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A Better Breakfast
A recent and very in-depth food sensitivity test (which you can learn more about here) revealed – surprise, surprise – that I'm sensitive to dairy, gluten, wheat, corn and oats, making breakfast all the more challenging. I turned to physician Dr. Frank Lipman of the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center for some ideas. Here's his take on the matter.
Reinvent Breakfast by Dr. Frank Lipman
"Do you ever ask yourself why you are virtually comatose at the desk by 10:30 am, even though you actually ate breakfast? Chances are you were barking up the wrong nutritional tree."
"If your breakfast is usually a bowl of sugary cereal, pancakes with sausage and syrup, a bagel and cream cheese or a blueberry muffin and a cup of coffee — your first meal of the day is going to be a mostly nutrition-free affair. Sure, these are all edible, but in reality, they’re a hormonal rollercoaster waiting to happen – not much more than a pile of nutritionally-bankrupt, heavily-processed, appetite-stimulating and weight-inducing 'empty' calories."
"Like putting cheap, low-octane gas in a high-performance car – sooner or later, your body is going to be sputtering. The flour (even whole wheat) in a bagel or muffin acts just like sugar in your body — it revs you up, but is followed by a crash and then the craving for more sugar. So, you grab a coffee or some more carbs for another rush - and another crash. Welcome to the world of energy spikes, crashes, cravings, ups and downs, and never mind the jitters. Sound familiar? Eventually you deplete your adrenals and rob yourself of your remaining energy reserves. There has to be a better way to start your day."
"As a nutrition-minded physician, I am militant about starting the day off right – which means a breakfast with a nutritional boost of healthy fats and protein and without sugar, wheat, gluten or dairy. This could do wonders for your body. And while most of us know that sugar is bad for us, we forget that bread (wheat in particular) and dairy aren’t doing us any favors either. Today's bread — made from genetically hybridized, crossbred Franken-seeds — is almost unrecognizable from the wheat our ancestors ate and is a key factor in many chronic health problems."
"To get the absolute best breakfast for your body, you’ve got to rethink it: nix the wheat, gluten, sugary carbs and cow’s milk. Upgrade to a breakfast that will nourish and energize your body with protein and good fats. Do this and you’ll be able to take on the day with more pep than you ever thought possible. "
"Start your engine and keep it humming all morning, with one of my nutritionally-dense, healthy, satisfying and quick-to-prepare breakfast ideas."
Healthy Breakfast Ideas from Dr. Frank Lipman:
"Omelets are a great platform for so many nutritious additions. Any combination of healthy goodies like chopped spinach, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, kale, mushrooms, asparagus and onions, will add tons of nutrients, taste and density to your breakfast – so much more than any old bagel ever could. Serve with 1/4 avocado and some greens on the side to slip in a few more healthy fats, magnesium and veggies into your day."
- 1/2 cup of chopped vegetables of your choice
1.Crack the eggs into a small bowl, add a pinch of salt and pepper, and beat well with a fork.
2.Put a small frying pan on low heat and warm 1 - 2 teaspoons of olive oil, letting it spread. Add your eggs, making sure to spread them out evenly in the pan. When the omelet begins to firm up, but is still raw on top, sprinkle over the veggies of your choice. Cook on low heat for 1 - 3 more minutes with the veggies incorporated.
3.Using a spatula, gently lift the edges of the omelet until you can ease the spatula underneath and then fold the omelet over in half. When it starts to turn golden brown underneath, remove the pan from the heat and slide the omelet onto a plate.
Last Night’s Leftovers
"Savory foods for breakfast? Why not? Go ahead, put your leftovers to work - veggies and protein are great any time of day – no need to relegate them to only-for-dinner status. How about a breakfast of baked sweet potato drizzled with coconut oil and Himalayan salt with some steamed kale and quinoa on the side?"
To bake the sweet potato:
Heat your oven to 400ºF. Prick the sweet potato in several places with a fork, and place on a rack in the oven. Put a baking tray at the bottom of the oven to catch any juices that ooze out. Cook for 40 minutes. Slice it open, pull the skin down and drizzle with oil and salt to serve.
Smoked Wild Salmon/ Sardines/ Sliced Avocado on Gluten-Free Bread
"Smoked wild salmon, sardines or sliced avocado on a piece of gluten-free bread or toast is a delicious way to start the day, and a great dose of superfoods all in one go. Sprinkle with a bit of Himalayan salt, pepper to taste, add a few arugula leaves on the side and voila! Breakfast is served."
Note: Food for Life makes a good gluten-free Brown Rice and Millet bread.
Non-dairy Protein Smoothie
"Skip the artificial confections at your local fro-yo place and blend up your thick, milkshake-like breakfast smoothie using fresh, organic, nutrient-packed ingredients."
