Successful diet plans and nutrition strategies rely on compliance more than content to produce results. Generally speaking, when calories consumed are from nutritious whole foods in reasonable portions, people see the changes they are looking for. The challenge for most people is budgeting their time to prepare their meals. Unless you’re a retiree, preparing three healthy meals and a couple of healthy snacks every day can be next to impossible. I recommend that people set aside time every few days to prepare their meals. If you prepared twice as much and stuck some food in the freezer you could get away with cooking once a week, but I think everything tastes better with the three day option.
Breakfast should be how everyone starts their day. Skipping breakfast is one of the first mistakes many people make when it comes to their diet. Without breakfast, you feel sluggish and hungry by the time you get to work. That’s when you grab your first (or third) coffee and some sort of baked good to go with it. Sound familiar? Here is a look at how my wife and I prepare breakfast for our household.
1. Egg Muffins
These little nuggets were life changing. They are delicious, easy to prepare, and incredibly versatile. Start by cracking 12-16 eggs in a large bowl and scramble them together. Spray the cups of a muffin tin or use paper baking cups. Now, add whatever you like to the cups. Cheese, spinach, pre-cooked bacon or sausage, anything goes so long as it suits your meal plan. Pour the scrambled eggs into the cups and bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes. Store them in a container in the fridge, and you’ve got the first part of a healthy breakfast for a few days. These reheat quickly in about 30-40 seconds in a microwave.
In my house, oatmeal is referred to as “Daddy Cereal”. Both my kids have been eating oatmeal several times per week since they were babies. I prefer traditional or quick-cooking steel cut oats over the thin, bland, instant variety. Use whatever you like. While your egg muffins are cooking, you can boil a pot of water and add several servings of oatmeal. Once it’s done, portion it out and stick it in the fridge. As with the egg muffins, oatmeal can be served countless different ways. My kids get a tablespoon of brown sugar and 5% cream in theirs, but you can add whatever you like. A serving of oatmeal reheats in 60-90 seconds depending on your microwave.
There you have it. You just made 3-4 days worth of breakfast in less than 40 minutes. Both the egg muffins and the oatmeal travel well, so you can reheat them wherever you need to be in the morning. Eggs and oatmeal offer enough flavouring options that you’re sure to find appetizing. Just be warned that shoveling in extra fat and sugar is likely to have negative consequences if your goal is weight loss. Moderation and discipline are important parts of any diet strategy. If muscle growth or weight maintenance are your goals, this combo can be tailored to that goal as well.
Many people would see positive changes in their overall health with even modest changes in their diet. If you are the type to skip breakfast, try eating a couple of egg muffins, a serving of oatmeal, and a piece of fruit every weekday for a month. Chances are you won’t skip breakfast if its in the fridge waiting for you every morning.