Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Breakfast Revisited

Walk into any supermarket and you are greeted with an aisle full of colorful boxes in the cereal section. I call it Carb Alley. It’s unbelievable the selection we have to choose from. It’s clear that we love cereal and that we eat enough of it to keep the grocery shelves brimming with choices.

If you’re like most people, you were raised eating breakfast cereal every day. Hey, some of them are pretty tasty. But you know where I’m headed with this, right?
These colors don't normally appear in nature
Most breakfast cereals are full of garbage (see above). There isn’t even the slightest bit of nutrition in some of them – it’s amazing they can be called food. Even if you are eating some commercially- prepared thing that says it’s got “whole grains”, don’t fool yourself. It’s the grown-up version of the same crap the kids are eating - it just doesn't have all those pretty colors. So what’s my problem with cereal? It’s that it's trained us to eat sweets for breakfast. And, to be fair, it’s not just cereal. Unfortunately, other typical breakfast foods are equally sweet: pancakes, waffles, danishes, muffins. The problem is all that sugar. The only cereal that has very little sugar in it is All-Bran and you can just forget it - I think it rivals tree bark in taste.

I'm guilty of eating cereal too often, too, just so you know, and I'm on a mission to change my evil ways. My last blood count showed an elevated fasting blood glucose level that puts me in the prediabetic range and I'm none too happy about that. Obviously, my sweet tooth is catching up with me.

And when I read statistics that warn an estimated 48 million people will have diabetes by the year 2050, I am determined not to be one of them! What are we doing? We are on a path of destruction if we don’t change the way we eat. And it’s a no-brainer that sugar (in all its forms: evaporated cane sugar, corn syrup, and especially high-fructose corn syrup) is to blame. We simply have to eat less of it and breakfast is the place to start.

It has been said that breakfast is “the most important meal of the day” but many of us don’t really live it. A good start to our day would be to eat food that provides nourishment, sustained energy, and satiety. Instead, most of us get a sugar rush with our pastries and cereals as we run out of the house in the morning and then wonder why we “crash” later in the day. Then we need more sugar later on to perk us back up. It's a vicious cycle.

So, what to eat, if not cereal? We can look to a variety of cuisines around the world for ideas. Many countries eat protein and vegetables for breakfast. This isn't a bad idea actually, considering that these 2 food types would provide exactly what we need: nourishment, sustained energy throughout the day, and satiety.

So in trying to design myself a better breakfast, I realized that I love "scrambles", these unstructured concoctions of veggies and such, bound together with egg or even tofu, sometimes flavored with a little bit of bacon or sausage. Here's one I make fairly regularly. If you’re pressed for time in the morning, you could make it the night before, which I do during the week. I cut up extra vegetables in the evening at dinner and set those aside for later when I toss them together with onions and spices and saute them. Sometimes I make it with eggs instead of tofu; sometimes I omit the meat and make it vegetarian. Either way, it’s delish and so versatile. You can literally add whatever veggies you want, whatever spices or herbs you want, whatever protein you want.........it's totally customizable.

Christina's Scramble

1 onion, chopped
A small handful of sliced cooked sausage (of any kind) or bacon (optional)
Assorted veggies: zucchini, tomato,
mushrooms, fresh baby spinach leaves,
diced red bell pepper......
2 eggs, beaten with 1 Tbsp. of milk or half and half (or diced, medium firm cubes of tofu)
Salt and pepper

Begin by sauteeing the onion in a little olive oil or butter, unless you are making bacon. Then crisp up your bacon first, removing some of the drippings but leaving just a little in so your onion doesn't stick.

Saute until onions are soft. Add spices, stirring into the onion/meat mixture, and cook until fragrant. Add your veggies, saute 5-6 minutes or until crisp-tender. Pour your beaten eggs over the top, stirring while they cook. Season with salt and pepper.


  1. My mom made a variation of this that we ate for dinner as a side dish or main dish. She used garlic, fresh green beans, olive oil, fresh parsley, and eggs. We used to eat this meatless version during lent. Tasty, yet loaded with vitamins and proteins.

  2. That sounds great! I love green beans.


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