In our fast-paced lifestyle, things often get squeezed out or skipped if time is limited. As a result, many people are skipping breakfast not realizing the benefits of this important meal. Or you may just be stuck in a rut eating the same food each morning for breakfast. Trying something new opens up the possibility for you to ENJOY something different and keeps you from getting bored. Challenge yourself to make breakfast a priority and even to try some new foods. Choosing to eat a healthy breakfast (as opposed to the doughnut or pop tart breakfast!) can help give you the following benefits:
- Breakfast eaters get more vitamins, minerals, fiber, and eat less fat than those who skip breakfast,
- People who eat breakfast improve their memories and the ability to perform tasks requiring memory as well as more strength and endurance to complete physical activities.
- Eating breakfast revs up the metabolism after a night of fasting helping you burn more calories throughout the day.
- A healthy breakfast helps stabilize hormones and blood sugar levels to potentially prevent overeating/binging throughout the day. Many studies have shown breakfast eaters weigh less than breakfast skippers.
Here may be some fresh ideas for you to try as you make eating a healthy breakfast a regular habit:
Speedy Egg Sandwich: Crack an egg in a bowl coated with non-stick spray and scramble egg. Cook in microwave for 45-60 seconds. In meantime toast a 100% whole wheat English muffin, bagel thin, or bread slices. Add cooked egg and slice of low fat cheese once toasted and you have a quick egg sandwich! You could also put the cooked egg in a whole wheat pita or whole wheat tortilla and add salsa for a different blend of tastes.
Make a yogurt parfait: Dish out 1 cup greek yogurt (any flavor of choice), 1 serving of whole grain cereal (look for cereal with no more than 8g sugar per serving and at least 3g fiber), and a handful of fresh or frozen fruit.
Healthy snack: Spread 2 Tbsp of peanut or almond butter on any type of 100% whole grain bread, English muffins, or bagel thins. Top with banana slices.
Whip up a fruit smoothie: Try one cup vanilla nonfat greek yogurt (extra protein), frozen berries, 1-2 Tbsp. ground flaxseeds. Blend until smooth. Can add a splash of vanilla and juice if too thick.
On the Go: Grab a piece of fruit like apple, pear, or banana and a piece of low fat string cheese. For extra energy and fiber add a serving of nuts like almonds or walnuts. A typical serving of nuts should fit in the palm of your hand.
Try a burrito: Take whole grain flour tortilla or corn tortilla and add ½ cup canned beans (rinsed and drained). Add 2-3Tbsp. shredded low fat cheese and heat in microwave for 30 seconds. Garnish with salsa and avocado slices if desired.
Make breakfast for the week on Sunday: Prepare a big batch of steel cut oats or rolled oats. Keep in fridge and warm up a small bowl each morning. Season with vanilla and cinnamon and fruit and you won't miss the sugar!
Try homemade Muesli: Mix ½ cup rolled oats, ½ cup dried fruit, ½ cup nuts, 1 apple grated, 3 cups low fat yogurt. Combine ingredients. Makes several servings. Often tastes better the next day since the ingredients have softened!
Prepare large batches of healthy homemade pancakes and waffles and freeze. Pop them in toaster or microwave in morning and top with favorite toppings. Here is a new family favorite for waffles in our home. I double the recipe and freeze all leftovers for future breakfasts.
Whole Grain Waffles
2 eggs beaten
1 ¾ cups skim milk
¼ cup canola oil
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
1 ¼ whole wheat pastry flour
½ cup ground flax seed meal
¼ cup wheat germ
4 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
In large bowl whisk eggs, milk, oil, applesauce, and vanilla. Beat in flour, flax seed meal, wheat germ, baking powder, sugar, salt until batter is smooth. Preheat waffle iron and coat with cooking spray. Pour batter into waffle iron in batches and cook until crisp and golden brown. Makes 16 waffles.
Nutrition Facts: (per waffle) 109 calories, 5.5g fat, .6g sat fat, 180mg sodium, 12g carb, 2.4g fiber, 4g protein