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Protein-rich Breakfast #7Part of the protein-rich breakfast dozen


  • 1 cup of Oatmeal (6 grams protein; 1.99/lb)
  • 1 cup milk (8 g protein; $3.79/gallon) and
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds (5 g; $4.96/lb)

How to: bring 1-3/4 cup of water to a boil and add a pinch of salt; add one cup of oatmeal and bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 5 minutes, until much of the water is absorbed. Serve with 1 cup of milk and sprinkle with 1/4 cup of sliced almonds. If you prefer a sweeter flavor add 1 tbsp of maple syrup.

19 g protein;  total cost $10.74.


Protein-rich Breakfast #6Part of the protein-rich breakfast dozen

This recipe comes from Josh Rosenthal’s Integrative Nutrition*


  • 1 cup cooked brown rice (5 g protein; $.86/lb);
  • 1 cup milk (8 protein; 3.79/gallon);
  • 1 cup chopped apple ($2.49/lb);
  • 1 cup walnuts (4 g protein; $6.99/lb);
  • Pantry items: 1 teaspoon cinnamon;
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla;
  • 1 teaspoon salt.
  • 1/4 cup of whole yogurt (3 g protein; $3.49/qt)

How to: Mix all ingredients together and place in a container with a lid and refrigerated 12 hours allowing the rice, fruit and nuts to soak up the milk and spices). Warm and serve with 1/4 cup of whole yogurt.

20 g protein; total cost = $17.62– assuming an investment in a number of pantry items that can be used for other breakfasts…

* Rosenthal, J. (2008). Integrative nutrition. New York, NY: Integrative Nutrition Publishing.

Stuffed sweet potato

Stuffed sweet potato
photo credit: Shenandoah Gale and Deb Delavan

When thinking about what to have for dinner for a few friends on Wednesday night I came across this recipe from theKitchn, and decided to give it a try with a few variations. I highly recommend this recipe as a simple yet delicious and satisfying supper with a key ingredient – beauty!

The meal is vegan using olive oil, curly kale, great northern beans, garlic, pepper flakes, rosemary and lemon. I used fennel rather than the recommended shallot, which I found contrasted well with the pepper flakes and kale.

Try Savory Stuffed Sweet Potatoes when serving guests, or when treating yourself to a sweet and savory supper! Added to its beauty, flavor and fun, this meal is packed with nutrients. Sweet potatoes are packed with vitamin C, calcium, folate, potassium and beta-carotene. They have a lower glycemic index than white potatoes which means that they will not cause that sugar rush you feel after eating white potatoes and other starchy carbohydrates. Great northern beans will give you protein and fiber and kale , also loaded with fiber, is a great source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, K, and calcium.


Protein-rich Breakfast #5Part of the protein-rich breakfast dozen


  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (0 g protein; $8-12/ 16 oz jar)
  • 1 egg (6 g protein; $3.29/dozen);
  • 1 cup of spinach (3 grams; $2.99/10 oz bag)

How to: Clean and chop spinach into small, fine threads and place in a bowl. Break open one egg and add it to the spinach beating it together with spinach. Heat coconut oil in frying pan, and when warm add the spinach egg mixture as well as salt and pepper to taste. Mixture is ready when egg is thoroughly cooked (dry rather than runny consistency).

NoteYou can substitute olive oil for coconut oil if you prefer. I include coconut oil here because I have found that cooking breakfast with coconut oil gives me an extra boost of energy. Myra Kornfeld (my cooking teacher last semester) also says that coconut oil’s medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil can boost the body’s metabolism because medium chain fatty acids are quickly converted to energy, rather than being stored in the body fat like other dietary fats. Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, which has several healing and anti-viral qualities. Coconut oil is an extremely stable oil which can be heated to high cooking temperatures without forming harmful bi-products. And it’s an ecologically sustainable oil. Coconut trees produce between 50 and 100 nuts per year. They can grow in challenging conditions like drought, poor soil, etc.; they begin yielding fruit at age six, and continue to produce fruit for about 55 years more.  Coconuts are ecologically sound, as they are able to grow in difficult environments, such as atolls, or under conditions of high salinity, drought, or poor soil. You can buy coconut oil in two varieties: virgin, which has the flavor of a coconut (great for Tai cooking), and a filtered variety which is neutral-tasting.

