breakfast of champions

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

For two pretty adventurous eaters, DP and I are extremely restrained when it comes to breakfast. We seem to latch on to something and consume it every single day for years-on-end. Seriously--years. There might be an occasional diversion--say, when we go out for breakfast or cook these puppies once in a blue moon, but 19 out of 20 days we are creatures of habit.

It started about twelve years ago when we went to a big, family party celebrating my Grandparents' 60th Anniversary. It took place at a Midwestern chicken joint where so much fried food had been slung for so many years that walking through the front door resulted in a rancid-oil slap in the face.

The meal we were served included:

Fried chicken
Fried sweet doughy corn fritters
Fried shrimp
Fried cole slaw
Fried three-bean salad

Okay. I'm exaggerating about the last two. But if it wasn't fried, it was steeped in mayonnaise. We didn't want to be rude and were also famished that day so had no choice but to dig in. It was a dirty meal. Such a dirty meal that we both woke up in the middle of the night doubled over with a greasy stomach ache. We weren't horribly unhealthy people before this, just people who ate a little bit of everything but I think that particular meal was the mayonnaise-y straw that broke the deep-fried camel's back. We turned over a new healthy leaf that next morning and never looked back.

My brother Josh was just beginning a super health kick and stressed the importance of a clean breakfast. He suggested we eat oatmeal and egg whites so that's what we did for about 3 years straight until we couldn't stomach eggs anymore. What followed was an extremely long stint involving daily bowlfuls of this muesli-esqe concoction (we named it "The Bowl"). The recipe was given to us by a trainer and it necessitated exact measurements of raw oats, yogurt, grape nuts, soy milk and protein powder. We ate that for so many years in a row (5?) that the thought of it now makes me gag.

We then moved on to the drink phase.

We started the morning with powdered greens mixed into water. Then I read about the benefits of hot water with lemon so we added that. And there was of course coffee. Followed by some kind of smoothie.

There were so many drinks that for years our dishwasher was permanently full of dirty glasses, mugs and stirring spoons. I even wrote a song about it. It's called "Drinks" (natch), and here are its lyrics:

Drinks and drinks and drinks and drinks?
Drinks and drinks and drinks and drinks.

I know it looks very simplistic but you should hear the melody. It's quite intricate. Not to mention catchy. Just ask David.

Weary of washing a million glasses a day and being constantly full of sloshing liquids, most of the drinks fell by the wayside but the tried-and-true protein shake remains. At least I imagine it will for the next several years or until I can't stand looking at its face.

Berry Almond Flax Protein Shake
serves 1

1 scoop (about 3T) vanilla protein powder (I like Jarrow's Brown Rice Protein--it's gluten-free, sugar-free and soy-free)
2T flax meal (ground flax seeds)
1 cup frozen mixed berries
6oz. unsweetened vanilla almond milk
6oz. water
agave or stevia to taste (I like this stevia a lot--no bitterness)
1T almond butter (or better yet, Josh's Nut Butter)

Combine all ingredients in a blender and serve immediately. Repeat daily for at least half a decade.



  1. Yes, "drinks" is a very catchy tune.

  2. i will be making this tomorrow thanks jolie xo

  3. "rancid-oil slap on the face" is an excellent description

    (it's how my house smells every time my husband uses our deep fryer)

  4. I saw this on Pinterest and it caught my eye, since I am a total smoothie junkie.I'm looking forward to trying this tomorrow morning. Thanks for sharing your recipe. ;)

    P.S. Your story made me laugh. ;)

  5. Linda in WaterlooJune 3, 2012 at 7:29 AM

    Thanks for the recipe. Just burned the motor on my vintage Waring. Neglected to chop the wheat grass, and the strands strangled it like seaweed wrapped around an outboard. New Warning is a poor imitation of the elder. Excellent, funny post.


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