{Breakfast} For Life

by Sara on January 19, 2012

What foods do you think of when you hear the word “breakfast?”

My idea of what makes a perfect morning meal has definitely evolved over the years!

At age five I was all about Kix cereal and bananas.


High sugar cereal was not tolerated in my house. But Kix was officially “mother approved,” which meant it was welcomed with open arms, err mouths, at our table.

At age 10, all I wanted in the AM was  Eggo’s and frosted strawberry Pop Tarts—together.

Pop Tarts: the best way to start out the day on a high (sugar) note!


But only the low fat variety, mind you. In the 1990’s low fat anything meant healthy, which also meant that low fat anything was in our kitchen cupboard.

At age 15, nothing beat the convenience of packaged “breakfasts” and Starbucks mochas.


“Grains” on-the-go is what the cool kids ate. I mean, who in their right high school mind would sacrifice a minute of sleep so as to allow time to prepare something to eat?

Not this girl. 😉 (But oh how times have changed!)

And those mochas? The only way I could get past my dislike of coffee, while still enjoying the benefits of caffeine, was to disguise it with milk, chocolate, sugar and whipped cream!

"coffee" drink or milkshake?


During college (age 20), I became a real adult and “graduated” to straight black coffee with Splenda.


How nourishing and delicious, no? 😉

I think it’s safe to say that I hit rock bottom in the breakfast department during my dorm years!

By age 25, breakfast had transformed from a carbohydrate-rich meal to  a carbohydrate-deficient meal.

Egg whites, asparagus and Laughing Cow cheese were my go-to morning eats.

Indeed, that’s what I ate for breakfast nearly 360 days last year.

I think it’s safe to say that I was stuck in a major rut.

And a meal like that was certainly not proper fare to fuel 8-mile runs!

Since beginning BFL last week, I’ve had more energy and spunk than I can ever remember. I attribute this new zest not only to the invigorating fitness program (more on that in the next post), but also to the changes I’ve made in my diet. Those changes have been most apparent at breakfast—the meal I eat before my workouts. I’ve found that balancing carbohydrates and protein in the morning (and at every meal) has made a huge—HUGE!—difference in my energy levels. It’s also enabled me to lift heavier weights than I ever thought possible. :)

Since I’ve been teasing you with breakfast chatter this entire post (is anyone pining for Pop Tarts now, like I am?) I think it’s only right to share two of my new favorite Body For Life-inspired breakfasts:

1. Fluffy Protein Pancakes

After trying numerous recipes, I’ve come to the conclusion that protein powder does not work in pancakes.  Sure, it may make them “healthy,” but it also makes them dense, dry and utterly icky.

Pancakes are supposed to be fluffy, light and melt-in-your-mouth-delicious, right?


Want to know the secret to fluffy, light and melt-in-your mouth-delicious protein pancakes?

Cottage cheese.

I know there are skeptics out there (I was one of them for a looong time!), but do yourself a favor and don’t hold out any longer!

Cottage Cheese Protein Pancakes

3/4 cup egg beaters (or 3 eggs)

1 cup 2% cottage cheese

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 packets stevia (or 2 T. honey or other sweetener of choice)

1/2 cup oat flour (you can also grind oats in a food processor or blender)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt


1. Place the first 4 ingredients in a bowl and whisk.

2. In a separate bowl whisk the dry ingredients

3. Pour the dry mixture into the wet mixture and stir until just combined.

4. Heat a large sauté pan or griddle over medium heat, lightly coat with cooking spray (or a touch of butter for maximum flavor) and pour about 1 tbsp of the mixture onto the griddle for each pancake.

5. Cook for 2 minutes on each side or until pancakes are set and golden.

Serve with berries, bananas and/or sugar free syrup. They’re also good with peanut butter (of course). 😉

Servings: 2; Per serving (5 large pancakes): Calories 240; Protein: 25 grams; Carbs: 24 grams; Fat: 4.5 grams

*You can freeze any leftover pancakes for quick grab-n’-go breakfasts! Just bring to room temperature, then place in a ziploc bag.

2. Pecan-Cinnamon “Sticky Bun” Bread

I made a large batch of Jamie Eason’s Cinnamon-Swirl Protein Bread and then topped individual slices with protein frosting and toasted pecans. If you let the frosting soak into the bread, it tastes like a sticky bun!

