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Protein at Breakfast Reduces Hunger & Prevents Overeating

Research shows that eating a protein rich breakfast increases satiety and reduces hunger throughout the day.

And for those of us who are prone to the mid-afternoon munchies, this is very, very good news.

The Study

For three weeks, a group of adolescent girls (Age: 15 ± 1 years) with a high BMI (93rd percentile ± 1%) and a habit of skipping breakfast (5 ± 1×/week) either…

  • continued to skip breakfast (BS)
  • or consumed 500-calorie “normal protein” breakfast meals (NP) consisting of cereal and milk
  • or 500-calorie higher protein meals (HP) consisting of Belgium waffles, syrup and yogurt.

At the end of each week, the girls returned to the lab to eat their respective breakfast followed by:

  • appetite questionnaires and
  • an fMRI brain scan to identify brain activation responses to viewing food vs. nonfood images prior to lunch.

The Results

Compared to skipping breakfast (BS), both breakfast meals (NP & HP) led to increased satiety and reductions in hunger throughout the morning (3 hrs post breakfast).

The fMRI results showed that brain activation in regions controlling food motivation and reward was reduced prior to lunch time when breakfast was consumed in the morning.

Additionally, eating protein at breakfast led to even greater changes in appetite, satiety and reward-driven eating behaviour compared to the normal protein breakfast.


The researchers concluded that a protein-rich breakfast might be an effective strategy to improve appetite control and prevent overeating in young people.

And aside from the fact that I take issue with their description of their HP breakfast – Belgium waffles, syrup and yogurt – as being high protein, I have to agree.

NOTE – Some of my previous articles – The Big Breakfast DietWeight Loss & Breakfast: Eggs are Better – have shown that skipping breakfast can be a very bad idea.


Paleo Cookbook Preview

Sweet Potato Chips - Paleo Dish

19 days ago, I reached out to the Paleo-verse to see if any of my favorite Paleo Foodie bloggers would be interested in submitting recipes to help me create a free Paleo Cookbook.

As of this morning, 42 bloggers have joined the project.

And the recipes have begun to pour into my inbox.

My plan is to have all the recipes collected by the middle of September and have the book ready for download by the end of September.

And because I love all my fellow Paleos, here are a few samples to whet your appetite.


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Banana Buckwheat Muffins

Banana Buckwheat Muffins

I was asked by one of my subscribers if I could come up with a recipe for buckwheat. I’m not exactly renowned as a baker generally, although I did make all the breads in a catering company I worked for a few years back, so I have the basic knowledge of what to do. Shouldn’t be too hard to incorporate buckwheat into baking, right? Since we’re also featuring Allspice on Spice week and had requests for Nutmeg, this recipe covers all bases.

Here Stateside, buckwheat is primarily sold as processed flour or in pancake mixes. The Japanese use buckwheat flour to make Soba noodles as well as other products. In Europe, buckwheat groats (de-hulled seeds) called Kasha are cooked as a rice substitute. The groats are sometimes used in the U.S. as a breakfast cereal in place of oatmeal or porridge.Buckwheat is a suitable substitute for grains for people who are sensitive to wheat or gluten because it’s actually a fruit seed (and not a cereal grain) that is related to rhubarb and sorrel. The nutrients in buckwheat may also contribute to controlling blood sugar and lowering high cholesterol.

I’ve had this recipe in the bag for a while although there wasn’t any buckwheat in it so I figured I’d play with it and see what happened, or should I say, I gave the directions to the Missus, my favorite helper! Although it took three rounds for the end result, we finally got it right (and they are well good!)

Continue reading the full recipe and don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to the NEW Healthy Irishman Newsletter!

Fueling your body with healthy food. Fueling your mind with the wealth of health.

Copyright © 2009 The Healthy Irishman. All rights reserved.

