Nutrition Label

Eating cereal for breakfast can be a quick and healthy way to help you lose weight or maintain your weight loss; but only if you choose the right cereal! Studies show that breakfast eaters are leaner than those who do not, and are more successful at loosing weight (National Weight Control Registry).

But with the huge number of breakfast choices available, choosing the right breakfast cereal can be a challenge.  Learn how to make the best choice by reading the Nutrition Facts Label.

Here’s how:

1. First, look at the “ingredients” list, located at the bottom of the Nutrition Facts panel.  Ingredients are listed in order from largest to smallest amounts. Whole grain should be listed as the first ingredient.  Avoid cereals that have sugar listed as a first or second ingredient, and avoid those made with artificial coloring.

2. Next, check the serving size and number of servings at the top of the label. All the information on a Nutrition Facts label is based on one serving, but beware, this can vary from ½ cup to one cup for different cereals.

3. Then, look at the calorie amount.  This is the amount of calories per serving. When you compare calories between different cereals, make sure the serving sizes are the same.

4. Percent Daily Value (% DV) can help you determine if a food is high or low in a nutrient.
5% or less means a food is LOW in this nutrient
10-19% is a GOOD source of a nutrient
20% or more means a food is HIGH in this nutrient

5. Limit total fats, saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol and sodium. Choose cereals with less than 3 g of fat and zero trans and saturated fats. Sodium should be less than 210 mg per serving, ideally even less than 140mg.

6. Next, check Total Carbohydrates. Dietary fiber and sugar are types of carbohydrates.  Choose cereals with at least 3 g of fiber per serving (more is better) and less than 8 g of sugar per serving.

Examples of some good choices are (listed in no particular order):

Post Shredded Wheat Original


Kellogg’s Unfrosted Mini Wheats

Kashi Go Lean

Prepare with skim milk or unsweetened soy milk and some fruit, and you have a winning meal.

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These pancakes are not only easy to make, but they are also high in protein.  I like to make them on Sunday mornings with a big pot of hot tea or coffee. If you don’t have fresh blueberries, you can also use them frozen; they will defrost when cooked in the skillet.


Makes 6 pancakes

1 3/4 cup or 15 ounces of skim or part-skim ricotta cheese

1 Tbsp sugar

1 whole egg

1 egg white

grated orange zest from 1 orange

2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour

3/4 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

1 Tbsp Canola oil



1.  In a medium bowl, add the ricotta cheese, sugar, eggs, orange zest and mix.

2.  Whisk the flour into the ricotta cheese mixture until all the flour is incorporated. Now gently mix in the blueberries.

3.  Heat 1 Tbsp of Canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Once heated, add about 1/4 cup of batter per pancake into the skillet and flatten into a 1/4 inch circle. Depending on the size of the skillet you may be able to fit 2-3 pancakes into the pan.

4.  Cook until small air bubbles appear, then flip onto the other side. Cook for about 3-4 minutes per side. Serve hot with maple syrup.


Per serving: Calories: 187, Fat:9 g, Cholesterol: 57g, Sodium: 108mg, Carbohydrates: 16g, Fiber: 1g Sugars:4g, Protein:11g



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Oatmeal, walnuts and raisins in a bowl

People tend to shy away from steel-cut oatmeal because it takes a long time to cook,  I’m not going to tell you otherwise.  It takes about 30-40 minutes of cooking time. But on weekends or on days when you need to be more than just fueled, spend some extra time to make a breakfast that nourishes and satisfies your body from the inside out.   Eating 3/4 cup of oatmeal a day contains about 3 g soluble fiber and has been found to decrease LDL and total cholesterol levels.


1 cup steel cut oatmeal

4 cups skim milk

1/2 tsp cinnamon

brown sugar or agave



Makes 4 Servings


1.  Bring 4 cups of water or skim milk to a boil.

2.  Slowly add 1 cup of oatmeal, stirring continuously.

3.  Reduce heat to simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Add cinnamon, raisins and sugar/agave as desired.

5.  Serve and top with coarsely chopped walnuts. Enjoy!

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Eggs in tomato sauce with corn tortillas“Huevos Rancheros” or Ranch-style eggs are perfect for a week-end breakfast when your craving something special and don’t want to eat out.    The sauce is adapted from Diana Kennedy’s “The Art of Mexican Cooking”.  It’s so easy to make yet so delicious.  Serve it with a strong “cafecito”.

Makes about 3 cups.


2 garlic cloves

1 15 oz can stewed tomato

2 Jalapenos

1/4 white onion

2 Tbsp Canola or Safflower oil

sea salt to taste


1. Broil jalapenos on a griddle or “comal”.  They should be slightly charred and blistered.  Place in ziploc bag and let cool.  Once cooled, scrape off blistered skin with a knife.  Add to a blender or food processor.

2. Peel and roughly chop the garlic.  Add garlic and stewed tomato’s  Blender. Blend slightly, leaving some texture.

3.  Finely chop onion. Heat oil in frying pan and add onion.  Cook until translucent.  Add blended tomato mixture and cook on medium high heat.  Season with salt.  Let sauce reduce and thicken, stir occasionally.

4.  Fry eggs in frying pan and place on plate.  Pour sauce around eggs and serve with corn tortillas.  Alternatively, you can also fry corn tortillas in oil, drain and place on plate.  Add egg on top and then add the sauce.  Either way is delicious.


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