“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” Quoted from John Lennon
Breakfast is served! Now that I am back in the United States I am attempting as best as I can to get back on the healthy eating bandwagon. My experiences in Italy and all over Europe were amazing and I will continue to share my stories but I definitely paid the price of gluttonously enjoying all of the delicious dishes that each country had to offer me. I have made it a summer goal to get back into a healthy lifestyle by way of exercise and choosing healthy food options. Last summer I experimented with an alternative health diet that eliminated most animal products and emphasized the consumption of an abundance of fruits, vegetables, nuts and fish. I never felt better by the end of the summer; I had unlimited amounts of energy, my skin glowed, I slept better, and felt much stronger.
I’ve figured out a few keys to keeping up with a healthy diet. First of all, it is really important to pack each dish with as much flavor as possible. Since I try not to use a lot of the usual flavorings such as salt, butter and oil, I opt instead to use a lot of spices and herbs. Next, it is important to have variety, everyone gets sick of eating the same foods over and over. A common issue that most people have with dieting is that they are constantly hungry because they do not get to eat enough volume to keep them full and satisfied. This has to do with the types of foods they are choosing. Pack your meals with low- calorie, high fiber vegetables to supplement some of the more calorie dense foods such as proteins or grains. Lastly, everyone has to indulge. I don’t know anyone in the world who is worse than me when it comes to cravings, so when a craving hits me I just try to figure out a way to make a healthier version of the dish. For example, this week I have been craving seafood.
I began with my healthy eating regimen just as all people should, by making a delicious and nutritious breakfast. Last week I saw a crab salad for sale in a supermarket and have not been able to get the idea out of my head. Therefore, I decided to make my own version for breakfast this morning. The meal was simple, filling, and very tasty. The colorful crab salad also looked quite appealing sitting neatly on top of a piece of whole-wheat toast and garnished with a delicate poached egg. There is nothing more satisfying than cutting into a soft poached egg and watching the rich golden yolk trickle down onto the plate, only to be sopped up by a piece of crisp and crunchy toast.
Years ago, on one of my first trips to New York City, my parents and I had brunch at a funky restaurant called The Breslin. I ended up ordering this delicious baked egg and tomato dish that I have never quite forgotten. Fast forward to the present. On this particular day, Devon and I were getting ready to go to an all day music festival called soundest. It was ninety degrees outside and we knew we were going to be running around all day so it was really important to get a good start. Back in New York, Devon and I have a favorite brunch place in the lower east side called El Camion, which serves a delicious $10 brunch. I decided to combine the idea of the baked egg breakfast from The Breslin with a Mexican flair since I miss out brunch outings. The result was an oven-baked skillet layered with tortilla chips, black beans, tomatoes, cheese and eggs. The meal was perfect with the side of fresh guacamole and lime.
Someone just look at this masterpiece! It is what I like to call a peanut butter and jelly pizza and it is superb. When I was a really little kid my family used to take me to a restaurant where they had peanut butter and jelly pizza on the kids menu. I had completely forgotten about it until one night, about a week ago, when Devon and I were starving but had nothing to eat in our apartment! All we had left in the kitchen was some pita bread…Suddenly an idea was born! I slathered the pita bread in peanut butter and jelly then baked the whole thing. The pita became crispy while the peanut butter got warm and melted. Delicious. I recommend this to all. Devon and I share this for breakfast sometimes now. It reminds me of being a little kid again.
Finals time rolled around this last semester and everyone got extremely busy. However, on one glorious Saturday morning, I got together with a few friends to make a breakfast feast! This is just a photo of part of the meal. Each of my friends took part in the festivities and made their on contribution to the breakfast. The meal in its entirety included breakfast sandwiches with cheesy eggs, cream cheese, bacon and hollandaise, as well as french toast topped with nutella, “chocolate dreams” (something magical they sell at grocery stores - it is a mixture of peanut butter and chocolate), fresh fruit, cinnamon, whipped cream and maple syrup. Yes, this meal was not for the faint of heart…or for those with weak hearts for that matter. Regardless, it was great and perfect during stressful exam times, especially in conjunction with good friends
How refreshing does this look? This has been my breakfast every day for about a week now and I love it! I am really trying to make a conscious effort to be really healthy with my eating habits…it is hard because after a long day I get stressed and all I want to do is make some comfort food. But anyways this is great! Usually I am really not that hungry in the morning so this is a good and light start. The grapefruit is really fresh and wakes me up while the apples are sweet and the celery is really crunchy and also refreshing. The peanut butter makes the apples and celery more of a treat and also adds a punch of protein so I don’t get hungry again for a while. Very healthy breakfast if I do say so myself.