By Beau MacMillan, executive chef at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain
Breakfast is a meal that is easy to skip amidst the morning rush in our busy, daily lives, but it’s an essential part to starting your day off on the right foot in a healthy, positive and energized way!
The thought of cooking and preparing a meal early in the morning can be overwhelming to those who aren’t professional chefs, but keeping your refrigerator and pantry stocked with fresh, nutritious, and multi-purpose ingredients makes it easy to whip up a meal that will power you through the morning.
At Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain, Scottsdale, Arizona, our guests visit to relax and recharge while maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle. It’s crucial to offer options at elements restaurant that use farm-fresh and brain-boosting ingredients. I like to prove that you can do something positive for your overall health without having to eat bland “diet food!”
In conducting research for The Alzheimer’s Prevention Cookbook, I discovered simple ways to lighten up meals while adding specific spices to boost flavor and brain-power. Here are five tips to change your breakfast at home:
1. Fill up early
Instead of saving yourself for a big dinner each night, try switching it up and make breakfast your biggest meal of the day. Substantial meals in the morning will kick-start your metabolism, keep you nourished and energized (and you’ll have all day to burn off the energy you’ve consumed).
2. Invest in a blender
The blender is one of my favorite appliances and a must-have in the kitchen. One of the easiest and healthiest breakfasts (great for those on the go!) is a tasty smoothie. It’s an ideal way to maximize on nutrient-packed, fresh produce and even sneak in an ingredient that you might not be drawn to on its own (kale, anyone?). A few of my favorite varieties are a sweet peach smoothie, green tea-pomegranate smoothie, and a ginger, blueberry-banana smoothie with basil.
3. Reduce your coffee intake
Substitute your morning cup of java for tea or freshly squeezed juice. Some of my personal favorites are cantaloupe-papaya juice, cherry-fennel juice with lime, spinach-beet juice with citrus, and iced green tea with pomegranate and ginger. You’ll be energized from the vitamins and won’t miss your caffeine kick.
4. Lighten up protein
Instead of high-fat proteins like bacon, ham, or sausage, cook with roasted chicken. It may sound off-the-beaten path for breakfast, but makes a delicious addition to your morning omelet. Also, it’s a great use of leftovers from dinner the night before and can be jazzed up with southwestern flavors and spices for a light, yet protein-rich breakfast to keep you satisfied all morning.
5. The power of porridge
My grandfather lived to the ripe age of 94. He ate porridge every single morning and never skipped breakfast. If it worked for him, it works for me.
Here are a few breakfast favorites with my family:
- Breakfast fried rice with scrambled eggs
- Steel-cut oatmeal made with nonfat milk with mix-ins like pistachios, golden raisins and unsweetened shredded toasted coconut
- Corn and crab omelet with avocado
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This post was written to help you embrace the “Change My Breakfast” pledge, presented by Travaasa, for Wellness Week! From March 11 through 17, make your week well with valuable wellness tips, free classes and events, and exclusive deals and offers. Plus, enjoy a free $25 Wellness Week Gift Card when you purchase a $25 SpaFinder Wellness Gift Card during Wellness Week (March 11-17). Learn more about Wellness Week 2013!
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Food Network celebrity chef and Iron Chef America winner, Executive Chef Beau MacMillan believes that food should be appreciated for its simplicity and natural perfection, and focuses on innovative seasonal menus that highlight fresh, local ingredients. Joining elements restaurant at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain, Scottsdale, Arizona, in 2003, Chef MacMillan’s approach has not gone un-noticed with appearances on the “Today Show,” “Next Iron Chef,” “Worst Cooks in America,” and “Best Things I Ever Ate.” He has cooked at the James Beard House, the Aspen Food & Wine Classic, and is also co-author of The Alzheimer’s Prevention Cookbook: Recipes to Boost Brain Health. Read more about our Wellness Week experts.
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