Protein Frosting

1/2 scoop whey protein powder

1 packet Nu Naturals stevia

water (enough to make a “frosting”–about 1 T.)

Mix well and drizzle over your protein bread. It’s also great on rice cakes!


I hope you have a wonderful weekend! I’ll be back Monday with a new recipe and some exciting fitness news!

What was your favorite childhood breakfast? Were you a Pop Tarts and Eggos lover like me? Or maybe Lucky Charms was your forte?

How have your breakfasts changed over the years?

What’s your go-to breakfast now?





  • http://www.healthydivaeats.com/ Katie

    Hi love!

    So glad to hear things are going great on the BFL eating plan!! The pancakes look amazing and so does that bread! I love protein frosting, its also great with almond butter or peanut butter added to it!

    I used to live off pop tarts, strawberry was my fave and I would eat them cold, never hot! Its funny, because Anthony is the SAME way! He likes them just liek they are not toasted ; )

    Love you girl and hope all is well! Things have been crazy over here, house hunting, and some other stuff! Love you!

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      I was the same way with the frosted Pop Tarts–MUCH better cold! Especially because the frosting would burn my tongue if I put them in the toaster. :-p

      You are the protein frosting queen–I can’t believe it took me so long to try it! I’m going to stir in peanut butter today; I bet it’s amazing!

      Let’s chat soon! I want to hear about what’s going on in your life! xoxoxo

  • http://lifesabowl.com/ Life’s a Bowl

    When I was in elementary school [and probs middle and high school too haha] my momma would usually make my bfast during the week- some type of fruit, yogurt, and a bagel! And on the weekends my dad would make his famous pancakes :) A bowl of cereal or PopTarts were also consumed every now and then… Nowadays, during the week I usually stick to cereal yogurt bowls or egg sandwiches [since I have been packing my bfast and eating at work lately] and on the weekends I’ll take some extra time to make some type of pancakes, french toast, or oats on the stove!

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      I love weekend breakfasts! They always taste better because they’re made with extra TLC. :) And oats cooked on the stove are far superior than their instant (super mushy) counterparts!

  • http://www.juliegolean.com/ julieee

    great post! i’ve found the same overtime that balancing every meal and snacks keeps me most satisfied and gets me to pump the most iron! haha i’ve got those cinnamon protein bars on my radar this weekend! can’t waaait :)

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      They’re delish! But nothing beats her pumpkin protein bars! xoxo

  • http://www.peasandcrayons.com Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

    kix and bananas were my go-to growing up!!!! my mom used to sprinkle a teeny bit of sugar on them and I thought they were only good that way — until college when i realized they were BALLER without the sugar. i’ve been cutting out sugar whenever possible ever since. lol =) Love your evolution of breakfast! and you!

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      They are BALLER without sugar, but I bet even more so with it! Haha. Love you, Jenn! xoxo

  • Jillian @ sprinkle massacre

    I love putting cottage cheese in pancakes! Yum! I need to try that cinnamon bread topping – -I made her cinnamon bread before but never thought to make it with frosting for breakfast!

    I’m excited to hear your news – although I think I may know already!! 😉

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      Yes you do! 😉

      The frosting really makes the cinnamon bread taste like a gooey cinnamon bun! I tried mixing cinnamon into the frosting this morning, and it was even better.

  • Soo [Little Miss Fitness]

    I am LOVING Whole Foods Buckwheat Pancakes with yogurt, strawberries and blueberries. I so look forward to breakfast…mmmm….

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      Ooh, are the WF buckwheat pancakes a mix? Or made in the store? Please do share!

  • http://stuftmama.com/ Kate A.

    I was a Nutri-grain and mocha girl in high school too! Talk about sugar overload! Yet somehow I still managed to get through the day and maintain my weight. Probably because I was playing so many sports…I definitely couldn’t eat that way now!

    When I was really young, I LOVED Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Lucky Charms! However my mom would only buy them on occasion. Usually we had Cheerios. Now, I eat oats almost every morning!

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      Isn’t it funny how our bodies change over time? We’re able to get away with anything when we’re young, and then suddenly it seems like everything we’re putting in our mouths affects us!

  • http://www.peaceloveandoats.com/ Katie @ Peace Love & Oats

    I love the protein icing idea! I used to ALWAYS eat cereal! All the time! Up until this past year actually

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      And now you’re an oats girl! Love it! I actually JUST started eating oats in the morning…I used to really dislike them, but they’re growing on me big time. Now I crave them when I wake up!

