Eggs are known as one of nature's most perfect foods. They are an excellent source of protein, Iron, and many other essential Vitamins and Minerals. These low-calorie (70 calories for one large egg), nutrition-packed wonders are versatile, inexpensive and easy to prepare. I honestly can't think of a better way to start off my day (or my toddler's) than having eggs for breakfast.
Here's why I love eggs...
The busy Mom in me loves how speedy and easy they are, and the Dietitian in me loves that they are one of the healthiest foods in the world. Yep, move over "super foods," eggs are the big winner when it comes to nutrition, convenience and versatility.
We all know how important breakfast is—it's really a no-brainer. It gives us our first boost of energy for the day, it kick-starts our calorie burning machine (metabolism), and it helps to prevent overeating later in the day. For kids, studies suggest that eating breakfast helps to improve memory, enhance test grades, improve school attendance and improve behaviour. People who eat breakfast (both kids and adults) are able to maintain healthier weights, especially if their breakfast contains protein, a nutrient that eggs are jam-packed full of!
Eggs are one of natures few complete and perfect protein foods, meaning they contain all 9 essential amino acids (protein building blocks). Protein is essential for building and repairing body tissues like muscles, skin, organs and hair. It also helps to slow down the absorption of food, which helps to keep energy levels up longer, keep hunger at bay and keep blood sugar levels stable. Not only are eggs high in protein, but they are also high in Iron, Vitamins A, D, E and B12, Folate, Selenium, Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and Choline, all important nutrients for optimal health.
Can you say NUTRITIONAL POWERHOUSE?!
There are countless ways to prepare eggs- scrambled, over-easy, poached, fried, sunny-side up and more. You can add them to casseroles, use them for baking, make French toast out of them or simply boil an egg and eat it as a snack. No matter how you eat your eggs, their health benefits and great taste remain constant.
One of my go-to breakfast options is what I call "Open-faced Egg and Tomato Melt." It's fast, tasty, balanced and healthy. By the way, this breakfast makes a great lunch or dinner too!
Place a non-stick frying pan on medium heat and spray with cooking spray.
Crack an egg (or two) into the pan and let it cook until the egg white starts to bubble and lift off of the pan. Carefully flip the egg and cook it until just before it is "over-medium", sprinkle some cheddar cheese on top and allow to melt for a minute or two.
Meanwhile, toast a piece of whole-grain bread and lightly butter it. Place tomato slices on top of the bread and then transfer your perfectly cooked over-medium egg(s) and cheese on top.
Voila! Season with salt and pepper to taste (optional) and enjoy!
If you like the sounds of this recipe, try these other convenient and nutrition-packed breakfast recipes from The Egg Farmers of Canada:
I like to do it all. I want to be a loving Mom and devoted wife, a supportive daughter and sister and an amazing friend. I also want to be a successful entrepreneur and create a thriving business and quite frankly, become Canada's top Dietitian, if there was such a thing.
Sometimes I TRY to do it all and fail miserably by neglecting my toddler (we'll call him B), snapping at my patient husband, or letting work slide. Sometimes I DO do it all, and end up sacrificing my own health.
Something has got to give, right?!
Being a Mompreneur is amazing in many ways, and trust me, I'm not one to complain about my situation because I'm lucky. SO lucky. But sometimes this mompreneur juggling act sucks. The constant pull between motherhood and entrepreneurship is frustrating, defeating and tiring. But it's what I chose and am choosing to do- and I wouldn't give it up for the world. So you may be wondering "ok, is this a rant or is she promoting mompreneurship?!" Neither really. Or, maybe both. I'm not sure, but just stay with me.
Being a Mompreneur requires constant decision-making over whether to spend more time with family or more time on work. There's never a perfect balance. And if there is, PLEASE share!!
I was asked yesterday to be on an expert panel for Alberta Prime Time News that aired live tonight. I hemmed and hawed over it for a few hours yesterday in between clients, weighing my two options—yes, I'll do it, or, no I will decline. I NEVER pass up a media opportunity. Ever. And I've always wanted to appear on Alberta Prime Time as an expert. But I knew that my husband had soccer tonight and it was the one night this week that B and I were going to hang out just the two of us. So I hesitantly declined.
On my way home from work, I tried to figure out how I could make it work. I could call the studio back and tell them that I have changed my mind and that I'll do it. I'll call my Mom and beg her to look after B even though she has dinner plans. I'll prepare for my interview during B's nap time (and hope to God that he naps) and then shower when he eats dinner and then rehearse on my way to the studio. Yep. I could do it. I've done it before, and this is an amazing opportunity!!!! But something inside of me, maybe my intuition, told me not to, so I listened.
Today was one of those days. B was seriously testing every nerve that I had. He woke up crying (and didn't stop), refused to eat his breakfast, threw his food across the room, broke a water glass, and dropped my iphone (which cracked). No joke. He also continuously whined "buppy, buppy, bupppyyyyy" all morning. I swear, if I could figure out what "buppy" meant, my life would be a lot easier. It was one of those want-to lock-myself-in-the-bathroom-and-cry kind of mornings. The day went on and seemed to somehow get better and better. We enjoyed macaroni and cheese with peas and carrots, went for a long walk and stopped at the park where we went down the "big slide" together about four thousand times.
