In general, I try to stay away from posting desserts. There are a thousands (if not millions) of cake and cookie recipes up on the internet, and the last thing we need is another delicious plate of ooey-gooey-ness tempting us to ditch our healthy resolutions.
But I had to make an exception today for three very important reasons:
Get a high protein, savory breakfast with this easy oatmeal recipe!
Even though all the hype is around smoothie bowls and unicorn toast, I wanted to highlight a how you can update a breakfast classic so it feels just as fancy, without the need to buy crazy or hard-to-find ingredients.
I get it: most oatmeal recipes all end the same way: cinnamon, maple syrup, banana, berries….it can be pretty boring.
And while those smoothie bowls are cool (literally and figuratively), sometimes you just want something with a little more heft, salty/savory quality, and of course, protein.
The problem with regular oatmeal
Oatmeal is a fabulous food: it’s high in fiber, beneficial vitamins, and it’s just plain delicious. However, it’s a little lacking in the protein and fat department. That means that when you eat a simple breakfast of oatmeal and fruit, you get all carbs, resulting in a quick burst of energy that simply doesn’t last.
Even if you appreciate a sweeter oatmeal, it’s important to find ways to add more protein and fat, whether it’s through coconut oil, almonds, peanut butter, or chia seeds.
A needed oatmeal update
In the spirit of “put an egg on it”, I wanted to make a savory oatmeal that’s high in protein and tastes fabulous. Bonus: this breakfast looks and sounds much fancier than it really is, meaning it’s the perfect thing for Sunday brunch.
In my savory oatmeal recipe, we pair oatmeal with a fried egg, tahini, and green onions.
About the ingredients:
Tahini sounds fancy, but it’s essentially peanut butter made with sesame seeds. It results in a creamy, rich topping that pairs perfectly with the egg yolk. Sesame seeds are a great source of zinc and warm your body right up.
Green onions add a burst of fresh flavor.
Chaat masala is an Indian spice blend that adds a sour element that plays perfectly off the creaminess of the other ingredients.
Even though it looks like a lot of steps, it can actually come together in 15 minutes or less. It’s a great way to get your body feeling good for a powerful, focused day.
Cook the oatmeal according to the ingredients on the container: bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add the oats and salt, and stir. Let the oats boil for approximately 5 minutes, and then turn down the heat and let sit for another 3-5 minutes.
Meanwhile: fry your egg. Heat olive oil in a skillet, add the egg, and cook to your liking.
Giving up caffeine was probably the hardest food change I’ve made over this past 12 years of eating healthy.
Reducing meat? Pretty simple. Giving up Doritos? I was OK with that. But caffeine? Coffee? My personal and professional love? That was hard.
Why I decided to give up caffeine
By the time I decided to give up caffeine, I had a super clean diet. I at (basically) no processed food, only consumed meat 2-3 times per week, and I cooked my own meals. But there were two main reasons why I decided to cut caffeine out.
Mood and energy management. I was by no means a coffee fiend. I drank a small coffee or espresso every morning and afternoon. But I knew that if I didn’t get my coffee…I’d be asking for a headache. Even worse, I would get cranky and angry until I had my caffeine fix. I decided that I didn’t want to be dependent on this substance to be my best self.
Adrenal health. Caffeine boosts our metabolism and increases cortisol, our main stress hormone. Drinking caffeine gives you a quick burst of energy that’s akin to getting chased by a tiger (i.e., stress). After that burst of energy and adrenaline, you’re left with the after effects (i.e., burnout). It’s not a long-term energy solution. If you’re dealing with adrenal fatigue, thyroid or estrogen issues, cutting out caffeine might be hugely beneficial. Learn more about it here.
How to give up caffeine
If you currently take milk and sugar with your coffee, start here:
Reduce your sugar in your coffee by 1/2 tsp per week.
Once you’re down to 1/2 tsp (or no) sugar in your coffee, begin to reduce your milk in your coffee by 1/2 tsp per week until you’re down to 1/2 tsp (or no) milk in your coffee.
