Breakfast is important for so many reasons. It revs your metabolism, stabilizes your blood sugar after too many hours of not eating and helps you avoid overeating later in the day. Studies have even shown that those who eat breakfast are more likely to lose weight and maintain that weight loss than those who skip it. But mornings in your household may resemble a circus, complete with clowns, elephants and those crazy people who walk the tightrope. Let’s look at some strategies for fitting a healthy breakfast into a busy lifestyle.
Make It Easy
Breakfast doesn’t have to be pancakes from scratch, homemade sausages and berries harvested from your garden. If you have the time, great. If not, try these strategies:
• Choose healthy cold cereals. Great brands include Kashi, Barbara’s, Food for Life as well as many others. Look for whole ingredients in the beginning of the ingredient list and a minimum of sugar. This is also an easy breakfast for the younger set to prepare for themselves.
• Prepare ahead by making a big batch of steel-cut oats one day and heat up portions as you need them.
• Cut up fresh fruit to add a nutritional boost to any meal.
• Like smoothies? Fill your blender with the ingredients the night before (except for ice if using), then all you have to do is whiz it up the next morning.
• Have a favorite healthy muffin or pancake recipe? Make a batch, keeping a couple out and the rest in the freezer until you need them. Try this Blueberry Muffin recipe.
Think Outside the (Cereal) Box
Who says breakfast has to be breakfast food? Feel free to enjoy the leftovers from a healthy dinner, be it vegetable soup, a black bean burrito, lean protein stir-fry, etc. A recent “un-breakfast” I enjoyed was cooked quinoa and shredded veggies topped with sauteed tofu from the night before, drizzled with a little maple syrup. Maybe your “un-breakfast” is a turkey sandwich on whole grain bread with lettuce and tomato. As long as it’s healthy, anything goes.
Try some of these quick & easy ideas for your breakfast:
• frozen whole-grain waffles topped with lowfat yogurt and berries
• whole-grain toast spread with all-natural peanut butter and apple slices
• breakfast burrito of scrambled eggs mixed with chopped veggies
• smoothie made with 1 cup lowfat yogurt, ½ cup of your favorite fruit, 1 teaspoon ground flax seeds, 2 tablespoons wheat germ and ½ cup ice
• parfait made from nonfat Greek yogurt, fresh fruit, a drizzle of honey and a sprinkling of chopped walnuts