Tomato Egg Cups

Eggs in Tomato Cups

In the States, May is the month we celebrate our Mums. Mother’s Day is May 10th this year (for those of you who need a little reminder). What does every mum want for her special day? Breakfast in bed and a trip to the spa (so I’ve been told). We can handle that, right guys? Here’s a recipe that even the kids can get involved in, which means they’re likely to eat it, too. Getting the kids to eat a nutritious meal while making the Missus happy—Priceless!
It’s also a great spring/summer brunch idea, especially delicious when heirloom tomatoes are in season. The combination of the roast tomato works great with the eggs. I used one whole egg and one egg white in each to decrease the cholesterol and increase the protein in each portion. Speaking of portion, this dish is also makes perfect portion sizes. I’ve thought of everything!

Serves 6

6 large beefsteak or heirloom tomatoes
6 whole eggs
6 egg whites
1 tablespoon of  fresh thyme
Sprinkle of feta cheese
Chopped chives to garnish

Preheat oven to 450F.
Begin by cutting the top from each tomato, about ¼ of the tomato. With a pairing knife, cut around the inner flesh of the tomato and using a spoon scoop out all the seeds. Make sure you don’t scoop too much from the bottom or the egg mixture will leak out.
Making Tomato CupsSeason each tomato with S&P and drizzle of olive oil. Crack one egg white in each tomato. Sprinkle a little feta cheese and fresh thyme in each. Follow that by adding a whole egg in each tomato.
Place gently on a foiled oven tray and pop in oven for 25 minutes, approx or until eggs are firm.
When they’re ready, sprinkle with fresh chopped chives and serve with Spanish Potatoes.

All recipes are made with the finest quality farmers market whole foods, natural and non-processed ingredients.


Fueling your body with healthy food. Fueling your mind with the wealth of health.

Copyright © 2009 The Healthy Irishman. All rights reserved.


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Spinach & Mushroom Frittata

Spinach & Mushroom Fritatta

If you’re fortunate enough to live where the sun is shining, where the wind is warm and where the flowers are in bloom, you know you’ve just hit the jackpot with spring’s arrival. As a foodie I love the transition of using winter root vegetables into using vibrant spring produce. I think that’s why I love frittatas so much–you can’t go wrong using any veg! I chose to use fresh organic spinach this week in honor of being “green” for Earth Week.

If you’ve followed Healthhabits’ post Weight Loss & Breakfast: Eggs are Better then you already know how great eggs are for you. I make egg whites scrambled with one full egg every morning for myself and the Missus and keep plenty of hard boiled eggs in the fridge for snacks. (I only eat organic eggs.) Every so often I treat us to one of these lovely frittatas, usually on the weekends after a trip to the farmers’ market. I love using caramelised onion in my frittatas–they give the eggs such a lovely sweet flavor. Speaking of lovely and sweet, with Mother’s Day around the corner I thought I’d showcase a frittata that is easy for you to make for yourself, your Mum or your Missus.

Serves 4

1 cup cooked red onion – finely sliced (caramelized in a drizzle of olive oil)
1 cup cooked baby spinach – sauteed & chopped (sauteed in a drizzle of olive oil)
1 cup  cooked white mushrooms – sauteed & chopped (sauteed in a drizzle of olive oil)
5 egg whites
1 whole egg
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 tsp fresh thyme – chopped

Begin by preheating oven to 375 F.

To make a frittata you will need a skillet pan that can go in the oven so make sure you have a pan without a plastic/rubber handle. IT WILL MELT.

When veg is ready, preheat your ovenproof nonstick skillet or sauté pan on high heat for 3-4 minutes.

Whisk eggs and season with S&P. Add onions, spinach mushrooms & thyme to beaten egg mixture and stir to combine.

Once skillet/sauté pan is hot add 2 tbsp olive oil. Pour in frittata mixture and begin cooking as if making scrambled eggs. Stir constantly for 3-4 minutes making sure you scrape all the egg from the sides of the pan.
Once eggs begin to cook, smooth frittata mixture evenly in pan and pop pan in the oven for 20 minutes approx or until frittata is firm.

NOTE The key thing here is to make sure your skillet is piping hot so the eggs begin to cook immediately. This will help ensure it doesn’t stick to pan after cooking.

