Try This, Not That: Healthy Swaps for a Better Breakfast

Welcome to part 2 of Try This, Not That, the series devoted to simple, wellness boosting, swaps for your favorite foods. This series has me excited (and based on the positive response from last week, it has my readers excited, too)! Last week was all about drinks and now we are moving on to breakfast.

Here are seven simple and healthy swaps for breakfast. Easy ways to infuse a little more wellness into your life, while still satisfying your taste buds. Read on for ways to make your breakfast better!

Full Transparency: I do NOT have financial affiliations with any of the brands mentioned below. They are products that I personally buy and give a thumb’s up — free of conflict of interest.

Instead of a Bagel with strawberry cream cheese . . . Try Ezekiel's or Dave’s Killer Bread with Nut Butter and Fruit

Bagels. You either love them or feel ambivalent towards them. Me? I used to love the taste, but loathed how I felt an hour later (bloated, tired, hungry).

Instead of the extreme refined grain hit a bagel gives you, opt for something better. Simpler, really. Whole grain bread (I love Dave’s Killer Bread or Ezekiel's for this), nut butter (sunflower works if you have an allergy), with fresh sliced fruit. If you are craving a shot of sweet, a thin drizzle of raw honey is the perfect topping. This breakfast will leave you satisfied and ready to take on the day!

Instead of Quaker Oat Packets . . . Try Steel Cut Oats

These unassuming packets are like eating White Bread with a cinnamon and sugar sprinkle. Instead, have the real deal. Steel cut oats with real fruit, nuts, flaxseed, and a drizzle of natural sweetener (if you please).

Want some inspiration? Read The Breakfast Mistake Most People Make. It also includes a recipe for homemade steel cut coats.

Instead of Aunt Jemima Syrup . . . Try Real Grade B Maple Syrup

High fructose corn syrup is bad news bears. It’s linked to attention deficit disorder in children and is WAY too sweet. If you desire something sweet, I much prefer you go the natural route. Grade B maple syrup has a rich and distinct flavor, while maintaining a small amounts of nutrients. Keep it real.

I’m crushing on this maple syrup from my local market. It’s flavor is rich, color is amber, and taste is unrivaled.

Instead of Conventional Cereal . . . Try Natural Cereal

When I first met my husband, he was a time-crunched and overworked intern. And he ate sugary cereal for dinner many nights. He figured since he purchased it from Trader Joe’s, it was okay. Newsflash: any cereal with chocolate and frosted in the name is a far cry from wellness. Skye to the rescue!

If you love cereal (and personally, it’s not really for me), there are better options. Go for something simple: an unsweetened, whole grain choice. Think Trader Joe’s Organic Corn Flakes, Kashi, or the British favorite, Weetabix.


Instead of Coffee . . . Try a Breakfast Smoothie + Cup of Herbal Tea

Okay. I understand a breakfast smoothie is not the same as a coffee. But hear me out.

Most of the time, coffee is used as a morning pick me up. Instead of using caffeine (and often cream and sugar), try a nutrient packed smoothie. The natural energy boosters (vitamins and minerals) in a homemade fruit and vegetable smoothie can work wonders for you. Want some ideas? Try the smoothie included in The ABCs of Wellness: 3 Foundations for a Happier & Healthier Life NOW. Or my Glow Getter Smoothie recipe.

Sometimes it’s the morning ritual of preparing your coffee and enjoying a warm drink that gets you hooked. If this is you, welcome herbal tea to your life. Tea can satisfy your morning ritual and leave you feeling better.

My favorite herbal teas? Tazo Refresh, Yogi Relaxed Mind, Savrika Sound of Om, Remedy Teas Mind Body Soul, and basically anything from TeaZaanti (loving the coconut chai rooibos tea right now).  

Instead of Eggo Waffles . . . Try Nature’s Path Waffles

Leggo your Eggo. Immediately if not sooner.

Have a homemade waffle. And if that takes too much time from your precious morning minutes, give Nature’s Path Gluten Free waffles a chance. Nature’s Path waffles are whole grain, preservative-free, and cook in just a few minutes.

Instead of an Egg White Omelette . . . Try Whole Eggs

Sometime in the 90s, eggs became the villain. Because eggs contain cholesterol, it was determined that consuming them would increase your cholesterol. Except that is NOT how it works in our bodies.

Eggs have since been vindicated, but many do not realize it.

In fact, it kills me that McDonald’s recently added an egg yolk-free breakfast sandwich. It’s as if they took the last whole food served at McDonald’s and altered it for the worse.

