This post is in honor of Movember– a month dedicated to Men’s Health!
Most men eat a breakfast comprised of carbohydrates and coffee. This is something that has to change! If you are a man reading this article and you want energy throughout the day, you need to get a jump-start with a power-breakfast. The ideal breakfast would consist of protein, healthy fats and some healthy (un-refined) carbohydrates. A balanced breakfast will provide you with the nutrients your brain and muscles need for a productive day.
Check out this simple recipe that was designed just for you!
Humans are naturally inclined to favor sweet flavors. What we do not naturally crave is artificial sweeteners. Now more than ever, people are strongly addicted to the artificial sweet flavors and much higher levels of sweetness than the body needs. Sugar brakes down to carbohydrates which converts to energy in the body. We really do need carbohydrates in our diet but we have to make sure we are consuming the type of carbohydrates that are going to give us energy rather than sucking energy out of us.
In order to curb the addiction to artificial sugars and higher levels of sugar intake, I highly recommend buying the “unsweetened” version of packaged food products and sweeten them yourself. This way you can control the quality and quantity of the sweetener you are adding.
Some foods that you would look for the “unsweetened” version of are:
Yogurt (no flavor, no added sweetener, add your own fruit and natural sugar)
Morning coffee (try going for plain instead of flavored and add your own sweetener)
Since the mornings tend to be pretty rushed, I always try to pull together a quick and easily digestible meal. This nutrient-dense, low-inflammatory breakfast option can be made in a matter of minutes!
3/4 cups coconut milk (or any other dairy-free milk alternative)
3/4 cup cooked or sprouted quinoa*
2 Tablespoons ground flax seed
Hemp Protein Powder (optional)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
8-10 almonds, chopped
Handful of berries
Heat medium-sized sauce pan. Add coconut milk and quinoa. Stir until heated through.
Add ground flax seed, protein powder and cinnamon. Stir until well combined. Add water or more coconut milk if texture is too thick.
Place mixture into a bowl and top with almonds and berries.
It’s a hot morning here in San Diego. This strawberry & kale smoothie is my ideal way to start a day like today.
3-4 frozen Strawberries
3 leaves Kale, de-stemmed
1/2 cup plain unsweetened Kefir
1/4 cup Almond Milk or filtered water
2 Tablespoons Almond Butter
2 Mint leaves, chopped
Protein0powder (optional). I like hemp or brown rice protein powder.
Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth
I like this smoothie because it is a nice mix of sweet, refreshing and earthy flavors. If you have never put kale in your smoothie before, go ahead and try something new. When I first put kale in my smoothies I was pleasantly surprised. It is not too overwhelming and the taste pairs well with the fruit in the smoothie. Great way to get some greens in your body first thing in the morning.
Granola has the potential to become a healthy snack. By this I mean that there are healthy versions of granola and there are unhealthy versions of granola. Let’s start by describing what to look for when you purchase granola. As with any packaged product or any product you buy in the “bulk” section of your local health food store, you want to look at the ingredient list.
You also want to look for a nice variety of ingredients. Instead of choosing a granola that is primarily made up of carbohydrates (oats, sugar, dried fruit), you can choose a granola that has a nice mix of carbohydrates, protein and fats (grains, nuts, seeds, dried fruit). This is an important differentiation because it drastically lowers the sugar content and increases the nutrient intake.
Fall-Spiced Homemade Granola With Quinoa
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Yield: 3 cups
2 Tablespoons Flaxseeds
1 cup Quinoa
1/2 cup Cashews, chopped in half
1/2 cup Almonds, chopped
1/2 cup Pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup Sunflower Seeds
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Nutmeg
pinch of Cloves (optional)
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
3 dried figs, chopped
1/2 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla extract
3 Tablespoons honey
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
Turn oven on to 375 degrees F. Cover a large baking tray with parchment paper.
Grind flaxseeds in a spice grinder, blender or coffee grinder.
Combine ground flaxseeds and dried figs with the rest of the dry ingredients in a medium size mixing bowl.
Heat a small saucepan, add the wet ingredients and whisk together. Pour the wet ingredients over dry ingredients and whisk until fully incorporated.
Spread mixture out evenly on baking tray. Cook for 10 minutes. Remove from oven to flip granola then spread out evenly again. Place in oven for another 7-10 minutes or until toasted.
Note: Make sure to check the granola so that it does not burn! It will be fragrant and look lightly toasted.
7. Remove from oven to let cool. Add dried figs. Store in a glass jar for up to a week.
Tips for saving $$
Buy ingredients from the “bulk” section of your local health-food store. You can buy exactly the amount you need and it is WAY cheaper.
Buy a packet of mixed nuts instead of buying once packed of almonds and one packet of cashews. With mixed nuts you have to make sure they are raw, unsalted and that there is no cooking oil added.
I am always looking for ways to re-create a healthy version of my favorite childhood foods. Okay let’s be real, cereal was also a favorite food of mine in college. This is one of many breakfasts that I have created to satisfy this burning cereal desire within me.
The yogurt contains the creamy element. The nuts represent the much required crunch. The strawberries provide the sweet component. The cinnamon provides the comfort element.
3/4 cup greek yogurt (can use goat-milk yogurt too)
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
8-10 raw almonds, chopped
1 Tablespoon ground flax seeds
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2-3 strawberries, sliced
Mix all ingredients together and enjoy a simple/ quick and balanced cold breakfast cereal.
Note: toasted nuts add another element of flavor to this dish. To keep things exciting, switch around with different types of nuts and berries.