BLOG: My ‘rainbow breakfast’ for health and taste

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Colorful, delicious, and healthy…

By Assunta Ng

If you saw me eating breakfast, you would say, “That’s fancy!”

Is it? How about, “That’s great for your skin, blood, and organs!”

Some depict my breakfast as “colorful,” while others see it as a beautiful plate, mixed with natural foods. Dr. Oz calls it foods of the rainbow, which fights off cancer. I don’t exactly follow Dr. Oz’s food recommendations. I create my own meals with foods I enjoy.

My “rainbow breakfast” not only looks enticing, but it is delicious, healthy, and easy to make. Plus, it gives me all the nutrients I need to start my day. It fills me with the right portions of good carbohydrates, a little fat, and lots of protein.

My doctor just gave me a great health report in January. I am a living example of good health. From blood pressure to cholesterol level, Vitamin A to D, blood sugar to iron levels, weight to height (no shrinkage in my body, even though I have osteoporosis), everything is normal in my body.

I eat my “rainbow breakfast” more than 320 days a year, unless I’m traveling. Some people skip breakfast due to lack of time or because they are on a diet. Health experts have warned often that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

To stay healthy, I never skip a meal. In fact, I eat four meals a day and on a regular schedule. You have to be in tune with your own body to find out what works best for your well being.
What comprises my “rainbow breakfast?”

I prepare my breakfast with a bowl of warm milk. Dr. Oz says reduced fat milk is better than skim milk. We need some kind of fat for a balanced diet, don’t we?

Then I cut slices of papaya into the milk, and mix it with three pieces of purple yam and sweet potato, which has antioxidants and is good for your digestive system. One study even said sweet potatoes are one of the top foods to prevent cancer. Sometimes I eat the skin.

Why not? It contains important nutrients and provides my body with fiber.

I usually steam two small purple yams and one big sweet potato together in a rice cooker on Sunday. Then freeze them afterwards. I like to steam them because it retains much of the root vegetables’ natural flavor.

Papaya is one of the best sources of vitamin C.

Imported from Hawaii and Mexico, you can buy papayas locally. Once in a while, I can buy papayas from Thailand in Asian grocery stores. I can make one medium-sized papaya last for three to four days.

Breakfast for me is an hour-long love affair. That’s why I hate morning meetings. After I have devoured my papayas and yams, I read my newspapers for about 30 minutes before I have a fried egg, a small bowl of hot oats, and soy milk, or a piece of wheat or multi-grain toast. Then I have my small plate of grapes to munch on.

You can buy red or green seedless grapes all year long. Let me warn you, don’t eat too many grapes all at once — it can give you stomach gas.

These days, we are lucky to be able to buy grapes and papayas all year round. Fruits that used to be seasonal are mostly available in supermarkets. Aren’t we lucky?

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…with a touch of cinnamon

The last item on my breakfast menu will be milk tea. I brew a small amount of fresh tea leaves. Then I put a small amount of milk in my teacup (never use half and half), and a small spoonful of honey. I don’t use sugar at all. Some complain honey has too much fructose. But it is an antioxidant and has some good minerals. What will a small dab of honey do to my body if I walk an hour every day? After all, a balanced diet is what I am aiming for.

Then I add one-eighth spoon of cinnamon to my tea. Ah, the smell of cinnamon will wake me up. Dr. Daniel Amen, author of brain books, said cinnamon is good for the brain. If it helps my memory, I am all for that! (end)

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