When I first meet someone and tell them that I am a Dietitian they usually assume two things:
1.) That I eat perfectly all of the time
2.) I will likely judge them based on what they eat
Both assumptions couldn't be further from the truth.
I do not eat perfectly all of the time, food is a huge part of enjoying life and to deny myself treats would take away from the fun of meal time. One of the reasons that I created Everyday Nutrition is to share my philosophy of moderation which takes into account eating healthy 80% of the time and allowing yourself to indulge the other 20%. My main response to people assuming that I eat health all of the time is that I always eat my 5-8 servings of fruits and vegetables per day and then go from there.
To me the key to eating healthy is following a few basic principles:
- eat your fruits and vegetables
- only choose whole grain products (wheat bread, whole grain cereals, oats, etc)
- out of site out of mind; don't buy things you know that you can't resist
- drink 8 glasses or more of water per day
- stick with lean protein sources, skinless chicken, fish, turkey, tofu, etc.
These are the building blocks of any good meal plan. I feel that if I can do these things 6 out of 7 days per week then I can splurge and enjoy treats when I want them.
While I have been posting a lot of sweet treats lately it doesn't mean that I eat things like this everyday, it simply means that I am able to add them into my diet in moderation without feeling guilty about it. Eating healthy 80% of the time and splurging the other 20% helps us to:
- not feel deprived of favorite foods, maybe I won't eat it today, but that's ok because I will eat it again
- you appreciate sweet treats more when you save them for special occasions, absence makes the heart grow fonder!
- going without sweet treats on a daily basis helps cure those sugar cravings
So all that being said, let's go back to the 80% today and talk about my favorite breakfast. I wish that I could say that I came up with this on my own but alas I did not, this is another thing that I learned from the Colonel, he is a smart smart man!
Both sets of grandparents always great up eating oatmeal for breakfast. I was never too fond of it before but during a grown-up visit down south to visit my grandparents I was introduced to the concept of adding nuts, dried fruit and brown sugar to my standard oatmeal and immediately loved it.
My grandpa has an entire lazy susan on his counter dedicated to his oatmeal toppings, walnuts, cashews, peanuts, brown sugar, dried cranberries, raisins, etc. It is really quite impressive and each morning his bowl of oatmeal is uniquely topped.
Being that his kitchen is much larger than mine I had to improvise. I started by taking a jar and adding some pecans and raisins. Then I had some leftover peanuts so I threw them in too. Next came a half box of dried cranberries that I grew tired of so into the jar it went.
Little by little this jar became the full gamut of oatmeal toppings all conveniently mixed together! This jar has been "full" for years now, it never runs low and from week to week the contents changes based on what I find in my cabinets or on sale at the grocery store.
The best part about this jar is how easy it makes a quick, healthy, filling and nutritious breakfast.
Rachel Ray has 30 minute meals? Well, we will call this a 1 minute breakfast. Ready? Go!
Step 1: Add 1 packet of instant oatmeal to a microwave safe bowl, add water and cook per package instructions.
Step 2: While the oatmeal is in the microwave remove oatmeal toppings from cabinet and ready your spoon
Step 3: Stir oatmeal and top with jar-contents
Step 4: Enjoy knowing that your day will be made better by a healthy breakfast!