Ratchet Up Your Breakfast to a New Level

This week I’m going to spend a few minutes talking about the typical American breakfast, namely toast bagels muffins waffles pancakes “cereal” biscuits bread. Basically just white flour and sugar. Stripped carb. I put “cereal” in quotes because the word cereal really means grain (like oatmeal, millet, kasha, bulgur wheat), and not boxes of sweetened, dyed, highly processed products of limited nutritional value.

Something I’ve noticed just in the past few months is that EVEN friends, colleagues and acquaintances who have made the switch to real food, and who have rid their kitchens of items from that list of typical American breakfast foods above (at least most of the time) can still be strongly influenced by the list. Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Slow Chicken & White Beans

In honor of the upcoming marriage of HLJ to ESS:
Here’s a magnificent recipe, inspired by the fact that this year is the #Year of the #Pulse! You know how much I love beans and the flavors developed by slow cooking! Try putting it up right now, and you’ll have a very special, delicious and nutritious meal for dinner tonight. Of course, if you’re me, you might decide to make it tonight instead of in the morning, so it will be ready just in time for breakfast tomorrow.
Whenever food cooks in our slow cooker through the night, it gives me delicious dreams. Sometimes it even wakes me up, a few times for a few moments, to savor the smells. Then, when morning comes, I can barely get myself up and dressed fast enough in my hurry to get downstairs to eat my yummy breakfast from the crockpot! I’m not kidding — consider yourself forewarned.

Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Muffin-y Goodness

Of course, this is an especially good week for an egg recipe…

My sister saw a recipe for these beauties last week, and now you should try them! I love the idea of eating a few for breakfast, taking some for lunch, popping one or two for a mid-afternoon snack, and then making a whole new batch. But maybe not all on the same day.

My advice? Use eggs with the brightest orange-yellow yolks, berries with deepest warmest color, and the sweetest, ripest bananas you can find. You can’t possibly go wrong! Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Sharon’s Sweet-Potato Oatcakes

This week I have an amazing new recipe from my friend, Sharon, who was so pleased with it that she decided to send it along to share with us! I am thrilled to be able to post it for you today, because I imagine that you are going to love it, too! I doubled her recipe to give you a few extra to share or save for breakfast tomorrow. Thank you, Sharon! Continue reading



Breakfast Candy

Let’s talk about breakfast cereals, shall we? Developed by a couple of enterprising health spa owners from Battle Creek, Michigan, they originally provided an economical use for the crumbs that fell to the bottom of the bread ovens. The word “cereal,” which simply means grain, comes from Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture. Breakfast cereal? That’s a marketing term. Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Apple-Walnut Oatmeal

In view of the fact that I’ve been asked yet again to repost this recipe, and since it’s autumn (the most glorious autumn I can remember in at least a few years) I am reposting this recipe for Apple-Walnut Oatmeal. You will be pleased to note that I adjusted the proportions so you can make enough for two. Continue reading


Breakfasts for Kids and Their Loving Parents

I was talking with a dear friend who teaches in the younger grades at a small school north of Detroit. “The kids are bouncing off the walls by 9:30,” my friend says, and I think to myself that maybe their blood sugars are starting to fall. Nine-thirty in the morning is pretty early. He says that a snack often helps. Yup — it very well may be their blood sugars. Continue reading


The Real Meaning of “Breakfast Cereal”

Let’s talk about something I said a few weeks ago: It started with the term “breakfast cereal.” I put it in quotes for reasons that I’ll get to below. I also made the point that the term “breakfast cereal” reminds me of phrases like “TV dinners,” and “Lunchables,” whatever that means. Whenever marketers tell me what to eat and when to eat it, that’s a very bad sign. Actually it’s more of a clue. And that’s the subject of today’s post. Continue reading


On Plums, Poetry, Public Transit, and William Carlos Williams

If you look up as you walk through the back door into my kitchen, you might be surprised to see an orange poster with a Swedish translation of a poem written in 1934 by the great poet William Carlos Williams. Dr. Williams was also a pediatrician from Rutherford, New Jersey. Since this month is National Poetry Month, I thought I would share how this poem ended up in my kitchen.  Here it is in the original:

This is Just to Say

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

 

One morning, as I was moving around the kitchen trying to decide what we should eat for breakfast, I was reminded of a poem that I had written out and hung on my bedroom door many years earlier, as an adolescent. “This is just to say,” I began to recite aloud, and my three young children stood riveted as I spoke the poem from memory. “That’s not a poem,” they protested. “You made that up!”

I picked up my cell phone to call my brother. “Forgive me for waking you,” I said, “but I need a favor.” Their dark, round eyes grew big as plums while he completed the prompt I supplied.

The children saved their delicious new discovery to share with their father over breakfast.  Now we all knew the poem.

Some years later, their sweet father, in Sweden on a layover, took the opportunity to visit friends spending a cold and lonely winter in Stockholm. In their kitchen, a brightly colored poster leaned against the icebox, a remnant from a citywide poetry festival the previous fall. Poems had been placed in public transit throughout the city, and riders had been encouraged to take them home once the celebration had ended. “What does it say?” asked my inquisitive husband, and our friends began to translate, “This is just to say…”

I cannot say exactly why, but I have loved this poem since the first time I read it as a child. I did not know until years later that its author was a doctor from New Jersey. I did not know that someday I would place great personal and professional importance on fresh fruit, or that my grandfather’s preferred choice of the word “icebox” would stay with me all my life. Some things just are.