Truly Satisfying Low Calorie Breakfast
So here's the deal. Breakfast has a few important functions for me:
- Stave off hunger until lunch.
- Not be high-calorie (I have an office job, and have to lose weight)
- Should be high in protein (to fulfill #1 above) and relatively low in carbs and "bad fats"
- Not taste like paste, cement, pulp or any other industrially produced garbage that are routinely offered as alternatives nowadays. If it can actually taste good, that's an extra plus.
I have my "longevity smoothie" 2-3 mornings per week, but I'm always looking for a little variety. I'm not really into scones or muffins, especially having read recently that they're basically baked heart attacks.
Here's what I came up with:
4 cheese and salsa breakfast burritos
Sound like it's going to overwhelm in terms of fat, calories and bad carbs, right? Not necessarily...
Low-carb tortillas - the foundation
I start off with La Tortilla's low-carb tortillas. They're slightly spongy (not doughy or chewy like regular tortillas) but they're actually not that bad--not the plasticky, rubbery garbage you'd expect them to be. And they're actually nutritious. Each one has:
- 50 calories
- 5g protein
- 8g dietary fiber
- 3g digestible carbs (no sugars)
- 2g healthy (polyunsaturated & monounsaturated) fats
Cost: $3.09 for a package of 10 at Farmer Joe's in Oakland.
Then I add a slice and half of Kraft Free Singles to each burrito. That's 6 of these guys. Probably because of the lack of fat, they're not waxy/oily and kinda rubbery, but especially when heated in the microwave, they're not bad either. They actually melt. The nutrition profile for these is not bad, either (per slice):
- 30 calories
- 4g protein
- 2g carbs (1g sugar)
- no fiber, naturally
Cost: $2.29 for a package of 24
I personally like Casa Sanchez's Medium Roja salsa. It has roasted tomatoes for that smoky flavor, and has enough cilantro and onions to make it really flavorful. The only downside is that, especially after microwaving it, it generates a lot of "juice", so you have to drain your burrito before it becomes manageable enough to eat (otherwise, consider wearing a bib). Nutrition information for a half-cup (enough for all 4 burritos):
- 50 calories
- 12g carbs (3g sugar)
- no protein
- no fat
- plenty of lycopene from the tomatoes and quercetin from the onions
Cost: $3.99 for 4 1/2 cup servings
Nuke them for a minute and what do you got?
Here's the nutrition profile:
- Calories: 430
- Protein: 48g
- Carbs: 36g
- Fat: 8g
Cost: $2.81 (add another nickel for the microwave's electricity)
Admittedly pretty high in sodium, though... like just about every savory packaged food these days.
Starbucks Blueberry Muffin
- Calories: 520
- Protein: 7g
- Carbs: 57g
- Fat: 31g
(oh, yes -- don't believe me?)
How about the Grande (that's their medium) Mocha Frappuccino
- Calories: 420
- Protein: 6g
- Carbs: 61g (51g sugar)
- Fat: 16g (10g saturated)
Granted, the 4 breakfast burritos aren't liquid candy, but that's also why they'll probably keep you full longer. Also, their high protein content will reduce a relatively higher proportion of the number of calories available after digestion due to the Thermic Effect of Foods