Tuesday, August 20, 2013

How We Start Off the Day

I like to be full. Not so much stuffed and uncomfortable, but I'd rather not be hungry. When eating at a caloric deficit, sometimes this can be difficult, so I've tried to find food items that are filling, nutritious, and low calorie. Surprisingly, there is a lot of food that fits this formula.

To keep myself from getting that hungry feeling, I eat 5-6 times a day. I use www.myfitnesspal.com to track my nutrition, and it's an excellent site. I highly recommend using as a way to help be accountable for your food intake. In fact, please feel free to add me as a friend. My username is nsemrau.

For this post, I'd like to focus on breakfast. I like to eat a big breakfast, because I've just gone for the longest stretch of my day without eating, I typically work out immediately after waking up, and I like to be full through the morning. I tend to fix breakfast for the whole family every morning:

  • Courtney: Veggie egg-white omelette with avocado.
  • Nick: Veggie egg-white omelette with avocado, and a side of beans.
  • Macey: Regular egg, prepared in the way she feels that morning, fresh fruit, pumpkin oatmeal.
  • Jack: Regular eggs, typically scrambled with ham and vegetables, and fresh fruit.

Veggie Egg-White Omelette with Avocado

The kids meals are pretty straightforward, so I won't go into much detail on theirs for now, but I take some serious pride in my omelettes. If you're looking for a healthy way to fill your belly each morning, I recommend giving this a try.

Ingredients: Typically, I use what vegetables we have on hand, from the grocery store, the farmer's market, or our garden. Today our omelettes contained:
  • Diced bell peppers (~¼ c)
  • Sliced sweet peppers (1 small pepper)
  • Sliced jalapeno (~½ of a pepper)
  • Sliced baby portobello mushrooms (~½ c)
  • Diced red onion (~¼ c)
  • Diced Roma tomato (1 tomato)
  • Sliced grilled chili peppers (1 pepper)
  • Mashed avocado (½ of an avocado)
  • Canola oil (~ 1 tsp or so)

I start by heating about a teaspoon or so of Canola oil in each pan while I clean and slice the mushrooms, sweet peppers, and jalapeno peppers. I diced two hole bell peppers from the farmer's market the other day, as well as an entire red onion so they were ready to go without any further prep work.
I toss the bell peppers, sweet peppers, jalapenos, and mushrooms (no jalapenos for Jackson just yet - I'm working on it), into each pan and sauté  them a bit to spread around the oil. I add some cubed ham to Jackson's pan.
While the mushrooms and peppers are cooking, I tend to work on some of the other things that need started, prepped, dished, or heated up. For example, I start coffee brewing, I have Macey's oatmeal warming up in the microwave above the stove, and I dish up a hard-boiled egg (her egg choice today) with some salt and pepper. When I'm done with that, and the peppers and mushrooms have cooked for a bit, I add red onion to the pans and prep Jackson's eggs by beating them with salt and pepper.

After his eggs are prepped, I typically dish out fresh fruit onto the kids' plates. We have a lot of berries right now, so I don't have much cutting to do compared to apples, peaches, etc. I also dice tomatoes at this point, then add them to the omelette pans. Finally, I pour the eggs over Jackson's ham and veggies, and scramble them in. After the scramble sets a bit, I let it sit over low heat to cook a bit more while I prep our egg whites. There's not much to prepping egg whites, though. I just use 1/2 cup in in each pan. 

I'd like to think that pouring the egg, or in this case egg whites, over the veggies to make a single-pan omelette is an awesome skill. It's taken me some time to get it down, and I no longer have any ruined omelettes (which simply become scrambles). The key is to use a sauté snap to toss the cooked vegetables so you're confident that none are stuck to the pan, then, with the veggies mostly on one half of the pan, pour the egg in the empty area and let it run under and around the veggies. Pull the veggies over the egg with a spatula, and then lightly shake the pan until the veggies float on the egg. If any pieces seem stuck, use your spatula to free them and pull them on top of the egg. Then, increase the heat just a little bit and let the egg set. Again, this is the part that takes the most practice, but it is so worth it once you get it down.
Because kids are best served first, I add Jackson's eggs to his fruit plate and take Macey's oatmeal, egg, and fruit to the table before I finish up with the omelettes. By the way, Jackson is a huge help and sets the table while Macey finishes getting ready in the morning.

With the kids happily eating, I finish up the omelettes. Courtney's parents brought us a nice big box of roasted chili peppers recently, and I've been putting them in everything.  A roasted chili goes great on an omelette, by the way. I simply cut off the stem, slice it lengthwise, and lie it on one half of the cooking omelette to warm up. 

The best part of this entire breakfast, though, is the avocado. I split a whole avocado between Courtney and I, mash it up, and add some seasoning. This then becomes the prefect spread that adds moisture and fat to the omelette  and takes the place of cheese. And it tastes awesome. And it's good for you. You should try it. :)

After I spread the avocado mash on each omelette, I tend to adjust the heat down a bit so as not to burn the egg whites. I also dish up a half cup of prepared beans on my plate, because I love to be full. Beans are great because the keep me full, have a decent amount of protein, and are low in calories. I tend to prep dried beans in fairly large batches and heat them up with my meals. I warm them up in the microwave as the omelettes finish cooking.
Finally, to serve an omelette, I simply slide it halfway out of the pan onto a plate, then fold it over using the pan. That's it. Normally I top it with diced green onions, but we're currently all out. 

Nutrition Facts

Avocado Egg-white Omelette
  • Calories = 286
  • Fat = 19 g (3/4 from the avocado, 1/4 from the canola oil)
  • Carbohydrates = 14 g
  • Protein = 16 g
  • Sugar = 9 g (mostly from the Roma)

Mixed Beans
  • Calories = 120
  • Fat = 3
  • Carbohydrates = 25
  • Protein = 8 g
  • Sugar = 1 g
So, here's how I start off my day. A super full belly for about 400 calories and over 20g of protein, not to mention all of the good fats and nutrients from the oil and veggies. 

Thanks for reading!

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