Vegetables for breakfast??? I can hear it now. I must be kidding! No, actually I’m not. Vegetables are one of the best-kept secrets when it comes to initial weight loss AND long term weight management. Dare I say this? As hard as it might seem now, keeping the pounds off once you lose weight can be just as challenging or more than the initial weight loss. Are veggies beginning to sound a little more desirable?
Eating breakfast in the first place is a big deal. We have plenty of research to document that breakfast eaters tend to weigh less than other people. One theory is that filling up at breakfast can lessen the chances of overeating and overcompensating for the missed calories early in the day. The other theory speculates that people who eat breakfast are more likely to have the kind of health-oriented habits that lead to better weight management.
I suspect what is happening is a combination of both. So eating breakfast is a good thing. Eating a balanced breakfast with enough protein, healthy carbs, and a little healthy fat is even better. You can do this quite easily without vegetables. However, vegetables offer a way to add more dietary fiber and other important nutrients for very few calories. Now the benefits of a well-balanced breakfast are even greater. Plus there are lots of ways to add veggies that I bet you might like.
I’ll share a bunch of ideas that have worked for me and others. Can you find at least one new breakfast combo you’d like to try? If you have some vegetables for breakfast ideas, please share so we can expand on this list. Thanks!
Veggies pair well with eggs:
-Top scrambled eggs with freshly cut or cooked mushrooms and bell peppers. Add a bit of grated cheese. (I love freshly grated parmigiano reggiano. You get lots of flavor without many calories.)
-Make a scrambled egg wrap. Add scrambled eggs to a whole-wheat tortilla. Top with your favorite low fat salsa and/or sliced black olives.
-Make an omelet. Add chopped leafy greens, bell peppers, or mushrooms.
-Serve a poached egg on whole grain toast. Top with sliced tomatoes.
-Make a veggie and potato frittata.
Veggies with bread:
- Top a couple of slices of whole grain bread with sliced tomatoes and grated low fat mozzarella cheese. Heat in a toaster oven till cheese begins to melt.
- Spread whole grain toast with guacamole or slices of ripe avocado. Enjoy with a cafe au lait (coffee with milk) and a little orange juice to round out the meal.
- Have a low fat, low calorie bran muffin spread with a little peanut butter or other nut butter. Pair with carrot and celery sticks.
- Top a whole grain English muffin with some spreadable light cheese, a couple of slices of tomato, some sliced hard-boiled egg and 2-3 slices of cucumber. Season to taste with a little salt and pepper or other low sodium seasoning.
- Top a whole grain English muffin with a couple of slices of turkey bacon, slices of tomato and 1/4 cup reduced fat shredded Mexican cheese. Toast till the cheese begins to melt.
- Make a low fat provolone cheese sandwich. Stack one slice of whole grain bread with a slice of low calorie, low fat provolone cheese, sliced tomatoes, and creamy avocado. Top with second slice of bread.
Cottage Cheese and Veggies:
- Serve 1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese with 1/2 cup avocado chunks and 1/2 cup fresh blueberries (thawed if frozen).
- Serve low fat cottage cheese with chopped fresh veggies of your choice (bell peppers, leafy greens, tomatoes, chopped cucumbers, etc.) Season to taste.
- Puree leftover leafy greens (mixed salad greens, spinach, etc.) that might otherwise go to waste. Use as a spread on toast. Add seasonings. Enjoy along with a small chunk of cheese and a piece of fruit.
- Heat up leftover roasted veggies. Have you ever tried roasted chunks of butternut squash (toss with a little olive oil and salt before roasting)? Mmm… good. Pair with a hard-boiled egg, slice of toast, and 4 oz. of juice.
- Reheat a slice or two of leftover veggie pizza. Don’t like veggie pizza? Really? I have some great recipes for you. Just ask!
- Enjoy a lightly salted baked sweet potato. Pair with scrambled eggs and juice.
- Have you tried my recipe for creamy pumpkin oatmeal? (Scroll down the page. It’s the last recipe in that post.)
- Switch out fruit juice and enjoy low sodium tomato juice with your breakfast.
- Fill celery sticks with the nut butter of your choice. Top with raisins. Now you’re good to go. Day care kids call this a “walking salad”!
- Some people like veggie smoothies. I haven’t tried that yet. (Maybe this is the year I’ll make the time and give them a try!)
So how about you? What ways do you enjoy vegetables for breakfast? If you haven’t tried veggies for breakfast you could be in for a treat! Better yet you might find those extra pounds melting off without any effort at all.
Have a great week, watch those calories, and eat healthy food!