“It’s too expensive and time consuming” are the two most common complaints I hear when I, or any other health nut, asks someone to eat healthier. I will address both real life obstacles below. Let’s talk about breakfast.
I workout 3 times a week with weights at a local gym. I walked into the gym this morning at about 8:00 am to do my Friday workout, and I could not believe what the receptionist was having for breakfast. I assume it was breakfast because of the time. She was nibbling on a half eaten blueberry muffin, and sipping on a can of regular Red Bull. Seriously!?
After my workout, I came home to make my typical breakfast post-workout meal before I went to go train some clients. Yes, I do workout on an empty stomach. I do not recommend it. This is one of those “Do as I say and not as I do situations”. I think my ability to workout on an empty stomach was developed in the Marines where we would run and exercise early in the morning, almost every weekday, on an empty stomach.
Depending on how hungry I am, I have either a cup, or half a cup of cooked brown rice.
I use brown rice that takes about half an hour to cook. I make enough to last me a week so that whenever I want to eat brown rice with my eggs, or any other protein source, I don’t have to cook it. I just take the desired amount of brown rice I want to eat out of a container in the fridge, warm it up, and add it to my comida.
I first mix some eggs in a bowl and have them ready to pour in a buttered pan.
If you have cholesterol issues, don’t like butter, or don’t eat butter for other personal reasons, that’s ok. You can use Pam or any other nonstick cooking spray to lightly coat your pan with, and it will work just fine. Butter makes my scrambled eggs tastier than other pan lubricants, so I use it.
When the butter starts to melt, I pour the brown rice into the pan to warm the rice and give it a buttery taste. It takes about 1 minute to warm.
As the brown rice warms, I pour the eggs I mixed minutes earlier into the pan and scramble the eggs, rice, and butter all together. For those of you who cook as often as you go to the moon, like never, unless you are an astronaut who reads my blog in which case I am honored, below is what a mixture of eggs and brown rice looks like. It was my actual breakfast. Notice the glass of water to the side.
Let’s add up the calories of your possible breakfast: 1 egg is 70 calories. Let’s say you use 2 eggs, that is 140 calories. You should probably add 1/2 cup cooked rice to your eggs. 1/2 cup of cooked brown rice has about 110 calories and 23 grams of carbohydrates. If you use butter, go ahead and add 100 calories for the tablespoon of butter you used to butter your pan and make the eggs taste deeeee-lish! 140+110+100(if you used butter and not Pam cooking spray)= 350 calories. I drink water with my breakfast and with almost every meal I consume, but maybe you want milk with your breakfast. 8 oz of reduced fat (2% fat) milk has about 122 calories. Now your breakfast is 472 calories total, and that is awesome! You are now the proud owner of a happy stomach that will breakdown your healthy meal and give a healthy start to your beautiful busy morning. (I purposely omitted commas from the previous sentence to get my “Earnest Hemingway” on. He often left commas out and wrote his ass off).
The above meal takes about 10 minutes to make, tops! Remember, I precooked the brown rice earlier in the week, so it was ready to be warmed and consumed. Now for the price breakdown.
I searched on my personal Google machine for “average price of one dozen eggs in America”. My conclusion is that it is about 2 dollars. So each egg is about 17 cents. Wait! I just texted my sister to ask her about the egg prices, just to make sure. She is a mother, registered dietitian, and a coupon clipping, smart with her money person. I think she is best described as frugal. She said the average price for a dozen eggs is about $1.99, so I was right. Yahoooooooo! Arriba, Arriba! Andale, Andale! (Speedy Gonzalez anyone?)
The brown rice I use costs me about 6 dollars for a 32 ounce container. It makes about 15 cups total of cooked brown rice. 6 dollars divided by 15 cups = .40 cents per cup. Half a cup of cooked brown rice is about .20 cents. I am sure there is brown rice much cheaper than the one I use. I am picky about things that go into my body, like food. Imagine that.
I also use Land-O-Lakes Butter. It costs about 5 dollars for a pack that has 4 bars of butter. So each stick is about $1.25. If I use one eighth of the stick, which is about a tablespoon, to butter my pan, that’s about (1.25 divided by 8) .15 cents per serving.
For you milk drinkers. The average gallon of milk costs about $3.50. There are sixteen 8 ounce glasses of milk in a gallon. $3.50 divide by 16 = .22 cents per 8 ounce glass of milk! Yes, that is less than one quarter for a glass of milk.
Here’s the grand total for my typical breakfast: 4 eggs at 17 cents per = .68 cents. One cup of cooked brown rice = .40 cents. A tablespoon of butter = .15 cents. That is a grand total of 123 pennies! I drink water, from the sink even. So let’s say that’s another, I don’t know, nickel for my glass of water from the sink. The grand total is now 128 pennies, or 1 dollar and .28 cents for my breakfast that contains more eggs and rice than yours should because I probably move much more than you do. It’s my job to be in shape and train others to do the same. (For those of you who are worried about my cholesterol levels because “eggs are bad for you” and I eat so many, no worries. I recently had blood work and everything is OK.)
So there it is. My breakfast, that you can have too, comes to a total of $1.28. If you decide to have milk with yours, you will increase the price by a quarter or so, but it will still be cheaper than an expensive coffee from you know where.
The above Frapa-full of empty calories-chino has about 600 calories, if it’s a Venti. That is over 100 calories more than the healthy breakfast recipe I just gave you. Let’s add a piece of Banana Walnut Bread to your Frapa-muy loco-chino from Starbucks too. Because bread goes great with anything. That’s another 490 calories! Oh what the hell, let’s round up. That’s 500 calories, for a grand total of 1,100 calories for breakfast. If you’re trying to lose weight, the Starbuck’s breakfast above is a no-no. It also costs about $7 bucks, if not more. That equals almost 3 of the brown rice and eggs breakfast I described before.
Stay tuned for other bland recipes to help keep the weight off. I say “bland” because a lady I was helping lose weight once asked me what I eat for breakfast. I said “Well I don’t have much variety…” she cut me off and said “yeah, you look like you eat pretty bland”. I took it as a compliment. Today’s motto is “Bland In The Name Of Health”.