November 11th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
You’re late for work, skip breakfast and grab something when you arrive at your job.
In 1996, the dictionary listed a new word for this meal: deskfast.
Approximately 20% of us indulge in deskfast, according to registered dietitian Karen Collins, nutrition adviser for the American Institute for Cancer Research. The trick is to choose whole—not junk—foods.
“A strategy for a high-energy, health-promoting breakfast is to include a good source of protein plus a whole grain and a fruit or vegetable,” Collins says. “For protein, consider dairy or soy versions of skim milk, low-fat yogurt or reduced-fat cheese, an egg, peanut butter, walnuts or almonds. For a less traditional breakfast, grab leftover chicken or chili.
“Juice is one quick way to get vitamins and antioxidants,” she adds, “but if you’re trying to lose weight or have trouble with mid-morning hunger pangs, studies suggest that solid fruit [or vegetables] may keep you satisfied longer and for fewer calories.”
Fresh fruit can pose the greatest deskfast challenge, unless you work close to a store that carries natural and organic foods. Collins urges readers to wash or cut up fruit the night before.
Packing a complete deskfast the night before is the most economical option.
“In 5 to 10 minutes, you can make a peanut butter and fruit sandwich on whole wheat, a container of whole-grain cereal with separate containers of milk and fruit to combine at work, or grab dinner leftovers,” she says.
Read More:Do You Eat Deskfast?
September 25th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
Cereal in a milkshake?
With the right ingredients, you can drink a hearty breakfast that offers protein, fruit and fiber.
Today’s recipe is great for busy morning breakfasts—a grab-and-go option for readers who tend to skip the most important meal of the day.
All of the ingredients should be available at your local natural and organic food store.
Strawberry Cereal Shake
Makes 1 serving
1 cup fat-free milk
1 cup unsweetened frozen strawberries
1/2 cup bran cereal with dates, raisins and nuts
1 tablespoon honey
- Place all ingredients in a blender container; cover.
- Blend on high speed for 30 seconds, or until well blended.
- Pour into a large glass. Serve immediately.
Recipe courtesy of Post Classic Cereals
Read More:Strawberry Cereal Shake
September 10th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
When you want to create a hearty meal, consider serving breakfast for dinner—a popular idea in my home.
These waffle sandwiches are a great back-to-school mealtime solution, made with fresh organic dairy products and pantry staples. They’re high in protein, and the waffles help meet your daily whole-grain requirements. (I like Nature’s Path Flax Plus organic waffles.)
All of the ingredients in today’s recipe should be readily available at your local natural and organic food store.
For another breakfast-for-dinner recipe, check out Southwestern Scramble.
Spicy Ham & Egg Waffle Sandwiches
Makes 2 servings
4 ounces sliced ham
1 teaspoon butter
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 slices cheddar cheese
1 cup picante sauce
- Warm ham slices in oven.
- Melt butter in a skillet on medium heat. Lower temperature to medium-low.
- Crack and scramble eggs in the skillet for about two minutes. Add shredded cheddar cheese to the eggs, and mix well.
- Toast waffles, according to package directions.
- To make the sandwich, top one waffle with half of the ham, egg and cheese mixture. Next, top with a slice of cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup picante sauce. Top with another waffle and serve.
- Repeat with remaining ingredients to make a second sandwich.
Recipe and photo courtesy of Pace Salsa
Read More:Spicy Ham & Egg Waffle Sandwiches
September 6th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
As noted a week ago, Americans need to close the whole-grain gap. Most of us fail to meet our daily dietary requirements.
With August vacations behind us and the school year upon us, New York City dietitian Jackie Newgent offers some great ways to turn your bland morning cereal into a breakfast superstar. Newgent is the author of Big Green Cookbook: Hundreds of Planet-Pleasing Recipes and Tips for a Luscious, Low-Carbon Lifestyle.
Dress Up Your Cereal. Don’t serve cereal with plain ol’ milk. Opt for fat-free milk and fruit or low-fat yogurt (or fat-free soy milk and fruit). Try exotic fruits that are new to you, or pick up some peak-season selections from your local farmers’ market. There are endless varieties.
