By Kindy Peaslee, Registered Dietitian
Hello breakfast! If asked, most people would acknowledge that having something in the morning is a good idea. Yet, nearly one-fifth of adults don’t eat at all in the morning. Many of those who do eat breakfast could stand to improve on their choices. The number-one reason people tend to skimp on breakfast is time.
Breakfast doesn’t have to be fancy or traditional to meet nutritional needs and you can start eating simple, easy and healthful breakfasts. The best data on the benefits of breakfast comes from studies in which subjects are asked to perform tasks after either having eaten or not eaten breakfast. The findings point to improvements in learning and memory, weight control, improved labs and healthy eating habits throughout the day.
Another classic excuse for skipping breakfast is often about dieting. People feel that by ignoring the first meal of the day, they are reducing their caloric intake and promoting weight loss. A vicious cycle is started to eat a larger meal towards the end of the day and actually not be hungry for breakfast the next morning. Our body loves to be fueled often to perform well. Those who claim they are cutting calories by skipping breakfast, are also the very same people who are found snacking later in the day and fighting the low energy battle in the late afternoon and evening. Breakfast was designed to rev up your body for the rest of the day by boosting your energy, keeping your eating patterns even and stimulating your body’s metabolism.
Focus on a blend of protein and carbohydrates at breakfast. Hearty carbohydrates will give that boost of energy to jumpstart your day. A mix of protein will be the staying power to keep your body going strong over the next 3 to 4 hours until lunch. Take the breakfast challenge to get up a little early, enjoy the coolness of the day and focus on fueling your body. You will have more energy for your spring fitness fun and your body will respond by maintaining a healthier weight throughout the year.
Quick and Easy Breakfast Ideas:
-Carry a container filled with whole grain cereal to work and top with a cup of almond milk.
-Spread half a bagel with hummus or peanut butter and have one piece of fresh fruit.
-Melt reduced-fat cheese over sliced tomato on a bagel or English muffin.
-Roll up a tortilla with scrambled eggs and salsa.
Try a breakfast smoothie for a fun change!
QUICK MORNING SMOOTHIE
2 frozen bananas
1 cup of sliced frozen peaches
1 cup of natural apple juice
½ cup of sliced strawberries
Place all ingredients in blender, mix and drink.
MACHO POWER SMOOTHIE
1 cup nonfat milk
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup cantaloupe
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1/2 cup strawberries, fresh or frozen (without sugar)
Put all ingredients into blender. Blend well until smoothie consistency is reached.
BANANA BERRY SMOOTHIE
1/2 cup blueberries
1 cup plain vanilla nonfat yogurt
Peel bananas, slice and place on a cookie sheet. Put in freezer and
freeze until solid. Remove from freezer and place in blender with blueberries and yogurt. Blend until smooth.
An easy and delicious nutrient-rich muffin recipe.
SWEET POTATO ORANGE MUFFINS
2 cups white wheat flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
2 teaspoons of baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
16 ounces or 1 can of sweet potatoes (yams), drained
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup orange juice
1 carrot, shredded
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Use cooking spray to coat muffin tins. Makes 16 muffins.
Read more articles in our NUTRITION DEPARTMENT.
About the Author: Kindy Peaslee is a Registered Dietitian from Saratoga Springs, NY. Sign up to receive free healthy recipes at www.healthy-kid-recipes.com and learn more about natural eating and living products at www.kindycreek.com.