Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Yo, tub, you done with that cheeseball yet? Or maybe you'd like to roll that bad boy into some leftover Christmas cookie crumbs (I know you still have some) and lovingly plunk the gorgeous orb right into some gurgling hot oil - yeah, that sounds delish, doesn't it?

OK, that's my rude-awakening way of saying that finally the holiday party is over. In other words, don't you think it's about time to wobble away from all of those (OK, most) sweet and fatty treats you've been knocking back like nobody's business - except maybe your cardiologist's?

What I'm saying is (useful cliche alert) let today be the first day of your healthier lifestyle. Call it a resolution if you want to, only call on it soon.

How about we start with baby steps and focus on ideas for a better breakfast. Because if your most important meal of the day is too often a bowl of Kaptain Kavity cereal (still?) or chewed-while-standing cold pizza (done it), a drive-thru fast food sandwich (been there) or any kind of easily available morning pastry (face it, Krispy Kreme is not your friend), then you surely can do much better.

Beginning at the obvious beginning, then, let's talk about eggs. They're actually very good for you.

You've no doubt heard that it's important to incorporate protein into your meals - it really fills you up in a muscle-building friendly way. But animal proteins can be rife with cholesterol, and you've also no doubt heard that eggs are especially full of cholesterol. Well, here's something to chew over.

Yes, it's true that eggs do have a lot of dietary cholesterol - one egg contains about two-thirds of an adult's daily recommended intake of it. But there are still controversies over how bad this dietary cholesterol really is for you - meaning many physicians contend that trans fats and saturated fats are larger contributors to elevated blood cholesterol levels than is dietary cholesterol.

One way to beat the egg system is to just eat the whites. Packed with pure protein, the whites have absolutely no cholesterol and next to no fat (99 percent of an egg's fat and all of its cholesterol is in the yolk).

So I recommend separating the yolks from the whites (it's easy) and cooking up some egg white omelets (in healthy and cholesterol-free olive oil, of course) and livening them up with sauted veggies and hot sauce.

Yes, egg yolks have a lot more flavor than the whites, and yes, those yolks are also a veritable goldmine of vitamins and minerals. So here's a suggestion: when separating the eggs, allow a fraction of one yolk - say, one third or one half - to join the whites, and you'll be surprised at how much better looking and better tasting your omelets or scrambleds will be. And how much healthier your breakfast will be, too.