place on plate. Serve with cinnamon apples and maple syrup.
Cinnamon Apples
  2 Golden Delicious apples
  Dash of cinnamon
Wash, peel, and core the apples. Cut the apples into ½ inch pieces. Place the apple pieces in a plastic bag and sprinkle a dash of cinnamon over them. Close the bag and shake it so the cinnamon is distributed evenly over all of the slices. Place the apples in a microwave-safe dish and cook them in the microwave on HIGH for 3 minutes. Let them stand for 5 minutes. They are done if a fork slides into them easily.  Can be frozen.
Carrot Cake Muffins
A store-bought cake mix makes this recipe a snap!  Freezing these delicious muffins can make breakfast better (and easier) than ever!  Simply defrost and eat. 
  1 Package Spice Cake Mix (plus the ingredients listed on the box to make it)
  2 cups carrots shredded
  1 can crushed pineapple, drained
  ¾ cup pecans, chopped
  Paper Baking Cups for the muffin pan
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line the muffin pans with baking cups. Prepare the cake mix according to the package directions.  Stir in the carrots, pineapple and pecans. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups. Bake for 30 minutes.  Check for doneness by sliding a toothpick into the center of a muffin.  If it comes out clean, they are done. If not, bake another 5 minutes and check again.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans.
Spinach Quiche
Quiche is quick to make, and makes a healthy breakfast for children and adults. Make it ahead of time, cut it into single serving pieces, wrap the individual pieces in foil or plastic wrap and freeze them. In the morning just defrost and reheat in the microwave. Simple and very tasty.
¾ cup of shredded Swiss cheese
¾ cup of shredded cheddar cheese
¼ cup of finely chopped onion
1 (10oz.) package of frozen chopped spinach, squeezed dry
4 eggs
1 cup of half & half or milk
1 Tbsp flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 prepared 9 inch pie crust
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Sprinkle spinach and onion in prepared pie crust. Toss cheese with flour and sprinkle in the pie crust. In a large bowl gently whisk together eggs, half & half (or milk), salt and pepper. Pour this mixture over all of the other ingredients in the pie crust. Bake 50-60 minutes, or until knife inserted in middle comes out clean. Let stand 10 to 12 minutes before serving. If you are cutting it into single servings and freezing it, let the quiche cool completely.
Cheryl Tallman is the co-founder of Fresh Baby, creators of the award-winning So Easy Baby Food Kit, and author of the So Easy Baby Food Basics: Homemade Baby Food in Less Than 30 Minutes Per Week and So Easy Toddler Food: Survival Tips and Simple Recipes for the Toddler Years. Visit Cheryl online at www.FreshBaby.com  to sign up for her newsletter and her blog feed.


Begin Your Day & Year Right: A Week of Healthy Breakfast Meals

*For Breakfast Bruschetta with Basil-Parmesan Scrambled Egg Whites and High Protein Pumpkin Pancake recipe, see Recipes and Nutrition Section at www.LindaLaRue.com Make Healthy A Lifestyle free emagazine.

Begin your day with a healthy, balanced breakfast. Yes, breakfast is the MOST important meal of your day. Don’t skip meals or snacks, especially breakfast—you’ll actually activate your body’s starvation response, which will slow down your metabolic rate! A healthy, balanced breakfast will give your body the right fuel to keep your energy soaring, keep your body functioning optimally, and burning calories most efficiently.

When you first wake have a glass of 6 to 8 ounces. It will help rehydrate the body and stimulate the elimination process most efficiently. (Drinking water when you first wake is popular in Western cultures, such as Japan and India.) Here is a week of healthy breakfasts to help you begin your day and New Year off right.

Sunday: *Breakfast Bruschetta with basil-parmesan scrambled eqq whites. To drink, have 1 cup coffee or your favorite tea. (Bruschetta recipe click here .)

Monday Breakfast: ¾ cup of steel-cut (not instant) oatmeal, 3 scrambled egg whites, and ½ cups of fresh or frozen blueberries. To drink, have 1 cup coffee with low-fat milk or your favorite tea. Due to it’s high fiber content and high levels of certain fat-burning antioxidants, it may be considered a "fat burning" food. Plus, it will fill you up, so you won’t feel starved then, want to reach for something unhealthy.

Tuesday: 2 slices whole grain bread, such as Ezekiel @www.foodforlife.com, 2 tsp. almond butter, 1 T. dried cranberries. Toast break then, spread 1 slice w/almond butter and sprinkle cranberries. Top w/other slice to make a sandwich then, cut diagonally. To drink, have 1 cup coffee w/low-fat milk or tea.

Wednesday: TLT (Turkey Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato Sandwich) 3 slices cooked lean turkey bacon, toast 2 slices whole grain bread, lettuce, and 1 tsp. low fat mayonnaise. Spread 1 toasted slice of bread with low fat mayo, and set aside. Place slice bread then, top with 2 thick slices tomato, lettuce, lean turkey bacon then, top with other slice of bread w/mayo. Slice in ½. To drink, have 1 cup coffee with low-fat milk or your favorite tea.

Thursday: 1 Whole Wheat, Oatmeal, and Raisin Muffin (recipe taken from The SOUPer Slim Diet ebook), 2 tsp. almond butter

Friday: 2 High Protein Pumpkin Pancakes, and 1 T organic, unprocessed agave syrup. To drink, have 1 cup coffee w/low-fat milk or your favorite tea. ( Hi Pumpkin Pancake recipe click here.)

Saturday: 1 Whole Wheat, Oatmeal and Raisen Muffin and 6 oz. high protein blueberry smoothie. (see for recipe that is taken from The SOUPer Slim Diet ebook).

Upgrade your Oatmeal: Quick Quinoa Breakfast Recipe

New seasons are exciting because they usher in welcome changes to our usual routines. We wear new clothes, watch different sports, and eat seasonal menu items. What’s fall without football or summer without ice cream?

Chances are you’re less inclined to eat an ice cream cone in February or pumpkin pie in July. Likewise, you may find that your hearty breakfast of choice in the colder months is less appealing now. Still, it’s important to enjoy your whole grains and start off your day with a nutritious meal. My new fav alternative to a steaming bowl of oatmeal? Quinoa.

Quinoa is like oatmeal’s brawnier, older brother. It’s loaded with protein, packed with fiber, and one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. It’s great for lunch and dinner but usually overlooked for breakfast. The consistency is lighter than oatmeal, the flavor nuttier, and it can be served hot or cold.

Quick Quinoa Breakfast:

Mix a few splashes of vanilla soy milk and/or a pureed banana into cooked quinoa. Top with honey and fresh berries; feel your day begin with spring in your step.

What’s your favorite breakfast food?

Have an interesting question you would like to pose to the Intent community? Write up a question, add a brief description, and don’t forget tag your blog post QOD. It just might be featured for a future Question of the Day!


Though I love my sleep, I love my rare mornings when I wake up early enough to treat myself to a substantial breakfast. Today, I had Trader Joe’s cereal with soy milk, a hard-boiled egg, V8 juice and a banana. When I have avocados ripening in my fruit basket, I love to indulge myself to avocado and hummus on toast. On my lazy weekend mornings, I invest a little extra time in the kitchen to cook a vegetable fritata doused generously with hot sauce.

What do you love to eat for breakfast?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...