yogurt-filled-cantaloupe

Breakfast doesn’t have to be boring!

Those who know me, know I am a foodie.  What is a foodie? By definition: a person with a particular interest in food; a gourmet.  Yes, that’s me!  In previous posts I discussed eating around the world and all of the exotic foods I enjoy.  In this post, I thought I would get a bit more practical and answer some of the questions I most often get.  Other than how do I make my almond cookies, other questions usually revolve around the ‘most important meal of the day’ …breakfast.  Most people I know have a love and hate relationship with breakfast.  The ones who love it, including me, usually want pancakes, waffles, french toast, or all of the delicious, but not quite so healthy morning choices.  O and I were discussing how backwards it is to have those foods first thing in the morning, since they are bound to slow you down.  So instead, I made blueberry pancakes the other day from scratch for Brinner…Not that eating it at Brinner is any better, but we are focusing on breakfast ok!?

There is nothing wrong with enjoying a nice Sunday brunch now and then, but logically, we all know eating those delicious treats in the morning are not the best choices.  O coaches clients on fitness and wellness, and although he doesn’t meal plan, he teaches the basics: eat more protein in the morning, lots of leafy greens throughout the day, and try to make the ‘best’ decisions that make you function properly.  It really isn’t rocket science.  We all know what is good for us, we just prefer to have someone tell us it is ok to have fried chicken and waffles in the morning.  Well, you can, but if losing weight, building muscle, or staying as healthy as possible is your goal, then choosing fried chicken and waffles probably won’t get you there, and you know it!

It can be really overwhelming to think about making breakfast especially since we have the least time to prepare it.  O often suggests his clients ask me about breakfast food ideas. The biggest complaint I get is being tired of eggs.  Eggs are the go to breakfast protein.  I admit, that is mine too!  However, even I get tired of eggs or often don’t have time to make eggs when I’m in a rush.  Smoothie? Protein shake?  Great choices, but been there done that too.

Here are some ideas for AM protein and the best part is that breakfast is ready to eat in less than 5 minutes! (Caveat: it does take having these items in your fridge ready to go)img_3255

  1. Lettuce with smoked salmon and side of fruit — I like to drizzle olive oil, lemon juice, or a homemade organic Sriracha flavored mayo that I have on hand to spruce it up.
  2. Almond butter or hummus on celery sticks  — with the almond butter you can add raw cacao nibs and get the healthy tasty version of peanut butter cups (minus the chocolate, minus the peanut butter, minus the sugar and bad fat)
  3. Greek yogurt parfait – add nuts, berries, ground flax seed, chia seeds – get creative and eat it in a half cantaloupe — I personally don’t love cantaloupe, but the “experts” say it is the most nutritious fruit.yogurt-filled-cantaloupe
  4. Smoked salmon over watercress with avocado — again, top off with your favorite healthy dressings to add flavor
  5. Smoked salmon, cucumber, and greek yogurt wasabi wrapped in seaweed — I make greek yogurt wasabi by just adding a hint of wasabi into it and some lemon juice!

Breakfast doesn’t have to be boring, and it can be ready in less than 5 minutes.  I’m basically using this post to hold myself accountable and make sure that I go grocery shopping to have good breakfast choices on hand, so I get my protein in the morning too!  I’m sure O would approve.

 

China: Fried Scorpions

Eating around the world…

switz
2001: Locarno, Switzerland

O and I always talk about how lucky we are to have traveled the world.  We laugh because one of the first questions I asked him was if he had a passport.  I told him, he was going to need one immediately!  Sure enough a few months later we were in Locarno, Switzerland.

It’s been nonstop ever since.  For our 10th wedding anniversary I got us a push pin map so that we could track our travels.

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Red pins: Past adventures White pins: Soon to explore

It’s amazing to see how many places we’ve been, but more so how many we haven’t.  The world is so vast and I find it incredible how many places we have ‘yet to explore’ when I stop to think about it.

Our family started cruising when I was about 7 years old.  I like cruising, but not because of the buffets and the cheesy cruise ship entertainment, but because I am truly disconnected from work.  I ‘could’ connect to the internet, but at $5 a minute?  NO thanks!  I completely disconnect from my trusty iPhone and being at sea allows me to truly relax.  Relaxation is something I have a hard time doing ‘on land’.

For me, seeing different countries involves more than going to the iconic landmarks and tourist spots.  I always start my research by finding where the best places are to eat local food.  In doing this, I get to meet local people and truly immerse myself in the culture.  I love eating.  O really loves eating.  I usually organize my own food tour that is centered around trying the best food in the area.  I tend to get a little crazy with research (by now you know I like planning), so sometimes it takes me months to finally nail down the tour, but once I do, the reward is in our bellies.  So I wrote today’s post with the intent to share only a few of my favorite foods we have eaten along the way. (and perhaps make you hungry)  Happy eating everyone! Feel free to share some of your favorite foods and leave a comment below.

 

Note: Yes, that helium balloon was eatable at Alinea in Chicago.  That was by far one of the most amazing dining experiences I ever had. Maybe it deserves its very own food blog one day!