Breakfast Of Weight Loss Champions
Today I’m interviewing Danielle Pashko. She is my personal go-to nutritionist – who is always giving me the best advice on how to stay my slimmest, healthiest most energetic self.
The other day Danielle was talking with me about what is best to eat (or not eat) – and drink (or not drink) at breakfast time – to start the day with ultimate energy and health.
Danielle shared some very surprising ideas about breakfast – and I wanted to pass on her insights.
As many of you know, I am a recovered emotional eater – who lost 20 pounds in 3 months – and I’ve kept the weight off for 4 years and counting. I’m passionate about helping people to stop emotional eating, binge eating, and just plain eating crappy food – which is why I launched the DO IT Program – a digital home course you can download right away – do at your own pace – and keep for life. Click here for lots more tools to slim down and healthy up.
Q: I’m a busy mom to my son (Ari). I confess I sometimes skip breakfast. What are your thoughts on skipping breakfast – health-wise and weight-loss-wise?
Skipping breakfast completely can slow down your metabolism – so it’s not such a great weight loss tool. In contrast, eating breakfast helps to lower the stress hormone cortisol – which is produced in our adrenal glands. It’s great for weight loss to lower cortisol – because producing too much cortisol can lead to weight gain. So finding time to eat breakfast is definitely recommended – although you want to be mindful of what you eat. A bagel or bowl of cereal with coffee and orange juice is not going to help your hormones or metabolic rate. You want to sure have a meal that has adequate protein – so you can think better and have a speedier metabolism. I recommend organic eggs with berries, a protein smoothie or plain Greek yogurt (not the fat-free kind) with fresh fruit. Plus when you eat a satisfying breakfast, this saves you from eating the wrong thing at lunch.
Q: What do you think of drinking latte’s at breakfast?
Most people don’t realize how caloric latte’s are. Even the non-fat kind can end up being a few hundred calories. Chai Latte’s are especially misleading because they normally are mixed in with a pre-made chai mix that’s loaded with sugar or carbohydrates. You are much better off ordering a regular coffee with a splash of whole milk than getting the skim latte.
Q: Do you recommend flavored non-fat non-dairy creamers in coffee?
When you find those awesome non-dairy flavored creamers that claim to be only 25 calories it seems like a no-brainer. But once you read the ingredients, not only are they full of chemicals – but the servings are so misleading. Even if you get the health store brands, a serving is typically a teaspoon. Most people use 3-4 times that amount – so an innocent cup of coffee becomes a whopping 75-100 calories.
Q: What do you think about Smoothies for breakfast?
Smoothies can be a great breakfast option but you need to be mindful of how much fruit (and what kind of fruit) you use – so you watch your intake of sugar, calories and carbs. If you are making the smoothie your meal, it’s important for it to be filling. Protein will help with satiation – while using less fruit. I suggest a non-allergenic protein powder made from rice or pea (skip the almond or peanut butter). Plus use organic berries (not high sugar fruits like bananas and dates). Oh – and be sure to add a green vegetable such as kale or spinach. For extra fiber, a tablespoon of flax or chia seeds adds fiber – and will make it thicker. Otherwise if you make your smoothie with high glycemic fruits like bananas and mix in nut butters you’re simply gobbling down lots of fat, sugar and calories – making the smoothie a diet disaster.
Q: What do you think about oatmeal – friend or foe?
Oatmeal can be a great breakfast option – but the best way to make it is with an individual packet if you are watching your weight. Be sure to add a little fruit, sliced/chopped almonds and cinnamon – so you have a great source of fiber with a little protein. Plus the cinnamon is good for your blood sugar. On the other-hand, if you order oatmeal in a cafe they’ll typically over-serve you 2 to 3 servings . That’s not only far too many calories (about 500 calories) – that’s far too many carbs – unless you are a body builder. I suggest people take a packet of oatmeal to work – so if you don’t have time to eat breakfast at home, you can just add a little water and have breakfast at your desk.
Danielle Pashko is a NYC-based wellness guru. She is the author of Smile at Your Challenges and the upcoming Breaking Your Fat Girl Habits: Weight Loss Mistakes Even Healthy Chicks Make! Danielle has successfully overcome her physical setbacks and never takes how well she feels for granted. Her knowledge has led to lectures, articles and videos on healthy living for several publications including The NY Post, Yahoo Shine, Fox News,Women’s Health Magazine, Reader’s Digest, The Jewish Week, Galtime, Betty Confidential and Daily Burn.