Continue to the plan outlined below!
If you currently have less than 1/2 tsp of milk and sugar in your coffee, start here:
List out the number of coffees you drink each day.
Put a dash next to the coffees you get because they’re simply right in front of you (not because you really want it).
Put an exclamation point next to any coffee you drink after 3pm.
Put a star next to the coffees that you get because you are feeling tired or want energy.
Put a heart next to the coffees you drink because you truly love the beverage.
Take a look at the breakdown of your coffees. Try to go a day without any of the coffees that have a dash next to them. Did anything change? Go for a week without those “dash” coffees.
Next, try switching all of your post 3pm coffees to decaf. Do you notice a difference in your energy, mood, or sleep? Go for an entire week without 3pm or later caffeine.
Now here’s the harder stuff. Start to reduce the star coffees. Perhaps you’re able to simply not have that coffee anymore. If that’s too much, reduce the size of that coffee by 1/4 or 1/2. Spend 3-4 weeks getting used to life with less of those check mark coffees. Note that you might have some increased cravings for food and sugar during this time. That’s why drinking lots of water and reducing your coffee intake slowly is so important.
Once you’ve gotten to a solid month or two of only having your “heart” coffees, it’s time to start reducing your intake. Because these heart coffees are important to you – how you replace them is important. Look at the options that follow and decide which makes most sense for you. Consider when you have those coffees, the importance of a warm beverage, and how likely it is that you’ll get caffeine headaches as you ease off. Here are some options:
Slowly reduce the amount of the coffee you drink and don’t replace it with anything.
Switch to decaf (immediately or slowly over time).
Switch to green tea (low caffeination) or decaf/herbal tea.
As you can tell, reducing your caffeine isn’t a fast process. But following this protocol will let you stay away from caffeine long-term and still feel good.
As always, reducing caffeine isn’t the right solution for everyone, so decide what’s best for your body, and go from there! I’ll be here to support you along the way.
A few weeks ago, my friend asked “can you eat too many vegetables?” I knew there must be some symptom that prompted the question.
“Ever since the New Year, I’ve been on this vegetable kick, and my digestive system has been having a really hard time.”
It eventually became clear that she was eating a huge amount of raw kale, greens, broccoli, and other light vegetables from the brassica family.
“You’re having a lot of bloating and diarrhea, aren’t you?” She looked around to see if anyone was listening and then admitted….”YES”.
What’s prompting her symptoms
My friend is a very active, fit 30-something with a high-energy job and personality. Her active, energetic personality indicated a Vata and Pitta personality (what’s vata and pitta? Click here).
All of her movement (both for exercise and in her work life) activates vata, which is ruled by air, space, and movement. Meanwhile, a big bowl of raw kale has the same qualities (How so? Think about how much raw kale shrinks when you cook it. There’s so much space and air between the leaves! )
This air/wind in the raw greens creates air in the digestive system, leading to gas and bloating. Meanwhile, all of the fiber in those raw greens also act to increase movement in our digestive system, promoting diarrhea.
Why popular health media has it wrong
You know how every article tells us we need to eat more greens? They say we need to be downing kale smoothies and raw salads at every meal.
What happened when I went a week without eating kale
Inspired by my conversation with my friend, I decided to go a week without eating kale. I know that a huge amount of raw greens isn’t good for my body, but I usually have kale at least once per day in cooked form.
For one week, I decided to try going kale free, just to see what happened.
Amazingly enough, my body didn’t break down. My health or vitality or energy didn’t fade.
Instead, I got rid of a persistent bloat that had been bothering me for months. I felt satisfied from my meals, and frankly, just the reduction in bloating increased my quality of life and mood.
How to tell you need to eat less raw greens
Do you think cutting out raw greens might be good for you? Here are some indications that a kale-free week might work well for you:
You frequently deal with bloating followed by diarrhea
You do high-intensity cardio/exercise workout for 45-60 minutes per day
You have an active lifestyle – you’re on your feet at work all day, commute by walking or bike, and travel between client meetings.
