By Cheryl Hansen
If only I ate like a bird…
I don’t mean I want to peck at my food and eat nothing but crumbs all day. I don’t even mean eating miniscule “bird-like” amounts—birds actually eat a lot more than we do, considering the ratio of their daily consumption to their body weight.
So why this obsession with birds and their eating habits?
I just returned from an end-of-winter-break trip to Sanibel Island with my family. It was everything a beach vacation should be—sunny, warm, salty, sandy and relaxing. But it was a trip to the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sunday that got my healthy-living wheels turning.
We traveled by tram among mangroves and watery habitats, spotting a river otter, tree crabs and a bunch of birds, including brown pelicans, American white pelicans, cormorants, osprey, white ibis, roseate spoonbills, mottled ducks, great blue herons, little blue herons and tricolored herons, among others. The tide was out, so we watched these wading birds—big and small—walk the marshy buffet as they feasted unaware of their audience. What struck me was how the little birds shadowed the bigger birds—as pelicans and spoonbills swished and hunted for their lunch, the smaller birds snatched up their leftovers. It was nature’s ultimate team effort—a well oiled machine of camaraderie that ensured that everyone got what they needed.
So instead of trying so hard to do this all by myself, I want to reach out to the other birds in my habitat for best practices when it comes to eating: meal ideas that work for me and my carb-addicted kids (to curb their sugar intake and mine), recipes, tips and tricks. I’ll do so here—via this blog—and at YogaPod (where a lot of fabulous birds hang), via Facebook, at school pick-up and maybe even at a restaurant or two. This week, let’s start at the beginning: breakfast. What’s your favorite healthy breakfast and why?
Here’s mine (it’s not nearly as strange as it may sound):
Smash 1 banana in a bowl and add 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 tablespoon ground flax and 1 tablespoon chia seeds. Mix well. Melt 1 tablespoon coconut oil in skillet. Add mixture and cook over medium heat (4-5 minutes). Serve in a bowl topped with ½ chopped apple, sunflower kernels, pepitas and a splash of almond milk.