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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Refuel and Recharge with Breakfast!

Are you one of the 6 out of 10 Americans who skip breakfast every day?   I like to tell my students Breakfast is the Most Important Meal of the Day”.    After a night of fasting, you need some food to “Break the Fast” which is what breakfast means.  Your fuel stores are nearly empty and it is time to refuel.  Interesting in the Sochi Olympics the Canadian women’s curling team believes in eating peanut butter toast for breakfast.  They are so insistent on this they often bring a toaster with them.  (Team Canada Sochi 2014 Blog: Jennifer Jones).  They add some fruit and they are ready for a curling match.
The National Dairy Council has found that 18% of Americans skip breakfast, another 20% of Americans eat breakfast away from home.   Disturbing is the teenagers with 40% skipping the most important meal of the day.  Breakfast is a time to pack in many nutrients including calcium, vitamin D, vitamin C and potassium.
Easy breakfast choices:
Smoothie – yogurt, banana or other fruit – make it and take it with you
Peanut Butter toast – easy to fix and has staying power, use whole wheat bread and add some fruit for a healthy breakfast
Real Simple did a great slide show on Easy Breakfasts (9 Fast, Healthy Breakfast Ideas): ( Some adaptations made to improve nutritional value.)

  1. Fruit and Cheese – grab an apple, some cheese, and a handful of walnuts – toss into a plastic bag and go
  2. Waffles and Peanut Butter – choose some whole grain waffles, spread with peanut butter and add some raisins.
  3. Bagel – 100 calorie whole grain bagel thins with some dried fruit and a handful of almonds
  4. Strawberry Shake – strawberries are load with vitamin C and antioxidants – choose strawberry or vanilla instant breakfast packet (no-sugar variety) and add 1 cup low fat or no fat milk.  Add strawberries, banana and blend.  Another to go breakfast.  Those who want  a protein boost can add some protein powder
  5. Pizza – but not last night’s leftovers, but a breakfast pizza.  English muffin, whole grain, add some low fat ricotta cheese, even some tomato slices.  Broil if you have time.
  6. Energy Bars – something is better than nothing for breakfast.  Look for energy bars with 3-5 grams of fiber and 10 grams of protein.  Some brands to look for:  Kashi, Odwally, GoLean, and TruSoy. 
  7.  Egg McMuffin – my favorite when traveling.  Go to McDonald’s, get an Egg McMuffin, juice and milk and you are good to go.  Only 300 calories in the Egg McMuffin so not really a high calorie food. 
  8.  Cereal – make sure it is whole grain cereal.  Top the cereal with no-fat milk, fresh fruit like super nutritious blueberries or slices of banana.  Or mix the cereal with yogurt, add some nuts for extra fiber and nutrients.  I like regular oatmeal, raisins, a little brown sugar and some diced walnuts.  Great way to start the day.
  9. Huevos Rancheros – similar to an Egg McMuffin but with a whole wheat tortilla.  Roll up a cooked egg, slice 2% or low fat cheese, Canadian bacon or lean ham.  If you wish, add some salsa – low calorie and adds flavor and antioxidants. 

So find a way to eat something for breakfast.   Eat breakfast and get REFUELED AND RECHARGED.
Sources:  Breakfast Key for Nutrients- But Many Skip It, Tufts Health and Nutrition Letter, January 2014.  Team Canada Sochi 2014 Blog: Jennifer Jones, 9 Fast, Healthy Breakfast Ideas,
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