Saturday, March 31st, 2012
When my son Jack was 9 months old, I wrote about how I was over eating out at restaurants. It just wasn’t enjoyable or relaxing in anyway. Seven months later, things have fortunately gotten easier for my wife and I to the point we actually want to take him out to eat.
My wife told me about this trendy place in Nashville, just 8 miles from our house, called The Pfunky Griddle where you make your own breakfast right there at the table.
Understandably, I was silently skeptical; not just for the thought of having to cook my own meal but also imagining Jack sticking his hands on the hot cooking surface.
But, you know, it works… enough so that we actually have gone to breakfast there for the past three Saturdays!
For one thing, Jack is now able to sit in a booster seat as long as he’s entertained. The sights, sounds, and smells of cooking your own pancakes (or French Toast, as I always choose) is definitely fascinating to him.
Secondly, he gets his own spatula to slap against the tile table in front of him, allowing him to believe he’s actually cooking like my wife and I are doing.
Thirdly, they always seat us in the sun room where Jack can hear the birds singing in the morning; not to mention, if he does get antsy, I can easily run him outside for some fresh air.
My wife and I are confident in the food because they provide whole wheat batter and bread (or gluten free if you request). Plus, they make really good coffee. Their dirty chai is nearly $2 cheaper than Starbucks’ version.
And at about $6 per person for all you can eat, it’s hard to complain about the prices.
Taking Jack to the Pfunky Griddle has become our new Saturday morning tradition. But we have to get there early, by 8:30, because after all, it is a trendy place.
In fact, so trendy, that back in October 2008, Parents magazine featured it in an article called “8 Reasons To Visit Nashville,” which The Pfunky Griddle has framed and featured on the wall as soon as you walk in.
The next time you’re in Nashville, you’ll probably see us there. Bring your toddler and see if he or she enjoys it as much as Jack!
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Friday, October 21st, 2011
After being the only odd man out in yet another fast food burger sack lunch feast in my department at the office; and hearing my other male coworkers complain about how hard it is to keep from gaining weight after turning 30; and becoming a dad, one of the guys turned to me and insincerely asked, “How do you do it, Nick?”
I’m not the kind of person to push my lifestyle onto others- they have to truly want to know. Because just like when a person asks how you are doing, they don’t always care to actually know the answer.
But the next day, that coworker privately asked me the same thing. As a 30 year-old dad of four sons and coming to work to sit behind a desk for forty hours a week, he had gained a bit of weight and had finally gotten to the point where he wanted to reverse his damning habits.
So I told him, “If you want to do this thing for real, then you must start by getting breakfast right on a daily basis- everything else will fall into place much easier.” And at that point, I introduced him to “Nick Shell’s Swiss Oatmeal.”
In a breakfast world of sugary coffees, frosted pastries, and greasy meat-centric breakfast sandwiches served on white bread, it’s hard to find breakfast food that is both delicious and nutritious. But while on a business trip to Dallas a couple of years ago, I was introduced to Swiss oatmeal at The Corner Bakery Cafe near my hotel. Here’s my version of it:
Nick Shell’s Swiss Oatmeal
1/2 cup of quick cook, plain oats (the kind you get for $1.29 in a canister)
1/2 cup of whole milk (milk fat is one of the good kind of fats)
1 banana (sliced)
1 tablespoon of unsweetened raisins
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of sliced almonds
1 teaspoon of honey
This perfect breakfast is packed full of fiber (oats, banana, raisins), good fats (whole milk, almonds) and natural sugar (banana, raisins, honey, whole milk). Pair it with some black coffee mixed with whole milk and a dash of honey to further keep you full until lunch time.
My coworker went during his lunch break and bought the necessary ingredients and has now converted to “Nick Shell’s Swiss Oatmeal” for breakfast. Predictably, he was skeptical of eating cold oatmeal. But once he tried it, he realized the coldness is part of the Swiss charm- plus, it’s less hassle because it doesn’t require an extra step of having to heat it up.
Switching to a healthy breakfast isn’t easy in our culture. As for me, I just had to do it “cold” turkey.
Passing the Mic:
Do you have a healthy breakfast idea to share with me?
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