-1 cup raw, organic almonds
-4 cups pure, filtered water
-homemade vanilla extract (I like to add 1 teaspoon to the mix)
-carob powder (Chocolate almond milk anyone!?!)
-spices (i.e. cinnamon, allspice, cloves, cardamon…get creative)
By the way, you can follow my 21-Day Detox Food Diary board on Pinterest. If you’re not on Pinterest yet, get on it! It’s loads of fun. My board there is more of a visual diary and so a very quick read.
Anyway, this is what I had yesterday:
The Slim & Strong Detox Challenge is conducted by Ariane Hundt of my favorite Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp. You can visit her site for more info. I should be bitching about it plenty over the next 3 weeks as well.
I’m not talking about the kind of stuff you get in the supermarket that’s wrapped up in plastic and is really just soft toast. I mean the dense, grainy, dark kind of bread that Germany is known for. I remember my weekend grocery shopping trips with my mom. We’d stop at the butcher for the meat, we’d go to the coffee shop for freshly ground coffee (I loved the smell even when I was only 5 years old) and then we’d make our rounds to the bakery. We’d always take home a fresh loaf of bread, often still warm, and sometimes I would get scolded for breaking off a piece of the warm corner because I just couldn’t wait to get home and put a slab of butter on it. Yeah, that’s how you raise a sturdy kid!
So, in essence, my love for bread must be in my genes. I remember telling my mom once that I wasn’t eating bread anymore (that was years ago) and her response was something like “What do you mean, no bread? Your body needs it. What are you going to eat? You’ll be depriving yourself, darling.”
Enough said, right? You can’t be German unless you eat bread. Cutting out bread for a month is more a quest to open up my breakfast options and live up to a challenge that truly is one and less about cutting down on carbs. However, in that regard it’s an effective thing to do. Also, grains can cause various digestive issues and have even been linked to sinus issues and allergies. I know I feel better without grains but that doesn’t mean that applies to everyone.
I’ve had my range of emotions in the past few weeks – from truly feeling sad when going to a bakery to get a coffee (what was I thinking) and not being able to buy anything to feeling utterly tempted to just go for it every time I look at that frozen loaf of bread in my freezer. Oh yeah, there was also the time I made my dog a peanut butter toast just so I could have some myself. She wasn’t so happy about sharing!
Yes, I have cheated but this challenge was not an attempt at being perfect. I wanted to see how creative I could be and what would happen in the process. I learned that I truly have an emotional connection to bread that goes beyond nourishment. While it makes me feel warm and comfortable, especially in the winter, it really doesn’t make me feel great in the long run. There are huge differences in bread and whenever possible I would go for the real deal rather than the plastic packages or even frozen stuff.
In the process though I found a few really great breakfast alternatives. I’ve shared with you the Bubble & Squeak recipe and yesterday I made Eggs on Kale. I’ve had massive cravings for kale over the weekend and yesterday I steamed up a big batch with garlic and put 3 eggs sunny-side up on it. It tasted amazing. It’s a breakfast that makes you feel healthy and full. You get plenty of protein with a whopping dose of fiber. You’re ready for the day. The rest of the kale was thrown in the oven for some crispy Kale chips.
Another great bread alternative are the Masala Burgers from Trader Joe’s. Each burger contains only 12 grams of carbs, which is less than most slices of bread. Add a few eggs and you have the perfect breakfast.
Greek yogurt is a great choice for someone on the run. A cup of Osikris, Chobani or Fage Greek Yogurt contains roughly 18 grams of protein. Add cinnamon for blood sugar control or a few berries and oats and you have a meal.
Omelets are ideal because they combine the protein from the eggs with veggies. Load up on the veggies and this breakfast will keep you full for hours – a sign that your blood sugar is stabilized and you’ll be in fat burning mode.
Protein Shakes are perfect when you’re on the run. Many gyms have juice bars or your local health food store can whip up a shake with whey protein powder, water and ice. Add half an avocado for extra good fat and to fill up. Keep in mind, however, that liquids don’t keep you full nearly as long as solid food. Liquids don’t require much digestion, whereas food needs to be broken down – hence you’ll be full longer.
With more breakfast options on my hand the realization that life is in fact possible without bread (even though my mom would probably still challenge me to the core on that one I will continue trying out new foods that incorporate lean protein and veggies galore.
If you’re been running into the same old hurdle with your diet, why don’t you pick just one thing that will make a big difference and give it a fair chance for a change. Whether it’s drinking 3 liters of water a day, eating a lean protein at every meal, or eating veggies every day – it all can make a big difference in your energy and health. Small changes go a long way. What will be your challenge?
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