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Getting back to breakfast

June 10, 2011
Strawberry Sicilian Granita and Brioche - for Breakfast

Sicilan granita - A breakfast in Sicily I actually ate - lots of sugar and carbs here πŸ™‚

I’ve been living in Italy 8 years. When I first moved here, I tried to keep my breakfast tradition of usually-savory breakfast with sometimes sweet (toast & jam). I missed bagels, I missed egg scrambles and home fries, I missed bacon. I remember the horrified looks of my then-Italian roommates’ faces when they walked in one morning and found me rolling ricotta up inside slices of salami.

It did not go over well.

But how else was I expected to make it through the day, sometimes only getting a chance to eat lunch at 3pm with my schedule, otherwise?

I slowly acclimated, through peer pressure and many social breakfasts, to eating cornetto / brioche (the Italian version of a croissant – less butter than a French one) in the morning on occasion. Then I started drinking coffee. Espresso, rather. I often went without breakfast completely but just for my one coffee.

Then I started eating the biscotti, cookies, which are similar to shortbread but not as buttery (see a trend?) When I first arrived in Italy I didn’t understand why they had such dry cookies, until I started dunking them in my morning cappuccino and afternoon tea. And then I understood.

They are delicious, and retain their shape even when getting dunked in delicious coffee. But they provide little to no satisfaction in terms of nutrition. Sugar carbohydrates sugar carbohydrates sugar. And of course, lots of fat.

So I stopped that.

Now I’m back to eating breakfast in the morning, with the aim of keeping me satisfied and healthy. That means protein. Fiber. Savory or sweet? It depends on the day.

These three breakfasts are in heavy rotation right now:

  • 0% plain Greek Yogurt or full-fat fruit yogurt with All-Bran (got serious bran cravings last year, now I love this!)
  • Oatmeal with nuts and/or honey and/or raisins & cranberries
  • Cottage cheese with a savory spice mix (salt, pepper, others) πŸ™‚

What gets you going in the morning?

Some more inspiration:

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. June 10, 2011 3:38 pm

    I enjoy the South African version of biscotti – rusks. And when you eat one of these, you automatically dunk them in your tea/coffee. Yum!

    • June 10, 2011 4:12 pm

      Yes, I was doing that quite a bit almost directly before I started this diet. I think it was greatly related to the recent weight gain, too. Pity 😦

  2. June 10, 2011 4:10 pm

    I completely understand what you mean! When I was living in Italy last summer, I feasted on a cappuccino (made with non-skimmed milk!), creamy yogurt from up in the Alpi, and biscotti. Every morning. Needless to say, along with all the other rich Italian food, and even with the kilometers of walking I did each day, my pants were a little tight by the end of my soggiorno in the bel paese!

    • June 10, 2011 4:13 pm

      I think the suggested serving size was like 3 or 4 cookies – who could stop at that?? I’d rather eat a mozzarella or something else rich – at least you recognize it clearer as calories.

  3. June 10, 2011 5:20 pm

    I’m not in Italy, but getting back to breakfast resounded with me. I’ve recently rediscovered yogurt (Greek yogurt with honey- my current fav!) with fresh berries, and a little granola for crunch. Yumm!

    • June 11, 2011 7:37 pm

      Ahh! Julie! Didn’t recognize your last name immediately πŸ™‚ Hi! πŸ™‚

      Have you ever made your own granola? I’ve been “off” granola for a while because I really love it and it’s not that great for you (yep, I can eat a whole box) but I definitely need some texture in my yogurt which is why I add the All-Bran. I need to try more fresh berries (they’re uber-expensive here) – when I come to the States in the summer I usually buy a big carton of blueberries and go to town. πŸ™‚

  4. June 10, 2011 7:08 pm

    I know this doesn’t sound great, but there is egg white powder, and I have tried it. Not too bad! Check out nutrition rating… http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/dairy-and-egg-products/124/2 (need to click on 1TBSP, and I out in 2-3 usually). good way to mix in veggies, or even ham and cheese (yum), for that savory breakfast sandwich. πŸ™‚

    • June 11, 2011 7:39 pm

      Interesting – protein for protein’s sake? Does it taste eggy? Lots of people like creatine powder – I’m still open to experimenting with stuff like this but I still like the concept of eating real food instead of supplements / powders. You’ll have to convince me when I see you πŸ˜‰

  5. lola permalink
    June 15, 2011 7:21 am

    Hi Sarah, I just discovered this blog whilst reading your other one. Good luck with the diet. My fave breaky is a Dutch cereal called Brinta (a very fine, smooth oatmeal) with soy milk, stewed apples and nutmeg. It keeps you going all day and is very nutritious. If you can find it in Italy, you should try it. It is, as the Dutch say, “lekker” (delicious).

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