A few days ago I explained my upcoming 6-week habit reboot, intended to put the last annoying pregnancy weight behind me for good. I started general meal planning by making a list of dinners that would work with the kind of schedule I will be keeping over those summer weeks. I didn't assign dinners to dates yet, though -- I will do specific meal planning week by week when I make my grocery lists.
Today I attacked the same problem, only for breakfast. Normally I do not plan breakfasts ahead of time. I usually just have whatever I feel like having, typically some combination of eggs or yogurt, toast, and fruit or V-8. I probably don't have to do this, because I rarely have an excessive breakfast, but I thought I would make a list anyway and then I would at least have portions all figured out.
I figured that I have four kinds of mornings coming up:
- Five breakfasts out by myself, early on a Saturday morning.
- Seven weekend breakfasts at home with the family. This calls for muffins, pancakes, or similar.
- Thirteen weekday breakfasts soon after shopping, when we still have fresh fruit around.
- Twenty weekday breakfasts after I can expect all the fresh fruit to be gone.
Breakfasts out by myself need a strategy, not a plan, and I already have such a strategy. At the Ordinary Breakfast Place I always have buttered pumpernickel toast, one egg, and a big glass of tomato juice. At the Fancy Breakfast Place I usually order the delicious breakfast quesadilla, on a house-made sprouted tortilla with black beans, spinach, and guacamole, and take half of it home for later.
I raided my cookbooks for some good weekend-morning breakfasts, around 400 calories, and came up with this list:
- Lemon-blueberry muffin (150 cal), scrambled egg + eggwhite + onions + mushrooms, 2/3 c whole milk
- Coffee cake muffin (220 cal), 1/2 c plain yogurt, 1 c berries
- Chocolate-chip scone (160 cal), 1 c strawberries, 1/2 c yogurt or cottage cheese, 1 Tbsp sliced almonds
- 1 waffle with blueberries and 1 Tbsp maple syrup, 2/3 c whole milk
- 2 cornmeal pancakes (1/4 c batter each) with 1 c blueberries and 6 oz blueberry yogurt
Why the 2/3 cup of whole milk everywhere? Well, published meal plans always call for 1 cup of skim milk. Bleah. I like whole milk, so I only pour 2/3 of a cup.
I think the best plan for weekday breakfasts is to eat the same breakfast a few days in a row; change it to something else when I run out of fresh fruit; then, change it again when I buy more fresh fruit a few days later.
My "there is fresh fruit in the house" weekday breakfasts might include
- Toasted whole wheat English muffin, 2 tsp whipped butter, 2/3 cup plain yogurt with a teaspoon of honey, and 1 cup sliced strawberries
- 1 egg scrambled with bell pepper, tomato, 1.5 oz turkey kielbasa, red onion, garlic; 1 slice wheat toast, 1 cup blueberries
- 2 eggs scrambled with cream and spinach or broccoli and bell pepper, half an English muffin, butter
- Ham, egg, and cheese (or bacon, egg, no cheese) sandwich on an English muffin with tomato and a cup of fruit salad
- 3/4 cup plain whole Greek yogurt, 3/4 cup chopped fruit or berries, 1/4 cup granola or other crunchy cereal, drizzle of honey
After the fresh berries run out, I could have one of these:
- 2-egg frittata with green pepper, onion, cheese, and salsa; 1 slice toast; half a grapefruit or some canned mandarin oranges
- Toasted English muffin with 4 tsp peanut butter, half a banana, and 2/3 c whole milk
- Toasted English muffin half, spread with a wedge of Laughing Cow cheese; hard boiled egg; fruited yogurt cup; tomato juice or V-8
- 3 ounces of bagel (e.g., mini or half), 2 Tbsp hummus, cucumber and tomato, 1/2 c canned fruit
- 2 soft-boiled eggs, (six minutes for me), 1 slice of toast with plenty of butter, glass of V-8 or tomato juice
- 2 scrambled eggs with cream and butter, half an English muffin with a bit of honey, glass of V-8
You might notice the total absence of bowls of cereal in this breakfast plan. This is because once I start eating bowls of cereal, I usually fall into an iterative loop of "Oops, I ate all the cereal but there is still milk in the bowl; add cereal" followed by "Oops, there is no more milk in the bowl but I still have cereal; add milk." I do better with oatmeal, but I don't really want that in the summer.