Did you snooze your alarm 10-15 minutes today and find yourself running out the door without breakfast?? This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make in the day, and it happened in the first hour of waking up! Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, however many people skip it on a regular basis.
Breakfast helps with weight control, blood sugar control, improves your concentration, mental acuity, sharpness and mood throughout the day, and may even lower your cholesterol (for example, if you are eating whole grain oatmeal or high fiber cereal with fruit on a regular basis). The American Journal of Epidemiology found that breakfast skippers ate more calories throughout the day and were 4.5 times more likely to be overweight than those who ate breakfast regularly. Here are some healthy tips for breakfast ideas.
Build on a healthy cereal. Top a high-fiber cereal (>3 grams of fiber per serving) with a sprinkle of granola, ½ chopped banana, and nonfat milk or unsweetened almond milk. This combination provides a good source of fiber and protein. In addition, calcium and potassium help with blood pressure control and preventing osteoporosis.
Berry blast! Another possibility for breakfast is berries (blueberries, strawberries or raspberries) and low-fat or nonfat Greek yogurt with a light drizzle of natural honey and a sprinkle of toasted sliced almonds. This mix provides a good source of antioxidants, protein and probiotics in the Greek yogurt.
Nutrition “on the go.” Homemade smoothies are another smart choice when made with low-fat or nonfat Greek yogurt, berries, ½ apple with the skin, one scoop of protein powder (Garden of Life Raw protein powder), ice and coconut water. You can add a “green machine kick” by blending in some spinach or kale (believe me, you won’t even taste it and it’s a great way to get your greens in). Toss it in a to-go container and sip on it on your drive to work.
Get a good “warm-up.” Warm up oatmeal with water or almond milk (steel cut oats or Bob’s Red Mill, Nature’s Path or Kashi are all great brands). Top it off with blueberries or raspberries and chopped walnuts.
Don’t cut out the eggs. Scrambled eggs — one whole egg (organic, omega 3 fortified suggested) and one egg white — along with a slice of whole-wheat toast, and ½ cup fresh fruit on the side are nutrient dense and high in protein.
Wrap it up. A mini breakfast burrito or breakfast taco can spice up your morning meal. Mix one egg with one egg white along with some salsa, and ¼ slice of fresh avocado or homemade guacamole and wrap it up in a whole-wheat tortilla (for burrito) or small corn tortilla (for taco).
Pump up with cottage cheese. Cottage cheese along with fruit or chopped nuts (preferably chopped walnuts or almonds) can be a good breakfast choice that’s high in protein and calcium. Look for low-fat cottage or nonfat cheese brands that offer extra fiber. Note, limit to 1 serving if you have high blood pressure because although it is very healthy, it is also high in sodium.
You can add veggies in the morning too! You can enjoy veggies with breakfast if you add them to some eggs. One half cup of sliced button mushrooms or one cup of lightly steamed vegetables (tomatoes, bell peppers, broccoli or spinach), two beaten eggs, and freshly ground pepper in a non-stick pan with olive oil or PAM (olive oil cooking spray).
Make ½ your grains whole. Whole-grain English muffins with almond butter and sliced fruit like apples or pears, or veggies such as cucumbers and carrots can be filling while providing protein and calcium.
To learn more about healthy meal and snack ideas just right for YOU, schedule an appointment with Courtney Walberg, Registered Dietitian, Certified Personal Trainer and Founder of Nutrition For Body and Mind.
Note: Photos taken by Simon Howden and Paul at FreeDigitalPhotos.net