Healthy Chef, Happy Chef

Everyone knows it’s not easy to eat healthy when traveling.  Mixed up routines, meals out, insufficient options or too many bad ones… It’s hard enough to do so at home.  Add being a chef, and one that travels, and you have a recipe for trouble.  Or an opportunity to take a step in the right direction.

At the Raleigh, that step begins today, where you’ll now find Michael’s Power Breakfast on the hotel’s breakfast menu.  This healthy start for mind and body includes a tasty combination of Greek yogurt, tart cherry-chia jelly, banana, fresh & dried berries, “rawnola”, pumpkin seeds, and raw almonds.  Whether familiar or foreign in composition, this balanced portion of ingredients includes probiotics, protein, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, zinc & potassium, and essential vitamins that anyone can learn to love for a billion reasons.

“You have to commit to something,” Michael told me yesterday when he shared the plans for the new breakfast item.  “When I decided I was going to get healthier and lose weight, it took a long time. It’s not like two months. That’s bullshit. It was a conscious lifestyle change.  Just watching what I eat wasn’t enough.  Diet and exercise combined is the only way.”

RAL Menu-8.5x14-Final(Breakfast)_Newv3

The hotel serves breakfast from 7:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. daily. Restaurant Michael Schwartz is open for lunch 12 noon – 4:00 p.m. daily, Brunch every Sunday from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. and dinner 6:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. Sunday – Thursday, and 6:00 p.m. – 12 midnight Friday – Saturday (Miami Spice menus Monday – Saturday)

Tamara Schwartz not only was a big influence and motivation for Chef, she brought some interesting ingredients to the equation.  Tart cherry juice was something she discovered was good for muscle recovery.

“I’m not usually hungry in the morning so for me breakfast is all about fueling my workout and packing in the nutrition,” she shared.  “I almost always have a smoothie chock full of high nutrient super foods.”

Chef first tried chia seeds bloomed in coconut water but it was more perishable, so the cherry juice worked perfectly.  Now when he’s on the road – or sea – you can usually find him with a calibrated breakfast smoothie in hand.  All the nutrients one needs to start the day off right, with an important dose of familiarity, too.  The Power Breakfast is full of all the right stuff in an approachable package.  His favorite dried fruit is the mulberry.  Delicious, but will it sell?

“Usually people mess up yogurt by putting honey on it or syrupy stuff… All I know is if I was traveling, and I went to a hotel that had something like this on the menu, I’d be so happy,” Michael responded. ” I think there will be a good segment of people who will really appreciate seeing something like this on the menu. It’s just like taking a big vitamin!  The smoothie is intense, it’s got way more things in it. One step at a time [laughs.]”

Like Tamara says, making one small change such as eliminating sugar and getting used to that for a while, then making one more change, and so on, is a great way to begin adopting a healthy lifestyle.  Here is the breakdown, with all the nutritional benefits of each ingredient.  I’m thinking the Power Breakfast just may be the perfect small change to start with.

Michael’s Power Breakfast $17
Greek yogurt, tart cherry-chia jelly, banana, fresh & dried berries, “rawnola”, pumpkin seeds, raw almonds

Greek Yogurt
Great source of probiotics and protein

Tart cherry juice
The ultimate antioxidant. Muscle recovery

Chia Seeds
High in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and antioxidants

High in potassium

Fresh Blueberries
High in antioxidants,
vitamin C, boost brain function and fight urinary tract infections. Also help reduce cancer risk.

Goji Berries
High in vitamin C, iron and vitamin A. Anti-inflammatory.
Highest concentration of protein of any fruit

Super fruit. High in dietary fiber, iron and vitamin C. Good source of Reservatrol which is an antioxidant that promotes heart health.

Golden Berries
From the Andes, excellent source of vitamin A and dietary fiber

Great mix of raw seeds, nuts and fruits. Gluten free and rich in fiber, omega-3’s and antioxidants

Pumpkin seeds
High in zinc & vitamin E which keeps your cardiovascular system healthy.

Raw Almonds
Promotes heart health, high in antioxidants & fiber

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