Today’s not your day. You missed the alarm clock ringing at 6:30 am, then rushed to take the kids to school and barely making it on time to your first meeting of the morning. That’s when you start to feel light-headed. Sounds familiar?
Breakfast is a must. We need energy to perform throughout the day and breakfast does the trick. By “breaking the fast” from your bedtime, you are re-energized to start your day.
Your brain requires a steady supply of fuel. When breakfast consists of a combination of protein rich foods mixed with whole grains, we slowly release the energy to our brain and the rest of our body. Instead, high sugary foods such as high sugar coffee drinks or cereals, jellies and candies energize us for a small period of time and then we feel that slump!
I don’t have time for breakfast – you might say. Or, “I’m not hungry”. Planning your meals the day before or getting up a few minutes earlier can do the trick! It doesn’t have to be a large breakfast – just something that is healthy and can satisfy you throughout your morning chores.
Many times skipping breakfast makes us hungry by mid-morning and it can lead to unhealthy choices such as vending machine snacks high in sugars, salt and fat. Instead of losing weight which might be our intention by skipping the first meal of the day, we might gain weight.
Breakfast eaters usually consume more healthier nutrients such as carbohydrates, vitamins (E, C, A, complex B, fiber, calcium and iron) through their varied choices – eggs, whole grain breads and cereals, low-fat and low-sugar spreads, juices or smoothies with low-fat milk.
If you’re “always On the Go” then grab quick pick-me-up items to get into the breakfast habit. Check nutrition labels to choose healthy granola bars or trail mix to munch on your way to work. How about some fresh fruit or a homemade super berry smoothie? Dairy products such as string cheese and ready to drink low-fat yogurt are high in calcium and vitamin D and fill you up as a combined protein and low-fat treat.
Choose whole grains (bread, oatmeal, waffles, cereal) to give you lasting energy. These contain complex carbohydrates that break down into glucose (simple sugar) for fuel. Check labels for whole wheat and whole oat ingredients. Can you pronounce the ingredients? Avoid products with unknown ingredients.
Fruit can be added to most any breakfast item. Slice some fruit for your cereal or add it to your natural flavored yogurt. Plant chemicals, known as phytochemicals that are in fruit can help prevent chronic illness.
Add healthy proteins to your meals – some lean meats, eggs, nuts and fat-free or low-fat dairy products help maintain and repair your body while providing it with vitamins and minerals which we don’t get enough of – mainly calcium and vitamin D.
It’s not so hard to start your day the right way. With a little planning and simple strategies you’ll feel more energetic, happy and alert. Enjoy your morning!