The Eat-Clean Diet espouses a simple philosophy: Avoid processed food in favor of whole, natural foods close to their original state. The diet, authored by fitness enthusiast Tosca Reno, focuses on lean proteins, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds and plain, low-fat dairy. Added sugars, saturated and trans fats, refined flours and additives are shunned. Typical breakfast foods, such as many cereals, baked goods and processed meats, including bacon and sausage, do not fit into the Eat-Clean Diet plan. Eat Clean breakfasts do not have to be complicated or take a lot of time.
The Eat-Clean Diet does permit some ready-to-eat cereals, so choose those with minimal added ingredients. High-fiber cereal, such as those with 5 grams or more of fiber per serving, with skim milk and berries, makes a clean breakfast. Shredded wheat and bran cereals without added sugar are examples of clean cereal. Steel-cut or old-fashioned oatmeal cooked with water and served with cow or soy milk, almonds and raisins is also a cereal-based clean eating breakfast.
The Eat-Clean Diet encourages eggs for breakfast a few times per week. Because you are watching calorie and saturated fat intake, combine one whole egg with two or three egg whites – which contain no saturated fat, but are a source of quality protein. Make the eggs into an omelet filled with fresh sauteed vegetables, such as peppers, mushrooms and spinach, and a 1/2 to 1 ounce serving of low-fat cheese. Serve with a slice of sprouted grain toast.
Nonfat, plain Greek yogurt is high in protein with no added sugars. Mix 1 cup of the yogurt with 10 unsalted pecans and 1 cup pineapple for a quick, on-the-go breakfast. Experiment with other combinations of fruit and nuts, such as strawberries and walnuts or banana slices with almonds. You might also mix muesli with the yogurt for a hearty option.
Whole-wheat English muffins can serve as a base for many Eat Clean breakfast options. Toast one and spread with 2 tablespoons unsalted peanut butter and slices of apple. You could alternatively top the muffin with almond butter and pear slices. For a savory option, top each half of a whole-wheat English muffin with tomato slices and part-skim mozzarella cheese. Broil until the cheese melts and finish with slivers of fresh basil leaves.
You can also make baked goods that are suitable for this diet using whole-grain flours, unsaturated fats and natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup or evaporated cane juice. This will allow you to indulge in muffins, pancakes, waffles and breakfast bars from time to time.
- Clean Eating Magazine; Perfect Breakfasts Made Easy; Alison Lewis; Nov./Dec. 2009