Saturday, September 8, 2018

Broccoli for Breakfast

Phew! Life sure has been busy the last few weeks. I'm so glad I've had some well-established habits and routines to see me through the chaos because it's only those that have kept me on the straight and narrow path of healthy eating. Even so, I have had one deviation.

When I started this journey five months ago, I had been a part of Chef AJ's online Ultimate Weight Loss group for several months. She promotes eating vegetables for breakfast for a few reasons. I, for obvious reasons, balked at this and resisted it at every turn. I thought to myself, "Blech, there is no way on God's green earth (yes, I see the irony) that I'm going to eat vegetables first thing in the morning." So, I trudged along with my oatmeal and blueberries first thing upon waking, followed by a salad and some starch for lunch and then for dinner maybe some vegetables or a salad and some more starch. But what I noticed was that I was often hungry throughout the day, I sometimes wasn't satisfied, and more often than not I didn't eat any vegetables other than a salad. Hmmm...maybe Chef AJ did know what she was talking about.

So, I thought to myself, what vegetable can I stomach first thing in the morning? I tried sauteeing some spinach with onion and garlic and drizzling some balsamic vinegar over the top. This is something I really like in the afternoon, but as it turns out, I don't like it so much in the morning.

Another thing I figured out, I'm not really hungry when I first wake up in the morning. You really know when you're truly hungry in the morning if the first thing you eat is vegetables. Chef AJ says, "If you're not hungry enough to eat vegetables, you're not hungry." Again, she's right.
So, I don't even eat when I first wake up nine days out of ten. Instead, I pack my veggies and go about my day and when hunger strikes, usually about 11ish, I am ready to satisfy my hunger.

What, is it you ask, that I eat for breakfast? Broccoli! Weird, right? Yes, it is. I agree. Especially since I've never really liked broccoli before now. I used to only eat broccoli smothered with cheese sauce. So these days when I'm headed to work, which is most days, I have a 12 ounce (or 16 ounces if I've been to Costco) bag of broccoli with me that I put in the freezer until I'm hungry. When I'm ready, I microwave the steamable bag or put it in a microwaveable dish with some water. I season it with this yummy Kirkland organic no-salt seasoning and then drizzle it with Napa Valley Naturals Grand Reserve balsamic vinegar. Yum. Yes, I said yum. My palate has changed. I actually look forward to my broccoli and when I don't get it I miss it, which is what happened this last week.

I was extremely busy at work this last week and I didn't get my broccoli breaks, which I affectionately call them. And it just wasn't the same. The hunger didn't hit like it did in the beginning stages of this lifestyle, but I didn't get my veggies in later in the day either. Yesterday, work was less chaos and more structured, partly because I made it that way. I actually set an alarm on my phone and took my broccoli break when the alarm rang. Fifteen minutes to prepare and eat some broccoli in the morning and I somehow had time later in the day to have a second helping of vegetables. Funny how that works. So, the moral to my story is two-fold. If you're not hungry enough to eat vegetables for breakfast, you're probably not truly hungry. And eat your veggies. You'll have more energy. You won't get sick as often. Your appetite will be curbed. You'll lose weight. You'll be happier. (Yes, you'll really be happier. Listen to this podcast to hear the how and why.)

And while I may be weird for eating broccoli for breakfast, I'll take it. I feel great, have lost 57 pounds, am reversing chronic diseases, and am off prescription medications and ridding myself of those pesky side-effects. Here's to plant-powered passionate living!

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