Theresa Albert

Theresa Albert is a Food Communications Expert, Brand Spokesperson, Author (Cook Once a Week, Eat Well Every Day and Ace Your Health: 52 Ways to Stack Your Deck), Speaker, Toronto-Area Nutritionist, Columnist for the international Metro Newspaper and The Huffington Post and regular contributor to both lifestyle and news media. Find her at
Five Ways to Control Portion Size for the Healthiest Breakfast Possible
Twitter See All Email

What is the #1 thing you can do to nourish yourself for the day, but not overeat? Two words: portion control.

It is an established fact that we consume far too much as a nation. As individuals we hardly have a concept of what constitutes an appropriate serving size anymore. There are some visual cues that can be engaged to train our kids’ eyes and tummies to right-size our hunger and expectations.

Whether you are mom trying to maintain her weight or dad trying to lose a few or a kid trying to grow, do you know what each should be eating to hit that goal? Each body has different needs so there is no single right answer. It is a really great exercise to use an app or tracker to input each individual’s typical day and obtain your own barometer. No matter what you do, you will see that everything hinges on that #1 thing called portion control.

It is critical to start the day with a breakfast full of the right amount of protein, fibre and fuel.

Top five ways to control breakfast portions:

  1. Consume foods that are pre-measured. Greek yogurt snack packs under 150 calories, 2 Weetabix biscuits, one small banana…anything that has fewer than 3 or 4 ingredients and that limits your consumption.
  2. Research conducted at Cornell University consistently shows that we are affected positively and negatively by serving dish or container size. Tall slim glasses for smoothies rather than large and short and smaller bowls and plates help us feel fuller with smaller, more appropriate amounts.
  3. If you are a juice drinker reduce the amount to the ridiculous. This single mistake can set off your blood sugar and actually make you more hungry all day since your body processes it as pure sugar (even the 100% juice versions) Scour yard sales for tiny 1950’s style juice glasses if you are having juice. That 10-12 ounce glass is for water.
  4. Place small bowls out for cereal or empty cereal boxes into decorative jars and use a measuring cup to scoop a sensible ½ cup amount. Use teaspoons or smaller spoons to eat cereal to prevent soup spoon shovelling.
  5. Pour milk or cream into your mug before you fill with coffee (if you are using sugar, measure level teaspoons and know that your limit is 6 tsp from all sources including juice and cereal)

For a speedy, delicious way to make breakfast portions fun, consider making breakfast popsicles. The goodness is measured in for you and the out the door fun of mornings can go a lot more smoothly.


Breakfast Popsicle

You don’t need to have traditional popsicle molds for these breakfast lifesavers, tiny paper cups on a cookie sheet will do. Consider using a plastic spoon as a stick so it can be eaten as muesli if it melts.

Makes 2-4 servings
Takes: 5 minutes plus freezing time

You’ll Need:

  • 1 ½ cup 3% plain yogurt
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 Tbsp hemp seeds
  • 4 Weetabix biscuits
  • 1½ cups frozen blueberries
  • 1 handful baby spinach
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 small orange, slice thickly and slice a spot for the spoon to slide through.

Prep and Cook:

Pour into a blender and blend until smooth. Use a spatula to smooth into popsicle molds or paper cups. Top with more plain yogurt to fill to the top and top with an orange slice.  Slide the spoon through and freeze overnight.

Comments | Tagged under breakfast, healthy
Twitter See All Email
is it better to eat gluten free
Twitter See All Email

Hands up if you know someone who has gone ‘gluten free’ and you rolled your eyes. I know I have. The gluten-free craze has swept us off our feet and right onto our heads, causing confusion and misinformation. The Celiac Awareness Foundation estimates that only 1% of the population is truly celiac, requiring complete abstinence from all sources of gluten. An additional 6-9% may have a gluten intolerance that causes digestive upset and a host of other issues.  The rest of us are just eating too much, eating too much wheat, have a system that is out of PH balance, are low digestive enzymes or other health related dietary issues. And the discomforts are all real but they are not gluten’s fault.

Here is the problem with ‘going gluten free’. Removing gluten and not choosing better quality food is gets you no further ahead. Products that still use refined white flour from rice or corn or other sources plus sugar are no better for you than their gluten containing brethren.  They are only necessary if you truly can’t digest the gluten.

But there is a big ‘however’ here. Some gluten-free products are actually crafted with better ingredients. They are intended for an improved diet of whole healthy foods. Indeed, they serve the need of the 10% but they also feed the rest of us better. Here are a few that I have worked with and recommended.

Frozen Meal Pick: Antipasto’s Kitchen
GK Skinny Pasta is sold under the name ‘Antipasto’s Kitchen’ in Canada and found in the freezer section. Butternut squash ravioli that Nona would be proud of is a single serve meal that contains high-quality ingredients like crushed tomatoes (first!), squash and egg that all add up to a wholesome vegetarian dish. The more nutrient dense arrowroot flour is used rather than the corn starch that many gluten-free products substitute wheat flour with. It serves up 240 calories for its 5 g of protein and 6 grams of fibre.

Best Breakfast: Qi’a
Qi’a is a superfood intended to be used as a cereal. It contains chia seeds, buckwheat and hemp which are all gluten-free, nutrient-dense foods. This stuff goes with me everywhere and gets sprinkled on or stirred into other foods to enhance whatever I eat for breakfast.  Toss me a yogurt from any corner store and I can be powered up in no time.

Smart Snacking: Que Pasa Organic Blue Corn Chips
Corn is one of the top genetically modified foods on the planet which is a good reason to avoid this naturally gluten-free starch. However, organic corn isn’t modified. And furthermore, organic blue corn contains the same phytonutrients that makes blueberries a powerhouse, anthocyanin. My pick is Que Pasa Organic Blue Corn Chips.

None of these products are slapped with a ‘gluten free’ label to disguise the fact that they are junk that has replaced cheap white flour with cheap rice flour. They are wholesome, delicious foods that happen to be digestible to those with an intolerance.

Twitter See All Email

Search Experts' Articles

Explore More Savvy

  • EatSavvy
  • SavvyStories
  • PartySavvy
  • ShopSavvy
Want more Savvy? Sign up now to receive our newsletter twice weekly.