Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Step 1: Eat a Better Breakfast

Its the time of year when everyone starts thinking of making a fresh start. New Year's resolutions almost always entail losing weight and eating better. My best advice to you this year is to not make a resolution. Resolutions are made to be broken so instead, decide to be more mindful about what you eat. In the process you will find yourself making healthier eating choices and losing weight in the process without the stress of a real diet or the guilt of breaking a promise to yourself.

Why wait until January 1 to get a fresh start? Start today by taking a simple first action. Change one meal out of the day – eat a healthier breakfast. Instead of starting the day with a bowl of oatmeal or a bagel, opt for foods that will give you energy throughout the entire morning. Our bodies preferred fuels are fats so fear them not! Change up your breakfast routine by simply eating high fat, high protein choices like eggs and bacon. Our hunter-gather ancestors weren't reaching for the Cheerios upon waking, they needed nutrient dense foods like nuts, berries, and meat from the previous night's hunt.

Try this one small step and see how different you feel after a week or two. Are you still getting hungry hours before your lunch break? Then eat a bigger breakfast but keep it grain- and sugar-free. Notice how much more awake you feel in the morning compared to the muffin morning. Skip the freshly squeezed orange juice and go for black coffee or tea instead. Lose the sugary yogurt and choose plain, Greek-style that you add your own berries and nuts to.

If you're feeling adventurous you can even make pancakes. You won't find these pancakes on any Grand Slam menu but they are so simple to whip together you can have a stack any day of the week. I've tried various flours and combinations to make a Paleo pancake but using nut butter seems to work the best. Keep the pancakes on the small side because they will be hard to flip if they are too large. With a little practice you'll get them just right.

Paleo Pancakes

adapted from Mark's Daily Apple

2 very ripe bananas

2 heaping tblsp almond butter (or cashew)

1 egg

pinch of salt

tsp vanilla

In a bowl mash the bananas to a paste with the back of a fork. Stir in the almond butter, egg, salt, and vanilla then mix well to combine. Stir until a batter comes together and there are no lumps. Pulsing the ingredients in a food processor would work just as well.

Heat a large skillet with coconut oil on medium/high heat. Add about 1/4 cup of the batter at a time. Flip after about 2-3 minutes (you won't see the bubble-up like normal pancakes) and cook an additional 2-3 minutes. Serve hot with melted butter, berries, walnuts, or coconut syrup.

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