Back to School Breakfast Board + Egg Muffin Recipe

My kids went back to school virtually a few weeks ago and I have realized a couple of things. First I don’t want to be a schoolteacher ever! Second I am still NOT tech savvy. And finally my kids are super hungry in the morning now that they are retired vampires and must wake up early for school. To solve that problem I decided to do what I do best and make them a breakfast board to satisfy their hunger in the morning. This board was easy to create and fun to make! The only thing I actually made for the board was the egg muffin recipe which I’m sharing below but you can totally use frozen and store bought items to make it easier on you. We are going thru enough as parents trying to navigate this new normal of virtual school!

Things you can put on your breakfast board:

  • Pancakes/waffles
  • Oatmeal packs
  • Pastries
  • Biscuits
  • Croissants/bagels
  • Hash browns
  • Breakfast meats such as bacon and sausage or if you’re feeling fancy you can add ham, steak or pork chops (we’re in the south)
  • Yogurts
  • Fruit
  • Cheeses
  • Jelly/jams/honey/spreads
  • Egg (you can add a platter of scrambled eggs or some egg muffins)
  • Granola
  • Cereal
  • Breakfast potatoes

And the list goes on and on! Use what you have but presenting it in a fun way makes the kids want to eat it!

To start your breakfast board I always place my fruit/veggies and I expensive items down first because I like for them to cover most of the board. Then I come back and fill in spaces with the more expensive meats and cheeses. Finally I add spreads, nuts, and garnishes.

Check out my breakfast board and make sure you’re following me @severalpeoplesmama on Instagram to see the video of me putting this together!

Now let’s make some easy low carb/keto friendly egg muffins to go on our board.

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 large eggs
  • 1 cup half and half
  • Seasonings- I used Tony’s creole seasoning, garlic and onion powder and black pepper
  • Veggies- you can use whichever you like. I used spinach, mushrooms and grape tomatoes
  • Meat – this is optional. I used deli ham that I needed to use up before it went bad
  • 1 to 1 and 1/2 cup of shredded cheese any kind, I used Mexican blend
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • 1 tbsp of oil
  • Cupcake liners

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a sauté pan on medium heat add oil and then butter. Follow with veggies and sauté til softened about 5 minutes. Add meat if using. I do add seasoning to taste to this mixture but that is optional. Turn off heat and set aside to cool. You want this mixture to cool prior to adding to your eggs. Beat your eggs in a bowl (I use a large measuring cup because it makes it easier to pour) add half and half and seasonings. Beat til mixed thoroughly. Add cooled veggie mixture and cheese and mix. Add cupcake liners to muffin pan, this recipe makes approximately 1 dozen. Pour mixture in cups 3/4 of the way. Bake for 25- 30 minutes. The eggs will puff up in the liner but once cooled they will fall again.

I hope you try this recipe! It’s great to prep ahead and can easily be stored in the refrigerator for about a week if they last that long! Breakfast is now necessary at this house and these egg muffins will be on the menu!

Love Ricki

Stuffed Mushrooms

Browsing thru the aisles of Aldi Saturday I found some beautiful looking Portabella mushrooms and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them…stuffed mushrooms! This was a recipe I use to make early in my keto/low carb journey and I figured I would share it with y’all because it’s easy & delicious! I used shrimp for my protein but you can use anything. I’ve even used breakfast sausage before (just prepare it separately and add to stuffing mixture). Let’s cook!

Ingredients:

  • 4 Portabella mushroom caps, medium to large in size. Remove stems but don’t throw away, they will be used in our filling!
  • Half a block of cream cheese
  • Half a bag of fresh spinach
  • Shrimp or protein of choice
  • 2-3 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup each of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese plus additional for sprinkling over our mushrooms
  • 1-2 tbsp of butter
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic minced
  • Seasonings- I used garlic salt, Italian seasoning, ranch and garlic and onion powder

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add softened cream cheese to bowl and set aside. Heat saucepan on medium and add 1-2 tbsp of olive oil. Add spinach and sauté. Chop stems from mushrooms and add to pan sautéing til cooked. Push spinach and mushrooms to cooler side of pan and add 1 tbsp of butter. Add shrimp. If using any other protein I would suggest you cook ahead and add to pan to warm, shrimp takes minutes to cook so that’s why I did it this way. Once shrimp is cooked add garlic and seasoning and mix all together. Added that mixture to the cream cheese. Add cheeses and mix thoroughly. Taste mixture and see if more seasoning is needed. Place Portabella caps in a baking dish. You don’t want to use a sheet pan because the mushrooms will release liquid while cooking and you will have a mess! Place mushrooms in dish gill side up and sprinkle with olive oil and garlic salt. Add filling and top with more shredded cheese. Place in oven and cook for 20-25 minutes. You will have liquid in your baking dish after baking, you can take an extra step to transfer the mushrooms onto a sheet pan and place under a broiler for 3 minutes but it’s optional. We don’t mind, they still turn out yummy!

