Eat Right Around Chicago

Mad About Breakfast

As I've mentioned, I'm traveling this week for the American Dietetic Association Food and Nutrition Convention and Expo in Denver.  During this educational, nutrition and food based event, I have grown more and more irritated with ridiculously large portions, stupid size meals and for this entry, the bulging breakfast options.

When you travel - for work or pleasure - it is difficult to maintain your normal eating habits, especially at breakfast.  I'm accustomed to eating breakfast at home on the weekdays and saving my dine out for dinner, so the cases full of frosting covered pastries, mega muffins, plain (as in "I have no nutritional value") bagels and flaky morning desserts make my jaw tight every time I face one in search of a morning coffee.  I can't decide if I'm more upset that they are wedding cake size desserts posing as breakfast items or if they are touted as natural and gourmet because they accompany an overpriced coffee, but whatever the case, these bulging breakfasts leave little opportunity to eat right! 

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I'd like to blame these cinnamon big buns on Denver, but that wouldn't be fair.  These coffee bucks and bakeries on the corner star on the Chicago grid as well.  They serve a great cup of java, but as I see it, are toying with their faithful patrons while they innocently try to grab a pick-me-up before work.  As a Registered Dietitian, I actually feel badly for the folks faced with these glazed goodies each day!

These breakfasts on-the-go provide few options to eat right.  And there seems to be some Tom foolery going on here with tags boasting natural ingredients (no trans fat) and locally made, but saying nothing about the generous amount of saturated fat from butter or super sweet contribution from the sugar.  There are shops that have fresh fruit and yogurt, and the oatmeal with dried cranberries is a star worth the bucks, but even healthy options can be unnecessarily over sized.  Check out the fresh squeezed orange juice in the "stupid sized" pint glasses.  What are you going to do with 16 oz of OJ???  I don't see a spout to pour it into glasses for your 3 other friends!   

orange juice.JPG

I know that my anger isn't helping you eat right, but I think that it's an issue that needs to be raised.  And I support that statement with exhibit A (below):

Bagel dogs.JPG
Ok, so how do I eat right when stranded outside my own kitchen for breakfast?  I have a 16 oz. coffee with skim milk and I look for a whole grain bagel.  I prefer it naked (the bagel that is) and I search for a banana or fruit cup.  If all else fails, I choose a yogurt parfait.  Either way, I spend the first part of my day stewing about these coffee bar offerings and count the days until I can enjoy my nutty, whole grain cereal back in my Chicago home.   



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courtneybe said:


A couple days a week, I get one of those breakfast sandwiches from one of those java shops. Is it a bad habit to do this? I just crave the saltly mixture of the egg, sausage and gooey cheese and that warm crunch of the english muffin. The lowfat version is horrible tasting.

EatRightAroundChicago said:


Well, sister, Courtney Bell, I will not validate your salty, gooey, cheesy choice...nice try.

In your defense, I will say that if you continue to train like the Ironman athlete that you are, then I suppose that your fruit-free, vegetable-free breakfast may be ok on a rare occasion to satisfy your craving. (Full disclosure, this sister of mine exercises about 10-15 hours a week).

But know that it's not your "eat right" breakfast.

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