Friday, March 5, 2010

Breakfast Help?


At a recent doctor's appointment I was told by an RN that I had mild hypothyroidism. Without looking any further, she wrote me a prescription for synthetic hormones that I would need to be on forever, and shooed me out the door. I have a distrust of the medical realm anyway, and this was no help. Um...forever? Synthetic hormones? I think not. I'm sure for some this would be a fine solution, but not for me.

So I did research. I lost sleep. (Sleep I desperately needed, since one of the classic symptoms of hypothyroidism is exhaustion. I already had my fair share of that.) Most of all I prayed. And after a conversation with a dear friend, I felt I had direction. I made an appointment with a naturopathic doctor. This is another realm that I'm not entirely comfortable with, mostly because of the heavy leaning on New Age sensibilities. But, I trusted it more than an RN with an itchy prescription pad.

My appointment was yesterday, and I'm so glad I decided to go. She talked with me about nutrition, about supplements, and about exercise. And I wasn't overwhelmed. I don't really know much about nutrition, but I try to feed my family what I thought was balanced meals. I thought wrong. She said that we are not getting enough protein in our diet, and what we needed was an almost complete overhaul of our menu. But she made it simple for me. She told me to change one meal a week, and by the time I go see her again in four weeks, I'll have mastered all three meals and snacks. And I should be feeling better.

So, my first change is breakfast. We normally eat 1/4 c. oatmeal mixed with 1/2 c. milk and 1/2 c. applesauce. I thought I was doing good, but after I really looked at the grammage (is that a word?) we were being overloaded with carbs and not enough protein. So the simple change would be to have 2 scrambled eggs, 1 whole wheat slice of toast with butter, and 1 c. milk. This brings us to around 30% protein, 45% carbs, and 25% fat. I thought of adding in fruit, but a banana has almost no protein and doubles the carbohydrate intake.

Having this same breakfast day after day might get old, so I'm asking your help to come up with a couple of other standbys. What does your family eat for breakfast?


Kate said...

A lovely thing about eggs, is that there are so many ways to fix them! I would say that you could vary your breakfast menu by making them poached (I like to serve these on toast with some mozzarella cheese on top); as an omelette, fritatta(sp?), or quiche. Breakfast burrito's(-eggs and cheese wrapped up in a tortilla) and egg sandwiches are good. And perhaps varying what you serve along with it, might help. Like some good turkey sausage(we usually eat venison sausage from DH's deer here!), maybe some grits ;).....fruit, muffins. Mmmmm. I do love breakfast.....
I am so glad you were able to find a good doctor to help you out!

Jennie C. said...

Oh, yes, we are lovers of the eggs here. Dutch babies are made of eggs, milk and flour. Bake and serve with a fruit topping. Huevos Rancheros are also very yummy, but we don't like the poached egg texture, so I just fry them. Then, they're topped with salsa and cheese. Don't know about the protein in pancakes, but I usually serve them with eggs. :-) Omelets with cheese and leftover meat and veggies. Quiche, maybe? I serve that for lunch, though, because it takes a minute to make. French toast? Eggs are very versatile.

mom said...

Eggs are good baby but you have to watch out for the cholesterol, with eggs try some protien shakes, maybe some fruit such as blueberries they have alot of protien, believe it or not, bannanas have alot of good nutrients, drink breakfast shakes from scratch, mixed with yogert, they are good and nutritious. I love you and wish you all the best of health.

Nicole said...

I agree with Kate: you can do so much with eggs!

Do you like egg toast? This is something my mother used to make for us sometimes. You very lightly toast a piece of whole grain toast and cut a hole in the middle of it. Put it in your pan, then drop an egg in the hole to cook. (You may choose to break the yolk or not.)

This way, you get some grains without too much, and it's a yummy alternative to an egg sandwich!

wdomburg said...

As Kate and Jennie pointed out, eggs are incredibly versatile. Other ideas would include shirred eggs or egg in the basket.

There are also a lot of protein sources aside from grains. If you want to keep fat intake under control but don't like turkey bacon, look for center cut bacon. Some brands actually have less fat than turkey bacon (and taste far better in my opinion).

Dairy can also be a great source of protein. Try perhaps a cup of yogurt or apple slices with cheddar. I've also done smoothies to provide extra protein in the past.

I wouldn't entirely rule out the hot cereals either. Many whole grains provide a significant amount of protein, and the soluble fiber they provide slows digestion of carbohydrates. You could further augment the protein by mixing in a handful of nuts. Oatmeal with cranberries and walnuts is lovely on a cold day.

Nuts and nut butters are probably a good idea to incorporate in general. Some muesli with milk and slivered almond, for when you need something quick. A mini whole wheat bagel with a tablespoon of peanut butter packs a pretty hefty amount of protein and lots of good fats.

(I'm Matthew, by the way. I've followed your blog for a while, but have never commented before.)

Nicole said...

I make grits, and add eggs and cheese to them. I have also made oatmeal and added eggs and powdered milk to them. Just beat up 1 egg per person and add it to the pot of oatmeal (or grits) after it's done and stir them in, they'll cook as you stir. I have never done this, but peanut butter might be good in oatmeal too.

Also my husband makes sunshine toast. Take a slice of bread, using a biscuit cutter cut a hole in middle of the bread, butter both sides, place it in a skillet or on a griddle and crack an egg in the middle. THe kids love this!
Hope this helps!

Cmerie said...

Thank you all for your input! It's been a big help.

Lisa@UnexpectedJourney said...

I don't know if you would consider this for breakfast, but I ate it when I needed extra protein for my gestational diabetes. Try a quesadilla with shredded chicken, cheese and maybe some tomatoes. I loved it!

HolyMama! said...

i'm an egg poacher, myself... yum.