Whether weight loss is your game or managing your diabetes (or both), you have heard, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” at least once. Most of us actually heard this at some point growing up or in the process of growing up our own family. Back then it had to do with being at our best during the school day and hopefully having our brain function optimally. These days, it has more to do with trying to jump start a metabolism that has decided to enjoy early retirement or trying to bring down a fasting blood glucose number that seems to peak first thing in the morning.
Breakfast. Just the word conjures visions of french toast, banana nut pancakes, bacon, sausage links, biscuits, gravy, piggies in the blanket…… mmmmmmmmmm! For a weight loss crusader or a diabetic defender, these visions will stay just that…… visions. As a faithful follower of Weight Watchers, I know that you can treat yourself to these every once in awhile, especially if you manage your allotted daily points in a way that allows it. However, as a diabetic there is a question as to the definition of “once in awhile” and as for this diabetic…… treating myself once just creates a vicious craving that I would rather be without! And, bottomline, although those breakfast choices are once-in-awhile options, breakfast is not. Breakfast should be an everyday occurrence for an endless list of reasons; after all, it is the most important meal of the day!
Breakfast. Just the word conjures a steady stream of excuses…… I don’t like to eat in the morning, I don’t have time to eat in the mornings, I am not hungry in the mornings, nixing breakfast helps cut 1/3 of the day’s calories, yada yada yada. When I first started Weight Watchers in 2005 I was one of those I-don’t-like-to-eat-in-the-morning people. After a few months I became very frustrated with losing an average of less than 1 pound a week. My group leader re-addressed the topic of breakfast and its effects on weight loss with me. I decided, heck, if I could figure out how to enjoy exercise, I could figure out how to enjoy breakfast! My new routine became ½ cup of original Fiber One cereal mixed into a 98% fat free Yoplait yogurt, 1 small banana and a large glass of water. Within a month or so of adding breakfast to my day, my average weekly weight loss increased to 1.5lbs a week. I became a Breakfast Believer!
So, my ½ cup of original Fiber One cereal mixed into a 98% fat free Yoplait yogurt, 1 small banana and a large glass of water became my daily breakfast. The only part that varied was the flavor of yogurt. For 3 years – over 1,000 days that included a pregnancy – this was my Old Faithful of breakfasts. When I received my diagnosis of type 2 diabetes in October 2009, I was left utterly dumbfounded. Yes, Old Faithful was healthy; yes, it had contributed greatly to my weight loss (93 lbs) and to my efforts to maintain my loss; yes, it seemed responsible for keeping my “plumbing” in good order; however, in an instant, the arrival of diabetes turned my old friend to a new foe!
This value of this breakfast had been quantified for years as “3 points.” This is fantastic in a Weight Watchers World. Now, it was quantified as “65g carbohydrates.” This is known as one big fat no-no in a type 2 diabetes world. Every diabetic is different and their blood sugar responds to different foods at different times of the day. I tried everything. I tried Fiber One and water, yogurt and water, Fiber One and the banana, the banana and water…… you get my drift. My blood sugar was just not on board with any of the combinations. Now I was stuck. I needed to lose 80 lbs, so I knew I needed to eat breakfast. My mornings are CRAZY trying to get myself ready for work and my 2 year old ready for school. I needed an new Old Faithful. It needed to be delicious, fast, low carb AND low points. How’s that for high maintenance??
Two fellow Weight Watchers turned me on to Egg Beaters. Now, I had eaten them before and I loved them. The key to this “turn on” was that they let me in on a little secret……. THEY CAN BE MICROWAVED! Who knew? Microwaved egg substitute out of a carton gave rise to my current Old Faithful. Not only is it “5 points” and “18g carbs (11 net)”…… it can be prepared in less than 4 minutes and yes, I have timed it on multiple occasions! The punch line – my blood glucose is routinely 120ish 2 hours after my 1st bite. I take the ingredients for the week to work every Monday morning so that i am never left empty handed and tempted to just wait it out until lunch.
A Breakfast Believer’s Breakfast Burrito – 5 Weight Watchers Points, 18g carbs/7g fiber
1/2 c Egg Beaters
1 Mission low carb small flour tortilla
1 Tbsp salsa
1/4 c Weight Watchers shredded cheese
1/2 small or 1/4 large avocado, sliced
Microwave bow of Egg Beaters for 2 minutes, stirring about every 30 seconds. While microwaving eggs, place tortilla on plate and put cheese on tortilla. When eggs are finished put on top of cheese. Top eggs with salsa and sliced avocado. Breakfast Bliss!
Whether we are hustling ourselves to work or hustling children to school, breakfast is just an easy thing to miss. However, once you experience the impact the most important meal of the day can have on your weight loss efforts or how the right breakfast may help decrease your blood glucose faster than skipping a morning meal, you too, will be a breakfast believer!
Do you have an Old Faithful? I would love to hear what made you a Breakfast Believer!
The Dishing Diabetic