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How I started "eating" breakfast...

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Breakfast is hard. Really hard. When I get up, the thought of food makes me literally gag.

My SparkBuddy happens to be one of my best friends IRL, and she was constantly harassing me on this point. Finally she said, "Just have a smoothie...anything with protein."

OK, I thought. I can drink coffee in the surely drinking something else will work for me.

After a couple of really horrific experiments [some folks like yogurt in theirs...I decidedly do NOT. Ick.] I found a few favorites, so I thought I'd share some tips.

First, a Magic Bullet makes the entire process so much easier. I used to try to do this with a blender, but the mess, clean up, etc was more a reason not to do it. So. Magic Bullet is my number one recommendation.

Now, think of what fruits you like best. Mine was strawberries. Also bananas. Bananas at my house tend to get eaten the day they come into the house, and then not again, so half of the bunch used to go to waste. Now, if they start to get the tiniest brown, I chunk them up into a ziploc bag and toss them into the freezer. Frozen bananas are AWESOME in smoothies. But I digress...start with the fruits YOU like best. And start simple. Many fruits are available without sugar added. Get THOSE. You do not need the extra sugar, fruit has enough. Keep in mind some fruits have lots of seeds. I am not fond of the raspberry and blueberry smoothies, because of this. You will have to try it and see.

Next, you need protein powder. I use whey protein, for many reasons, but mainly because the ick factor in soy, egg and other protein powders is so dang high. Look for something that has at least 26 grams of protein per scoop, and not a lot of carbs or sugars. The cheapest you can get, that is still pretty good for you, is Body Fortress Whey Isolate. You can get it at Walmart in a 1 lb container. I prefer the vanilla, because it works for most any smoothie recipe. When you become a fuss budget like me [thanks to said SparkBuddy] and you want a super clean whey isolate, you can spend a bit more and get NOW sports 100% pure whey protein isolate, unflavored, linked below. Costs a bit more, but I eat this every day and it's at least 25% of my protein intake, so...anyhow. I'm worth it, yadda, yadda.

OK, Now you have your Bullet, your favorite fruit[s] and your protein. You're gonna need some liquid. Here's where the dreaded yogurt comes in. Some folks LOVEloveLOVE to add yogurt here. That is SO up to you. I would NOT start that way. Start with milk, or even better, water. I use water or Crystal Light. Sometimes I use Carb Countdown milk, SoDelicious Coconut milk or Almond Milk. All of these have low fat/sugar chocolate versions as well. I keep both on hand. You can mix and match stuff later. For now, just find something you think you can make fast and stomach in the am.

The basic formula is:
1-1.5 cups frozen fruit
1 scoop protein powder
Your choice of sweetener, to taste

Sweeteners are a huge issue with people, so use what you want. I prefer sweet n low, which drives my SparkBuddy to distraction, because she's sure all artificial sweeteners are from Satan. Just remember to track them, if you use sugar or honey or whatever. Many fruits are sweet enough you don't need sweetener. If you have banana in a smoothie, you probably don't need sweetener. If it's straight strawberries or blueberries, you might.

Now in the bullet, the "measuring" is easy. I put liquid in first, so the protein doesn't stick. About 1/3 the container, about 1/2 cup. Then I add my scoop of protein and fill with frozen fruit. If there's any room left, I fill it with water. I put the lid on and buzz it in the bullet. I like mine really smooth, with no chunks, so I tend to spin it a lot, but at least until it "sounds" like it's'll know. If you use a blender, you will need to experiment a bit, but it's about 1-1.5 cups of frozen fruit to .5 cups liquid and one scoop of powder.

So, some of my "recipes". These are things I make at least weekly:

Just Strawberry Smoothie
1 scoop protein powder
Frozen strawberries

Strawberry Banana
1 scoop protein powder
2 parts Frozen strawberries
1 part Frozen bananas

Banana Split
1 scoop protein powder
Equal parts:
Frozen strawberries
Frozen bananas
Chocolate milk or plain with choc syrup

Chocolate Banana
[this one is so frikkin' awesome, I have it as a dessert sometimes]
1 scoop protein powder
Frozen bananas
Chocolate milk or plain with choc syrup

Tropical Smoothie
1 scoop protein powder
Great Value frozen mixed fruit [mangos, pineapple, peaches, strawberries]
SoDelicious Coconut Milk beverage

OK, so...I have mostly given up coffee, and have smoothies most mornings. This gets me 2 or three servings of fruit, and protein and are fairly low calorie, depending on what I put in that day. However, once in awhile I still want a latte'...and my protein

Cyndi's Protein Latte'
1 cup coffee [or shots of espresso, whatever you do]
1 scoop protein powder
1/2 cup of milk or milk-like beverage [I use Carb Countdown or Almond Milk - chocolate versions sometimes, too]
Sweetener, if desired
Ice, if desired.

Mix your protein powder with your milk first. In the bullet works nice, mixes up better, but makes a nice foam, too. Not too long, tho. Then slowly pour into coffee. If making an iced latte', pour coffee over ice and then add protein/milk mixture. Stir. YUM.

OK, so. Sorry this is so long. It has taken me awhile to get all of this nailed down the way I like it. But when I get up, I can make a smoothie or a protein latte' in under 5 minutes and breakfast is done. All I have to decide is flavor. Boom. Done. Hope this helps other non-breakfasty Sparkers.


NOW Sports Protein:

Magic Bullet:
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • EVELYN5877
    I don't know what a magic bullet is either, perhaps we don't have them in England. I've also never used protein powder. I use canned fruit in my smoothies. We can get it with no added sugar, canned in fruit juice and I whizz up a couple plus more unsweetened fruit juice. Avoids both sugar and yogurt.
    3474 days ago
  • no profile photo CD9767578
    This is a LIFESAVER!! I hate eating in the morning and this is doable. I never drank coffee until I quit soda last year and now I drink 1-2 cups in the morning and I always feel as though its just wasted calories because I have to add sugar. I'm a wimp and my fella like his coffee...Rippin'! emoticon

    This would be a better use of those calories and I can feel as though I have accomplished breakfast at the same time! Fantastic-Thanks!
    3478 days ago
    My favorite... frozen banana, 1 tablespoon peanut butter, 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond breeze throw it all in the magic bullet,,,240 calories...yummy breakfast.
    3481 days ago
    OK, I added a link at the bottom of the post to the bullet on Amazon. You can find them at Walmart too. I only use it for smoothies, but they claim to be able to turn eggs into gold and milk into silver and...oh, I dunno what all on the infomercial. But whatever they DON'T do...meh...they DO smoothies really nicely.

    If you page through my shared food tracker you can see many of my smoothies there and an idea of the calorie counts based on what I use for liquid and stuff.
    3481 days ago
    Awesome blog! Thanks for all the information!!
    3482 days ago
    I've never bought protein powder for smoothies, so thanks for the (pardon the expression) scoop....

    Frozen bananas are my basic smoothie fruit (Have you tried them in the Spark People soft serve ice cream imitation- So Good!).... and I'm afraid that I'm a yogurt lover, too- I hardly ever get enough dairy...
    3482 days ago
    These sound delicious. I feel stupid for asking but what the heck is a magic bullet? I never thought about doing a protein poweder smoothy but holy moly 27 grams of protein? I SO need to look into that. I CONSTANTLY struggle to get my proteins. So I am really thinking about doing this. But I don't have a blender. And I don't know what a magic bullet is or how much that would cost. Can you give me an idea of about how many calories are in some of these things you gave us recipes for? Thanks for sharing.
    3482 days ago
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