When I was a kid, Christmas morning in my family started early, with the four of us gathered around the tree in our coziest pajamas. There would be homemade eggnog from a family friend and Mom would set out a tray of my grandmother’s stollen (German Christmas bread), cookies of all shapes and sizes, a box of See’s candies, and Dad’s famous raspberry muffins. I would eat at least two of every kind of cookie and as many chocolates and raspberry muffins as I could fit into my face. Later in the morning, Mom would make my favorite egg and cheese casserole with tortilla strips and chiles, and I would chow down, again. It was delicious, but not the healthiest way to start the day.
Now that I have Beachbody’s nutrition wizards on my side, I can enjoy my Christmas morning with healthier versions of all of my childhood favorites (except the box of chocolates). So, here are 12 recipes that are sure to please, whether your holiday morning consists of a simple smoothie, a table of nibbles next to the tree, or brunch with family and friends. While we don’t recommend cookies for breakfast, if that’s your holiday tradition, try one of these yummy 21 Day Fix-Approved holiday treats.
Tex-Mex Scrambled Eggs and Veggies (Migas)
This traditional Tex-Mex breakfast scramble with crunchy tortilla strips, onions, tomatoes, and peppers is known as Migas. It has 229 calories per serving, and the servings are hearty. This is very similar to my mom’s recipe, and it’s always a crowd pleaser. Her version has a can of diced green chiles for a little extra heat. Get the recipe.
Frittata with Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, and Parmesan
This festive frittata has the colors of the season and is easy to make for your spread on Christmas morning. Swap out chard for spinach, kale, or broccolini if you prefer. Get the recipe.
Mini Denver Quiches
If your holiday breakfast table involves lots of nibbles, try these mini Denver quiches made with ham, cheese, and bell pepper. They are perfect bite-sized appetizers with only 73 calories apiece. Get the recipe.
Muffins and More
Gingerbread Protein Pancakes
Treat your family to these light and fluffy gingerbread pancakes with holiday spices. They have the texture of traditional pancakes, but these wholesome hotcakes have a boost of protein to keep you satisfied during a marathon gift-opening session. Get the recipe.
Blueberry Maple Muffins
These blueberry muffins taste — and smell — incredible. One whiff of them fresh from the oven and you won’t be able to wait until they hit your plate. Ever since I was a child, my dad has made raspberry muffins on Christmas morning. The blueberries in this recipe could easily be swapped for red raspberries or you can do a mix of half and half! Get the recipe.
This healthier take on zucchini bread has all of the moisture and flavor you expect from a homemade loaf, thanks to applesauce and coconut oil. Add a dash of nutmeg and ginger for extra holiday flavor. Get the recipe.
Cranberry Orange Oatmeal
Did Santa leave oranges in your stocking? Make your morning cozy and warm with hearty steel-cut oats topped with zesty orange and cranberries. Get the recipe.
Baked Vanilla Oatmeal with Nutmeg
Still wrapping gifts on Christmas morning? Before you start, make this recipe. There’s only a few ingredients to mix together before you pop the dish in the oven. When it’s time for gift giving, breakfast will be ready. Add a chopped apple and sprinkle of cinnamon for even more flavor. Get the recipe.
Holiday Spice Oatmeal
Holiday spice and everything nice (and healthy) is exactly what you’ll find in this seasonally-inspired oatmeal. Get the recipe.
Creamy Candy Cane Shakeology
Skip the sugar sticks and reach for this smoothie that tastes like a candy cane. With only four ingredients, it doesn’t get much easier to whip up some holiday cheer! Get the recipe.
Cinnamon Roll Shakeology
Warm, fluffy, cinnamon rolls slathered in icing are the thing of a sugar-lover’s dreams. This Cinnamon Roll Shakeology recipe pulls the best flavors from the sweet treat and transforms them into a healthy Shakeology drink. It does have coffee in it, so as much as it might taste like a dessert, it’s totally acceptable to have for breakfast. Get the recipe.
