Writing every single thing I eat in a day feels like standing naked in front of you.
Food is so personal. Especially for me. Given my history of scarfing half a bag of Sweet Tarts at one time, I’ve had my share of food shame. And bloating.
Truly believing I was an emotional overeater with no willpower, I always vowed to stop. But never actually could.
I was sure I had a major character defect.
But what I really had was low quality food paired with a blood sugar roller coaster.
Now the only cravings I have are for footwear.
I’ll show you how I do it with a series of posts on what I eat for breakfast, snack, lunch and dinner, with a list of what I make and what products I buy at the end of each post.
How much I eat and when I eat is as important as what I eat.
Breakfast happens within an hour of waking to stave off a blood sugar dip. It’s always some protein, vegetables and a small portion of complex carbohydrates.
For protein, if I’m in the mood for nostalgic comfort food, I’ll have one or two cheezey-dill scrambled eggs. The vegan cheeze is meltey, gooey and stretchy.
Then there’s eggs-over-easy. Topping steamed kale or vegetable pancakes with eggs-over-easy, the yolk works like cheese sauce. There’s no picture here. Runny eggs look like they’ve been shot, which isn’t pretty. I’ve sworn off putting them on film.
Sometimes I eat a link or two of organic turkey breakfast sausage. Honestly, meat often makes me squeamish. But I’m O.K. with these guys. Although, I avoid chicken sausages like the plague.
You’ve probably noticed that vegetables always cozy right up next to my protein. I need the nutrients since I’m healing my magnesium deficiency caused by overconsumption of sugar. The fiber and complex carbohydrates keep me full.
Reheating a mug of pre-made mild and soothing green soup is a fast alternative to steaming veggies.
Although, I’m not gonna lie. In the morning I steam my asparagus in the…brace yourself…microwave. Wrap it in a moist paper towel and microwave on high for a minute or until it’s tender. Careful though, it’s easy to overdo it and come out with floppy asparagus. Yes, microwaving isn’t ideal. I’ve accepted that sometimes the moment calls for it.
Healthy fats are key to feeling satisfied. Spritzing my bread with olive oil from my Misto and sprinkling it with a bit of nutritional yeast and a dash of salt adds flavor. I also like coconut oil or homemade honey spice bread spread too.
Changing what I eat based on the season staves off boredom and matches my body’s natural desires.
In the heat, I want the lightness of a green smoothie.
I’m cautious about adding fruit, which easily spikes my blood sugar. It’s only half a banana or half a cup of berries. Always combined with protein, fiber and health fats, without other added sugars. Unsweetened non-dairy yogurt can also cause a spike. I use no more than half a cup.
OK, admittedly, I probably have more free time in the morning than the average bear, since I work non-traditional hours at my academic advising job.
If you’re having a heart attack trying to figure out how to have time to cook in the morning, then this section is for you.
Try quinoa cups. Or crustless quiche with tomato, spinach and mushrooms. Just reheat them and run.
The turkey sausage I buy is fully cooked. I defrost it in the microwave and brown it in a pan, frequently while in another room. Thank God for my sense of smell. “Is something burning? Oh, Cr@p!”
To multi-task, get ready in a bathroom near the kitchen so you can put on mascara and keep an eye on your steaming kale at the same time. Well, not literally.
You’d poke your eye out.
What I make:
Homemade bread. The best breads for my blood sugar have high protein flours like quinoa, buckwheat or almond. Frequently, store-bought brands use lower quality starches, which affect my blood sugar and don’t keep me full as long. I make a loaf every week and freeze it in slices and pull out one or two at a time.
What I buy*:
Turkey sausage. Applegate Naturals Savory Turkey Breakfast Sausage. It’s dairy, gluten, and casein-free, nitrate and nitrite-free, and has just 5 ingredients; turkey, spices, salt and rosemary extract. There’s a small amount of evaporated cane syrup (less than 2%). Ideally, I’d avoid it but my body responds fine and I haven’t found a better alternative. One day I’ll make my own, which is cheaper and has zero sweetener. You’ll be the first to know when I do!
Non-dairy yogurt. WholeSoy Unsweetened Plain Soy Yogurt. This is the only unsweetened non-dairy yogurt on the market. I asked my grocery store to carry it and it’s been worth it. It’s non-GMO, sugar-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free.
Non-dairy milk. Trader Joe’s Unsweetened Almond Non-Dairy Milk, Vanilla flavor. Made without dairy, gluten, or carrageenan. It does have xanthan gum and a few other preservatives, so read the label closely if you have other food sensitivities. Until I have time to make my own, I’m accepting there may be a few preservatives in my milk.
Non-dairy cheese. I make and buy my cheese. But when I’m in a pinch for time and my freezer is empty, I use Daiya Vegan Cheese. Jalapeno Garlic Havarti has a spicy kick and makes my scrambled eggs fluffy. Keep in mind that not all their varieties are as flavorful as the Havarti wedge. It’s dairy, soy, gluten, egg and rice free.
If you made it to this point, your eyes are probably burning. Whether it’s good or bad news for you, I’ve got lots more to say.
Stay tuned for the rest of my series about what I eat. Coming later this week, I’m tackling snacks. And stay tuned for lunch and dinner posts. I’ve also got a beginners guide to going gluten and sugar-free.
What are your favorite gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free breakfasts? We want to know! Leave a comment to share.
*I use products that work for my gluten sensitivity. I have not investigated the manufacturing practices of these items. I know I’m preaching to the choir, but individuals with Celiac disease should research manufacturing conditions before using any products.