A Resolution that Sticks: More Protein at Breakfast


Make a New Year Resolution that Will Stick: Get More Protein at Breakfast

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I hear it every year from people. “This year I resolve to eat healthier and lose weight.” It typically goes like this: Week one, said resolver cuts out all caffeine (um, why?) and alcohol (fair enough), eliminates all desserts (good for you if you can do that for the long haul), and removes everything else from their diet that brings joy to life (eesh, not for me). She reports having a a huge burst energy. The second week, she’s less enthusiastic, and by the third week she is miserable. By Super Bowl weekend she indulges in a “bad” food day, blows her calorie wad, feels guilty and is back to her old habits. And this is a smart woman with the best intentions. Where did she go wrong? Oftentimes, the problem lies in setting unreasonable and too broad of goals.

This year, instead of resolving to just “eat healthier” or “lose weight,” and putting yourself on a strict fad diet, make three specific goals of foods to add to your diet, rather than take away. The more detailed the better. One goal to consider is to eat a balanced breakfast every morning that contains a good protein source.

While a slice of 100% whole-grain toast spread with jelly or buttery spread, a glass of orange juice and a banana might sound like a good and balanced breakfast, the missing link is a good source of protein. That’s right. While most Americans eat plenty of protein in a single day, especially at dinner, the protein is inadequately spread throughout the day and often breakfast is overlooked. According to recent NHANES data, Americans average eating 13 grams of protein at breakfast. By comparison, research suggests, with many nutrition experts in agreement, that a goal of 20-30 grams of protein at breakfast is prudent to help optimize how the body utilizes this important nutrient. While protein is known for building and maintaining muscle, adequate protein at breakfast can help you stay satisfied longer, enabling you to better stick to your healthy eating routine.

Personally, I strive to get at least one good protein source at each meal, and if I can tack on a couple more at breakfast, all the better. These are my family and my go-to protein sources at breakfast:

glass of milk

Image: MilkLife.com

Breakfast Foods That Contain Protein

  1. Lowfat or nonfat milk: Starting your day with 8 ounces of this nutrient-rich beverage will provide you with nine essential nutrients including 8 grams of high-quality protein, vitamin D and potassium. In addition to pairing a glass with your meal, there are lots of delicious ways to incorporate milk into your favorite foods. If you’re a coffee lover like I am, try converting your plain coffee into a café au lait, composed of half strong coffee and half hot milk, or a latté. A bowl of whole-grain cereal with milk is always a winner, as well as a smoothie made with whole fruit and milk. I love this Berry Burst Smoothie, made with oats and milk. Almond milk drinkers: be aware that 1 cup of your non-dairy drink has just 1 gram of protein per glass. Disclosure: My client the national Milk Life Campaign compensated me for my time in writing this post.
  2. Peanut and almond butters: I slather at least a tablespoon of one of these spreads on sprouted wheat sesame toast in the morning, which adds 3-4 grams of protein, as well as good fats, fiber and vitamin E. Look for those containing just nuts and salt, rather than added oils with saturated or partially hydrogenated fat. I love this Mango Ginger Smoothie recipe made with almond butter and milk that offers 11 grams of protein per serving.
  3. Hemp seeds: 2 tablespoons contain 6 grams of protein, plus manganese and zinc. I like to peel back a yogurt cup and sprinkle on these small but mighty seeds, along with dried fruit or pomegranate arils. I also sprinkle them over a bowl of cereal and milk for an added protein and nutrient boost.
  4. Eggs: One large egg contains 6 grams of protein, plus the nutrients choline and iron. Often I make a batch of hard-boiled eggs to last the whole week and drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Stay tuned for next week when I share my latest protein-packed recipe for Grab-and-Go Mini Breakfast Casseroles with Cheddar and Spinach. Yum.