Make a Cereal Sundae. Layer your favorite organic whole-grain cereal in a wine, martini or parfait glass, along with low-fat yogurt and seasonal fruit. Check out last month’s recipe for Mandarin Orange Cereal Bowl.
Mix-and-Match Cereals to Create Your Favorite Combo. You know you should choose an organic high-fiber cereal. But if its flavors fail to satisfy you, mix it with a lower-fiber cereal. (Sugary kids’ cereals don’t count!) You’ll get the best of both worlds: nutrition and taste.
Snacks and Other Meals
Bag It to Go. Toss cereal, dried fruit and nuts in travel-size containers. Try dried cranberries and almonds for a nutritious kick and super flavor.
Sprinkle It…Just a Bit. Want to add a little crunch to a salad or casserole? Top it with a crunchy, high-fiber organic cereal instead of croutons, French-fried onions or potato chips.
Read More:High-Stylin’ Cereal
August 31st, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
Ninety percent of Americans fail to meet the recommended daily guidelines for whole-grain consumption, which vary by gender and age.
Whole grains include oatmeal, brown or wild rice, buckwheat, bulgur, whole-wheat cereal, whole-wheat pasta and quinoa. (Click here for a full list. Be sure to differentiate them from refined grains, and make organic choices.)
“Start the day right with a bowl of whole-grain cereal, fat-free milk and fruit,” says Jackie Newgent, a registered dietitian and culinary consultant in New York City.
“Americans need to close the whole-grains gap,” says Newgent, author of Big Green Cookbook: Hundreds of Planet-Pleasing Recipes and Tips for a Luscious, Low-Carbon Lifestyle. “Whole grains are rich in vitamins and minerals and are also loaded with fiber—a great tool for weight management because it fills you up and keeps you satisfied.”
Whole-grain cereals are “familiar, satisfying, taste great and offer the utmost in convenience for busy consumers,” she adds.
“What you add to your cereal can elevate it to a real taste sensation and nutritional powerhouse.” (Saturday’s recipe for Mandarin Orange Cereal Bowl is a perfect example.)
Whole grains help prevent obesity, diabetes, heart disease and some forms of cancer, Newgent says, and studies show consumption is associated with lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Also by Jackie Newgent: The All-Natural Diabetes Cookbook
Read More:Closing the Whole-Grains Gap
August 29th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
Eating a healthy breakfast can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, aid in weight loss, and improve memory and concentration.
For children, skipping breakfast has been associated with headaches, fatigue, restlessness, irritability and other problems.
We tend to forgo breakfast when we’re rushed or bored with the same old morning menu. But solving this quandary is easy: Be creative, stick to simple ingredients, and add a flavorful “wow factor.”
Our weekend recipe is a perfect example of delicious, easy-to-prepare breakfast fare. With only three ingredients, it’s a high-fiber antidote to no-time-for-breakfast excuses.
All of the ingredients should be readily available at your local natural and organic food store.
Mandarin Orange Cereal Bowl
Makes 1 serving
1 cup shredded-wheat cereal
2/3 cup mandarin orange segments and their juice (about half of an 11-oz. can)
1/4 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
- Place cereal in serving bowl. Top with mandarin orange segments and juice.
- Top with yogurt.
Recipe courtesy of Post Classic Cereals
Read More:Mandarin Orange Cereal Bowl
August 4th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
We already know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. As noted in Healthy Breakfast May Protect Against Heart Disease:
Eating breakfast—especially one that includes whole grains—reduces your risk for heart attack, stroke, type 2 diabetes and heart failure, according to the May 2008 issue of the Harvard Heart Letter.
Now, a prominent physician suggests that if you’re watching your weight, there’s an optimal time to eat your first organic meal of the day: within 15 to 30 minutes of waking up, and no later than 8 a.m.
Matthew Edlund, MD, director of the Center for Circadian Medicine in Sarasota, FL, and author of The Body Clock Advantage, recently told Redbook magazine: “If you don’t eat breakfast, your body thinks it’s in starvation mode, and you’ll eat more food later on.”
