Hopefully breakfast comes to mind when asked about morning rituals. It is the one thing you can control about the start of your day that will benefit in more ways than you are aware. Here are just a few of the benefits:
· Increases metabolism for better weight control
· Increases mental alertness and concentration
· Better moods
· Meet nutrient needs
· Better blood sugar & cholesterol levels
If time is the reason you don’t include breakfast, with just a little planning, it can be done in a healthy and timely manner. Let’s start with the important components of breakfast. Choose 3 main food categories to balance the meal for appetite control and energy for the morning tasks. Usually this includes a complex carbohydrate, lean protein, and fruit or dairy source. You can interchange the food categories but try to leave a protein source at each meal to sustain best control.
Choose fiber rich complex carbohydrates like oatmeal, whole grain toast or English muffin, and other whole grain cereals. Look for 3-5 grams of fiber per serving and less than 5 grams sugar for the best nutrient profile. Read labels carefully, looking for a whole grain source, with little to no added sugars. Use light bread sources for fewer calories, and read the serving size to keep portions controlled.
Always include a lean protein at each meal to balance the meal and keep the appetite in control longer. Excellent sources of easy lean protein sources at breakfast can include- eggs, natural nut butters, low fat cheese, fish, etc. It is not uncommon to have dinner foods at breakfast, as long as you get a balanced, portioned controlled meal.
Do some prep the night before if time is the challenge. Make some oatmeal in the slow cooker, or mix together a delicious smoothie ready to grab and go in the morning, or some simple hard-boiled eggs and a small fruit. Try to get up earlier to include some exercise and then a simple, healthy breakfast. You will feel energized for the day!
7 Days Breakfast Ideas:
Day 1: Oatmeal with sprinkle of nuts & fruit
Day 2: Yogurt (Greek- non-fat)- topped with fruit/nuts
Day 3: Whole Grain English muffin with 1 Tbsp. Natural PB
Day 4: 2 Hard Boiled Eggs with 1 slice WW Toast topped with lite spread
Day 5: Smoothie- 1 cup Milk, ½ cup fruit, handful of Greens, 1-2 Tbsp. Yogurt
Day 6: ½ WW bagel with lite cream cheese & 2 slices turkey bacon
Day 7: Scrambled Eggs with Vegetables & low-fat cheese
Janet Brancato is a Registered Dietitian based out of Glen Rock, NJ. She works with clients online, over the phone, and face to face.