"But with so many protein powders out there, how do you choose the right one? I recommend non-genetically-modified pea protein. So, when you're looking for a vegetable protein powder, look for ones that are pea or hemp-based (preferably) or ones with flax or rice protein (or a blend). I don’t recommend a soy protein shake as most soy is genetically modified (GMO)."
"My secret for extra creamy smoothies? Avocado! One of my favorite foods with benefits. They have healthy fats, more magnesium and less sugar than bananas, so they make a great base ingredient for many breakfast smoothie recipes."
"Here are three absolutely delicious, quick-to-make vegetable protein-rich smoothies packed with nutrients:"
Chocolate Love Smoothie
Piña Colada Smoothie
Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie
Chia Seed Pudding
"Pudding? For breakfast? Sounds like a dream come true! Just make sure yours is made out of chia seeds, which are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, lots of fiber and calcium. Not quite a pudding-in-the-morning person? Then add chia seeds to your smoothies – the seeds expand in liquid and help you feel fuller longer."
Place the chia seeds in the water (either warm or cold, whichever you prefer) and stir, stir, stir! Then let the concoction sit in the fridge for 10 minutes and it will form a “pudding-like” consistency.
Top your chia pudding with some blueberries, bananas and shredded coconut for a yummy, fast and filling breakfast.
Slow-cooking Gluten-Free Oats, Millet, Quinoa, Amaranth or Brown Rice Porridge
"Cook up some grains for breakfast, pour on some almond or coconut milk and add toppings, such as cinnamon, nuts, berries and be sure to include some good fats like chia seeds, ground flaxseeds, or unsweetened shredded coconut. If needed, add a bit of stevia or raw honey to sweeten. To save time in the morning, cook a big pot of grains in advance and just reheat a portion in the morning and add your toppings. I don’t recommend these on a daily basis but when you feel like something warm and comforting in the morning, these hit the spot."
To cook the grains:
In a saucepan, cover the grains of your choice in water, and bring to a boil. Cover the saucepan and take down to a simmer, until the grains are cooked through. Grains and oats all require a different cooking times and amounts of water. See proportions below.
Basic proportions and cooking times for different grains:
- 1 part oats : 1 part water, 10 minutes
- 1 part millet: 2 parts water, 25 – 30 minutes
- 1 part quinoa: 2 parts water, 15 – 20 minutes
- 1 part amaranth: 3 parts water, 20 – 25 minutes
- 1 part brown rice: 2 parts water, 30 – 40 minutes
Boiled Eggs with Nut Butter on Gluten-free Toast
"If you’re used to toast and eggs in the morning, you can still have them, but try a 21st century update. Instead of frying your eggs, boil or poach them and swap out old-school, processed Franken-bread for gluten-free toast."
"We at the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center are obsessed with this Paleo Bread recipe from Elana’s Pantry. We share it with patients, bribe each other to make it, and marvel at how good it is. Our advice? Whip up a batch or two – and watch it disappear. "
- 1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
- 2 tablespoons coconut flour
- 1/4 cup golden flaxseed meal
- 1/4 teaspoon celtic sea salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 5 eggs
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1.Place almond flour, coconut flour, flax, salt and baking soda in a food processor and pulse the ingredients together.
2.Add in eggs, oil, honey and vinegar and pulse.
3.Pour batter into a greased 7.5" x 3.5" non-stick loaf pan (or line with parchment paper.) Bake at 350° F for about 40 minutes. Cool and serve.
For the perfect boiled egg:
1.Put enough water in a saucepan to cover your egg (or eggs) by about a ½ an inch. Bring the water to a gentle boil and carefully lower your egg into the water. Let egg simmer for exactly one minute, then turn off the heat and cover for 6 - 7 minutes depending on how runny you like your eggs.
2.Serve your boiled egg with a piece of Paleo bread or gluten-free toast smeared with a nut butter. (We used almond butter on ours.)
Whey-based Protein Smoothie
"I know what you’re going to say: whey is from dairy. But it is the casein or lactose in dairy that causes problems, not the whey, so most people tolerate it quite well."
Blueberry Avocado Smoothie
Greeno Mojito Smoothie
Dr. Frank Lipman is an acclaimed Integrative Physician and the founder and director of the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in New York City. For over 20 years he has focused on sustainable wellness—instead of quick fixes—he offers patients a customized blend of Western medicine with acupuncture, nutritional counseling, vitamins and herbs, relaxation techniques, physical therapy, and bodywork. In 2010 he developed Be Well by Dr. Frank Lipman, a line of leading-edge supplements and kits to make healthy living easy for busy people. He is the author of Revive: Stop Feeling Spent and Start Living Again and Total Renewal: 7 Key Steps to Resilience, Vitality and Long-Term Health.
For more on Dr. Lipman, visit his resourceful website, follow him on Twitter or join his Facebook community.
Photography: Ali Allen
Food Styling: Amber Rose
And a very special thank you to Summerill & Bishop for lending us some of their beautiful goods for this shoot.