Because feeling “good
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Breakfast, you’re fired!

February 27, 2009
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My breakfast can be kind of lazy. I mean, I do all the work. I boil the water, measure the oats, chop the fruit…and then I do all the eating and digesting! What does my breakfast do? It just kinda sits there. Well, breakfast, times are tough and we’ve got to make some changes around here so we’re gonna have to let you go. Time to bring in a morning meal that works a little harder so I don’t have to.

I think I’ve found a perfect candidate. I’ll still be eating a mixture of whole grains each morning, like oats, millet, amaranth and quinoa. But things are gonna be different around here:

1. My new breakfast grains have overnight hours.
Here’s something I didn’t know until recently: whole grains like brown rice and oats contain phytic acid as a natural part of the grain’s bran. Phytic acid gets cozy with minerals like calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc and prevents their absorption in the intestinal tract. Boooooo

2. My new breakfast grains do more of my work.
When I saw Sally Fallon speak last weekend she talked a lot about how to aid digestion in the preparation of food. Her suggestion was to add a splash of lemon juice or vinegar to the soaking water of oats. In a sort of pre-digestion process, the oats start to break down and are later easier to digest. This means my body does less work and I have more energy. See this is what I mean by my breakfast doing some work around here!

3. My new breakfast grains get creative.
Fruit and raisins are good. But I’ve been thinking of ways to diversify for the sake of my tastebuds and nutrient intake. Try this: shred a few carrots into your grains about halfway through cooking time. Carrots are naturally sweet and work well with a few raisins and pecans. Breakfast comes out tasting like a carrot cake!

Hard Working Breakfast Grains
Serves 1
1/3 cup mixed whole grains (try oats, millet, amaranth or quinoa)
1 cup water
splash of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
Optional mix-ins: raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg, shredded carrots, chopped fruit, peanut butter, nuts, seeds, maybe a tablespoon of ghee if you’re feeling decadent

Soak grains overnight in a bowl with a vinegar or lemon juice. In the morning, strain and combine with water in a pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 20 minutes. Halfway through cooking time, add your choice of mix-ins.

You might notice that your oats/grains taste lighter and more fluffy than usual. I thought that even without fruit they tasted sweeter.

What do you like to eat for breakfast?

Also, I’d like to promote a great idea for a blogger cookbook from Foods That Fit. I’m going to contribute and you should too!

  • Vered – MomGrind

    Trust me, you don’t want to know what I eat for breakfast. Let’s just say it probably contains more sugar than you consume in a month!

  • Not Another Omnivore

    So glad you mentioned phytic acid! Mom Must Write has really brought my attention to it and I think I’m going to do a post on it soon. Let me know if you have any sources or anything you would want to contribute!


  • Lori

    Thanks for all the valuable info. I had never thought of carrots in my morning grains. That is a great idea!

    My breakfast in constantly changing. Sometimes Irish oatmeal, sometimes yogurt, sometimes an omelet with sauteed veggies. On the weekends I just love a whole grain French toast.

  • Anonymous

    Breakfast for me is a green smoothie :) Kick in the butt better than any caffeine drink, doesn’t lay heavy in my stomach and because I am wheat and gluten free, don’t need to worry about that part. Grains never leave me feeling satisfied and in fact make me feel hungrier within an hour or so after breakfast. The only other breakfast I tend to like from time to time especially when the weather is colder…eggs scrambled with veggies :)

  • The Blonde Duck

    I have eggs and oatmeal or eggs and toast.

  • Culinarywannabe

    You sold me at “breakfast will taste like carrot cake.” My kind of breakfast! :) Every morning I have the same thing – defrost a bunch of frozen fruit (mangoes, berries, peaches, bananas, etc), topped with lf plain yogurt and homemade granola. It’s usually the healthiest thing I eat all day and keeps me full till lunch.

  • Anonymous

    Hi there…
    Wondering if you have time to blog more about your Institute for Integrative Nutrition experiences. I’d like to go there hopefully next year and it would be good to hear about.
    Anon in Canada

  • HangryPants

    I’ve been liking bulgur and oat bran for breakfast. I like to make cookies (from gina at with oats, water, banana, nuts, flax and bulgur or oat bran. It’s really yummy!

  • VeggieGirl

    I have a bowl of Nut Butter Oatmeal and a protein shake EVERY SINGLE MORNING – no ifs, ands, or buts :-)

  • Michelle

    Vered–How do you feel after a sugary breakfast? I fall asleep after pancakes :-)

    NAOmni–can’t wait to read your post!

    Lori–let me know how you like carrots in your breakfast if you get a chance to try ‘em!

    Anon–it’s a great point that everyone does well with something different in the mornings. Grains are not the end-all-be-all!

    Blonde Duck–that’s a lot of eggs! Every day? Yum, I love eggs.

    Culinarywannabe–you make your own granola? do share!

    Anon in Canada–I’m sure IIN will be a running theme this year. Leave me your email address and I’m happy to share info with you!

    HangryPants–yes I see that big refrigerated cookie you’ve been eating :-) Yum

    VeggieGirl–what sort of protein shake are we talking about here?

  • michaela

    carrots are a neat suggestion. i generally grate apple or pear multigrain cereal porrige or oatmeal. just posted on grains!

  • My Year Without

    Oh my gosh your carrot recommendation is genius!! I can’t wait to try that. I also read recently that soaking whole grains overnight will speed the cooking process in the morning. I didn’t know that it helped in our digesting them.

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