HOW TO KNOW IT’S READY Pierce the center with small knife (don’t go all the way thru to the skillet!) and touch your lip with it to feel heat. That’ll tell you quick enough if it’s hot through.
 Once ready remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes. Using the back of a knife (the dull side) run along the sides of the pan and carefully turn out your frittata onto a cutting board.

Fueling your body with healthy food. Fueling your mind with the wealth of health.

Copyright © 2009 The Healthy Irishman. All rights reserved.


If you like what you see here, click here for updates


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mmmmm Coffee

A new scientific study says drinking coffee is good for you.


Another new scientific study says drinking coffee is bad for you.

What the @&%*#%! is going on here?

Study # 1

According to Australian researchers,drinking lots of coffee after a strenuous workout while consuming fuel-replenishing carbohydrates can help accelerate muscular recovery.”

In fact, the research showed that athletes who consumed carbohydrates and drank caffeine had 66 per cent more glycogen in their muscles four hours after working out, versus athletes who consumed carbohydrates alone.

This is important because to get the most from your workouts, you need to re-fuel your muscles as soon as possible. A proper re-fuel will cause your body to shift from it’s post-workout catabolic state to an anabolic state toot sweet.

Simply put, you will recover faster, feel less post exercise pain (still debatable, but anecdotal evidence leads me to believe this to be true), get stronger, faster, have more endurance and lose fat faster.

All good stuff.

So take a shot of espresso with your post workout protein shake.

Okay, this is weird. As I was writing this post, I was also surfing and came upon this – Starbucks new Vivanno Nourishing Blends. I haven’t had one, but this is exactly what the Aussie researchers are describing. Carbs, protein & caffeine.

I am sure that there are lots of other coffee houses that have or will soon be offering such a beverage. (Vivanno is being released this week)

So, if you want to see science in action, head down to Starbucks post workout. And no, I don’t have any financial interest in Starbucks. I just spend a lot of money there.

For a great info on workout nutrition, check out Dr. John Berardi.

Study #2

Researchers from the University of Guelph have concluded that drinking coffee before eating your morning cereal can affect the body’s blood-sugar response and cause blood glucose levels to rise dramatically (250% higher)- especially when eating low-sugar cereals like All-Bran“.

Once again, what the @&%*#%! is going on here?

I eat my All-Bran twigs and berries cereal so that I don’t get colon cancer and now these science geeks are telling me that unless I cut out my morning cup o’ joe, my blood sugar is going to jump sky-high, followed by my insulin levels.

Great, the next thing you’re going to tell me is that this is going to make me insulin resistant and eventually type 2 diabetic.

Well, research does show that “whether you’re a healthy individual, obese or a Type 2 diabetic, when you ingest caffeine and then follow that with some food that’s carbohydrate-based, for a prolonged period of time — certainly six hours at least — your body becomes insulin resistant.”

“It’s the caffeine in the coffee that is altering your body’s sugar response,” Prof. Graham (the lead researcher) says. “It makes us resistant to insulin, which in turn makes our blood-sugar levels go higher.”

So what am I supposed to do now?

According to Prof. Graham, for healthy people, the implication is “no big deal.” “If my glucose goes a bit higher and I’m over it in a couple of hours, I’m happy and I’ve had my coffee.” In fact, recent research shows “very clearly” that heavy coffee drinking decreases the risk for Type 2 diabetes.

Coffee contains many positive biological compounds, including antioxidants, and decreases the risk for diseases of the gut.

“In the long term, consuming coffee for decades decreases your risk,” Prof. Graham says.

Not so for those individuals who are obese, sedentary and don’t exercise. It’s likely that those people are already insulin resistant.

So, what should you do?

If you are not at risk, enjoy your java. However, if you fit the ‘at risk’ profile, try switching to water distilled decaf coffee.” Or, eat your cereal before your coffee. Or, dump the cereal altogether and switch to a Mediterranean or Paleo way of eating.


These two studies seem to contradict themselves.

Not really.

In study # 1, the researchers are trying to increase levels of blood sugar and insulin. This effect literally drives the sugar into your muscles. Your muscles have been depleted by your workout (At least they should be; if not, workout harder) and they are virtually screaming to be fed. The sugar will go straight to your muscles where it will go about fueling your muscles re-building process.