Try these recipes from our blog:
Read More:The Right Time for Breakfast
June 20th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
Most adults should consume about 1,000 mg of calcium per day. Adolescents require 1,300 mg, and postmenopausal women need 1,200 mg.
Unfortunately, up to 70% of us miss these dietary marks, which translates to greater risks for weak bones and osteoporosis, as well as dental problems. Calcium deficiency can also lead to nervous-system irritability and muscle spasms.
Experts agree that breakfast provides one of the best opportunities to add calcium to your diet, but many people skip this meal altogether in their haste to get to work or school.
“Adults who eat breakfast regularly tend to eat fewer calories, less saturated fat and cholesterol, and have better overall nutrition status than breakfast skippers,” says Andrea Garen, a registered dietitian with the Dairy Council of California. “Try to choose foods from at least two or more food groups. Protein-rich foods like milk and yogurt take longer to digest and will provide sustained energy to keep you feeling full and energized until lunchtime.”
Garen offers the following healthful and convenient breakfast ideas:
- Cereal, low-fat milk, and fruit or glass of 100% fruit juice
- English muffin with a melted cheese slice and 100% fruit juice
- Yogurt with homemade granola and berries
- Hardboiled egg and whole-grain toast with a glass of milk
If you’re a vegan, or if you’re lactose-intolerant, many other foods can help you meet your calcium quota: blackstrap molasses, sweet potato, beet greens, tomato puree, collard greens, kale, broccoli, soy milk, calcium-enriched tofu, almond milk, cod, prune juice, stewed prunes, lentils, kidney beans and split peas.
From Our Organic Blog
Going Vegetarian? Make a Plan for Success
Strawberries & Cream
Smart Organic Breakfast Choices
Nutrition & Gender
Organic Flavored Milks: Pros and Cons
Read More:Americans Fail to Meet Calcium Requirements
March 30th, 2007 - Barbara Feiner
Most Americans fall short on their daily fiber intake. My simple solution? Start with a hearty, fiber-rich breakfast.
A bowl of cracked wheat cereal contains approximately 140 calories and 5 grams of fiber. I recommend Bob’s Red Mill Cracked Wheat, an organic choice that can be found at most natural food stores. You can also add cracked wheat to recipes for muffins, breads and other organic baked goods.
Here’s an easy recipe to jumpstart your weekend.
Cracked Wheat Cereal
Makes 3–4 servings
1½ cups water
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cracked wheat
- In a small saucepan, bring water and salt to a boil. Quickly stir in the cracked wheat, and continue to stir to prevent lumps.
- Reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Serve with a variety of condiments, such as chopped apples, raisins or other dried fruit, brown sugar, honey, cinnamon sugar, coconut, fresh berries or bananas.
Recipe and photo courtesy of the Wheat Foods Council
Read More:Cracked Wheat Cereal
February 12th, 2007 - Barbara Feiner
Let’s start planning Wednesday’s organic Valentine’s Day feast—and what better way to kick things off than a deliciously healthful dessert?
With strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, this fruit-filled, easy-to-prepare dish is a romantic feast for the eyes and palate.
Triple-Berry Granola Crisp
Makes 9 servings
- 1 bag (10 oz.) Cascadian Farm frozen organic blueberries
- 1 bag (10 oz.) Cascadian Farm frozen organic strawberries
- 1 bag (10 oz.) Cascadian Farm frozen organic raspberries
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups Cascadian Farm organic oats & honey granola
- Vanilla reduced-fat ice cream or vanilla yogurt, if desired
- Heat oven to 375°F. In ungreased 8-inch square (2-quart) glass baking dish, stir together frozen berries, sugar and flour until fruit is coated.
- Bake 20 minutes. Stir; sprinkle with granola.
- Bake 15 to 20 minutes longer or until light golden brown and bubbly. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm with ice cream.
Recipe and photo © 2007 Cascadian Farms/Small Planet Foods
Book Pick of the Day: Berries
Read More:Triple-Berry Granola Crisp