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The incredible, edible egg

January 28, 2008 - Kathie Evanoff
I grew up having grandparents who raised chickens and we always had more eggs than any family could possibly eat in a week. Each week, my grandparents delivered several cartons of large brown eggs and we were ecstatic.

We ate eggs for breakfast, egg sandwiches for lunch and deviled eggs for dinner. Easter was an egg feast, seeing who among all of the cousins could find the most hidden, colored eggs and who could eat their stash the quickest. Cholesterol didn’t become an issue until much later and by that time, eggs were already being avoided because of their bad reputation.

So you can imagine my delight when I read on about a study from Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, that stated that women who eat eggs for breakfast lose twice as much weight as women who start their days with bagels. Researchers have long said that the protein in eggs increases those feelings of satisfaction (satiety) and decreases hunger. Research also has debunked the theory that eggs have an adverse effect on our hearts, although doctors do recommend that those with cholesterol issues should limit their intake of whole eggs.

I still eat eggs, but much of the time, I toss out the yolk and use only the whites for things like omelets or for dipping my chicken into before applying the breading. The white of one large egg has only 16 calories, but provides four grams of protein, with zero fat and sugar. On occasion, I still have whole eggs, but I limit them due to the high fat and cholesterol content of the yolk.

Protein, it has been shown, takes longer for the body to digest and therefore keeps away those feelings of hunger for longer periods of time. I like to break up my five daily ounces of protein among all of my meals, including my snacks, to keep things on an even keel from one meal to the next. It really does help with hunger control, and it doesn’t take huge servings to get the job done.

Of course, we can get protein in lots of other ways besides eggs. Lean pieces of skinless white-meat turkey or chicken, white fish, salmon, a small amount of low fat cheese or a container of yogurt with sliced almonds can help stave off hunger.

I’m working on making smarter choices for my health without giving up everything I enjoy. Learning to set limits without feeling deprived is the key to forging ahead with eating to live.

Sunday morning breakfast was later than usual and I had plenty of time to cook, so I made one of my favorite egg white omelets. I whipped three egg whites until just a bit frothy and poured them into a small, preheated skillet that had been sprayed with cooking oil spray. Once the eggs began to set up, I added about a quarter cup sliced mushrooms and as much low-fat cheese as I could pinch between my fingers, probably about a quarter cup. When the egg whites were somewhat cooked, but still slightly wet – they will continue to cook for a few minutes after they are taken off the heat – I put the omelet on a warmed plate and put about a quarter cup of warmed chunky salsa on top.

Because I had such a good breakfast, I wasn’t extremely hungry by lunchtime, but around 2 p.m. I decided I should eat something. I had one serving of Progresso low sodium chicken and vegetable soup with noodles and some Kashi cheddar crackers with herbed whipped cottage cheese. I mentioned the whipped cottage cheese in an earlier blog with a promise to revisit, so I will explain it here. I heard about whipped cottage cheese in another food blog on the Internet, but when I went to a few local stores looking for it, it was nowhere to be found. Instead I decided to make my own. I bought a small carton of one-percent cottage cheese and whipped it in my food processor until it was smooth. It is thick enough to be used as a spread or a dip, but rather bland. I like my cottage cheese to be more on the savory side, so I added a few herbs to give it a bit more flavor. What I had with these crackers was about a half cup of the whipped cottage cheese mixed with salt, pepper, Mrs. Dash garlic and herb seasoning, finely chopped onion and finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsely. You can experiment with whatever you like, but it has less fat than sour cream or cream cheese and contributes to the daily milk portions.

By 4 p.m. it was evident that dinner would be late, so I had a snack of a carton of low-fat, low sugar yogurt with a tablespoon of sliced almonds and an apple from my “candy dish” fruit bowl.

Dinner was lemon-pepper and garlic chicken breast served with a mixture of herbed, roasted white and sweet potatoes and salad with olive oil dressing. I also served asiago cheese rolls that I found in the frozen food coolers at the grocery store that are low in fat and sugar and have no trans-fats. About 10 minutes before dinner, I placed the rolls on the same baking dish as the potatoes in the oven and they were perfect by the time dinner was served.


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Breakfast: 2 ounces meat, ½ cup vegetables, 1 cup milk, 1 fruit