In study # 2, you have no need for a giant spike in blood sugar and insulin. You just woke up and your body is not screaming for fuel.

But don’t think I am telling you to skip breakfast. Like my mom always said, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” (weird – I quoted my mom)

You have a long day ahead of you, so a nice steady stream of low glycemic carbs is the way to go. No sugar spikes you Coca-Cola junkies.

So, in conclusion, you want to keep you blood sugar in check all day long, except for post workout.

Got it?

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The Big Breakfast Diet

A new study, out of Virginia Commonwealth University, suggests that if you eat a big breakfast, you WILL reduce your hunger for the rest of the day.

The Study

The study compared a “Big Breakfast” or BB diet plan with a low carb / Atkins style diet plan.

The BB group ate 610 of their daily 1240 calories at breakfast. The macronutrient breakdown of their Big Breakfast was as follows:

  • 58 grams of carbohydrates (38% of calories)
  • 47 grams of protein (31% of calories)
  • 22 grams of fat (32% of calories)

Breakfast could be eaten in two or three stages, but had to be completed by 9 a.m.

The macronutrient breakdown for the entire day was as follows:

  • 97 grams of carbohydrates (33% of calories)
  • 93 grams of protein (32% of calories)
  • 46 grams of fat (35% of calories)

So it seems that while breakfast was a little higher in carbs and lower in fat, the rest of the day was the inverse; higher in fat and lower in carbs.

The low carb / Atkins group ate 290 of their daily 1085 calories at breakfast. The macronutrient breakdown of the low carb breakfast was as follows:

  • 7 grams of carbohydrates (10% of calories)
  • 12 grams of protein (16% of calories)
  • 24 grams of fat (my calculation) – (74% of calories)

The macronutrient breakdown for the entire day was as follows:

  • 17 grams of carbohydrates (7% of calories)
  • 51 grams of protein (21% of calories)
  • 78 grams of fat (72% of calories)

Both groups stayed on their respective weight loss diets for four months. At the end of this period, both groups shifted to a maintenance diet for an additional four months.

The Results

After four months:

  • The low carb dieters lost approximately 28 pounds
  • The BB dieters lost about 23 pounds

Both groups did well, losing between 6 and 7 pounds per month.

After eight months:

  • The low carb dieters had regained an average of 18 pounds. This produced a net loss of 10 pounds over 8 months – an average of 1 1/4 pounds per month.
  • The BB dieters lost another 16 1/2 pounds during the maintenance phase. This produced a net loss of 39 1/2 pounds – an average of 5 pounds per month.

As an added bonus, at the end of the study, the BB dieters reported that they experienced less hunger and fewer cravings for carbohydrates than the low carb group.


  • Please keep in mind that this is only one small study of 94 individuals. Further study is required to test the conclusions of this study. But don’t worry. Considering the huuuuuge market for diets and weight loss plans around the globe, I don’t think researchers will have to look too far or too hard for sources of research funding.
  • Dietitians and nutritionists are already criticizing this study as being too low in calories and carbohydrates.
  • Dietitians and nutritionists who make this complaint are A: Missing the point of the study and B: Protecting their own butts.
  • A – The point of the study was to test the Big Breakfast hypothesis. At this point, we don’t even know the average starting weight of the study participants, so how can the ‘experts’ claim that the calories are too low.
  • B – For the most part, dietitians and nutritionists like to push the food pyramid du jour. Lots of grains, lots of dairy, lots of political contributions from the grain and dairy lobbyists…oops.

My Recommendation

Become your own guinea pig.

  • One day this week, while eating normally, record everything you eat in a notebook. Record how the meals impacted your hunger and cravings. Record when you ate and what you ate.
  • The next day, eat the exact same foods. But, eat half of the previous day’s food at a single, extended breakfast. Keep the same record book of mealtimes, what you ate and how you felt.

I tried it yesterday, and I was extremely full after breakfast and never really got hungry the rest of the day.

Give it a try. What do you have to lose…except a few pounds of chub-chub.


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As well, you also get access to the series of Supplement Reports that I am publishing this year.

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