You know it’s good if the kids ask you to make this! And don’t limit yourself, this is a recipe where you can get creative and add more veggies such as peppers or different cheeses or proteins! I plan on making this more often on my keto/low carb journey!

As always if you make this tag me on Instagram @severalpeoplesmama I enjoy looking at what y’all cook!

Love Ricki

My Keto Life and 5 Tips to start the Keto Diet

So this is my keto journey!

Let me start this post off by saying I am not a doctor of any kind. I do not have a medical degree and I do not have a PHD (I know that has nothing to do with medicine lol). I am only Dr. Mama to my kids when someone gets sick and that’s it! I encourage you before you start ANY diet especially where you are making a drastic change to your normal eating habits to consult a medical professional. I am only sharing my experience with Keto and some beginning tips.

July 2016: You couldn’t tell me nothing! Keto had me looking and feeling good!

I first heard of the Ketogenic diet when I followed Kendra on Instagram @blackketogirl . She had recently started the Keto diet and she shared lots of information and pictures of her meals, etc. I did more research on good ‘ole Google and YouTube and since I was already familiar and lost weight by lowering my carb intake before I figured it was something I would try. With Keto I could still eat bacon, seafood, meat and veggies and butter and coffee and creamy food and I figured I could make that work for me. With the Keto diet you are basically eating foods low in carbs and high in fat (preferably healthy fats) and moderate protein. Doing this will allow your body to not burn carbs (because you’re hardly eating any) and instead use your own body fat hence causing you to lose weight. This process is referred to as ketosis and once your in it hunny you will drop those pounds and inches! There are also so many  benefits to eating a ketogenic diet such as: increased focus and brain functionality, increased energy, decreased inflammation and better sleep. Keto has been know to help lower blood pressure (I am a witness to this!), lower blood sugar, help with heartburn and migraines and even is being used as a form of cancer treatment. Also, women who suffer from PCOS and infertility have even become pregnant from this diet! Now that is not a benefit I want but if you want a baby go Keto! Now of course with everything there are disadvantages. When you begin the Keto diet some people get what’s called the Keto flu. This is where during the first 1-2 weeks you may experience brain fog, nausea, diarrhea, and headaches. I personally have only experienced a bad headache and have been moody and irritable from lack of carbs/sugar. It is also a restrictive diet which can be hard for some people to maintain therefore it may not help in the long run. I began the Keto diet late May/ early June of 2016 and loss over 30 lbs by the end of July. I experienced a major increase in energy and I slept really well at night and lowered my blood pressure. I continued eating pseudo-Keto ( I ate carbs sparingly) as I like to call it up until August of 2017 and I can say until that time I only gained 5-7 pounds. I would encourage you to research the pros and cons of Keto for yourself and see if this is something you would like to do. I would say if you try it be prepared to eat this way for a month to truly see all the benefits.

What can you eat and not eat on Keto:

You can eat: Fats and oils-coconut oils, MCT oil, olive oils, butter, avocado, or avocado oils, lard, egg yolks

Meat- steaks, ground beef, chicken, seafood, fatty fish, Pork, some lunch meats (be careful with this because a lot of lunch meats are high in sugar)

Dairy- heavy whipping cream, sour cream, cream cheese, mayo, greek yogurt, cheeses

Vegetables- above ground vegetables like spinach, lettuces, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, cabbage

Fruits (in moderation)- strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries

Nuts- pecans, almonds, macadamia, sunflower seeds

Almond and Coconut flours and almond and coconut milk

Beverages- Water (drink plenty! I flavor mine with lemon and a few frozen strawberries), tea, coffee, diet sodas and drinks (sparingly because they can increase sugar cravings) Non-flavored alcohol such as Vodka and Tequila. You can also use sucralose and stevia to sweeten drinks and food.

This is just a small sample of the many things you can eat. Take a look at this article from Rule Me for more detailed list here.

Foods to avoid: Rice, bread, potatoes, sugar filled foods, pastas, high sugar fruits (ex: bananas), oats and corn. Again refer to the article I referenced above for more.

