Veggies for Breakfast

Veggies at BreakfastBreakfast is one of those topics that just doesn’t go away.  Every person who Googles some sort of ‘weight loss’ or ‘up your energy’ search will eventually get to the same thing.  Breakfast is what makes the world go round.  Without it, you’re screwed.

I’m not a breakfast person.  I find it hard to force myself to eat in the morning.  It’s not one food over another, it’s just that I never seem hungry first thing.  I’ve tried to bring things to work and eat at my desk, but if I forget or get instantly busy I’m screwed!  I’ve tried preparing things the night before, but I tend to crave something at night that seems gross in the morning.  I’m 29 years old, and I’ve never figured out breakfast.

Finally, my mom bought me a Magic Bullet for my birthday and I discovered veggie smoothies.  Every morning I wake up and throw together a smoothie full of green goodness, sip it while I put on my makeup, and then go about my day.  Let me tell you, veggies in the morning is fricken amazing!

I’ve noticed this trend lately that I thought I’d bring up.  At the gym yesterday I was reading a Women’s Health while on the eliptical.  Elizabeth Banks is on the cover.  There was a breakfast recipe in there that I was sort of stunned by.  It had squash and turnips or something like that (I can’t find it again now!).  What got me is that the entire dish was all veggies.  If I hadn’t seen it in the breakfast section, I would have thought it was a dinner side dish of roast veggies.  But this was a veggie mash meant to be like oatmeal.  I thought at first that it was weird.  Why would I wake up and make a bunch of roast veggies for breakfast?  But then I realized that my morning smoothies had become pure veggies so how is this different?

I feel like breakfast has been a mostly protein or fruit filled necessity.  Going through old magazines and recipes I see lots of eggs, yogurt, carbs like oatmeal and toast, peanut butter, fruit salads…  Sometimes you get an omelet with spinach, or a few tomatoes roasted beside sausage, but veggies are not a staple.  This isn’t universally true, but generally I had a hard time finding past articles that made veggies the main part of the morning meal.

Things are starting to change!  Veggies at breakfast are becoming the new fad, and I love it!!  There is nothing like a green smoothie, a beet juice or a quick yam, turnip and squash mash.   I’ve been unconsciously turning to veggies in the morning because they’re clean, fresh and wake up my senses, and I’ve never felt better or had steadier energy throughout the day.  My skin looks great, and I never feel nutrient deprived.

But there are a few other things that I’ve noticed coming around with this whole veggie craze that should be mentioned.  First is Juicing.  I heard at the office the other day that people are getting diabetes because of juicing.  Wait, what???  Isn’t juicing supposed to be the new crazy healthy thing??  Well apparently there is a wrong way to juice, and that’s by juicing fruit and not veggies.

I went down to my local fresh pressed juice place and asked how much apple juice they put in the green classic juice and was surprised the answer was so much!  When I’m at home my green smoothie has no fruit, only veggies.  But most juice places you go will add fruit to sweeten it and attract more people.  Sometimes people will slowly start to include fewer and fewer veggies, but still let themselves think that they’re getting the same nutrients.  Fruits are good for you.  Eating an apple is a great snack.  But when you juice it, you’re getting all of the sugar and none of the fiber.  You’re still getting vitamin C, but it’s coming in a liquid that in excess, is flooding your system with a ton of sugar that would normally be diluted with all the other goodness of the apple flesh.  And you’re probably drinking the sugar from more than one apple all at once!

When I went back to my juice place, I started substituting the apple juice with something else to keep it all in the veggie family.  It takes awhile to get used to drinking something that’s pure veggie, but eventually I get to the point where the taste is associated with feeling great, and that is a whole separate sort of craving.

So here are my tips for doing the veggie thing in the morning if you’re like me and are not a great breakfast person, and veggies are not your natural go too.

1.) Don’t try to mask them.  Just give it up and have pure veggies.  I’ve used all kinds of things to mask the ‘taste’ of veggies and I’ve always ended up getting sick of it.  Now I go straight green with a little lime or ginger for a some kick.  My morning smoothies are Spinach, Kale, Cucumber, Celery, Avacado, Pure Coconut Water, Lime and ice.  Done.  Clean, fresh and pure goodness.  If the ingredients are all really fresh, I can almost feel myself filling up with good nutrients as I drink.

2.) Don’t add veggies, start with veggies.  I was never an omelet person in the first place, but adding wilted leafy things to it made it even less appealing.  Maybe I’m a person who likes things simple without too many flavors.  Instead of adding veggies to something you normally have, throw out the whole concoction and start with the veggies.  A quick veggie stir fry is great, and if you want some bulk, add something to them.  Protein?  Crack and egg over top or throw in some chickpeas.  Bulk?  Quinoa or even oatmeal.  But the whole point of the meal should be the veggies.

3.) Think of how well you start out the day. If I don’t feel like drinking my green smoothie, I remind myself how fantastic I always feel afterward, and how drab I’ll feel if I eat something else or nothing at all.  Don’t you want to feel great?  I always roll my eyes at myself and think, yes, I want to feel great as if I’m answering my mother.  It makes me laugh.

4.) Make it as fresh as possible.  It’s sort of like brushing your teeth and feeling all minty.  When I make breakfast was clean, fresh veggies, I feel refreshed!  It’s like splashing water on your face or showering.  It awakens my body and makes it hum with energy.  If the veggies are wilted or closing in on the end, I tend to talk myself out of even trying.  If I have veggies that are close to going off, I roast them all and have them in dinner or in a veggie mash.  Breakfast is for your freshest options.

I’d love to hear how you do veggies in the morning!


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