9 grams protein; total cost: $6.28

Protein-rich Breakfast #4Part of the protein-rich breakfast dozen


  • 1 slice of whole wheat bread (4 g protein; $3.49/loaf) and
  • 1 tablespoon of peanut butter (2.5 grams protein; $4.99 8 oz jar);
  • 1/2 cup whole milk yogurt has 13 g protein; $3.49/qt).

How to: toast the bread, spread on peanut butter and serve with 1/2 cup of whole milk yogurt.

Notes: When choosing a whole wheat bread be sure to read the ingredients. Many grocery store breads have a lot of ingredients that have little nutritional value and are there to keep the bread on the shelf longer. The best solution is to make bread yourself or to shop at farmers’ markets where breads are made with only a handful of ingredients. Nut butters can be substituted for peanut butter with close to the same amount of protein. Peanut butter and milk-based yogurt are complementary proteins — this pairing ensures that your body receives essential amino acids it needs. When choosing yogurt, I look for whole milk yogurt. It’s rich and filling so I eat less of it, and it gives my body the fat that it craves. It’s funny that with the low-fat craze many of us are not getting enough of the good fats in our diet — try greek yogurt which is extra filling or a whole milk yogurt that comes from a biodynamic/organic farm.  My favorite comes from Seven stars Farm

19.5 grams protein; total cost: $11.97

Protein-rich Breakfast #3Part of the protein-rich breakfast dozen.


  • 1 cup boiled black lentils (16 g protein; $3.49/lb)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil or refined coconut oil
  • 1 small fresh tomato, diced (8 g protein; $1.99/lb)
  • 2 Tbsp of chopped onion (optional) (.5 g protein. $.89/lb)
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 cup spinach greens (3 g protein; $1.99/10 oz bag)
  • reheated in a little oil with salt, pepper, a little tomato (8 g protein; $1.99/lb) and onion (.5 g protein. $.89/lb) with dried basil, over 1 cup fresh spinach greens

How to: Heat 1 Tbsp of olive or coconut oil, add chopped onions (optional) and cook until soft, add cooked lentils, diced tomato and dried spices and continue to sauté on medium to high heat for 8-10 minutes until lentils are heated through. Serve the lentils over a cup of fresh spinach greens.

Total protein 27 – 27.5 g; Total cost: $7.47.

27.5 grams protein

Protein-rich Breakfast #2Part of the protein-rich breakfast dozen.

Recipe from Mark Hyman’s The Ultra-Metabolism Diet p. 162:


  • 1 cup of buckwheat groats ($2.16),
  • whole; 2 cups plain soy milk ($3.69 – 2 Qt container);
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon;
  • 1 small banana mashed;
  • 2 tablespoons of flaxseed , ground ($.30 – .84);
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped walnuts( $.46)

How to: Place the buckwheat, soy milk, cinnamon, salt and mashed banana in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Cover the pan and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the buckwheat is tender. Top with ground flax seeds and chopped walnuts. 43 g protein per ½ cup serving.  Total cost: $7.30-$7.86

dairy free; 43 g protein per ½ cup serving

Hyman, M. (2007). The ultra-metabolism diet Cookbook. New York, NY: Scribner.

