Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Breakfast of Champions and other Delectable Things I Want to Share

It’s funny how much seems to change when you’ve slept. When you don’t sleep, eating healthily and exercising won’t mean diddly-squat; you’ll retain water, gain weight, crash, and be a crying mess like I was last week. This is even more significant to those with thyroid problems, because insomnia and other sleep disorders are very common.

So what is the sleep-diet connection? To paraphrase this WebMD article by Denise Mann:

"Exactly how lack of sleep affects our ability to lose weight (or in my case, maintain it) has a lot to do with our nightly hormones. The two hormones that are key in this process are ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin is the ‘go’ hormone that tells you when to eat, and when you are sleep-deprived, you have more ghrelin. Leptin is the hormone that tells you to stop eating, and when you are sleep deprived, you have less leptin.

More ghrelin plus less leptin equals weight gain."

I noticed this immediately after the first night fully slept. Not only was I not starving, I was also fuller on less. My exercising had been plateauing for months, and it improved literally overnight. I had a more pronounced belly pooch than ever, making me extremely self-conscious and aware of my weight, and it flattened within twenty-four hours.

That being said, I’m a different Morri than I was a few days ago… and loving it.

Food, I noticed, had lost its luster since my SMI started. I didn’t enjoy it as I once had, nor did I enjoy shopping for it. I made recipes, and I loved making them, but my well-rested body savors the process even more. 

When I wake up, I smile.

When I eat, I can appreciate it.

Which brings me to the title of the post. I always became so frustrated with my 2:30 a.m. breakfasts, because I usually wanted to put more effort into the meal. But when you’re starving and tired, you don’t want to use up the little energy you have. To think, months of breakfast ideas neglected because of SMI. Months of the same breakfast bake, the same flours, the same cooking process, the same feeling of exhaustion and anger and…

You know what? That’s enough bitterness for today. This post is about breakfast, and a yummy breakfast at that.

On Saturday, Mama Dazz and I ventured out to MOM’s Organic Market, and I reveled in the experience like it was my birthday. Shelf after shelf had products that were Morri-friendly, and I had forgotten how much I missed going on foodie adventures.


Why do I like MOM’s? Well, the location in Alexandria is a breath of fresh air, currently with tomato plants for sale outside and an arrangement of delights inside. You are greeted by sincere smiles, personnel willing to help you and answer your questions, and delicious produce grown with love and the environment in mind. We went there for raw apple cider vinegar and came out with bags of cool stuff. Funny how this seems to happen quite a lot...

Anyway, here is a list of a few of the treasures from our MOM’s excursion that I am officially in love with:

 Eden Foods Organic Ume plum vinegar

 New Grist gluten free beer

 Coco Hydro all natural coconut water electrolyte mix

 Wax Orchards fruit-sweetened dark chocolate sauce

Vega One all-in-one nutritional shake (single packets, natural and chocolate flavor)

Saturday was a great day of gastronomic proportions. I’d forgotten how much I loved the creation of a meal, the excitement of trying new products, and the beauty of the simple things.

I’m particularly excited to share my Vega One experience, because it was part of the breakfast that I’m sharing with you today. I bought the two flavors to try them out before buying it bulk to see if I liked it, how it managed my blood sugar, and how it affected my body. My plan was to have a nutritional shake with the apple muffin recipe I promised to make three weeks ago. And let me tell you, it definitely was a Breakfast of Champions combination.

I made the shake with the natural-flavored Vega One single-serving packet, 1/2 a frozen banana, and 275 ml Almond milk (vanilla, unsweetened). It wasn’t overly sweet, and it reminded me of cake batter in terms of taste. Plus, it is dairy, gluten, and soy free with no added sugar, all things I look for in a protein powder. It is also a favorite of the Pure2Raw twins, Lori and Michelle, and you can find a list of their other favorite plant-based protein powders here. So while I’m ordering Vega One in bulk, enjoy this much belated muffin recipe.

It's great to be back.

Apple Spice Muffins

60 g Buckwheat flour
60 g Garbanzo bean flour
60 g Mesquite flour
60 g Almond flour
1 tsp. Sea salt
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Cloves
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
120 g Unsweetened applesauce*
240 g Whole milk yogurt*
2 Large eggs*
1 tsp. Bourbon vanilla extract
1 Granny Smith apple, finely diced
1 tsp. Baking soda**
1 tsp. Unrefined apple cider vinegar**
Coconut oil, for greasing the muffin tins

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Combine the flours and spices in a medium-sized mixing bowl and set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix together the applesauce, yogurt, eggs, and vanilla, and then add it to the dry ingredients.
Fold in the apple to the batter along with the baking soda and apple cider vinegar, and let it sit on the counter for five minutes.
Pour the batter into a regular-sized muffin tin and bake for 30 minutes or until done (which can be seen by poking a knife down the center and the blade comes up clean).
Remove the muffins from the oven and let them cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing.
Serve warm or place in the fridge for later consumption (and FYI, they freeze beautifully).

Makes 10 – 12 regular-sized muffins.

*If you can recall from my most recent muffin post, I stressed the importance of the wet ingredients being a room temperature. But since this recipe doesn’t have any fat such as butter or oil that would otherwise harden in the presence of cold ingredients, it isn’t necessary. 

**In place of baking powder, I usually do equal parts of baking soda and apple cider vinegar/cream of tartar. But if you if have baking powder on hand, homemade or otherwise, replace both baking soda and vinegar for the same amount.

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