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It's Monday morning and everyone in your home needs to get to their destination of choice-fast.  What can we all do to get breakfast on the table?  

First-organize as much as you can the night before (along with your brown bag lunches!).  Use the timer on your coffee machine or at least put in the beans/grounds, water and filter so your cup of joe (or use loose leaf tea if that's your morning potion of choice, the coffee machine does a great job with tea) is ready for you.

I measure out my cereal and fruit, cover with saran wrap and put it in the fridge.  If I am having a whole grain English muffin or an "alternative" bagel I have the toaster out waiting to use.  Decide ahead if you're using peanut (or other nut butter) butter or non/low fat cream cheese.  Stop buying full sugar jams/preserves and use all fruit spreads or low-sugar versions-even try slicing some of the fresh fruit you're going to eat on them.

If all needed vitamins and medications are all pre-measured for the entire week, there's no time wasted opening up and closing who knows how many different containers.

If you are more into "full" American breakfast-put out the pan for your eggs or better yet, invest in a microwave egg poacher.  No added fat is needed and you can make a mean low-fat eggs benedict in less than 10 minutes!   Use a whole grain English muffin, a slice of Canadian bacon and a slice of low-fat Swiss cheese.  This can be accomplished without messing up more than the plate you're serving yourself on.

Not into any of the above-love your hot cereal?  Try this recipe.  It makes 8 hearty servings, its versatile (use your favorite dried fruit, add some other spices, use some low/non-fat yogurt with it), high in fiber and has a very low glycemic index rating.  This means it will help you regulate your blood sugar levels and keep you feeling full.  Make it on the weekend and then put into individual servings.  Simply take out the pre-measured bowl and microwave it for the entire week.

Barley Harvest Cereal
Total time to make: 2 hours


8 C water
½ C wild rice
1 C pearl barley
½ C steel cut oats (Irish)
1/3 C raisins
½ C chopped and pitted dates
¼ C toasted walnuts, chopped
1 Tbsp. butter or margarine
¾ tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375.  Simmer 2 C water and rice for 20 minutes.  Drain.  Mix rice and all the other ingredients in a baking dish.  Cover loosely with foil and bake until water is absorbed and cereal is creamy.  Stir occasionally (about 1-1/2 hours).

This recipe courtesy of Psychology Today magazine.

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