It’s that time of year when the weather outside is less than inviting and you find yourself craving all those familiar dishes you shared with your family when you were growing up. Perhaps you’ve left many of them behind because they were loaded with carbohydrates and not as healthy as eating a salad… But still, on cold winter days those cravings persist…

One way around it is to make healthier versions of the foods that you once loved. I did this last Sunday by making shepherd’s pie. I started with a recipe I found at and switched out the white potatoes for sweet potatoes — mashed with chicken broth and butter; and using lean ground turkey rather than ground beef. Instead of including peas, I added fennel, celery, kale, and carrots; and then threw in a few cranberries, and fresh pear to give it a hint of Thanksgiving. I have to say it really did the trick – satisfying a comfort food craving – with 70% less guilt about the carb loading…

Ground Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

Prep time: 20 minutes; Cook time: 50 minutes


  • 1-1/2 lbs of sweet potatoes (3 large potatoes, peeled & chopped)
  • 2 stalks of celery, coarsely chopped
  • 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 6 medium sized mushrooms, chopped
  • ½ red pepper, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup of dried cranberries
  • 1 cup of chopped Anjou pear (1 good-sized pear)
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground turkey breast
  • 4 tablespoons butter (1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup chicken or turkey broth
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons of dried  savory
  • 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning (including dried oregano, basil, parsley, thyme, rosemary)Read how to make your own at:
  • pinch of salt
  • black pepper to taste

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Peel and cut sweet potatoes into 2 inch chunks, boil in salted water until tender (about 20 minutes).
  3. While the potatoes are cooking, after all vegetables are cleaned and chopped, melt 2 Tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in large frying pan.
  4. Sauté mushrooms in butter and olive oil over medium heat until they begin to soften. Add carrots, celery and cook until the celery and carrots begin to soften
  5. Add ground turkey and sauté until no longer pink. Once meat has browned add spices, salt and pepper. When mixture dries, add 2 tbsp of chicken or turkey broth and cook, uncovered, over low heat for 10 minutes, adding more broth as necessary to keep moist.
  6. When meat is cooked thoroughly, add cranberries and chopped pear and cook for another 3-5 minutes, then remove from heat.
  7. Mash potatoes in bowl with remainder of broth and butter (add broth first, let the potatoes soak up the broth, then add butter and mash). Season to taste.
  8. Place turkey/vegetable mix in baking dish. Distribute mashed potatoes on top. Rough up with a fork so that there are peaks that will brown nicely. You can use the fork to make some designs in the potatoes as well.
  9. Cook in 400 degree oven until bubbling and brown (about 30 minutes). Broil for last 3-5 minutes if necessary to brown. Watch the oven to ensure that the potatoes brown, but do not blacken.

Yield: Serves four to 8 people — depending on how strong those cravings may be!

Credit: Inspired by recipe found at:


Cornucopia Institute’s New Report, Cereal Crimes has given me reason to continue to ask that question. As I kid I remember loving my bowl of cereal in the morning, and as I grew and went off to college, graduate school and professional life I know my tastes in cereal have changed, but cereal is often just what I want for breakfast. For years now I have taken issue with just how sweet most brands of granola have become so within the past year, I have started making my own homemade granola.

I am super grateful for my bowl of rolled oats as I read through Cereal Crimes and the scorecard that accompanies it. Sugar was just one of the ingredients that I had to worry about! It turns out that when a company lists “natural ingredients” it doesn’t have to list the amount of herbicide and pesticide are sprayed on those ingredients. In contrast, “Federal law requires that organic food products be produced in ways that promote ecological sustainability, without the toxic inputs and genetically engineered ingredients that are common in the conventional food system” (Cornucopia Institute 2011 p. 5).

I continue to explore this question because everywhere you look there are claims being made “eat this, it’s healthy,” “it’s good for you,” “it’s all natural…” Thanks to the Cornucopia Institute and a new report due out tomorrow – you might have available at the click of a mouse more information about the contents of some of the most popular breakfast cereals that we all believed were wholesome options. Turns out “all natural” is not equal to “organic…”  Enjoy this sneak preview of their new report and tune in tomorrow for more information!

Health & Nutrition Counseling

An integrative approach to health and nutrition which includes Earth consciousness.


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