Monday, March 20, 2017
In Honor of Spring... Building a Better Breakfast Bowl
Colors for breakfast -- a typical workday feast.
As someone who frequently packs breakfast and eats it at work, my typically colorful breakfast bowls have drawn their fair share of curious looks. With the familiar grain-based breakfast stand-bys no where in sight, it's easy to mistake these savory bowls-full-of-veggies for anything other than what they are - breakfast.
What is breakfast, anyway? Intended to "break the fast," this is actually the most important meal of the day: our opportunity to fuel up with nutrient dense energy to get our brains and bodies ready to face the activities of our days. When you're looking for nutrients, the powerful phytochemicals in plants are an ideal place to start, and they aren't shy about advertising their presence. A good rule of thumb? Cook by color (this goes for all meals, not just breakfast!) The brighter the hue, the richer the nutrients, and the more variety the better.
Another key to building a breakfast that will last you all the way to the lunch break? Make sure you've got a good balance of proteins, carbs, and fat. All fruits and vegetables are carbs, so it's completely unnecessary to fortify your meal with lower-quality, higher-glycemic carbs such as breads, pastries, or cereal grains. While I would heartily agree that these foods are delicious, they are completely counterproductive if you are trying to build a healthy, filling breakfast as they will only make you hungrier faster. Because they digest quickly but bring few nutrients along with them, they trigger your brain to seek additional sustenance elsewhere.
For fats, lean heavily on the plant-based fats -- olive/coconut oil, avocados, nut butters -- and use saturated animal fats from responsibly-raised animals in moderation. When eating eggs, do yourself a favor and eat the whole thing. The yolk is the healthiest part, and it contains incredible amounts of vitamins, minerals, and good fats.
Without further ado, the breakfast bowl:
2 eggs, soft boiled. (See how golden the yolks look? That's an indication of a really well-cared-for hen out there)
Butternut squash + caramelized onion, skillet fried.
Lacinato (dinosaur) kale, sauteed with ginger and garlic.
Blueberries + blackberries. (I admit, these were an out-of-season treat -- can't wait til they reappear this summer!)
Olive oil, drizzled on top.
Coconut oil, used for sauteeing squash and kale.
*Half an avocado - not in this version, but often present.
Happy spring, and happy eating!