Saturday, April 27, 2013

Breakfast of Champions and Firefighters

I have been trying to decide what recipe to be my first post of the blog and so this morning as I was preparing breakfast it became clear... 

Breakfast should be first, of course!

Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue
Recently at the suggestion of my good friend, Marjorie I was watching a film, The Forks over Knives Presents The  Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue with Rip Esselstyn. Highly recommend.

If you are not familiar with any of these names: Forks over Knives, Engine 2, Rip Esselstyn or his dad Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, II, I highly recommend googling them (or keep checking back as I will eventually be sharing more about all of these.) They all are worth learning more about but let me just start with Rip, his dad, and the Engine 2 diet.

Rip is the son of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, II of the renown Cleveland Clinic, who did a land mark 20 year study with reversing "incurable" advanced stage heart disease in a group of patients. He did this with a strict plant based low fat diet. These patients that were given less than a year to live are still well and thriving 20 years later, (actually all but a couple that slipped back into a Standard American Diet and did indeed die of cardiac complications.)

Rip, who was raised on this diet is not only an accomplished athlete and Iron Man competitor, is now a firefighter in Austin, Texas. After learning than some of his fellow firefighters had some unhealthy cholesterol and blood pressure issues, he decided to do his own study using buddies from the station, Engine 2 along with some local citizens that were willing to take the 6 week challenge. The results were remarkable. Not only did they all lower their lipid numbers and blood pressure in a short amount of time, they lost weight and became much agile.

Rip's book, The Engine 2 Diet
Rip's Book
has become a phenomena proving that real men do indeed eat and thrive on plants and now their firehouse has a steady stream of book fans (and media) knocking on the doors looking to meet these veggie studs.

But let's get back to the film I first mentioned, shall we?

So in this documentary, Rip travels to two households wanting to make the switch to a plant based diet to give some tips on how to do it.  In one, he was working with a family with 4 kids and showed them how to replace the cupboard full of sugary cereal with a high fiber cereal they would all like. It was a hit with all the kids and parents. This looked so good, I knew we would have to try it.

So it all started with these:

Whole Grain Cereals with a variety of textures
I actually purchased all these from Trader Joe's, since we do not yet have a Whole Foods, but you can probably find similar cereals anywhere. What you are looking for is whole grain (must say "whole..." in the list of ingredients and be the first listed) also low sodium, and low fat and as little sugar as possible, better if you can find no sugar added.  And no oils. You want any sugar or oil to be one of the last ingredients if you can't find a cereal box without either.

These grains will be the little brooms that clean out your cholesterol as well as your digestive system. To be honest, I could not imagine eating any of these on their own- plain.

Whole Grain Cereal Mix

I mixed them all in a big bowl and then put it into a giant well sealed jar for storage. This should last a while.

I know what you're thinking: Yeah, okay but how's it taste? And how am I going to get my kids to eat twigs?

Just hold on... here comes the sugar.

Fruit  Cereal Toppings
This is the important part: Flavor.

Chop up an assortment of fruits (or use frozen if you have to) into bite sized pieces. You can get really creative here. The more variety the better. Think of them as fruit loops! They will taste better the more flavors in there and I promise your kids will love this.

I used, apple, blackberries, strawberries, banana, kiwi. I even used raisins and cran-raisins but make sure to look for unsweetened. We are trying to leave the processed sugar out. I also added some heart healthy walnuts. This is brimming full of antioxidants in a tasty way.

Let's talk about milk here for a second. If you do nothing else please give up the cow's milk! Please?
There is so much that is dangerous in cow's milk. I don't want to go into all the ugly things linked to milk in the presence of such pretty pictures and spoil your appetite. Later I promise! But please for your kid's sake give it up. Spare them the health complications associated with it (development of type 1 diabetes is the most shocking! and also lowfat milk implicated in prostate cancer...but I did promise.)

I prefer nut milks. Almond being my favorite. Look for unsweetened in your stores or better yet make your own. It's very easy and tasty.

So here it is! The new Breakfast of Champions and Firefighters. It will give you a great start to your day, keep you satisfied until lunch and do wonderful things to your body.

And your kids, big and small will love it! Promise!

Give it a try and then come back and tell me what you think.

Have a beautiful day!

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  1. Yummy post, yummy breakfast! I have it every morning! Well done!

  2. Thanks for stopping by Marjorie! I thought you might like it. :-)

  3. Jodi, your blog page is beautiful! Your pictures and explanations are great! Love it. ...and the breakfast looks yummy!

  4. Thanks Kathleen. Great to see you here. Thanks for the feedback. :-)

  5. Love Love Love your site!!!I can't wait to try some of your recipes!! Just signed up for your news letter!! Great job!!

  6. Thanks so much Melissa! And thanks for subscribing. I'm excited to make the recipes myself. Stay tuned as they say. ;)