Saturday, April 5, 2008

The Yogurt Parfait: How to Get Away With Eating Dessert for Breakfast

Despite my inclination to keep my body lithe, the thought of waking up to egg white veggie scrambles every morning makes my skin curdle like a carton of skim milk left out on the counter too long. There's nothing that makes me crankier than carbohydrate deficiency, but unfortunately many breakfast options on that level of the food pyramid tend toward sugar overload, mid-morning insulin level crashes, and some serious belly bulge. Thanks, but no thanks, Mister Krispy Kreme -- if I wanted dessert for breakfast, I'd eat a cookie.

In a world of over-sized muffins (aka cake in disguise), cereals that contain the same amount of sugar as candy bars, and pancakes and French toast that necessitate a cup of maple syrup to be palatable, what is a carboholic-lovin', body conscious Los Angelite to do?

Eat oatmeal. And when that becomes tiresome to the tongue and too hot to handle during the summer months, make parfait. Yogurt parfait.

Now I know what you are thinking. Errrr, ok, maybe I don't know exactly what you are thinking, but I am going to tell you what you should be thinking. "But Diana, yogurt parfait is like eating dessert for breakfast!" Yes, I understand -- I'm not completely thick in the head like my hair color seems to indicate. I am fully aware that the yogurt parfait does have the potential to become a diet deathtrap. Most parfaits served at restaurants around town get their crunch from fatty granolas like the La Brea Bakery Nut & Honey granola that has approximately 250 calories, 14 grams of fat, and 15 grams of sugar per 1/3 cup. Paired with a thick and creamy yogurt with its own added sugar (Yoplait's original has 180 calories, 3 grams of fat, and 27 grams of sugar), this "light" breakfast can become enough to send a diabetic's insulin levels into overdrive. Not exactly the wake-up call I'm looking for. Unless of course I want to be hungry, cranky, and ready for a nap under my desk two hours later.

That's why I say "No!" to traditional yogurt parfaits. I don't trust those pesky little chefs with their liberal use of... well, everything that those Skinny Bitches in that book I didn't read tell me I should avoid if I want to be... well, a Skinny Bitch. Fortunately, I have a few tricks up my Splendid tee's sleeves that allow me to have my yogurt parfait and eat it too. Pssst grab a pen...

1/2 cup Kashi GoLean Crunch Honey Almond Flax Cereal
1 container nonfat Cascade yogurt
1 banana, refrigerated
Dried cranberries (optional)

Measure out 1/2 cup of Go Lean Crunch cereal and pat yourself on the back for getting your granola on with only 100 calories, 6 grams of sugar, 2.5 grams of fat. Bonus points for scoring some serious nutritional goodness with the Crunch's 4.5 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber. Just think how well your colon would be working if you went for a full cup!

Add 1 container of Cascade nonfat yogurt (any flaver) that has approximately 110 calories, 16 grams of sugar (sweetened with fruit juice), and 7 grams of protein. A single carton boasts EIGHT live active cultures that make those Pinkberry yogurt posers cry out in fits of jealous rage.

Chop up one refrigerated banana to add to the yogurt/cereal mixture. Or if you fear bananas because you think the glycemic index is too high, berries work well too.

Stir that sucker together, top it off with some dried cranberries if you are feeling like you haven't invited enough carbs to the party in your cereal bowl, and pair it with a cup of your favorite morning brew. I prefer green tea, but understand if you feel compelled to shock your body with exorbitant amounts of caffeine.


The George said...

I am The George and I approve this Blog and all those that read it.

Downtown Chick said...

This's very similar to what I eat when I don't have time to make breakfast at home, except that I put granola instead of cereal and liquid yogurt instead of creamy and that the banana's taken care of on the side. It's still thick but I can get away with it even easier. What? Like, I can't hold a big mug of dessert walking around in my office pretending it's coffee?

Diana H. said...

That's certainly better than the people who make instant oatmeal milkshakes! Blech! Oh the horror!

leila said...

Yay! Dianatakesablog! Welcome to the party. I'll be trying your yogurt parfait out this summer...

Gastronomer said...

Wow! Four comments on your very first post? Damn you're popular.

And yes, you are a skinny bitch!