January 10, 2018

Faux Fancy Breakfast

A few months ago, I started working with my friend and weight loss expert, Gina Livy, to change my eating habits, and well, lose weight.

I didn't overly broadcast this, because, truthfully, I wanted to make sure I could do it. Often, I jump into a new regime or diet and tell the world, only to quit a few weeks later. But there's no quitting this, because it's not a diet. It's a retrain, and it's a work-in-progress. Some days are easier than others. Some days I indulge. And then I get back on the horse and continue where I left off. 

I'm a bit of a control freak and food is a weakness to me. I use the word weakness because it makes me weaker. Controlling what I eat and when I eat and how much to eat is a challenge because I love food, and food is a big, HUGE part of my life. So I've learned (and am learning) at channelling this love and creating new meals and snacks that excite me but are still good for me.

I told Gina when we started this process that I NEED to be able to eat good (tasting) food. And I don't want to eat salads every single day. And she assured me that was possible. And then there's the social aspect -- I eat socially all the time. Especially over the holidays. And that's when I become a bottomless pit and the food just funnels in. And the snacking. The eating after dinner. It's not easy telling your brain to shut off. Sometimes, I cave. But I'm also trying to eliminate the guilt and if I'm going to snack or treat myself, see it as a treat, enjoy it, and move on. 

The good news -- I love food and I love cooking. Many people would see that as a detriment, but I've made it my positive. I love experimenting with recipes. Truthfully, I haven't eliminated much, except sugar, and the biggie -- bread. I wasn't happy about eliminating bread (and pasta!) from my diet, even though I thought I didn't consume that much. I've learned that, too, was not true. I DID consume a lot/too much -- at least once a day. Don't get me wrong, I've had some pasta and bread and pizza in the last few months. Of course I have. It's still one of my favourite things. But now, every bite of bread or pasta is calculated and methodical, and that's not meant to have a negative connotation. Rather, it's a reminder to myself to enjoy it when I want it. Don't over-indulge. Measure it, eat it, savour it, move on. 

I won't go into all the specifics of this new way of eating, cause you can bug Gina about that, but I will be taking some time and space to share some great new recipes I've been trying that are yummy and good for you, too.

One thing I've tried to do is incorporate protein into every single meal or snack. Breakfast is sometimes a challenge. I don't eat cereal, and toast is out of the question. I love eggs, but even that can get boring if you're eating them every single day. So I created one of those fancy breakfast bowls that we see all the time -- only, mine isn't so fancy, it just looks it.

There's no cooking involved here, because I used PC Blue Menu Instant Steel Cut Oats (made with water and microwaved). Don't like the microwave? Opt for the non-instant version and make it on the stove. I drizzled a tsp of maple syrup to make it slightly sweeter. Then, I topped with some shredded coconut, some chia, and a sliced apricot. Apricots are loaded with sweet, tangy flavour and they're super high in fibre and potassium. But if I'm being super honest, it's the only fruit I had in the fridge that wasn't an apple or an orange. I really wanted some berries in here, but that's ok. The apricot was delicious. And I was out of hemp seeds, or I could have put those in there too.

Basically, use what you have. Assemble the dish and voila. 

It's colourful and quite tasty. High in protein, a little bit of fat, little bit of sugar and filling enough to get you through until snack time. And there's no bread (steel cut oats are ok because they're a whole grain and slow release sugar), no milk, and no animal products (though I'm not vegan, this breakfast is). 

And it's fancy. Not really, but whatever makes you happy to eat healthy!

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