So if you like eggs, then eat them. Simple, whole, and real. And take care in their preparation. Lovingly and consciously cook scrambled eggs (at low heat with supervision and a dusting of salt and pepper) taste incredible.

Take the Try This, Not That Challenge

Pick one of these switches and trial it for the week. Give it three tries before you make a final decision. If your palate is used to Strawberries and Cream oatmeal packets, it may take time to accustomed yourself to the authentic texture and flavor of steel cut oats with fresh berries. And if you are used to the high fructose corn syrup of Aunt Jemima, you may need to try maple syrup a handful of times until it pleases your palate. Rest assured, this is perfectly natural. And progress, really. Because you are resetting your palate to enjoy natural, healthy options that enrich your wellness.

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Sending you light,

Skye

The Breakfast Mistake Most People Make

The Myth

I’m writing this from Jackson Hole where I’ve spent an incredible few days with my husband. We’ve hiked, biked, and dined our way through the Grand Tetons. And yesterday while enjoying a lazy breakfast on the patio, sitting in the early morning sunshine and watching the horses on the property frolic, I realized something IMPORTANT I need to share with you.

It’s a mistake almost everyone I work with makes that sabotages best intentions to feel and look their best. And it has to do with breakfast.

Breakfast is a HUGE area of confusion.

Many times I’ll have someone proudly tell me they eat oatmeal for breakfast every morning. When I ask which kind, they almost always say, “The microwaveable kind in the packets.” This is often followed with descriptions of brown sugar and maple or cream-of-some kind of fruit. And an explanation that they need a fast breakfast option.

This hurts my heart because despite their best intentions, these folks are victims of mass marketing and food confusion. “Instant” or processed oats are the grain equivalent of white bread. Then add the artificial flavoring to make it brown sugar and maple and you are basically eating Wonder Bread with sugar, food coloring, and high fructose corn syrup.

Yuck.

If you enjoy oatmeal (and really enjoy it because I deeply believe we should actively enjoy what we eat), there is another way.

A better way, really. And it includes whole grain oats and real fruit and nuts. Don’t fret — this can be done quickly and efficiently and also tastes great. Much better than the microwaved oatmeal in packets.

The Solution

The better way is steel cut oats (sometimes called Scottish or Irish oats). Steel cut oats are unrefined and have not undergone steaming or rolling. They are literally oat groats cut into smaller pieces. A whole grain approach to oats.

Because they are not previously steamed or rolled, steel cut oats have a toothsome texture and naturally nutty flavor. They keep you fuller longer and have a glow glycemic index. Once cooked, they reheat nicely (unlike quick cook oats) and retain their shape and texture.

Some are scared off because steel cut oats take longer to cook than their quick cook and instant varieties. While it is true (steel cut oats take around 25 minutes to cook), I’m going to let you in on a secret.

You can whip up steel cut oats in a large batch and enjoy them all week.

That’s right. You can make a batch once or twice a week, portion into daily servings, add your toppings of choice, and quickly reheat once you are ready to enjoy them.

And I’m going to share my recipe for steel cut oats plus the toppings I am loving right now.

The Recipe

Morning Glory Steel Cut Oats

Serves 5

For the Steel Cut Oats

1 cup steel cut oats (my favorites are these from Bob’s Red Mill)

3 cups of water

1 cup of almond milk

1/4 tsp salt

Optional: 1 Tbsp coconut oil

For the Toppings

1 green apple, cored and cut into pieces

1/4 cup raw almonds, coarsely chopped

Almond milk to desired consistency

If you like sweeter breakfasts: A sprinkling of coconut sugar or pure Grade B maple syrup.

1. Combine milk and water in a pot and heat on medium to medium-high. Bring just to boil.
Optional step (but highly recommended to enhance flavor and texture): In the meantime, add 1 Tbsp coconut oil to a small pan on medium heat. Add steel cut oats and cook for 2 minutes, until fragrant.
2. Add oats to pot with milk and water and stir. Bring back to boil and reduce heat to low.
3. Cook, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes.
4. Add salt and stir. Cook for an additional 5 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.
5. Divide and serve with toppings of your choice.

Consider yourself warned on the biggest breakfast myth and shown an easy way to cook up better oats.

If oats are your thing, I challenge you to make up a batch of your own steel cut oats this week. You’ll find they taste better and keep you full longer — you won’t ever go back to the instant variety! If you take the steel cut oatmeal challenge, take a photo and tag @a.better.way.wellness. I would love to see and hear all about it.

If oats aren’t for you, try my Glow Getter Smoothie.

Sending you light until next time.

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