Making Healthier Choices at Brunch

kim tierney Blog

Brunch is full of delicious food, great friends, and cocktails; a fun time to indulge. Of course, brunch with family and friends is a great opportunity to relax, enjoy, and splurge without worrying so much about the food we are eating. However, if you're not in the mood to go overboard, there are some little swaps you can make to find that healthy middle ground between complete restriction and overboard indulgence. Most importantly, relax, enjoy, and remember that one meal will not destroy your progress. Here's how the essentials stack up:

Bloody Mary vs. Mimosa

Mimosa: 80 cal
Bloody Mary: 266 cal
Although the Bloody Mary is typically higher in calories, it fares better in terms of nutrients and lower sugar content. The champagne and sugar-filled orange juice in Mimosas can cause a higher spike and crash in blood sugar accompanied with headache, fatigue, and increased thirst. Tomato juice in Bloody Marys is much lower in sugar, and the Tabasco is packed with capsaicin which boosts metabolism. Horseradish has been used medicinally for decades to prevent disease. It's also accompanied with a celery stick which is a healthy plus!

Omelette vs. Belgian waffle

Omelette: 170-300 cal
Belgian waffle: 412 cal
Omelettes contain a variety of nutrients which is important in a meal. It contains several vitamins and protein from the eggs, and added veggies  boosts vitamin and mineral content even more. Even without the veggies, whole eggs are incredibly nutritious, containing high amounts of nutrients per calorie. The nutrients are mostly contained in the yolks, while the whites are mostly protein. On the other hand, Belgian waffles are devoid of nutritional value and are primarily made up of refined carbohydrates. Topped with syrup and butter loads on the calories even higher, with little nutritional value per calorie.

Oatmeal vs. Yogurt Parfait

Oatmeal: 200 cal
Yogurt Parfait with granola and fruit: 350 cal

Oatmeal is a whole grain, high quality carbohydrate packed with fiber. Oats are also rich in  manganese, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc. Joined with fruit and nuts boots fiber and protein content, both of which you fuller even longer. On the other hand, most yogurt is packed with added sugars and chemicals, making the nutritional value of yogurt compromised for better flavor. Topped with granola, which is typically full of even more added sugars and oils. If you prefer the yogurt option,  just skip the granola, it will save you tons of empty calories and sugar.

French Toast vs. Pancakes

French toast: 400-800 cal
Pancakes: 500-800 cal
Thick slices of french toast pan fried in butter, then drenched in butter and syrup can pack on as much as 800 calories. Furthermore, french toast is typically made with white bread, which is a refined carbohydrate stripped of nutrients. Good news is that French Toast can be made with thinner bread or whole grain breads if the option is available, which can significantly reduce calories and boost nutritional content. Pancakes stack up similarly in terms of calories and little nutritional value. Most restaurant orders of pancakes rack up to around 750 calories, and that's before being topped with extra butter and syrup or toss-ins like chocolate chips/nuts. So while pancakes and french toast are pretty similar, french toast allows for a lot more modifications that can make for a better choice. For either choice, cutting back on the amount of butter and syrup you add on can really make a difference.

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