Disclaimer: I’m a spokesperson on behalf of The National Milk Mustache “got milk?” Campaign for their #gotmilkgotprotein campaign. As always, all opinions are my own. Read my disclosure statement here.
Over the last week, I’ve enjoyed working with the lovely Tina Seitzinger, the popular Life Without Pink blogger, to help her improve her eating habits and nutrient intake. You can read about our first conversation and tips I provided with her right here.
As an overextended wife and mother of two with a vibrant career, Tina—like many in a similar boat—was anxious to find ways to feel more energized throughout the day. She knew making some tweaks in what and when she ate would not only help her be more productive at work, but would help her keep up with her two young sons not to mention everything on her extensive to-do list. One of the dietary additions would be having nonfat milk as part of her morning meal. Milk is a great source of filling, satiating, high-quality protein not to mention 8 other essential nutrients including calcium and vitamin D to strengthen bones and B vitamins for energy.
When I first spoke with Tina, she described her typical eating routine; breakfast was seldom part of it. Of course Tina always makes sure her sons start their day off with a morning meal, but up until now failed to put herself—and her nutrient needs—in the equation. But that’s in the past. Tina is now having breakfast daily and really feels the difference. She says, “I feel so much better now that I’m making it a point to eat something first thing in the morning. I used to drag mid-morning and now I find I’m pumped up and energized, ready to take on the day.” On most weekdays, she eats breakfast with just her older son (her younger son usually sleeps later because his school starts an hour after his older brother). On weekends, she enjoys breakfast with all her boys, including her husband.
Some of Tina’s recent breakfast picks have included eggs once or twice a week, a whole wheat English muffin with peanut butter or a smoothie. But no matter what she chooses, Tina makes sure to include some refreshing nonfat milk. When we spoke, Tina also told me she feels much less rushed in the morning, especially because she’s making an effort to implement some of the time saving strategies we discussed. These include packing her kids’ lunches the night before, planning meals ahead of time, pre-washing berries and stocking up on things like frozen unsweetened berries and nuts.
Tina knows that while it’s great she’s becoming a regular breakfast eater, she still struggles with eating enough throughout the day to keep her energy level in high gear. Not a big meal eater, she says she often grazes by day and makes dinner her biggest meal. Although Tina is at a healthy body weight, I explained to her that becoming more of a daytime eater and giving her body enough calories and nutrients when she’s most active and needs it most can really help her stay energized and alert. I encouraged her to cut her usual dinner portion by one third and to instead make sure to include those extra calories to have a bigger lunch or a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack. Having a smaller meal before bedtime can also help her sleep better, another goal she has.
As for exercise, Tina is doing 45 minutes to an hour on her treadmill 2 to 3 times a week, usually in the evening, and plans to increase this. Although it’s great she’s fitting in some exercise, I encouraged her to try to be active earlier in the day (since activity before bedtime can keep her body temperature elevated, and that may interfere with her sleep). I also recommended that Tina make sure to fit in a little bit of fitness throughout the day while she works at her desk by getting up frequently—even for 5 or 10 minutes each hour she sits—to climb stairs, dance, do jumping jacks or something else that’s active.
I really enjoyed working with Tina on the #gotmilkgotprotein campaign and hope the simple breakfast tips and other dietary and lifestyle tweaks Tina has begun to implement will inspire you to make some yourself. As a special treat for you, Tina and I worked together to create the 7-Day Breakfast Menu below that she—and hopefully you—will pick and choose from to start each day. Each meal includes items from at least 3 food groups and provides at least 20 grams of filling, satisfying protein.
7-Day Breakfast Menu
One toasted whole-wheat English muffin with each half topped with 1 tablespoon peanut butter and 1/2 sliced banana + 1 cup (8 ounces) nonfat milk
One third cup whole-grain, low-fat granola mixed with 1 ounce (24 whole or 4 tablespoons chopped) almonds and 1/2 cup strawberries and blueberries + 1 cup (8 ounces) nonfat milk
Half cup (uncooked) quick-cooking oats made with 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce, 1 ounce (14 halves or 7 whole or 4 tablespoons chopped) walnuts and a sprinkle of cinnamon plus + 1 cup (8 ounces) nonfat milk
A breakfast smoothie made with 1/2 cup (4 ounces) nonfat milk, 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt, 1 banana, 1 tablespoon peanut butter, 1 teaspoon honey and 5 ice cubes
One cup (up to 200 calories worth) whole-grain, high fiber cereal* topped with 1 ounce (24 whole or 4 tablespoons chopped) almonds and 1 banana, sliced plus 1 cup (8 ounces) nonfat milk
When you have more time option: One open-faced whole-wheat pita topped with 2 large eggs, scrambled in 1 teaspoon olive oil with ½ cup chopped red, orange and yellow peppers and mushrooms + 1 cup (8 ounces) nonfat milk
Grab and go option: One hard boiled egg, 1 ounce (28 whole or 3 tablespoons chopped) peanuts + 1 cup (8 ounces) nonfat milk
*Choose cereals with at least 3 grams of fiber and no more than double that amount of sugar per serving.
Here’s a recipe from my new book, Younger Next Weekthat Tina plans to try. Created by Robyn Webb, this Strawberry Walnut Cinnamon French toast is so delicious. It’s also even more protein-packed when you pair 2 slices with 1 cup (8 ounces) nonfat milk.
Strawberry Walnut Cinnamon French Toast
Makes 4 1-slice servings.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Butter-flavored cooking spray
1 large egg
1/4 cup nonfat milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 slices whole-grain bread
2 teaspoons non-hydrogenated spread
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup sliced strawberries
1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1. Coat a large skillet with butter-flavored spray and heat it over medium heat.
2. Meanwhile, in a shallow bowl, beat together the egg, milk and vanilla.
3. Dip a slice of the bread in the egg mixture and turn it to coat evenly. Place the bread slice in the skillet and cook on each side for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Repeat this procedure for each slice of bread, cooking the French toast in 1 or 2 batches.
4. Mix together the buttery spread, honey and cinnamon in a 3-inch ramekin or a condiment bowl. Spread the honey-butter spread on each slice of French toast and garnish with strawberries and walnuts. Serve at once.
Vital Stats (per serving): 170 calories, 8.2 g fat, 1.8 g saturated fat, 49 mg cholesterol, 174 mg sodium, 18 g carbohydrate, 3.2 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 7 g protein
Disclaimer: I’m a spokesperson on behalf of The National Milk Mustache “got milk” Campaign for their #gotmilkgotprotein campaign. As always, all opinions are my own. Read my disclosure statement here. http://elisazied.com/disclosure/