Chocolate Eggnog Shakeology
This lighter, healthier version of chocolate eggnog is so good, you’ll want to drink it all season long. Good thing it’s under 200 calories! Get the recipe.
If you know me well, you know that I’m not a fan of trying to lose weight in a short period of time just to look differently for egotistical reasons. Rapid weight loss isn’t necessarily very healthy either. It can cause digestive, organ and brain function problems if done the wrong way. By “wrong way” I mean diet pills, dramatic fasting, and/or exercising 2 or 3 times a day to exhaustion.
Here are my top 10 tips to help you lose weight in 3 days and beyond, so that you can create long lasting habits that will allow you to focus on fighting disease, getting healthy, and feeling as young as you can, for as long as possible.
1. Eat often ~ I know this sounds contrary to weight loss, but science has proven over and over again, that eating 5 healthy "snack size" meals throughout the day, is how you lose weight.
2. Cut out the salt ~ This means consuming less than 2 grams a day. Deli meats, cold cuts, sauces, dressings and processed foods are typically loaded with sodium, so run don’t walk away from these problem foods.
3. Drink your water! ~ For whatever reason this is still a head scratcher for a lot of people. Some schools of thought say to drink as much as a gallon of water a day. Maybe if you’re a 245 pound linebacker training twice a day. My goal is 6 to 8 eight oz. glasses a day, but your weight and activity levels really determine how much is right for you. Drink even amounts of water throughout the day, and experiment to learn what works for you.
4. Get off the hootch! ~ Yup, the empty calories in alcohol, soda pop, energy drinks, are great for gaining weight, so they all have to go if you really want to lose weight and live a healthy life.
5. Plenty of rest and sleep ~ Sleeping is healing, and it’s also when you burn the most calories. Lack of sound sleep, over training, and stress raises cortisol levels to the point where your circadian rhythm is so out of whack that you crave unhealthy food, lose your focus and desire to exercise. Good sleep, low stress, mixed with yoga and meditation is the foundation to weight loss.
6. Don’t skip breakfast ~ Eating breakfast is critical for losing weight. It’s your first opportunity to get some of your 6 to 8 daily servings of veggies, jump start your metabolism, allow you to stay fuller longer, and can assist in helping you burn calories all day long. A jug of Joe and a donut doesn't cutting it.
7. Eat Your Veggies ~ It blows my mind that so many people are lucky to get in 4 of 5 servings of veggies a week never mind 6 to 8 a day. Lack of vegetable consumption in America is one of the main causes of weight gain and life threatening disease. Vegetables are high in nutrition and fiber, and are a critical part of weight loss.
8. Eliminate Problem Foods ~ Fast food, processed foods, booze, simple carbs, and anything and everything that is loaded with fat, sugar and chemicals should be eliminated. Read labels! Know what you’re eating. If it comes from a box, bottle, can or jar, read what’s inside. Lack of fiber, high saturated fats, high sugar, high sodium, and man-made ingredients loaded with unpronounceable chemicals are NOT part of your weight loss solution.
9. Small portions ~ Tip number 9 and tip 1 go hand in hand. When you spread out your snack size meals throughout the day, the only way to lose weight is by making sure your portions are much smaller than what you’re probably used to. Waking up to 2 or 3 egg whites, a small side of veggies, and a cup of tea might not feel like enough (for some) to get you to lunch. Don’t forget that you get another meal between breakfast and lunch, and another between lunch and dinner. If the quality is high, the junk is gone, the portions small, you can still eat 5 meals a day and lose weight in 3 days.
10. Exercise ~ Shocker right? Here’s the rub though - if you train too hard and/or too long it can actually cause weight gain, especially if your training consists of just weight lifting, and hard core resistance exercises. When you’re trying to lose some weight early in your journey, it’s smart to add yoga, light cardio and high rep resistance.
These 10 tips are how you lose some weight in 36 hours. These same 10 tips are how you maintain good health for the rest of your life.