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A “new" New Year’s Resolution! (milk + greek yogurt muffin) by Brenda Ponnay for

Our Morning Protein: a “new” New Year’s Resolution!

By Brenda Ponnay

Let’s talk about New Year’s resolutions.  They’ve gotten a bad rap and that’s too bad because we should never pass up a chance to improve ourselves. There is so much to be gained! Instead of focusing on failures, we should set realistic goals and celebrate small victories. This year, I‘ve embraced a daily yoga routine and also set up a strict screen-time schedule for my kids with “screen-time dollar” incentives that they can earn by doing chores and practicing random acts of kindness. It’s only February but I’m really happy with how both of these resolutions have changed our lives for the better so far.  I’m feeling stronger we’re having more sit-down meals together, chores are getting done in a timely manner, everyone is more active and involved in daily activities together and we all feel better.

To build on January’s success, this month I’m focused on getting the family starting the day off with more energy and focus and I’ve partnered with The National Milk Life Campaign to talk about it.  That means we’re eating a more nutritious breakfast, making sure we get enough protein in our diets throughout the day.  Many experts now recommend 25-30 grams of protein intake before noon.

Normally, this would be challenging in my house where the breakfast favorites have often been just frozen waffles and pancakes.  But I’ve found that one of the easiest ways to pack in the protein is by incorporating organic milk into our breakfast and/or mid-morning snack. My kids love milk and they’ll drink a glass with their breakfast without a problem. On weekends, they will even join me for a steamed mug of organic milk when I’m having my own mid-morning latte (my personal favorite way to get protein into my diet).  When we add a protein-enhanced muffin as a mid-morning snack, we hit our 25 gram protein intake goal for the morning easily.

Our Morning Protein: a “new" New Year’s Resolution! (steamed milk) by Brenda Ponnay for

For some, getting protein in for breakfast is tricky, and a mid-morning snack is a great way make sure you’re keeping protein consumption (and thus energy) consistent throughout the day. I wish we were the type to enjoy meat dishes or “dinner for breakfast” (chicken or fish!) but the reality is we don’t naturally gravitate towards meat- or fish- based proteins in the morning. So in order to achieve our new goal, I count grams.  Instead of counting calories these days, I’m counting grams of protein. Who knew!?!

Our Morning Protein: a “new" New Year’s Resolution! (protein gram "math") by Brenda Ponnay for

Focusing on nutritious food has allowed us to make better choices without feeling like we’re being punished. We’re not setting ourselves up for failure.  We ARE however way more active and getting so much stronger mentally and physically.

If you’re like me and just starting to think about the math of “packing in the protein” before noon, this chart might help a little:

Our Morning Protein: a “new" New Year’s Resolution! by Brenda Ponnay for

It’s actually not that hard to do when adding a mid-morning snack— yogurt, a handful of nuts, a glass of organic milk (or a latte!)— to our diet.  The protein intake from our snack combined with that of our breakfast adds up to around 25 to 30 grams and sets us up for the day.  No more skipping breakfast, huge binge lunches or filling up too much at dinner. It’s just a simple shift of focus that makes a huge difference in the quality of our life… one filled with more sustained energy throughout the morning.

Our Morning Protein: a “new" New Year’s Resolution! (milk + greek yogurt muffin) by Brenda Ponnay for

I’m definitely taking the glass is half-full (of organic milk!) approach to my resolutions. How are your New Year’s resolutions coming along? Maybe this protein push will help you with yours too!

Thank you to our sponsor Milk Life and the Mom It Forward Blogger Network for letting us share our story with you.  As always these opinions are our own.


About the Author

Brenda Ponnay

Brenda Ponnay is a stealthy secret agent who juggles parenthood to her adorable daughter by day and freelance graphic design/illustration by night. Whether it’s painting, baking, drawing, mak...

Brenda Ponnay is a stealthy secret agent who juggles parenthood to her adorable daughter by day and freelance graphic design/illustration by night. Whether it’s painting, baking, drawing, making castles out of cardboard boxes or just doing the laundry with flair, Brenda Ponnay has learned that what really makes her happy is being creative every single day.

You can read about all her crazy adventures on her personal blog: Secret Agent Josephine.

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  • Jenni

    February 16, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    Thank you!! I just copied and shared this with my boys! Ages 13 & 16 they are prone to skipping breakfast! I love the way you break it down and of course your illustrations are the best! Thank you!

  • Anna

    February 16, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    Brenda, I always appreciate your fun and inspired projects and wonderful sense of family. I can see again from this article your love for your family and desire to share that with others.
    However, I do take issue with the (popular!) idea that if protein is good, more must be better- especially animal-derived protein like meat and dairy.  It is especially disappointing to see the sponsorship from the milk campaign in your article.  I am NOT a lecturer by nature and I tend to leave people to their own choices, but given how influential you and AlphaMom are, I feel the need to comment.
    Misunderstanding and myths about protein and animal protein are incredibly widespread.  Americans consume on average far MORE protein than required.  Higher animal protein intake is linked over and over in huge studies in communities all over the world to worse health.  For anyone interested in exploring the counterargument in support of plant-based diets and less focus on protein, I would encourage the following books, even if you are a complete skeptic- they are fair and balanced and you can draw your own conclusions. How Not To Die by Dr. Michael Greger; and Proteinaholic by Dr. Garth Davis.  As a physician myself, I have spent quite a bit of time reviewing literature and trying to understand the cornerstones of a balanced diet. I am not vegan or even vegetarian- but I eat animal products sparingly, focus on a plant-based diet, and have stopped worrying about protein intake, like I used to do. My Texan-born carnivorous husband now eats mostly vegan and feel better than ever before- and runs ultramarathons!
    Thank you again for all your fun previous posts, and my family will look forward to the next non-sponsored post.

    • Isabel Kallman

      Isabel Kallman

      February 16, 2016 at 3:45 pm

      Thank you for your feedback, sharing your thoughts and resources, Anna.

  • Meredith

    February 16, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    Do you have a recipe for those muffins?

    • Isabel Kallman

      Isabel Kallman

      February 16, 2016 at 3:45 pm

      It will be posted at a later date here on Alpha Mom. Stay tuned. 🙂

  • Emma

    February 16, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    I agree with Anna. Cow milk is for baby cows, not for humans!

  • Molly

    February 17, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    Please do a post talking about your screen time schedule and screen time dollars!