You live in a big city or loud urban location.
You have frequent plane travel.
If any of these sound like you, it doesn’t mean that you can’t eat any greens. But there are some better ways to get your fix.
How to make your kale and greens easier to digest
Cook your greens! Cooking your kale, spinach, or arugula will reduce their air-y properties. It breaks down some of the fiber and harder-to-digest compounds in the kale, helping your digestive system.
Oil them up. Add some olive oil to those cooked greens (or heavily dress your raw salad) to also help your digestive system process the greens and be nicer for your digestive system (bonus: it’ll also help you absorb some of the healthy phytochemicals in the greens!).
Eat them seated. No more smoothies on the go! Take a seat, eat, chew, and help your body digest these more difficult compounds.
Combine them wisely. In addition to oil, add some grains, sweet potato, or a small piece of meat to your meal. It’s grounding for your body and will help counterbalance the airy quality of the greens.
The larger health message
Even if your body feels awesome with raw greens like kale – there’s a message here that applies to everyone.
That message is that one size does not fit all. The nutrition advice you read in health blogs or articles may not be the advice that applies to your body’s specific needs. So read the articles, give it a try, and if it doesn’t feel good – stop doing it!
If you could use a little more guidance on figuring out what nutrition habits will help you feel your best, set up a complimentary coaching session with me. I’ll help you discover the unique combination of foods that will help you feel great.
Need a warming beverage to wake you up without the caffeine? Look no further than my high protein, non dairy hot chocolate. It’s got great ingredients to energize your for your day.
Ever since I went to India for an Ayurveda Lifestyle and Yoga Teacher Training, I’m taking warming up my diet much more seriously.
I’m warming up my diet because I tend towards Vata imbalances.
Vata is ruled by air and space, and has the qualities of being cold, dry, light, quick, and sharp. When I have too much Vata going on, I get dry skin, constipation, feel cold, easily get overwhelmed, and get a bit of ADD – lots of ideas, and no plans on how to finish them.
As I was explaining to a client the other day, 90% of the diet and nutrition advice doesn’t apply to people with too much Vata. Most recommendations are for cold smoothies, lots of big green salads, raw fruits and veggies, and eating many tiny meals throughout the day.
Unfortunately, those foods and eating patterns just act to exacerbate Vata. That raw food is difficult to digest, and all that cold food freezes and dries out a Vata system as well.
I was thinking about alternatives to a smoothie, and I realized that a better morning beverage was a good place to start. I was a coffee drinker for years and truly love it. But about 2 years ago I stopped drinking caffeine, and I couldn’t be happier with how my energy (and hormones) have responded. I also love a good herbal tea, but tea is also astringent and can act to dry out a Vata system.
What I needed was a thicker, heavier beverage that would provide warmth as well as some good protein and other nutritional benefits.
That’s when I started to riff on some of the chocolate protein shakes I used to make, and since then, my mornings (and my days) are full of warmth and joy.
This Hot Chocolate gets a great dose of protein from rice and pea protein powder. There are healthy Omega-3 fatty acids from hemp hearts, stress-fighting adaptogenic properties from ashwagandha, antioxidants from cocoa powder, and a subtle sweetness from honey or (when I feel a cold coming on) manuka honey. I also riff on Bulletproof coffee (you know, putting butter in your coffee), by adding some coconut oil and ghee. It gives me a dose of fat and a beautiful texture you’ll love.
If you get cold during the winter time, don’t drink coffee, or need a new ritual to celebrate each new day, try this hot chocolate. You’ll love it.
Ayurveda spends a lot of time thinking about your morning. They have suggestions for your wake-up time (before 6am is preferred), self-care rituals like scraping your tongue, and suggested morning breathing exercises (aka, pranayama).
Your morning sets the tone for the entire day, but most of us waddle through it, eyes half closed, trying to not pay attention to what’s going on.
I had an interesting encounter the other day – I was cutting up an apple at my coworking space, and a guy nearby said “wow, that looks better than my breakfast.” He then explained that he goes to McDonald’s for breakfast because it’s more convenient than remember to buy and pick up an apple. He even said “it doesn’t make me feel that good.” He saw it! He knows!
