Food

Breakfast Ideas

Last week I blogged about my Special K experience, so this week I am exploring different ideas for healthy and filling breakfasts.

Like many people, I function better on a full stomach in the morning. Eating breakfast sets me up for the day and avoids the 10am I-will-just-nip-into-a-cafe-and-have-a-cup-of-coffee that invariably ends with coffee and a croissant.

Saying that, in comparison with a big bowl of Special K, there is no need to avoid the yummy croissant if that is what you really want since it has 6 points in comparison to 10 points for Special K.

My idea of a diet – or a healthy eating plan – is to have no absolute bans. If I want a croissant, I will  have one – but then I have to work around that the rest of the day. Which is why the Weightwatchers plan works well for me.

I avoid low fat food, as I am not convinced that they help with weightloss. A normal yogurt with some fresh fruit is still low in points enough and fills me up longer than a tasteless low fat yogurt. In the book In Defense of Food Micheal Pollan describes the way in which we are fooled into thinking that low fat = good. I can highly recommend the book, it made me look more closely at my eating habits and the way in which I view food.

I love baking, and there is nothing better than homemade bread. I use this recipe,  to make about 18 slices of bread, just over 2 weightwatchers points per slice. Spread with cream cheese or quark and jam or marmalade, it is a delicious breakfast that keeps me going until lunchtime. I bake bread a couple of times a week, it can be sliced and frozen if need be.

As an alternative to Special K, I put forward the humble – or not so humble muesli. Occasionally I treat myself to a muesli from mymuesli.com. This is a fantastic idea. I love muesli but don’t like nuts so that severely limits my choice of products. On the mymuesli.com website you can chose your base muesli – be it Tropicana with barley flakes, oat flakes, wheat honey pops and coconut flakes, or the more traditional Damn Nutritious with barley, spelt and oat flakes or one of the eleven other mixes. Then customise your muesli by adding other ingredients, such as sesame seeds, rice flakes, quinoa or linseed. Now comes the really fun bit.

You can add fruit to your muesli – bananas, apples, mango, pineapple, strawberries – nuts and seeds and “extras”. Extras are ingredients such as white choc covered cranberries/bananas/corn crispers, chocolate crunchies, choc raisins, even gummibears! Not sure I would want gummibears in my muesli, but to each their own. Each ingredient that you add makes the muesli slightly more expensive, so you do have to be careful not to fill your box too full.

You can of course go for a pre-mixed box such as the Copacabana Days – I worked this out as 4 points for 45g – which is this much. It doesn’t look like much but is very filling. Add milk and perhaps a spoonful of yogurt.

At the weekend, when breakfast is a meal to be lingered over and enjoyed, there is no reason to go without a cooked breakfast – within reason. Two rashers of bacon, a poached egg, beans and a grilled tomato for 6 points – for another two points add a hashbrown or slice of bread and you are still eating less than a large bowl of Special K.

Last week I made a fruit milkshake – so much better than one of those horrible Slimfast drinks, both for your health and your taste buds. My son had asked for a strawberry milkshake, but buying summer fruit in January is a no no in this house. I bought a packet of frozen raspberries/blueberries and popped them in the blender with a 1/2 litre of milk – shared between the three of us. It was almost an ice cream as the fruit was not fully defrosted.

There is nothing worse than getting up in the morning and facing a depressing diet breakfast of half a grapefruit and a ryvita cracker. We need to be inventive and unafraid to eat normally. Particularly those of us with a lot to lose are going to find it hard to stick to a strict diet of salad and fruit for long. I find if I have had a delicious, filling breakfast that I am much more likely to avoid the temptations of the bakery midmorning.

Here are my top 5 breakfasts – with Weightwatchers Points. Remember, I am on 29 points a day, so I am aiming for a breakfast of between 6 and 8 points.

Bread with Quark and Jam
Homemade bread  2 slices  5 points
Quark/Cheese       2 tsp      1 point
Jam                       1 tsp      1 point
Total                                  7 POINTS 


Great British Breakfast 
Bacon               2 rashers  3 points
Egg, poached                    1 point
Tomato, grilled                  0 points
Baked beans, 2tbsp          2 points
Total                                6 POINTS

Fruit Milkshake
Frozen fruit                        0 points
Semi-skimmed milk            2 points
TOTAL                            2 POINTS

Bread with Poached Egg
Homemade bread             5 points
Poached egg                     1 point
Butter, 2 tsp                      2 point
TOTAL                            7 points  

Muesli 
Muesli                               4 points
Milk                                  2 points
Yogurt                               1 point
TOTAL                            7 POINTS