Spring Eats: The Best 400 Calorie Breakfasts to Consume Now
“Calories from protein affect your brain, and your appetite control center, so you are more satiated and satisfied.” – Mark Hyman
Mount Diablo in the early morning was alternately shades of deep purple, violet, and that shade of green unique to the Pacific Coast mountain range in Northern California. Its snowcap was a sparkling reminder winter wasn’t over just yet. The Bumble Bee bicycle club members rode single-file on the mountain’s South Gate route. Now they were at the steepest part of the climb, the last three miles before the summit. The effort to reach the top would be worth it because the eleven-mile descent took them past Ruby’s Café, where brunch was waiting. Annie kept her eyes on LJ’s rear light; it helped keep her mind off how hard she was working to keep up.
“I’m not a quitter; don’t stop. You can do it,” she repeated over and over. She looked up and realized she’d made it to the summit.
LJ came over to help her unclip her bicycle shoes, “How are you feeling?
“Accomplished. It’s been a while since I’ve been on one of these bike rides, so I wondered how I’d do, but it seems good so far. And how are you feeling, sweetheart?”
LJ opened his water bottle and drank,” I’m starving; all I could think about was how much closer I’m getting to Ruby’s with every turn of the wheel.”
Annie smiled, “exercise diminishes my appetite, but I am fond of Ruby’s food. She incorporates fruits and vegetables from her garden, making her recipes tangy, savory, and delectable. You taste the freshness with every bite. And what Ruby doesn’t grow, she buys at the farmer’s market. Her food sure beats eating processed sugary cereal or pastries, which cause sugar spikes, and crashes. I like her Spinach Artichoke Egg Casserole. It is delicious and less than 400 calories. I love a good choke, and since they’re in season, I’m going to enjoy as many as possible.
“You’re making me hungrier, but why did you mention 400 calories?”
“Well, depending on your age, size, height, health status, and activity level, women need about 1600 to 2400 calories daily and men from 2000 to 3000. A breakfast of around 400 calories (nutritionists recommend 300 if you’re trying to lose weight and 500 if you are very physically active) is a sweet spot for most people. According to the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, people who eat a big breakfast burn twice as many calories as those who eat a big dinner because their metabolism is higher after breakfast than at dinner. They also experience fewer cravings throughout the day, which helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
LJ nodded, “Got it. I’m getting ravenous, which is not good because I’ll overeat. I’m probably going for the Egg and Cheese toast with a bowl of her fresh tomato soup. Homegrown tomatoes taste sweeter, are richer in nutrients than mass-produced, and have higher amounts of anti-inflammatory phenols. Let’s get the others and start riding down.”
“Anyone need extra water?” called Corey. He looked at LJ, “I heard what you’re ordering at Ruby’s. I’ve got to replenish what this bike ride burned off, and I can’t decide what I want. I like her Mango Smoothie bowl. It’s mango season, and Ruby uses only the sweetest. Mangos are a superfood because they contain over 20 different vitamins and minerals. Or I might choose the Huevos Rancheros Tacos. Black beans are a good source of calcium, potassium, and folate, and because they are cholesterol-free, their fiber helps lower cholesterol levels. Or I may go for the Avocado on toast with smoked salmon. Avocado and salmon contain heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and both are a source of healthy fat and fiber.
Kathy walked her bike over to Annie and LJ, “I love her Spring Greens Shakshuka. She picks the asparagus, peas, leeks, and broad beans from her spring garden. The recipe includes eggs which makes it so satisfying, and you get a healthy amount of fiber and nutrients, all under 400 calories.”
Corey said, “listen up, everyone. Now I’m getting hungry, so put the Kaiser Chiefs, Ruby on your headphones, and Let’s ride. “
The bees started downhill singing, Ruby Ruby Ruby!”
Annie and LJ are a fictional couple. Their storyline promotes healthy eating and earth-friendly practices.