The Daily Beet

11 Apr Breakfast

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Starting down the plant-strong path can often seem daunting. Sometimes the thought of changing every thing at once is a little overwhelming. So what if you just changed breakfast to start?

Change breakfast, and that’s a third of your day that is suddenly plant-strong. You start off your day on the right foot, and maybe you make some better choices through out the day (or maybe you don’t), but at least you’ve started off the right way. Breakfast is a pretty easy meal to get a handle of.

What if you don’t have time for breakfast?

The simple answer is to make time. Breakfast can be prepared in a few minutes or the night before. You need about 10 minutes. Wake up 10 minutes early, or look at your morning routine to see what can be changed. Or, bring  your breakfast with you.

Let’s talk about possibilities:

Cereal: This might be one of the easiest things to pull together. You’ll need a good whole grain cereal that is low in sugar. You want to see the word “WHOLE” before the grain, and you don’t want to see extracted sweetener in the first 3 ingredients. Of course you want to make sure there is no added oil or animal products in your cereal.

Then it’s time for some non-dairy milk! There are so many unsweetened non-dairy milks out there. You just want to avoid anything with coconut milk (too much saturated fat) and you want to avoid any of the sweetened non-dairy milks.

Lastly, throw some fruit on top. Frozen or fresh, it’s up to you.

A few plant-strong cereals: 

Arrowhead Mills
Instant Oatmeal: Maple Apple Spice, Original Plain, Oatmeal with Flax. Bear Mush, 7
Grain, Oat Bran, Oat Flakes, 4 Grain plus Flax, Steel Cut Oats, Bulgar Wheat, Yellow
Corn Grits

Bob’s Red Mill
Rolled Oats, Oatmeal, 5, 6 ,7, 8, 10 Grain, Barley Grits, Creamy Buckwheat,, Creamy
Brown Rice Farina, Kamut, Spice ‘N Nice, Whole Wheat Farina

Irish Oatmeal

Quaker Oats:
Instant Oatmeal, Oat Bran, Rolled Oats, Whole Wheat, Barley

Nature’s Path
Instant Oatmeal, Hemp Plus Oatmeal, Flax Plus Oatmeal, Old Wessex,Oatmeal,
Scottish Style Porridge Oats, Irish Style Oatmeal, 5 Grain Cereal, Creamy Oat Bran

Quaker Oats Co.
Quaker Oats, Quick Quaker Oats

U.S. Mills
Brown Rice Cream, Barley Plus, Uncle Sam Instant Oatmeal

Oatmeal: E2 intern, Katherine wrote a great blog all about oatmeal.  Oatmeal is a great way to start the day and has tons of great health benefits. Dr. Esselstyn and Ann are big fans of oatmeal and suggest it to their patients as a great breakfast. You might also like one of my dessert oatmeals! 

Scrambles: I love a good savory breakfast! You can do lots of things with scrambles.

Potato, beans and vegetables. For this, I throw some (cooked) diced potatoes in a pan, a handful of greens, some (cooked) beans, nutritional yeast and some salsa. It takes very little time, and is very filling. You can get fancy and throw it in a whole grain wrap, and you’ve got a burrito, or throw it in a (not fried) corn tortilla and you’ve got breakfast tacos!

Tofu scramble: Same concept as above. Tofu, nutritional yeast, veggies/greens or any other vegetables. Just crumble up your extra firm tofu, add nutritional yeast and vegetables, and heat up. Add some salsa or hot sauce to make it extra fun.

Fruit & Toast: Running low on time? A couple pieces of fruit, a slice of whole grain toast with a little peanut butter can be a great to-go breakfast.

Mighty Muffins: These are great to make ahead. Throw in the fruit you like. Make a big batch, you’ve got breakfast for a few days. Enjoy with some fruit.

Greens: If you have been to one of our retreat weekends you know we always have cooked greens at breakfast. Pile some on your scramble, enjoy them in savory oatmeal, have them with your toast. Add a little salsa or hot sauce. Be daring!

We have a few more great breakfast ideas on our breakfast recipe page. 

We also have a Pinterest Board with some of our favorite plant-strong breakfasts! 

*You might have noticed that we don’t have any juices or smoothies as breakfast options. Smoothies and juices should be saved for occasional treats. We (and all of the doctors and nutritionists we work with) do not recommend that people drink their food. It causes a spike in blood sugar which can be problematic for many people. Dr. Campbell refers to this spike as a “glycemic burst”. So chew your food, it will help you have better controlled blood sugar throughout the day, among other health benefits of chewing your food rather than drinking it.

There are so many breakfast options. Get creative, plan ahead if you need to, make something the night before so you just have to heat it up. Make a big batch of your favorite breakfast so you have it all week.

If going plant-strong seems daunting, consider just trying out breakfast for a week or 2. I’ll tackle lunch ideas in my next blog!

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Natala Constantine
  • VeggieBlonde
    Posted at 03:58h, 11 April

    I was in your smoothie study, and I was totally shocked how much my blood sugar spiked compared to just eating oatmeal! I love oatmeal now. I was always afraid of it because I thought it would raise my blood sugar. Turned out the smoothies were raising it 50-60 points higher than the oatmeal. Thanks for opening my eyes to oatmeal!

  • Martha
    Posted at 03:59h, 11 April

    I love tofu scramble and potato scramble!!! Like Veggie Blonde, I found out the hard way about not chewing from your Phoenix event. My tryglycerides have always been high, despite eating vegan/close to plant-strong. Dr. Esselstyn told me to give them up, and my numbers are now the best they have ever been.

  • Marie
    Posted at 06:15h, 11 April

    What if the smoothie is mostly vegetables? My smoothies consist of lots of leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, avocado, half a banana and a few strawberries. I only use just enough fruit to override any bitterness. Is this type still not recommended, or is it only the usual fruit-heavy type that is frowned upon?
    I’ve gained several pounds since going vegan in February, and I think it’s partially due to too many grains and tahini sauces (I love my Buddha bowls). I have no blood sugar related health issues. I love making my own Rip’s Big Bowl, but I feel like that is has more (delicious) calories and less nutrients than a mostly vegetable smoothie. If I load up on veggies in the morning, I don’t feel as bad eating more grains for lunch and dinner.
    What do you think the doctors would say about this? I’m considering buying a vitamix, so I’d really like to clear this up before spending that kind of money.

  • Heather
    Posted at 07:50h, 11 April

    Thanks for the info! I love breakfast. I too gave up my morning juice because my blood sugar spiked a lot. I now have toast with a tbs of guac and fruit, takes hardly anytime. Blood sugar stays more stable.

  • Grant
    Posted at 09:37h, 11 April

    Great post, thanks. I’m strong on the breakfast, weak on the rest. Reading the post reminded me that I am on the way, with at least one whole meal a day.

  • A Ortega
    Posted at 11:21h, 30 April

    Recipe question: the muffins call for sweetener? Shouldn’t I use agave or coconut sugar instead?

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