  • Shanna like Banana

    Ooo I was totally a donut girl. Now I am all about the oats.

    Though I do want that sticky bun. Yum yum!

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      Oh donuts! I actually only liked apple fritters and old fashioned donuts. The others seemed too sweet, which is funny because I have a MAJOR sweet tooth!

  • http://www.cottercrunch.com lindsay cotter

    oh i used to be obsessed with KIX too! man, how times have changed. and its a good thing! i love my eggs and and real food! savory!

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      Yes, savory breakfasts are so underrated! (Especially in blog world where most seem to eat oats). I like to switch it up–one day sweet, the next day savory! :)

  • http://clairetherd.com/ Claire @ Live and Love to Eat

    I was way more into Toaster Streudels – DIY icing! :)

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      Haha, I remember trying Toaster Streudels once, and the frosting burned in the toaster oven. I don’t think I caught the memo that you’re supposed to put it on AFTER you toast the pastry. ;-p

  • http://glitzglamgranola.com/ Emily @ Glitz Glam Granola

    Oh my gosh, I love this post! Isn’t it so funny to look back on your breakfast faves?! Throughout junior high and high school I too, was all about the grab and go breakfasts and consumed some sort of breakfast bar every day– along with in middle school, my mochas! In college I became addicted to having Special K Vanilla Almond every morning until junior year when I realized that cereal and I just could not be friends since I have absolutely no impulse control with that stuff! Now, I am all about the two-part breakfast and have whole wheat toast with nut butter and then greek yogurt, granola and berries later on! But I think I need to try your recipes above and change it up! They look delicious!

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      I love the two-part breakfast idea! In a way I do the same thing because I eat 6-7 meals/day. I’ll often start with oats or pancakes and have eggs and veggies a few hours later (or vis-versa). :)

  • Sally

    Favorite breakfast as a child?? Swedish pancakes of course! :) Now I love plain yogurt with oats and fresh fruit (especially berries in the summer).

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      Swedish pancakes are the BEST!! xoxo <3

  • http://sweatlikeapig.com/ Tara @ Sweat like a Pig

    I’m so glad that you’re eating a more balanced breakfast now :) I’ve been a protein pancake skeptic, but those look seriously good. Like you, I hate adding protein powder to pancakes, oats, etc. Email me anytime you want to talk about you-know-what 😉 hehe I’m trying to keep your secret on the DL xx

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      Let me know if you try the pancakes! They’re also good for lunch or dinner. :)

      I will be sending you an email soon–probably this weekend! xoxo

  • http://flopoodle.com/ Kathryn @ Flopoodle

    Looks like things have changed for the better for you! I also hit a rut in college and actually usually skipped breakfast (BAD BAD BAD). These days, I can’t survive without a large breakfast, and I love smoothies and oats the most.

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      I’m exactly the same way! It took me awhile to adjust to large morning meals, but now I can’t start the day without them!

  • Katie

    Your pancakes look so good! I also ate cereal for much of my childhood. Lately I’ve really been loving scrambled eggs + toast!

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      You can’t go wrong with that combo! Especially when there’s a little cheese thrown on those eggs. 😉

  • http://healthifulbalance.blogspot.com/ Shannon (Healthiful Balance)

    Loved this! :) My breakfasts have changed so much from when I was younger up until now!

  • http://twitter.com/TheNewHealthy Stefanie

    Oh my gosh, you’re so right! Cottage cheese would be perfect in pancakes. Hello, Saturday morning breakfast. Thanks for the idea. :)

    My go-to breakfast when I was a child was either pop tarts, mini toaster pancakes, or nothing! Nice.

    Now, my go-to breakfasts are either fruit and almond butter on toast, scrambled eggs with veggies and toast, smoothies, and so much more. I definitely like my breakfasts better now. :)

  • http://thisitalianfamily.wordpress.com/ Rach

    Oh goodness those pancakes look completely amazing!

  • Pingback: Apple Cinnamon Love + News!()

  • MelindaSue1030

    I just tried these!! They were awesome! Instead of syrup I just had sugar free preserves on them with an apple on the side! Thanks for the idea!!! :)

  • Nikki

    So I have tried numerous times as an adult and still cannot stomach the consistancy of cottage cheese. Although these look amazing. I was wondering and plan on trying to purée the cottage cheese first.

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