After dinner, bath time, and running after my wound-up naked toddler so that I could lotion him up, force him into pajamas and brush his teeth, we sat down and turned on the TV. At this point, I had completely forgotten about Alberta Prime Time, until it appeared on the screen. I started getting butterflies and anxiety about not accepting the invitation to go on. Crap—I've really missed out. I started feeling guilty for not jumping at the opportunity. They were talking about Celiac Disease and the Gluten Free Diet! That is my thing!! I know EVERYTHING about it! Sigh.
Just as my FOMO (fear of missing out) was at its very peak, B crawled on top of me, looked at me, smiled a big teethy smile and said "ov you." Tears filled my eyes. He had never said "love you" before despite my many efforts. This is why I said no. It all made sense.
We laughed, cuddled, played and wrestled on the couch. I turned off the TV and really soaked it all in. Why don't I do this more?! Opportunities will come and go, but THIS precious oppoortunity, I will never experience again.
When you feel the Mompreneur "pull" or when you're faced with a tough decision between work and family, listen to your intuition. I'm certain it won't let you down.
I was beyond thrilled when I was invited by Canadian Lentils to beautiful Prince Edward Island to experience Food Day Canada with Chef Michael Smith, Anita Stewart, and other amazing Canadian foodies, writers, contest winners and their family and friends on August 4th, 2012. My 48-hour adventure filled with fresh Malpeque oysters, delicious lobster, Saskatchewan grown lentils, and Prince distilled potato vodka was well worth the 16 hours of flying time. The entire trip was amazing in every way—from enjoying fresh seafood on a boat with Chef Michael, to eating Canadian grown organic vegetables and herbs that we picked ourselves, to sipping wine and talking food, motherhood and life with Canada's star foodie and Food Day Canada pioneer herself, Anita Stewart.
As I was warmly greeted by the gals from Canadian Lentils at the Charlottetown airport on Friday August 3rd, I was feeling intense hunger pangs after flying for 8 hours. Luckily, one of these friendly ladies announced that our first stop before heading to our Inn was going to be Sims Corner Steakhouse and Oyster Bar for dinner. We drove to the main drag where Sims was located and enjoyed an amazing dinner of oysters, fresh fish and local beer while getting acquainted. Jamie Drummond, a talented and hilarious Sommelier and food blogger who was also invited on this trip, was the only gentleman with us. He kept us laughing all evening and somehow convinced me to give PEI oysters a try. I had tasted oysters before, however did not particularly enjoy them. Maybe it was the texture... the smell... I'm not sure what it was, but I was definitely hesitant to try them again. Well, thank you Jamie for giving me the courage to try them again! These were amazing—the freshest, tastiest oysters I have ever had and probably will ever have.
We then started our hour-long journey to the Inn At Fortune Bay where we had the pleasure of staying and where Chef Michael Smith got his culinary start.
We enjoyed breakfast on the patio at the Inn the next morning and then met Chef Michael, his son Gabe, his talented culinary team, the winners of the Love Your Lentils Food Day Canada contest, and other Canadian media representation. We were guided through the Inn's organic herb and vegetable garden where Gabe munched his way through as we learned how everything was grown. These herbs and veggies are used in dishes at the Inn as well as in Chef Michaels home test kitchen. By the way, he lives a mere 2 minute drive away from where we were staying!
We then piled into a few cars and headed to another organic farm, Fortune Organics, where we gathered crisp carrots, luscious lettuce and aromatic dill for our meal.
From there, we made a quick stop at The Prince Edward Distillary where we had the chance to sample PEI vodka and gin (which we used for our Gin and Tonic's later). It is important to note that the vodka was particularly nutritious as it was made from potatoes. Ok, maybe nutritious is a stretch, but it's an interesting tidbit, right?! This is me sampling some vodka straight from the still.
We all hopped on a boat and toured the beautiful surrounding waters picking up fresh oysters, which were shucked and topped with Bloody Mary Sorbet by Chef Michael. My love for PEI oysters flourished after sampling these. We then picked up fresh lobster, feasted on steamed mussels and enjoyed yummy G and T's as we watched Michael and Gabe jump off the top of the boat in the water. Had I brought my suit, I would have been in that water with them!
We were greeted by fiddlers as we docked and were treated to a true Canadian feast full of nutritious Saskatchewan lentils, fresh PEI seafood and organic produce. The hospitality was incredible and every last thoughtful detail was noted, from the colorful lentil-filled vases, to the edible flower arrangements on top of the salads.
After getting our fill of food, heat, and the signature Canadian beverage that Chef Michael created on the spot called the "Lentail," we decided to head back to the Inn and take a nap before dinner.
Anita Stewart, who started Food Day Canada back in 2003 in support of Canadian agriculture and cuisine, joined us for dinner at the Inn that night. Unfortunately, she missed the festivities during the day due to a delayed flight out of Halifax. None the less, she celebrated the day in an airport, following tweets about Food Day celebrations across Canada and sipping Tim Hortons Coffee in true Canadian style. I felt honoured that she shimmied seats to sit beside me at dinner to talk food, nutrition and motherhood near the end of the night. What an inspiring woman! Here's a picture of Anita Stewart (left), two contest winners, the Food Editor for Readers Digest Val Howes and me the next morning at breakfast.
My trip to PEI for Food Day Canada was fantastic—it was a true honour to be surrounded by such inspiring people, such beautiful surroundings and such wonderful Canadian food. I have truly gained an even greater appreciation for our amazing Canadian cuisine because of it.