The MBMK Guide

We want to help you conquer your kitchen and take control of your health. The MBMK Guide is where you’ll find useful tips and strategies for cooking and meal prep.  Your body will thank you.

5 "Healthy" Breakfast Foods To Avoid

When I first started being more strategic about my fitness goals, I looked for convenient breakfast options that aligned with my macronutrient needs.  For a long time my go-to combo of old fashioned oats and peanut butter was the cornerstone of my breakfast: high in fiber, protein and super easy to make.  However, as I looked around I realized that there were several breakfast foods being deceptively marketed as “healthy”.

Now, it’s not to say that I never eat any of these items; I just do my best to avoid making them a part of my regular breakfast repertoire.  So before you begin cutting out these food from your shopping list, you should think about your health goals first.

1. Flavored Yogurts

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Yogurt is an excellent source of protein, however, flavored yogurts tend to include added sugars.  I am particularly wary of flavored yogurts that are labeled as “low fat” or “fat free”. In my opinion, the removal of fat results in a yogurt that is not as appetizing and satiating as the original version.  Therefore, food manufacturers need to be add something for consumers to enjoy the yogurt. That “something” is most likely a sweetener.

What to eat instead: This Black Forest Chia Pudding is great.  Or even plain yogurt with fresh/frozen fruit, spices and vanilla.

2. Most “Healthy” Cereals

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Sugary breakfast cereals are usually easy to spot.  Many times they’re marketed to kids and are typically brightly colored or promise rich chocolatey flavors.  Picking a healthy cereal is a bit trickier since some of our favorite whole grain (or multigrain) cereals are packed with added sugar or lacking in fiber and protein.  Don’t be fooled; read the nutrition label and list of ingredients of the cereal before you purchase it.

What to eat instead: Try this tropical coconut quinoa recipe or jazzing up your oatmeal with fruit and nuts.  If you really just want to pour something straight from a box into a bowl, check out this list of cereals for ideas.

3. Fruit Juices

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Fruit juices are a convenient way to incorporate vitamins, minerals and antioxidants into your breakfast. The downside is that fruit juices also make it easy for us to mindlessly consume large quantities of sugar.  Is sugar inherently bad? Not in the right quantities (and with the right timing) but when you strip away the fiber from whole fruit to create fruit juices, you’re left with a glass of sugar. For comparison, take a look at the nutrition of freshly squeezed orange juice, coke and a medium orange.  It takes approximately 2 to 4 medium oranges to make one cup (236.588 ml) of orange juice:

  • 1 Medium Orange: 62 calories, 12 grams of sugar, 3 grams of fiber
  • 1 Cup of Orange Juice: 112 calories, 21 grams of sugar, 1 gram of fiber
  • 1 Cup of Coke: 93 calories, 26 grams of sugar, 0 grams of fiber

What to eat instead: Skip the juice; grab the fruit.

4. Muffins

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Many think of muffins as healthy breakfast foods.  Unfortunately, even if it’s made with some bran, nuts and fruit, your muffin may be more like a sugar packed cupcake.  In addition to sugar, our store-bought muffins are likely to be made of mostly refined flour and not whole grains (maybe a few whole grains are thrown in).  Refined flour is stripped of its bran resulting in its products being low in fiber with a high glycemic index.

What to eat instead: Truly whole grain muffins like these homemade Carrot Apple Oat Muffins

5. Granola

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I love granola with all its crunchy goodness.  Granola is typically made with whole grains and nuts which are both great for your health.  There are two things that I keep in mind when considering granola for breakfast: (1) serving size and (2) sugar content.  Granola can be a pretty calorie-dense food. Therefore, it is important to keep the portions small. In addition, it is not unusual for significant amounts of sugar to be added to certain brands granola so be sure to read the nutrition label.

What to eat instead: This Spiced Quinoa Oat Granola recipe will not kill you with added sugar and uses quinoa for some extra crunch.

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Ketogenic (Keto) Food List

The ketogenic (keto) diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that has been used to address various health problems including weight loss and epilepsy.  Many followers of the ketogenic diet consume about 60% to 80% of their calories from fats, 15% to 30% from proteins and 0% to 10% from carbohydrates.  The following food list compiled using information from Diet Doctor, Ruled.Me and PerfectKeto.

