Sunday, May 15, 2011

Breaking the Fast



It is proven that breakfast is one of -if not- the most important meals of the day. It breaks the fast your body has been in since your last meal (hence the name), it gives you the necessary energy to start the day, and it get's your metabolism warmed up.

My problem is that I've never been a breakfast person. As a child I remember my mother begging me to at least have a sip of milk, or a bite of something, which I would begrudgingly agree to, having to use all my might to swallow. I'm simply not hungry right out of bed. Good thing is that as I've gotten older, I've come to understand the importance of making this a habit. I now have a few options I rotate to get the necessary nutrients, without having to have a "full" breakfast.

At the top of my list are smoothies and shakes, which are easy to make, easy to ingest and if made with the right ingredients, can give you all the nutrients you need for a complete meal. I make mine with water and fruit for vitamins and carbs, plus a good whey powder for protein and amino acids, and sometimes add coconut milk or almond milk for texture, or Kefir for texture and probiotics, Below is a list of my favorite ingredients which you can find at Wholefoods, any supermarket, health food store or Amazon.com.

Milk:
- 365 Almond Milk (unsweetened) from wholefoods. Rich and creamy. I buy the one in the refrigerated section, but the tetra pack is equally as good.
- Pacific Organic Almond Milk (unsweetened). Lighter creamy texture.
- So Delicious Coconut Milk. The name says it all.

Kefir:
Kefir is a fermented milk product which contains more beneficial bacteria than yogurt, has no lactose so it's very easy to digest, and has a good amount of protein. It's been around for bout 2,000 years and It's pretty close to perfect. It's one of my favorite foods in the whole world. I was so obsessed with it when I discovered it, that I was making my own at home every day (I will post the instructions if you're interested, let me know).
- Redwood Hill Farms Cultured Goat Milk Kefir (Plain). I LOVE this stuff! yes, it's goat milk, yes, you should give it a try.
- Lifeway Organic Low Fat Kefir (Plain). Made from happy cows, creamy and delicious.

Fruit:
Fresh when in season, or frozen, which adds a nice icy texture to the shakes.
-  Berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries).
- Peaches.
- Mangoes.
- Bananas (in very small amounts).

Whey Proten:
Whey protein is the mixture of isolated proteins from milk. It has no lactose. 
- "Metabollic Reset" by Nature's way. Great vitamin a mineral content plus added fiber and sweetened with Stevia.
- Bluebonnet Whey Protein Isolate. Made from grass fed happy cow's milk. It's just straight up whey protein powder.

Here are two of my favorite recipes, which I made up, hence the silly names. I use the basics and tweak depending on my mood that day. You can adjust depending on the consistency and flavor intensity you prefer. The key is to not overdo it with the fruit, otherwise you end up consuming too many carbs and sugars.

These are single portions, just double up if you are making enough for two (my husband loves these as well).

Berry Blast
1 cup water
1/2 cup Kefir
1/2 cup berries
1 scoop whey protein powder
6 small ice cubes
Bit of Stevia
Put ingredients in this order in the blender and whiz until all the ice is crushed.

Almost Chai
1 cup almond milk
1/2 teaspoon ground cinammon (or 4 dashes from spice jar)
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (or 4 dashes from spice jar)
1/2 banana
1 scoop whey protein powder
6 small ice cubes
Bit of Stevia

Put ingredients in this order in the blender and whiz until all the ice is crushed.

Super easy to make, delicious and easy to cleanup. Enjoy!

Paola

2 comments:

Rita said...

...from one former anti-breakfast person to another : Amen to smoothies, Period!

Rita said...

Trader Joe's Almond Milk is as good, price-friendly and same caloric value too. Tasty!!
Also Silk Almond Milk has an unsweetened version that is good too!