Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Healthy Breakfast

One thing I’ve learned early on is that breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. The trick is to find what will work for you, and it’s different for everybody.

Here’s a few Breakfast ideas that I use regularly:

Steel Cut Oats

1 cup of uncooked steel cut oats
4 cups of water
Pinch of salt
1 cinnamon stick

1- Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan.
2- Add the oats, the salt and the cinnamon stick. Reduce the fire and simmer for a few minutes, until it starts to thicken.
3- Remove from the fire, cover and let sit overnight.
4- In the morning, take out what you need, and heat up with a little milk and whatever add-ons* you want in there.
5- Place the rest in a Tupperware and keep in the fridge for several days taking out what you need every morning.

Note: My favorite add-ons are sliced banana, raisins, sugar-free syrups (not too much!) or honey. I’ve also put a little pumpkin puree and pumpkin spices. You put whatever you want in there and let me know if you find something great!

Frittata (or Egg Pies as I call them)

1 whole egg
3 egg whites
Very thinly sliced onion or shallot
Shredded carrots
Minced garlic clove
½ tsp cumin,
¼ tsp chili powder,
¼ tsp turmeric
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped cilantro for serving

1- Lightly beat the whole egg and the egg whites together, add the spices and combine well.
2- In a 8 inch nonstick pan, sautéed the onions and carrots for 2-3 minutes, add garlic, sautéed for an additional minute. (note 1)
3- Lower the fire and add the egg mixture. (Note 2) Cook until almost completely set. In the meantime, pre-heat the broiler.
4- When the frittata is almost set, cover the pan handle with foil (to protect from the heat) and put under the broiler until completely set.

Any mix of vegetable and spice would work. Cheese would certainly work also I’m sure. You can make this the night before and keep it in the fridge. Makes a good “take along” lunch also.

Note 1: I like to remove the veggies from the pan, put in the egg mixture, and then “sprinkle the veggies in so that it looks prettier.

Note 2: You could also cook the veggies, put the egg mixture in muffin cups, add the veggies and bake until almost set, then put under the broiler, to make mini-frittatas.

Open Egg Sandwiches

2 slices of light whole wheat bread
2 slices cheese (I don’t eat cheese, but bet it’d work)
2 slices Canadian bacon
2 eggs poached, or fried

1- On a plate, put the two slice of bread, top with cheese, Canadian bacon, egg and then salsa.

Note: It’s messy, but it’s good, and really quick to put together.
A variation of that is to have hard boiled egg, and mash them in a bowl, and then spread them over the Canadian bacon before topping with salsa.

Those are my quick throw together breakfasts. I know there are tons of other great ideas out there. Leftovers also make a great breakfast in a pinch.

The only “rule” about breakfast is to have one. It starts your day right, boost up your metabolism, and make sure you aren’t ravenous by lunchtime!

Just Do It

This is something I posted a while ago on the WW message Boards, it reflects my general philosophy very well, I though it would be a good way to start this up!

Just Do It

The questions or requests that I see very often and that really makes me wonder are “Motivate me” or “Inspire me” or “How do I get started”. It seems like we stand there, thinking: “I need to do that”, but we just stay there and wait for… something. What are we waiting for? Why is it so hard to get started?

My answer to that is always “Just do it”. Do something, take that first step and see where it’ll take you. It never seem to make sense to people. “Easy to say, but I can’t be active because I don’t have a gym membership, I don’t have work out clothes, I can’t afford the Bowflex and all its cousins. I don’t have the time, I don’t have the money, I don’t have the motivation. I don’t, I don’t, I don’t! STOP IT ALREADY!

Being active doesn’t mean becoming a fitness competitor. You don’t have to lift weights to be healthy, or to do those humongous cardio session. You have feet? Walk. Not much time? Get up in the morning and walk before work, take half your lunch break and walk, Before you get home after work, stop by a nice park and walk for a bit. Take the kids along and teach them early on that being active is fun. Go Dancing. It’ll do wonder to your stress level!

Now there’s the money issue, I sure understand that one. But you don’t have to have the Bowflex, I grew up watching my mom do curls with tomato cans! A comfortable pair of shoes, comfy shorts, a T-shirt, there you go! The media are full of the “performance shoes” and super duper work out clothes and stuff like that. Are you shooting for the Olympics? No? Then you don’t NEED the top of the line, if you can afford it, go for it, but you don’t need it. Start small, then if you find an activity that you really get into, you can “gear up” bit by bit.

My favorite is “I’m not motivated”. Motivation doesn’t come down from the sky with sparklies and a little music. It comes from within; it’s something that you work yourself into, not the reverse. You get started, and as you go, you realize the benefits of what you’re doing, and that turns into motivation. Yeah, sometimes it sags a little, don’t we know it, but then remind yourself why you’re doing this, how it feels when you eat right, how it feels when you’re moving, and JUST DO IT. Motivation will come back as the results of your hard work start to show.

Bottom line is, your body doesn’t care how busy you are, how much money you have, or how motivated, or unmotivated you are. Your body responds to what you do. So go ahead, JUST DO IT. No need to do it fancy, no need to do it pricy, JUST DO IT!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Starting from the beginning!

Wow, my first blog post!
I'm not even sure why I'm starting this. I am not any more knowledgeable than anybody else. I've walked my path, and have learned a lot. Hopefully, I have a lot more to learn.
My idea here is to share what I've learned, and what I will learn. Maybe it'll help somebody on their own lifestyle journey. I'm hoping this will be more than another "weight loss log", but rather a place to share discoveries and ideas to make life in general a healthier, more enjoyable journey.
Hum, big contract right?
So give me a chance to learn how this thing works, and to put my ideas together, and I'll get started. I'm hoping to get ideas, suggestions, comments from whoever is reading.
Welcome to my little spot on the web!