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Max Meal Freshness: Fridge vs Freezer

Now that you've completed your yummy, health-conscious meal prep, how do you store your meals to ensure maximum freshness?  In this post we compare the refrigeration and freezing of prepared meals.  We also provide recommendations for containers, jars and bags that can be used for refrigerating or freezing your meals.  

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New e-CookBook: In a Bowl, On a Plate

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Get it Now!

This e-cookbook features 13 vibrant soups and Spring dishes.  As promised, this e-cookbook is inspired by cuisines from around the world; you'll travel the globe without leaving your kitchen.  

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Happy Anniversay: MBMK Turns One

When I launched My Body, My Kitchen (MBMK) on January 19, 2015, I had no idea what to expect.  I remember being nervous and second-guessing myself even after clicking that 'Launch Website' button.  "What if people are disappointed by the website?", "Do I even know enough about food and health?", "Will readers actually like my recipes?" Now, as we celebrate our one year anniversary, I still have no idea what to expect but I know that there is a supportive community of readers that finds great value in the content of MBMK.

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Macronutrients: Calculating Your Proteins, Fats & Carbs

macronutrients-macros-fats-proteins-carbs-carbohydrate-squareLet's figure out your macronutrients!  In our post Calories: How Many Do I Need? we outlined four steps to help you determine your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE).  Your TDEE is the total number of calories you need on a daily basis.  Knowing your TDEE is a great first step in taking control of your diet.  Now we want dig a bit deeper and explore how you can allocate the calories of your TDEE.

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Calories: How Many Do I Need?

Four Steps to Calculate Your CaloriesDetermining your caloric budget--the number of calories you can consume--positions you to be more successful with your fitness goals; knowing your caloric needs empowers you with the knowledge to employ a more practical and sustainable strategy to achieving your fitness goals.  

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Peckings: A Taste of the Caribbean Free e-Cookbook

Peckings-e-cookbook-a-taste-of-the-caribbeanPeckings: A Taste of the Caribbean is a compilation of Caribbean themed recipes and is inspired by the diverse cultures of the Caribbean.  Peckings is the first FREE e-cookbook offered by My Body, Kitchen (MBMK) and is the precursor to the MBMK Around the World cookbook series.

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MBMK + MyBestBox

We are continuously seeking for opportunities to empower our readers to live a healthier lifestyle.  For some, getting started with meal prep and cooking can be a bit challenging, however, we are excited to announce that we have found a way to make your cooking experience more manageable and convenient.

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Blanching

Blanching is a cooking technique where a food item, usually a fruit or vegetable, is immersed in boiling water for a specified amount of time, removed from the boiling water and immediately submerged into iced water or placed under cold running water.  The cold water is used to stop the food item from cooking.

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What is a Water Bath?

water bathA water bath is a pan of water placed in the oven.  To use a water bath you simply fill a large enough pan with water, then place the baking dish, ramkins, etc into the pan of water.  The water should reach about half way up the pan.  It may be easier to place the baking dish in the empty then add water.

Water baths are used for recipes that require a moist environment and a less aggressive heat for cooking.  Cheesecakes, custards and puddings are usually cooked in water baths.  Our 4C Casserole is an example of recipe that requires a water bath.

 

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Meal Prep: An Overview

meal prep - yellow yams, ground turkey in tomato sauce and broccoliMBMK Definition: Meal prep is the weekly preparation of meals for a period of time usually longer than 2 days.  An example would be the planning, cooking and packaging of lunch and dinner for 4 days.  In recent years, with the help of social media and the online fitness community, the meal prep approach to nutrition has gained great popularity among those seeking to maintain a consistent diet that meets their dietary and fitness goals.

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Getting Started with Meal Prep

IMG_7984We at My Body, My Kitchen really love cooking!  The kitchen can be a very creative and fun space where you can treat your palate and body to exactly what they want and need.  So, we want to help you get started using your kitchen and taking more control of what you eat.

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