Are Healthy Breakfasts Allowed in the Man Cave? by James Shapter

When you hear the words “man cave,” do images of men gnawing on junk food, chugging beer and giving each other high fives come to mind? I, and any other man reading this post, wonâ€TMt deny that one or all of those things may occur during a game, but oftentimes our species is a little more refined outside those few hours. One of those times might even be at breakfast.

Iâ€TMm not suggesting that before the game most of us gather in the basement, sip tea and discuss the latest fall fashion trends. What Iâ€TMm saying is most of us understand that it is just as important for men start their day with a well-balanced, healthy meal, and we donâ€TMt have to check our manhood at the door in order to do it.

Most of us have heard that a good way to start the day off right is with a bowl of oatmeal. Iâ€TMm going to take this a step further by explaining how to do this hassle-free, with little preparation, while utilizing some lesser-known, nutrient-dense ingredients.

Sunflower Seed Butter: Perfect for those with allergies, this butter contains no nuts, gluten, dairy or eggs and can be used as a direct substitute for other nut butters! This butter packs quite the nutritional punch, too, offering the same amount of protein as peanut butter, while doubling the amount of fiber. Sunflower seed butter also provides 27% of the Recommended Daily Amount (RDA) of vitamin E and contains 1/3 less saturated fat than peanut butter.

Chia Seeds: Ch-ch-ch- chia seeds are a product of the desert plant Salvia hispanica. These whole-grain, edible seeds are both mild and nutty in flavor, making them easy to incorporate into your favorite cereals, vegetables, yogurt and baked goods. Chia seeds provide us with the richest plant source of the triglyceride-lowering omega-3 fatty acids, while administering a healthy dose of fiber and protein to your diet!

Currants: Similar, yet smaller than raisins, currents are derived from red seedless grapes. Nutritionally, currants contain 7g of fiber per serving compared to the 4g provided by raisins. Currants are also a good source of potassium, iron and vitamin B6 and higher in each nutrient than its counterpart.

Recipe: Here is a simple, healthy way to make MAN CAVE Oatmeal for breakfast incorporating the above ingredients.

- ½ cup Old-fashioned oats - ½ cup Low-fat milk or non-dairy milk product - 1 tablespoon Sunflower seed butter - 1 tablespoon Currants - 2 teaspoons Honey - 1 teaspoon Chia seeds - ¼ teaspoon Cinnamon

• In a microwave-safe bowl, combine and mix oats, currants, sunflower seed butter, chia seeds and cinnamon. • Add honey and low-fat milk; stir to combine. • Microwave until oatmeal is thickened, about 1½ - 2 minutes. Makes one serving.

Nutrition Facts (per serving):
Calories: 399 / Fat: 15g / Carbohydrate: 58g / Sodium: 121mg / Fiber: 9g / Protein: 14g

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Jim Shapter is enrolled in the dietetic internship at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Jimâ€TMs desire to become a registered dietitian came later in life. He enjoyed a previous career in architecture before his love of food and nutrition, and the desire to help others reach an elevated state of well-being.