Breakfast: How to eat your way into a good day
Here are your breakfast choices:
1. A doughnut
2. A Pop-Tart
3. Lean ham on an English muffin with a glass of vegetable juice
You may crave the doughnut or Pop-Tart, but your morning will go a lot smoother if you choose the third option.
“What I suggest is a balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat for the best nutrition and the release of energy,” said Sara Lopinski, a registered dietitian with Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield.
“You can think of breakfast as the body’s early morning refueling stop after we’ve not eaten for eight to 12 hours. We need a new supply of glucose, or blood sugar, to power our brains and our muscles,” she said.
Breakfast skippers tend to grab not-so-healthy options later in the morning when they get hungry, she said. They often feel sluggish, and miss the opportunity to get the vitamins and minerals a good breakfast provides.
“If you eat doughnuts and Pop-Tarts, you’ll feel full at first, but then you’ll crash. They won’t sustain you through the morning,” said Lopinski. “And breakfast skippers never seem to make up the nutrients.”
Consider incorporating these foods into your morning meal: hot and cold cereals (whole grain is best); English muffins; breads; bagels; buckwheat pancakes; milk; yogurt; cheeses; nut butters; eggs; cottage cheese; hummus and beans; vegetables; nuts; lean meats (turkey sausage, Canadian bacon, poultry); fish; and fruits of all kinds, including raisins and dried cranberries.
“Don’t feel like you have to eat traditional breakfast foods. Eat last night’s leftover pizza with fruit or juice. Make a wrap with a corn or whole-wheat tortilla with hummus, salsa and cheese. Heat leftover rice with beans and salsa,” she said.
Other breakfast suggestions:
- Add fruit, granola, flaxseeds or wheat germ to yogurt.
- Make a meal of cottage cheese, fruit and crackers.
- Pair fruit or yogurt with a whole-grain waffle.
- Have a poached egg over whole-grain toast.
- Add berries and walnuts to oatmeal.
- Spread whole-grain toast with tuna salad.
- Make oatmeal with milk instead of water for more protein.
For those who don’t feel hungry in the morning, Lopinski suggests breaking up breakfast into two smaller portions. Have a piece of fruit early and a hard-boiled egg later in the morning, for example.
“People who routinely eat breakfast have more nutritional quality to their diet,” she said. “And there’s no evidence to suggest that skipping breakfast helps you lose weight.”
Recipes are from Women’s Health magazine.
Sunrise Sandwich with Turkey, Cheddar and Guacamole
1 teaspoon canola or olive oil
Salt and black pepper, to taste
2 ounces smoked turkey breast
1 slice American, cheddar, or pepper Jack cheese
1 thick slice tomato
1 whole-wheat English muffin, split and toasted
1 tablespoon guacamole
Heat oil in small nonstick skillet or saute pan over medium heat until hot. Add egg and gently fry until the white is set but the yolk is still runny, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Place turkey on a plate, top with the cheese, and microwave for 30 to 45 seconds, until the turkey is hot and the cheese is melted.
Place tomato on the bottom half of the English muffin and season with salt and pepper. Top with the turkey and egg. Slather guacamole on the top half of the muffin and crown the sandwich.
Makes 1 serving.
Orient Express Oatmeal
3/4 cup plain instant oatmeal
1 cup (1-percent) milk
1 tablespoon sliced almonds
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon ground flaxseed
1 tablespoon low-fat vanilla yogurt
Mix oats, milk, almonds, ginger, honey and flaxseed in a microwavable bowl. Microwave 2 minutes. Top with yogurt.
Makes 1 serving.
Berry Breakfast Smoothie
1 banana, cut into chunks
1/2 cup fat-free milk (cold in the summer, warm in the winter)
1/4 cup frozen unsweetened blueberries
1/4 cup frozen unsweetened strawberries
1 teaspoon peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon honey
In a blender, combine the banana, milk, blueberries, strawberries, peanut butter and honey. Process about 1 minute, or until it’s the consistency of a thick milkshake.
Makes 1 serving.