Another important thing to do while on Keto is calculate your macros. Macros are simply what makes up a food and they are broken into 3 categories: fats, carbs and protein. It is important to know how much fat, carbs and protein to eat while on keto to effectively lose weight. Once you have calculated I suggest you plug in those numbers into an app and keep track of what you eat to make sure you stay in those guidelines. You can use this calculator here to calculate your macros.

Since we are talking about my Keto experience I will give you a sample of what I eat in a day:

Breakfast: Coffee – I wouldn’t say it’s bullet proof  but here’s what I do: I brew a cup of medium roast and sometimes I use flavored coffee such as French vanilla just make sure you pay attention to the carb count and I add 1 table spoon of coconut oil, 2 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream, sugar free vanilla syrup and sometimes a splash of flavored creamer (again check the carb count).

With my coffee I will eat bacon and eggs in some variation. I will eat just plain bacon and an egg scrambled or fried in butter and the bacon fat with cheese on top. Or I will make an omelet with bacon and spinach and cheese. I also usually eat half an avocado.

If I am tired of bacon and eggs I will make a smoothie. I make one by blending low carb protein powder, unsweetened almond milk (vanilla), a splash of sugar free vanilla syrup, melted coconut oil (if I need to get more fats in) and either ice or frozen berries depending on my carb intake for that day already.

My favorite Keto smoothie

Lunch: Usually a salad with grilled chicken and real ranch dressing. I usually make semi homemade from one of those dry ranch seasoning packets so I can add the mayo and sour cream myself.

Dinner: One of my favorite dinners is stuffed chicken. I have a recipe for this here. I will pair this with a salad or steamed veggies. Normally I work my keto dinners around my family. If I am making something with ground meat I will put mine to the side and make a taco salad or stuff a bell pepper without the rice.

In my opinion Keto is an easy way to eat. As you eat it more your carb and sugar cravings will lessen and your appetite will decrease. A lot of times I have to make a smoothie because I am not hungry but if course you must eat to lose weight.

Along with Keto in the morning I also drink a shot of Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar with the mother and lemon juice. Do not drink Apple Cider Vinegar alone. It will tear up your esophagus. This also helps with lowering your blood pressure, appetite suppression, and weight loss.

The first go around on this diet I did not exercise besides walking. I plan on exercising more this round in order to tone areas.

The Keto diet was successful for me and I am currently on it and have lost 9 pounds in 2 weeks. As of writing this I am sure I lost more and inches because my clothes are looser and my belly is definitely flatter! Check my IG for updates on my progress.

If you have any more questions about the Keto Diet again I am no doctor but I will be happy to answer or direct you to who can. Below I have listed some Youtubers and IG accounts I follow for Keto inspiration:

Keilaketo (YT and IG)

Dr Eric Berg (YT)

BlackKetoGirl (IG)

KetoConnect (IG)

Yummy Inspirations (YT)

5 TIPS TO START THE KETO DIET

  1. Don’t go out and buy a bunch of things. Because Keto has gained so much popularity as of late there are a lot of expensive fancy products that you DONT need. I would purchase everyday things like bacon, sausage, eggs and chicken and salad components. For fats I would buy unrefined virgin coconut oil (I buy from Aldi for under $5) and heavy whipping cream. In other words buy things you would normally eat but be mindful of the carbs. In case this diet doesn’t work for you you won’t have wasted your money.
  2. Drink plenty of water and take a multivitamin. Because you are eating a restrictive diet you need to replace certain vitamins you are lacking. Also water will help you stay hydrated and help with the sugar and carb cravings.
  3. Add fats to regular meals. It’s imperative to get your fats in with the Keto diet. Add an avocado to breakfast or a salad. Add coconut oil to your smoothie.
  4. Meal prep (this will keep you from eating foods not on the plan) and input your food into a Food Tracker App. I use MyFitnessPal (the free version) and I can say this helped me to stay on track. It was also fun to see my weight go down!
  5. Watch videos and follow other Keto people on social media. You will get recipe ideas and motivation from seeing what others do. I often just look at the #ketodiet or #ketorecipe hashtags on IG.
Before: Easter 2015 After: March 2017 I was successful in keeping most of the weight off until a medical condition in August 2017.

With anything this is a process and even though it has been the quickest way for me to lose weight that may not be the same for everyone. This might not be the diet for you but you won’t know unless you try! Wishing you much success and please let me know if you try it!