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Ok, I admit it. I’m a recovering breadaholic. When a basket of bread arrives at our table, piping hot, and creating that yeasty aroma in the air…I just go nuts. I could eat the whole loaf. James has never had this problem, the big goody-goody. He can easily push the basket away and not think about it sitting there, within reach. Me, I’ll usually start with a compromise, “well, I’ll just take a pinch of the crust.” Then the pinches turn into fistfuls, with James sitting across the table silently judging me, but not daring to say a word about it out loud, because, well, I’m a tiger.
The trouble is, that basket of bread is usually about an entire day’s worth of calories. Empty ones, too. Very little nutrients, protein, or anything of value. You can pretty much feel the fat cells growing on your thighs as you chew. But, fellow bread freaks, there is hope. We don’t have to give it up completely! There’s a healthy bread alternative so we can still have our bread, AND EAT IT TOO!
The fix: English Muffins. Here’s why:
A typical English Muffin has 120 – 130 calories. Sure, a slice of bread has 110 calories, but who eats just one slice? A sandwich calls for two, folks. English muffins make great sandwiches since you get two halves per serving!
You get around 6 grams of protein with each English muffin. Not bad, huh? What other bread source has such a large amount of protein? Okay, well bagels do. But the problem with bagels is they have over twice the calories!
There are usually about 3 or 4 grams of dietary fiber in an English muffin. Since we need 25-30 grams of fiber each day, the amount in English muffins is pretty significant. Fiber, which is great for our hearts and all sorts of other things, leaves us feeling full, so we’ll be less likely to overeat.
Only one little gram of fat is usually what one English muffin packs. And the great news is it isn’t saturated or trans fats!
Here are the 4 main ways James and I eat English muffins:
Egg FitMuffin Recipe:
Toast your English muffin and microwave one beaten egg in a small glass or ceramic dish for 33 seconds. Plop the egg on the muffin, add some salsa, and enjoy! I eat these all the time.
Southwestern FitSandwich Recipe:
Toast your English muffin, and then top with turkey, light cheddar, and roasted green chiles. This is a healthy play on a popular sandwich made at Dion’s in Albuquerque, New Mexico….The Duke City Sub. My absolute favorite.
Veggie Fit Mini Pizzas Recipe:
Toast your muffin, and then spread on some marinara sauce. Load up with your favorite veggies, and then sprinkle on some light mozzarella cheese. Place under the broiler, and you’ll have two yummy little pizzas without the grease and the guilt!
Toasted PB&J Recipe:
Perfect for post-workouts! Make sure to use all-natural peanut butter, not the sugary stuff like Jif. Choosy fitness pros do NOT choose Jif. Same with your jelly, find something high in fruit, low in sugar. Since I make my own no-sugar jelly from the Concord grapes in my yard, this one’s easy for me. You could also substitute banana slices instead of jelly.
Keep in mind, however, not all English muffins are made alike, so read your labels, folks, or even better, make your own. We like either Franz or Thomas brands, and we always get whole wheat versions. The Franz muffins have 33 grams of whole grain in each one, and neither brand uses high fructose corn syrups.
So, fellow breadies, the next time we start reaching for the bread basket, just remember, we can resist! Our healthy, guilt-free English muffins are back at the RV waiting for us.