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Chef and Registered Dietitian Shares Her 2014 Thanksgiving Playbook

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It’s that time of year that brings excitement to all, with a mix of angst about what and how to cook the Thanksgiving meal. It is the biggest food holiday of the year. The main event. So don’t mess it up. But if you do, oh well, there’s always Sauvignon Blanc, right?

I am here to help. Check out my November newsletter: My 2014 Thanksgiving Playbook with recipes, a menu, grocery list and more great tips.


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How to Make Healthier Thanksgiving Dishes

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According to research from the Calorie Control Council, the average American may consume more than 4,500 calories and a whopping 229 grams of fat from snacking and eating a traditional holiday dinner with turkey and all the trimmings. And these figures don’t even include late evening munching on leftovers! Here I share my secrets to adding the wow factor to your favorite holiday dishes with less added fat, salt and sugar.

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Introducing my clean eating newsletter!

Chef Michelle Dudash, registered dietitian spokesperson and mom

I’m delighted to announce my clean eating newsletter! I know, it has been a long time coming. Now you can receive messages from me straight to your inbox filled with mouthwatering images, food musings about this and that, and anything else we want to talk about. To subscribe to my newsletter, click here.

Check out my first two newsletters:

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New Foods and Products for a Healthy School Lunch Box

Naturipe Washed and Ready to Eat Blueberry Packs

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Most of you are at least one week—four for us!—into the new school year. With all of the excitement comes even more fun for some, and for the rest–the dread of packing school lunch. My husband says he doesn’t mind packing lunches. Sometimes I enjoy packing Scarlet’s lunch. And sometimes I wish she would eat the hot school lunch offered. Every year I search high and low for the newest (and nutritious) lunch products that help make life easier, while serving up a lunch that kids will actually want to eat!

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How to Lower the Sodium in Your Recipes While Kicking Up the Flavor

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Hi all! I can’t believe how long it has been since my last blog post. My apologies. I’ve been so busy creating recipes for clients and enjoying my summer that I forgot to share my latest and greatest with you. And today I brought my daughter to her first day of kindergarten–a bittersweet day in many ways. It is exciting for her and our family that she is growing up, yet sad that school starting means that summer has ended. Well, at least for me anyway. If you are wondering about my other summer adventures and musings, I invite you … More...

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Food Styling Secrets from Clean Eating Author Featured in Edible Phoenix

Chef Michelle Dudash, registered dietitian spokesperson and mom

I was delighted to be featured in the Summer 2014 edition of Edible Phoenix in the article “Looks Good Enough to Eat”, by my friend and registered dietitian Sharon Salomon, MS, RD. She delves into the minds of food stylists, as they spill their secrets, tips and tricks for creating mouthwatering food images. I share the history behind one of the trickiest photographs in my book.

Read the full article here.


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Finalist on The Chew Hosts Cooking Demo and Book Signing in Surprise, AZ

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The Chew‘s “Search for the Weight Watchers Chef” finalist, Chef Michelle Dudash will be co-hosting a cooking demo and book signing! Clean eating expert Michelle Dudash will be talking healthy recipes and quick waist-slimming tips that fit your current Weight Watchers plan. Open to the public, bring your non-perishable food items, some friends, and cooking questions to this fun cooking demo and buy your copy of Clean Eating for Busy Families.

When: Monday, April 28, 2014 6:30 PM-8:00 PM

Where: Weight Watchers at Grand Village, 14537 W. Grand

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Clean Eating Twitter Chat This Wednesday! And my Cucumber Quinoa Salad with Mint & Oregano

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Hi, all. I hope you’ve been enjoying reading my book these past few weeks. And hopefully you have it permanently sitting on your kitchen counter like I do, cooking from it and getting it dirty!

Have you had a chance to cook any of the recipes? This week I’m sharing one of my favorite salads for making a big batch of and enjoying for lunch for the week: Cucumber Quinoa Salad with Feta Cheese, Olives, Mint & Oregano. You can take it with you on days you work outside the home, or just grab a bowl in a snap while … More...

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