Printer Friendly

A balanced breakfast? Dr. Pavka helps a reader size up his bowl and suggests foods perfect for morning munching.

Q: "My question is about a breakfast meal I have created and enjoy. All the ingredients are organic. I add 1 cup of oatmeal to a pint of spring water, slowly heating to a brief simmer then removing from the heat to cool. I grind 1/8 cup of almonds (about 22) to a powder. I grind 1/3 cup of pumpkin, sunflower and flax seeds (equaling i cup) into a powder. Then, I add I teaspoon of cinnamon powder and mix dry ingredients before adding to the now cooler oatmeal. I add more water as needed. My question: Is this meal balanced? I'm a 58-year-old male, long-term strict vegetarian, going on vegan. I like to eat fresh foods, but as I live off the grid, I'm limited to what will keep without refrigeration."

--Richard O., Todd, NC

A: Thanks so much for this rich question, Richard, that could take my answer in many directions. Here are a few key thoughts.

The balance of carbohydrates, proteins and fats in your breakfast looks very good. Oatmeal, of course, is a healthy source of whole grain carbohydrates high in fiber. The nuts provide good quality protein and generous amounts of fats. The flax seeds are a nutritious addition because they contain generous amounts of the health-promoting omega-3 fats that we hear so much about today. Yes to grinding the whole flax seeds, which cannot be digested unless they are very well chewed or ground.

I'm glad you sent more information about yourself, because that helps me estimate what you need nutritionally. In addition, your e-mail signature says you own a yard service company, so I assume that you're physically active. Based on the information you provided, I'd say that this breakfast is well-balanced and appropriate for you as a physically active man. If this e-mail had come from a 30-year-old woman with a desk job, my comments would have been different.

You could consider varying your grains. Another possibility is quinoa, a quick-cooking, whole grain. Cooking directions: Bring two cups of water to a boil. Add one cup of quinoa and cover. Simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Let sit for five minutes and eat. Also consider varying your nuts. Other choices could be walnuts and pecans.


Keeping in mind that you and other readers live off the grid with no refrigeration, here are two other suggestions. Fruit would be a nutritious addition. Consider adding dried fruits like raisins, blueberries, cranberries, goji berries or pineapple. If you added the dried fruit to the cooking oatmeal, the fruit would soften. Or, if you added it with the nuts, the dried fruits would lend a chewier texture. Consider that fresh apples will keep for quite a long time in a cool spot in your home. Place the apples in a brown paper bag with a small hole poked in the side to allow the apples to "breathe." Even if the apples do wither a bit, they will still be a nutritious addition to your oatmeal.

Greens would be another nutritious addition. Consider adding chickweed to the simmering oatmeal. Chickweed often grows all winter long around here, tucked away in sunny protected spaces near stone walls. And, you can grow chickweed in a pot in a greenhouse or in your home. Consider, too, adding a small amount, say 1/8 teaspoon, of spirulina or cracked cell chlorella. But, be prepared for green oatmeal! It's an acquired taste. Gradually increase the amount.


And a final note: cinnamon is what cooks "and nutritionists call a "sweetening spice." In other words, when you add cinnamon to a food, it creates a sweeter flavor without having to add a sweetener. So, using it in this meal and others is a great choice.

Richard, keep eating your very healthy breakfast!

Have a nutrition question?

E-mail your question(s) to Put "Nutrition Question" in the subject line and include your name (first name and last initial will do) and city of residence.

Columnist Elizabeth Pavka, Ph.D., RD, LD/N, a wholistic nutritionist with more than 27 years' experience, provides nutritional counseling for a wide variety of health issues. Dr. Pavka helps her client prepare an individualized eating plan and often recommends vitamins and mineral supplements, digestive enzymes, probiotics, etc. that support health. She teaches classes, writes articles for local and national publications, consults with organizations about nutrition and wellness, and speaks before professional and lay audiences; she can be reached at 828-2S2-1406 or
COPYRIGHT 2009 New Life Journal Media LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Pavka, Elizabeth
Publication:New Life Journal
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2009
Previous Article:Sowing the seeds of sustainability: Peter Waskiewicz schools us about seed saving--from the benefits to how-tos.
Next Article:Not just for babies anymore: you can use organic fruit and vegetable purees to give grown-up meals a boost of flavor and nutrition.

Related Articles
Johnny Vaughan's column: Eat yourself slim... with flowers, wood and sex god Rob.
Clear up your picture of nutrition: Elizabeth Pavka, Ph.D., LD/N, primes the "question pump" for our new nutrition column.
Buying better groceries on a budget: New Life Journal's Maggie Cramer asks area experts to share their secrets for staying friendly to our bodies and...
Low energy dense breakfast improves overall diet quality.
Low energy dense breakfast improves overall diet quality.
The protein way to start the day: a protein-packed solution to breakfast on-the-go.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters