New Breakfast Ideas
I discussed health benefits of low carb a few weeks ago, but this week I want to delve in a little deeper and discuss some common misconceptions about reducing carbs. While some people think this is only a ‘fad’ and will pass like everything else, low carb diets have been around for many years. The first low-carb book is believed to be ‘Letters on Corpulence’ published by William Banting in 1863 and was very popular at the time. It was a dietary system Banting created based on advice from a physician. Even the Atkins diet had a cookbook first published in 1972. That it has been around for so long speaks to its staying power and doesn’t exactly qualify as a ‘fad’ even though it has had a resurgence the last couple of years.
While most diets are hard to stick to because of restricting foods you love, a lower carb diet can have the opposite effect. If done right, a diet consisting of higher good fats and protein can actually reduce your appetite cravings because what you eat fills you up sooner and keeps you fuller longer. Just eat until full and don’t try to stuff it all down just to clean your plate.
While water weight is quick to come off at first, it’s not all you will lose. One of the biggest advantages of lowering carbs is your body using stored fat to provide the energy you need. Once the carbs are out of your system, the body automatically goes for the fat (especially harmful abdominal fat) which is what it should be burning in the first place.
There are claims lowering carbs is bad for your heart because you increase your fat intake. This one really has nothing to do with the lowering of carbs and everything to do with fat intake. However, more and more studies are coming out that fats are not as bad for you as once thought. Studies have shown eating less carbs in addition to these higher good fats reduce triglycerides, increases the HDL or good cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, decreases insulin resistance and reduces inflammation. On average, it also tends to change the LDL or bad cholesterol from smaller, dangerous shapes to larger ones which actually reduces the chance for heart disease according to PubMed Central.
Ketosis is not the same as ketoacidosis. When your body is in ketosis, insulin levels go down and fat is released from your cells for the energy your body needs to function. When your liver gets flooded with fatty acids, it starts turning them into ketone bodies, or ketones. These are molecules that can cross the blood-brain barrier, supplying energy for your brain when there is not enough glucose. Ketoacidosis is a dangerous metabolic state that mainly happens in unmanaged type 1 diabetes. It involves your bloodstream getting flooded with massive amounts of ketones, enough to turn your blood acidic. This is extremely serious and can be fatal, but they are not the same thing.
Your brain does not require carbs to function. While it is true that some cells require glucose to function, this does not have to come from carbs. When your body has no carbs to burn for glucose, your liver turns protein and fat byproducts into glucose for those cells that need it. Most cells using glucose to function will simply switch over to ketones instead.
I will say again. I am not a doctor nor a dietician, just imparting some things I have learned. Please discuss things with your doctor if you want to drastically reduce your carb intake.
I must admit, breakfast is not something I really eat on a regular basis. I try, but there are some days I just don’t want to bother or I just can’t get interested in making more eggs. I recently started seriously looking for new ideas to jumpstart my morning routine and change things up a little. The recipes below are things I have tried in the last week or so that I really enjoyed. Make your grocery list and pick up some eggs and cream cheese. Then meet me in the kitchen for new breakfast ideas!
Chaffle Bacon Sandwich
Oh my! These are so easy to make and adapt!
½ cup mozzarella
2-3 slices turkey bacon
Cheese of choice, if desired
Other toppings as desired like lettuce, tomato or avocado
¼ tsp ground pepper, or other seasoning to taste
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Place bacon on baking sheet. Cook bacon 10-15 minutes or until it is cooked through and as crisp as you like it. Preheat waffle maker. In small bowl, whisk egg, mozzarella and seasoning for about a minute. Spray waffle maker with nonstick cooking spray. Pour egg mixture into waffle maker. Feel free to spread almost to edges to make sure it is a full ‘waffle’. Leave in waffle maker until cooked through and brown as desired. If you want fully brown and want some crunch, it will take close to 10 minutes depending on waffle maker. Break chaffle into two pieces if needed. Lay bacon on one side and top with cheese and other toppings. Place second chaffle on top. Serve immediately.
Note: Try it different ways! Curve it like a taco shell and eat it with taco meat and other toppings. Make hamburgers and use these as a bun. Top it with cheese and pizza toppings. Add vanilla, cinnamon and blueberries for a sweeter treat. The possibilities are as endless as your creativity!
Cream Cheese Pancakes
6oz cream cheese
6 large eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsps. granulated sweetener of choice-sweeten to taste
2 tsps. vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients in blender. Blend on medium/high until smooth. Pour like regular batter into a preheated and greased pan - medium temperature. Flip when sides are firm and bubbles appear evenly throughout. Top with butter and sugar free syrup. Makes about 9 pancakes.
Recipe adapted from ketokarma.com.
Inside Out Breakfast Burrito
I love these!
2 large eggs
2 Tbsps. heavy cream
2 thin sliced deli meat of choice
2 slices cooked bacon
2 Tbsps. shredded cheese of choice
Salt & pepper to taste
Optional Toppings: avocado/guacamole, salsa, etc.
Lightly coat medium skillet with non-stick cooking spray and heat over medium-low heat. In medium bowl, whisk together eggs, cream and salt & pepper to taste. When skillet is nice and hot, pour egg mixture into hot skillet and cover. Allow egg to cook for 2-3 minutes or until egg is cooked through and set. Once egg is cooked, remove pan from heat. Layer on slices of deli meat, bacon and shredded cheese. Carefully roll burrito up and transfer to plate. Top with other additional toppings and serve immediately.
Recipe adapted from theskinnyfork.com.
Cream Cheese Eggs
Don’t knock it until you try it. I liked these more than I thought I would.
1 Tbsp. unsalted sweet cream butter
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tsps. heavy cream if desired
1 Tbsp. cream cheese, softened to room temp if possible. This is not 100% necessary, but you can get to eating faster if the cream cheese is soft.
Melt butter in small skillet over medium low heat. In small bowl, whisk eggs, heavy cream and seasoning to taste. Once butter has melted and pan is hot, pour eggs into pan. Use a spatula to pull edges in towards middle of the pan and cook for about 2-5 minutes, stirring occasionally or continue to pull edges to the middle, until eggs are cooked as thoroughly as you like. Transfer to plate and add cream cheese immediately. Let sit for a minute to soften the cream cheese further. Stir to incorporate cheese or eat as a topping.