Friday, August 24, 2012

PRET Protein Pot: A Super Food Breakfast

Here at Feel Good Foodies we’re pretty into super foods, which are apparently becoming rather trendy in the outside world as well. You may have noticed the super food reference in recent Subway commercials promoting their “yummy” avocado. Super foods are also they key players in SELF magazine editor Lucy Danziger’s new book The Drop 10 Diet – which I’m currently reading.

image via

At my old job, Friday’s meant “Bagel Friday,” my carb-loving favorite day of the week. Did I break this tradition when recently switching jobs? Absolutely not. In fact, I pass one of my favorite bagel shops on my walk to work, so my bagel consumption has admittedly increased.

I’ve been desperately trying to cut down my carb consumption after gaining five of my lost ten pounds back, so this week Bagel Friday is out. Today I put on my tunnel vision as I passed the bagel shop, and instead wandered into PRET A MANGER in hopes of a healthy replacement for my bagel ritual.

Cue the Protein Pot: hard-boiled egg, red quinoa, spinach, avocado and tomato, packing an a.m. protein punch with only 230 calories. The eggs, avocado and quinoa make this snack a super food party! Health benefits listed below.

With a little salt and a lot of pepper (because I’m a pepper-loving freak), this was the perfect breakfast to start my Friday. The gentleman who rung me up (a helpful, friendly man by the name of Jack) said that he saves the Protein Pot for after the gym, another great idea. It’s also an easy grab-and-go meal that you can make at home. You could package a few days-worth of all of the ingredients minus the avocado, and then add the avocado when you’re ready to eat it.

Jack also told me that my delicious breakfast is actually a “test” product. What does this mean? The Protein Pot is only available in three PRET locations right now: 42nd St. & 3rd Ave., Astor Place and 23rd St. & 5th Ave. They will test it for three or four weeks, taking customer feedback into account before deciding whether or not to make it available at all locations. Obviously I will continue to purchase it obsessively, in hopes of it becoming one of my meal-plan staples.

Have you tried the Protein Pot? If yes, what did you think?


Health Benefits of Avocado:
Avocados are a good source of fiber, potassium, and vitamins C, K, folate, and B6. Half an avocado has 160 calories, 15 grams of heart-healthy unsaturated fat, and only 2 grams saturated fat. One avocado contains more than one-third daily value of vitamin C, and more than half the day’s requirements of vitamin K.

Health Benefits of Eggs:
Eggs are an incredible source of protein (7 grams per egg!) – they also have only 75 calories, 5 grams of (good) fat, and 1.6 grams of saturated fat, along with iron, vitamins and minerals.  

And my favorite, Health Benefits of Quinoa: 
Quinoa is a protein powerhouse Protein Powerhouse, packing a higher protein content than wheat, barley or other major grains. One cup of quinoa has 9 grams, which trumps the protein-rich egg. Quinoa, which contains all 8 of the essential amino acids, is a complete protein. Quinoa is a satisfying, low-cholesterol source of complex carbohydrates. Rich in fiber, it’s digested slowly and has a low glycemic index, helping you steer clear of the blood-sugar roller coaster. With its chewy texture, quinoa can be eaten at a leisurely pace. Its heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats will leave you feeling full while providing more nutritional content than breads or cereals made of refined grains. 

As a complex carbohydrate, quinoa acts an internal cleanser, easing the progress of food through the digestive tract. Used regularly in your diet, quinoa can help keep you free of constipation and bloating. Unlike more common grains such as wheat, quinoa is gluten-free and can be enjoyed by people with digestive disorders, like celiac disease. This versatile seed can be used in breads, soups or other foods where grains are a primary ingredient, offering a steady source of colon-cleansing fiber. The vitamin B and folate in quinoa also help the liver in its role of eliminating wastes from the body, adding to quinoa’s detoxifying properties.

Quinoa is also a flavorful source of plant-derived calcium. Calcium builds and maintains bones and teeth, helps regulate the contraction of the heart, and facilitates nerve and muscle function. One cup of cooked quinoa contains 30 milligrams of calcium. Quinoa also contains impressive quantities of potassium, magnesium and zinc, minerals that are crucial for heart, nerve and muscle function.


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