As I’ve mentioned, I absolutely LOVE the new Weight Watchers PointsPlus program. I’ve had a lot of success on it so far, taking off 12.2 pounds since recommitting in December 2010, with only 9.4 to go until my goal. I really think it lends itself to healthier, cleaner eating than the old plan, and doesn’t make me feel bad for choosing less processed foods.
One of the main issues I had with the old program was that I felt punished for not wanting to eat sugar-free, fat-free items, and ended up eating that stuff more than I wanted to because it was far lower in points than the whole food, less processed counterparts. I think the new plan has done a much better job embracing less processed foods, but giving you enough flexibility to really cater the plan to your own tastes and preferences.
I’ve mentioned this before, but since rejoining Weight Watchers, I really haven’t changed what I eat very much, I’ve just been really conscious of portion sizes and tracking what I eat so that I’m not mindlessly eating way more than I need (or want) to eat.
I thought it would be fun to do a few posts on being a Whole Foods Weight Watcher, with some meal ideas and PointsPlus breakdowns for each meal because it’s one of the questions I get asked most frequently over email/in the comments section of my blog. People want to know how you can eat healthy, within your budgeted points allowance, and feel satisfied with both taste and hunger level.
Today I’m going to talk about breakfast ideas, but I have another post planned for lunch/dinner ideas, and one for snacks. And even if you’re not following Weight Watchers, I think these meals are all awesome for anyone who is trying to eat healthy!
So let’s get right into it, shall we?
For me, the base of any meal has to be protein. If I don’t have a good amount of protein in my meal, I get hungry again within the hour. Some ideas for protein that work really well with breakfast are:
- Nonfat Plain Greek yogurt (1/2 cup = 1 pt+, 1 cup = 3 pts+)
- Low-fat Cottage Cheese (1/2 cup = 2 pts+, 1 cup = 4 pts+)
- Peanut Flour (which is being discontinued by Trader’ Joe’s.. why!?!?!) (2 tbsp = 2pts+)
- Almonds (8 almonds = 1 pt+)
- Sliced/Crushed Nuts (1 tbsp = 1 pts+)
- Reduced Fat Peanut Butter (1 tbsp = 2 pts+)
- Skim Milk (1 cup = 2 pts+)
- Eggs (1 egg = 2 pts+)
- Egg Whites (3 = 1pt+)
Almost every day, I also like to have whole grains as part of my breakfast.
- Steel Cut Oats (1/4 cup dry = 4 pts+)
- Rolled Oats (1/4 cup dry = 2 pts+)
- Wheat Berries (1/2 cup cooked = 2 pts+)
- Whole Wheat Couscous (1 cup cooked = 5 pts+)
- Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Sesame Bread (1 slice = 2 pts+)
- Whole Wheat English Muffin (1 = 3 pts+)
- Whole Wheat Tortilla (1 medium = 3 pts+)
I also love to add bulk! This almost always comes in the form of fruits and veggies, since they are packed with nutrients and most are little to no PointsPlus value!
- Canned Pumpkin (1/2 cup = 0 pts+)
- Bananas (0 pts+)
- Apples (0 pts+)
- Frozen Berries (0 pts+)
- Sweet Potato (1 small = 2 pts+)
Finally, I love to add a little extra flavor. All of the following have a PointsPlus value of 0!
- Vanilla Extract
- Pumpkin Pie Spice
- Hot sauce
So my main strategy for coming up with breakfast ideas, is picking 1-2 items from the protein, whole grain, and bulk lists, and then adding the extra flavor if I feel like it. I usually try to spend 5-7 points on breakfast because I find that amount keeps me satisfied until lunch and allows me to have more points later in the day.
Here are some breakfast ideas:
- 1 cup cooked steel cut oatmeal, mixed with 2 tbsp peanut flour and banana melted in (6 pts+) (try the Heat n Eat version of steel cuts if you’re in a rush in the AM!)
- 1 cup cooked oatmeal mixed with 1/2 cup each low-fat cottage cheese and canned pumpkin, with a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice (6 pts+)
- 1/2 cup cooked wheat berries, 1 cup nonfat greek yogurt, a sliced banana, thawed strawberries and a sprinkle of cinnamon (5 pts+)
- 1 cup nonfat greek yogurt with 8 almonds, crushed, and 1/2 tbsp honey (5 pts+)
- 1 egg plus 3 egg whites, scrambled with 1 oz light mozzarella, scallion, and tomato, served with 1 slice toasted ezekiel 4:9 bread and hot sauce, with an orange on the side (6 pts+)
- A smoothie with 1 cup skim milk, 1 banana, 1 cup frozen strawberries, and spinach, topped with 1 tbsp RF peanut butter and 1 tbsp sliced almonds for crunch (5 pts+)
- 1 slice Ezekial 4:9 Sprouted Sesame bread, spread with 1 tbsp reduced fat peanut butter and a mashed banana. Serve with an apple (4 pts+)
- Mini Frittatas – Make these in muffin tins on a Sunday and you can have them for the week by just heating them up in the microwave for 30 seconds – 1 minute. (I’ll be doing a recipe post on these soon!) – Use eggs and/or egg whites, veggies, and/or cheese, bake at 350º, and then serve with fruit and/or whole wheat toast!
- English Muffin Sandwich – Microwave 3 egg whites into a puff in a nonstick sprayed mug, and place on a toasted english muffin with some spinach and hot sauce. Serve with a banana for a filling, 4 pts+ breakfast
- Mexican Breakfast Burrito – Scramble 1 egg with 1/4 cup black beans, green peppers, and onion, and serve with salsa in a whole wheat tortilla (5 pts+)
- Sweet Potato Hash – Dice up a small sweet potato and microwave in water for 3 minutes to get it softish. Then, sautee an onion and pepper (and any other veggies you feel like) in 1 tsp olive or canola oil, before adding the sweet potato back into the pan to get it crispy. Serve with a fried egg for a 5 pt+ breakfast, or with a slice of whole wheat toast for 7 pts+ total.
- 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese, topped with 1 cup frozen mixed berries and 1 tbsp walnut pieces (5 pts+)
So there you have it – 12 breakfast ideas that consist of mostly whole foods. I was shooting for 10 but came up with 12 – go me!
What about you? What do you typically have for breakfast? And where do you normally eat – at home, work, or somewhere else? During the week I almost always eat at my desk. I have oatmeal most days Monday-Friday because I can just heat it up at work in the microwave, but on the weekends I love egg scrambles or omelets with veggies and toast. This week I made a big batch of Wheat Berries on Sunday, so I’ve been doing option #3 on here for breakfasts.