Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Reforming breakfast

The process of going from a scary/unhealthy/artery-wrecking lifestyle to a healthier/happier/kinder lifestyle is not a simple process. It involves solving lots of food and exercise problems and turning not-so-great choices into better choices.

In my case, I have approached this by hitting one habit cluster at a time. Each representing a dragon to slay and a kingdom to free. Truth be told, I have not slayed all of my dragons yet, but many of the big lumbering (and most destructive ones) have been vanquished.

Breakfast is a good example. First off, I believe that breakfast is an incredibly important meal and it should not be skipped. (Given how much I like to eat, choosing not to skip breakfast was not really a difficult accomplishment.) However, my breakfast choices were suspect at best, particularly when I took the time to determine what I was actually putting into my body.

For many, many years, I have been a very regular and loyal Starbucks customer. I have an abused loyalty card to prove it. To its credit, Starbucks has worked hard to create some healthy food options for breakfast. I just didn't eat them. I went a different way by worshipping at the altar of the coffee cake and the scone. I LOVE pastry/muffins/breads of all sorts, and these guys make tasty ones.

One day I took the time to go to the Starbucks website where they helpfully provide nutritional
information on all their menu items. They even do this on a store-by-store basis as they often use different food providers in different areas. Suffice it to say, what I discovered about my favorite breakfast snacks was a little alarming. As of today, a Classic Coffee Cake clocks in at 10 POINTS (down from 13 POINTS a few years ago) while a blueberry scone has about 11 POINTS. Ouch! Particularly painful when considering the fact that the portions were not exactly huge and filling (although very tasty).

So I moved onto a new breakfast food frontier in the form of Yogurt Parfait sold by my local
Pax Foods chain. Hey, it's yogurt! It's got fruit! It must be a great deal! Except for the fact that one 16 oz serving dishes out about 9 POINTS. A slight improvement, but not where I wanted to be particularly for the perceived amount of food.

What I wanted was a LOT of food that would be really filling and only cost me 6 or 7 POINTS. Drum roll...

My new breakfast of champions:
  • One Weight Watchers oatmeal: 2 POINTS
  • Fruit to stuff into the oatmeal: 1 banana (2 POINTS) and 4 strawberries (0 POINTS)
  • Splash of skim milk on the oatmeal (0 POINTS)
  • One non-fat greek yogurt (2 POINTS) (more on this little gem of a food later)
  • Total = 6 POINTS for a veritable truckload of food
Stuffing the oatmeal with fruit is a great way to turn a non-mannish portion into one that is giant-like and brutish in size. I will provide a photo later to prove my point.

I'm a creature of habit, so I'm thrilled to eat this meal every weekday. Tastes great. Totally filling. I'm not hungry until lunch. Only 6 POINTS. Problem solved.


  1. Hey David, love your blog! You should DEFINITELY check out this blog

    especially given that you have ww in common AND also there's a Starbucks connection to do with points values I THINK you'll find interesting! Give it a whirl!!

    BFP xoxo

  2. That was some transition in food choice! Terrific! It's a journey... :)

    I am a huge fan of greek yogurt. Can't beat the protein packed power.

  3. Oatmeal and yogourt gets you far ! That's one of my personal favorites.

  4. Dave, the thing that kills the Pax "parfaits" is the granola. Also they put honey at the bottom which is entirely unnecessary. Making your own is definitely the way to go, and even then you can mimic it by portioning your own granola into it since lowfat yogurt and fruit barely count. The same 9 pt serving from them can get beaten down to about 6 and probably taste better.

  5. LOL I love it:
    "Stuffing the oatmeal with fruit is a great way to turn a non-mannish portion into one that is giant-like and brutish in size."
    You're hilarious :)
    Love the blog!! Thanks!

  6. I also do a cut up apple in my oatmeal with lots of bang for the point buck! Thank you for your blog.....I really enjoy it and it is inspiring me as a leader!

  7. Favorite breakfast - the one in Week 1 handout - egg omlet with veggies, and fruit. Awesome!

  8. I do a 6 point breakfast with 1/4 cup oatmeal (before its cooked)2 tbsp almond butter, 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce and cinnamon. Delicious and filling. Probably more girly than your oatmeal.

  9. Hi David, I just discovered your blog today. Thanks to your tech guys for getting it front-and-center. However, it seems you have not discovered the STARBUCKS oatmeal option, one of the fastest, greatest and cheapest breakfasts to have while you are traveling. I usually request the "everything bag" on the side (they hand you a little bag with raisons, walnuts, dates), then hit the Splenda and nonfat milk bar. Check it out. Mary B.