Ayurveda asks us to acknowledge these gut instincts we have that something doesn’t feel right and honor them. Instead of saying “my breakfast feels way too heavy”, and doing it again, Ayurveda asks us to make a small change so that we feel better.
Now you may not have endometriosis or another advanced disease, but if you have skin issues (including acne or dry skin), gas or constipation, or low energy, your body is sending you warning signs that it’s time to make a change.
There’s no better way to start making changes than with breakfast. I wanted to offer 3 different breakfast ideas based on your Ayurvedic dosha from One Part Plant because the recipes are so simple. It won’t be a chore to add these breakfasts to your normal routine.
Learning what your dosha is
Don’t know what your dosha is? No problem!
A quick primer: your dosha (a.k.a., constitution) explains the qualities that you embody both physically and mentally. There are 3 doshas (vata, pitta, and kapha), and we all have a bit of all 3 in us, but one tends to be more dominant and go out of balance more easily.
Here’s a quick and dirty way to tell what breakfast from the list below is best for you:
Eat the Pitta breakfast if you have any acne, dry skin, rosacea issues, if you have a job that requires you to have a lot of energy or speak a lot, and if you like being the center of attention.
Eat the Vata breakfast if you are thinner, super creative, and tend to get distracted easily.
Eat the Kapha breakfast if it’s super tough for you to get out of bed, your friends would describe you as loyal, and if you’re obsessed with dogs and children.
(Want to dive in more? Take the quiz and find out your Ayurvedic dosha here).
Remember, you might feel a bit of all 3 of these. So just concentrate on the one that seems most important to address right now.
Three Ayurveda -inspired breakfast recipes from One Part Plant
Here are your fabulous, Ayurveda-inspired breakfasts from One Part Plant! Make sure to pick up the book at your favorite retailer for fabulous recipes you’ll love throughout your day!
Pitta Breakfast from One Part Plant
Pineapple Mint Green Smoothie
Oh my pitta darlings. You are awesome and strong and don’t hold back in this world. It’s time to cool down that fire just a little, so you don’t scare your Kapha and Vata brethren, and instead inspire everyone to get on board and work just as hard as you do. This smoothie will do it.
1 packed cup of greens like spinach or kale
1 cup unsweetened coconut water, plus more if needed
1 cup pineapple chunks, frozen
5-6 mint leaves
Place the greens and coconut water in a high-speed blender and blend until the liquid turns green and smooth. This might take a couple of minutes, depending on the power of your blender. Add the pineapple and mint, and blend until smooth. Add more coconut water if you need to. Squeeze in half of the lime to taste, and add the other half if you want it. Pour the smoothie into a glass and drink up!
Kapha Breakfast from One Part Plant
Orange Basil Shot
This breakfast is perfect for kapha because it’s not too heavy. Kapha folks have a harder time getting out of bed, and heavy pancakes or waffles will slow you down for the entire day. This orange basil shot on the other hand is tart, light, and will get you ready to take on your day!
juice of 1 orange
1/2 tsp raw honey
piece of fresh ginger, peeled (about 1 inch)
3 large basil leaves
cayenne pepper (start with a tiny dash, and increase from there!)
Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until the mixture turns smooth and green. Add more cayenne or ginger if needed; blend again. Drink up!
Vata Breakfast from One Part Plant
Chia Fruit Toast
Vata people live their life up in the clouds. They’re inspiring and creative, but sometimes need a little grounding so they feel secure and ready to bring all their ideas into the world. This chia fruit toast has sweet and grounding elements, with a dose of healthy fats to get you ready to take on the day!
1 tbsp natural nut butter
1 piece gluten-free, sprouted, or bread of your choice, toasted
handful of your favorite berries
1 tsp chia seeds
Spread the nut butter onto the bread. Toss on the berries. Sprinkle with chia. Feel free to include some hemp seeds for extra protein and nuttiness!