December may be one of the busiest months of the year, filled with parties and dinners and temptations lurking around every corner. If you are not careful it can be easy to leave the year with a few extra pounds to shed in January. However, with a few simple strategies you don’t have to let this tempting time of year pack on the pounds.
1. Start your day with 25-30 grams of protein. Research shows a high protein breakfast can reduce cravings and hunger throughout the day! Check out the recipe below for Beef & Egg breakfast mugs. Follow the first few steps on a day when you have more time, then you have enough to make four filling breakfast in minutes.
2. Choose protein, not carbs for munching. Snacks can be a great way to ensure you don’t get too hungry and overeat at your next meal. Just be wise and choose higher protein snacks like beef jerky or a slice of roast beef wrapped around string cheese. I recommend aiming 10-15 grams of protein for in-between meal snacks. Often my clients want to reach for carb-rich snacks like crackers, chips and granola bars. However, these tend to leave my clients even hungrier an hour later, and then they reach for even more carb-filled snacks. A viscous cycle that can be prevented by fueling up with protein instead.
3. Plan quick and easy lunches and dinners. With all of the extra to-dos of the season a meal plan is often the first thing to go. However, my clients find by taking the time to plan and shop for 2-3 easy lunches and dinners they free up time spent eating out or making extra trips to the grocery store. Keep it simple – taco salads, meat sauce served over spaghetti squash, and Sloppy Joes served with green beans are three speedy dinner ideas that don’t require a recipe to follow. Plus, the leftovers work great for the next day’s lunch!
BEEF AND EGG BREAKFAST MUGS
Total Recipe Time: 5 to 10 minutes (breakfast preparation and cook)
Makes 8 servings.
1 recipe Basic Country Beef Breakfast Sausage (recipe follows)
1 cup chopped fresh vegetables such as tomato, baby spinach, bell pepper, zucchini or green onion
1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat cheese such as Cheddar, Monterey Jack or American
8 large eggs
Salt and pepper (optional)
Dairy sour cream, salsa, sriracha, ketchup
INSTRUCTIONS FOR BEEF AND EGG BREAKFAST MUGS
1. Prepare Basic Country Beef Breakfast Sausage. Remove skillet from heat; let cool 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Evenly divide beef and vegetables into eight food-safe quart-size plastic bags. Close securely and refrigerate up to 4 days.
2. For each serving, spray one 6 to 12-ounce microwave-safe mug or bowl with non-stick cooking spray. Add 1 egg and 1 tablespoon water; whisk with fork. Stir in 1 bag refrigerated beef-vegetable mixture.
3. Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH 30 seconds. Remove from oven; stir. Continue to microwave on HIGH 30 to 60 seconds or until egg is just set. Stir. Top with cheese. Let stand 30 seconds or until cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Serve with Toppings, if desired.
Basic Country Beef Breakfast Sausage:
Combine 1 pound ground beef (93% lean or leaner), 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage or 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper in large bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add beef mixture; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into 1/2-inch crumbles and stirring occasionally.
Taco Seasoning Variation:
Prepare beef as directed above, substituting 1 packet (1 ounce) reduced-sodium taco seasoning mix for herbs and seasonings in step 1.
• Test Kitchen Tips
• Cooking times are for fresh or thoroughly thawed Ground Beef. Ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F. Color is not a reliable indicator of ground beef doneness.
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION FOR BEEF AND EGG BREAKFAST MUGS
Nutrition information per serving: 178 calories; 9 g fat (4 g saturated fat; 4 g monounsaturated fat); 225 mg cholesterol; 297 mg sodium; 2 g carbohydrate; 0.4 g fiber; 21 g protein; 4.9 mg niacin; 0.3 mg vitamin B6; 1.6 mcg vitamin B12; 2.3 mg iron; 25.4 mcg selenium; 3.8 mg zinc; 188.6 mg choline.
This recipe is an excellent source of protein, niacin, vitamin B12, selenium, zinc and choline; and a good source of vitamin B6 and iron.
The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.