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Monday, September 21, 2009

Curb Cravings with a Better Breakfast

Do you ever go through the whole day distracted by cravings? A day where you feel the need to snack on anything (and everything) in sight because nothing is quite satisfying your craving for sweet? salty? succulent? And then, just like that, your well-intentioned efforts to regularly eat only healthy, weight-loss-friendly foods are foiled -- again.

Well, you're not alone! Many women routinely experience sudden and irresistible food cravings for potato chips, ice cream, cookies and, yes, chocolate. Though cravings seem to overtake us without warning and without reason, research shows that they are actually very predictable, arriving at particular times (during the day, or month) and in particular situations (boredom, stress etc.). Start taking notice of the craving trends that effect your life and you'll be better equipped to curb those cravings before they even begin.

If you know a food craving is going to strike, you can substitute something -- a healthier snack, a distraction, even a well-planned breakfast or lunch -- rather than regularly surrendering. One of the best ways to keep yourself focused and motivated throughout the day is to eat a hearty and satisfying breakfast that will leave you feeling fuller, longer - so you don't get distracted by the empty grumblings of your tummy before lunch. Try to eat carbs, protein and a little fat at every meal because research shows that when we eat meals that are lacking in one kind of food, we may be more likely to crave it later.

Finally, eating a varied diet, you'll feel better and have more energy and better concentration. Protein and fat take longer to digest than carbs do, so including them, along with more fiber, in any meal means that you'll feel satisfied longer. So, start your day off right and treat yourself to these fulfilling berry pecan pancakes and see just how much longer you feel energetic and fully-focused on whatever your task.

Berry Pecan Pancakes
(Serves 2)

2 cups prepared pancake batter
(homemade or store bought – I used Hungry Jack (Just Add Water)!)
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1 cup fresh berries (I used blueberries and strawberries.)
1/2 cup chopped pecans

First, make your pancake mix according to box instructions, or favorite homemade recipe instructions. You'll need approximately 2 cups of prepared batter (with Hungry Jack it was approximately 1 cup of mix and 1 cup of water for my preferred batter consistency). To this batter, add the berries, flax seed powder and chopped pecans. Mix together. Then, on a hot (greased or non-stick) griddle, scoop the batter into 2 large pancakes or 4-6 smaller pancakes. Cook until the batter starts to bubble on one side and then flip. Cook another 1-2 minutes until done and serve with your favorite syrup or honey. Enjoy!

Per serving: Approximately 450 calories, 12 g fiber, 8 g protein and High in Vitamin C.


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