I'm so excited for the first Basics series here on Delicious Balance!
I frequently get asked questions by friends, family, patients, and readers, about what to buy, what to look for in a food, what to make, and how to prepare certain foods. While my blog features tasty plant-based recipes, I have quickly come to realize that there is little education around the ingredients being used, how to shop for them, how to prepare them, what to have on hand for meals/snacks, what to eat at breakfast, etc.
That's where "Basics" comes in. Maybe it's my love for all things simple, but I want to give you a go-to place for the Basics in all areas of your veggie-prepping, food-eating, lunch-packing dreams.
My hope is to help my food-intimidated readers feel comfortable as they venture through the aisles of the grocery store and to help my food-loving readers pick up a few tips to add to their routine.
I decided to start out with my Breakfast Basics. Since breakfast is the most important meal of the day (and the main reason I go to bed at night), I thought it was the perfect place to start.
A lot of people skip out on breakfast due to time constraints, lack of hunger, or because they are trying to cut calories. I will be the first one to tell you that none of these reasons are good enough.
Using my Breakfast Basics List, you will have a fridge stocked of ingredients to grab a quick breakfast on the go. You can even prep things on the weekend to take the thinking out of it in the morning. If you're worried about not being hungry in the morning, your body will adapt and soon enough you will be waking up hungry. If not, you can bulk up your smoothie a bit with some optional add-ins and have a liquid breakfast on the go. It's usually easier to drink something than it is to eat something when you're not hungry.
If you are someone who skips breakfast because you are trying to cut calories, stop it right now! Studies show that people who eat breakfast in the morning, eat less later in the day (hello, 3 o'clock snack attack!). I'm not saying the first day you start eating breakfast you will break the snack habit, but over time, I bet you will find those cravings become less and less.
I love mornings, but that doesn't mean I want to get up extra early before work to cook myself a fancy breakfast. Don't get me wrong, I love a good baked oatmeal, tofu scramble, breakfast potatoes, or pancakes, but who really has time for that during the week? Not to mention, I like to set myself up for a successful and productive day in the morning, and I know my go-to breakfast will do just that.
Breakfast Basics Shopping List
Green smoothie ingredients: spinach, banana, frozen fruit
Old-fashioned rolled oats
Ezekiel bread (this is found in the freezer section at the grocery store. Store it in the freezer at home. You can stick it in the toaster to defrost it.)
Natural Peanut butter (preferably no salt added, check the ingredient list)
Optional: hemp seeds, flax seed, unsweetened dried fruit, raw sunflower seeds, pepitas, walnuts, pecans, berries
Oatmeal: Up next is oatmeal. Make a big batch on the weekend so you have enough servings of oatmeal on Sunday to get you through the week. I will be posting about preparing oatmeal later this week. Again, this is nothing fancy; just oats mixed with water. The fancy stuff comes in the toppings (or not...you choose). Oats are going to give you fiber and protein to fill you up and keep you satisfied throughout the morning. My toppings of choice are any combination of walnuts, pecans, raw sunflower seeds, pepitas, unsweetened dried fruit, hemp hearts, and flaxseed. If I have fresh berries on hand, I'll throw those on too but they aren't necessary.
Peanut butter toast: I usually have a slice of Ezekiel bread topped with natural peanut butter to go along with my oatmeal. This will give you additional fiber, protein, and healthy fat. It's not necessary but if you find yourself on the hungrier side, it's a good addition. If you didn't have a chance to make oatmeal, pop two slices of toast in the toaster. If you don't have toast on hand, drizzle some peanut butter on your oatmeal.
The foods here are what work for me. I encourage you to play around with your breakfast routine. You might find that this is too much food for you first thing in the morning or you might find yourself wanting more. Once you get a basic routine down, it's easy to know what your body wants/needs to get you through the day and you can get creative. You might decide to try out a new nut butter, get fancy with your smoothie, or opt for baked oatmeal. As long as you have the Basics stocked, you will be able to set yourself up for a productive day in no time!