A entire bunch of Practical Tips and Ideas
We've all read the reports noted in publications, we have been lectured by our medical professionals and informed so by our mothers - "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day". And yet, somehow, we either don't seem to find the time to eat breakfast, or don't bother eating a wholesome one.
- Keep it simple. Do not come up with fancy elaborate thoughts about how you are going to prepare breakfast that morning. Chances are you'll be running late or in a rush and simply won't have the time to follow through.
- Prepare the night before - Whatever preparations might be necessary, be sure to do them the night before. You don't want to make breakfast another thing on your "to-do" list in the morning because it will probably be one of the first things you drop when you find yourself short on time .
- Invest in ziploc bags - They're great for avoiding mess. Also find yourself a favorite "to go" cup which you'll you'll look forward to using on a regular basis.
- Choose complex carbohydrates over simple carbohydrates (ie full grains over white flour) - they provide you with added nutrition and stay in your stomach longer, extending that "full feeling" and keeping you feeling energized all day long
- Choose foods with protein - while carbohydrates get burned up quickly, proteins take a long time to break down and are a necessary part of your diet
- Avoid fatty foods - there's no reason to have a breakfast heavy in fats, it will simply weigh you down
- Get creative - Breakfast is the best meal of the day. Have fun with it!!!
- A latte/ cup of milk (in a to-go cup) with an entire grain breakfast bar. The milk in your latte is an excellent source of protein, and breakfast bars are agreat source of complex carbohydrates. Try Nutri-grain, Nature's Valley or Fig Newton.
- A milk based fruit smoothie. Make sure to prepare all your ingredients in the blender the night before so that the only thing you have left to do in the morning is add ice cubes, press SSHHZZ and pour. Milk and yogurt make great bases because they're rich in protein. Feel free to mix in whatever fruit you like depending on your mood, the season, or whatever you find in your fridge!
- Trail Mix - Try making your own trail mix. Combine together full grain cereal, dried fruit and nuts. I like mixing Whole Wheat Chex with Craisins and almonds, or honey and full wheat pretzels with dates and walnuts. Sometimes I add a few dark chocolate squares to the mix too - (hey say chocolate's antioxidant rich)!
- Yogurt and Granola - You can either buy them prepackaged in the dairy section of your supermarket, or if your looking to save money, prepare a whole bunch of Ziploc bags with granola and stock up on a few of your favorite yogurts whenever they go on sale. Then just grab the granola, the yogurt and a plastic spoon, and you're all set to go!
5. Try full rice cakes with nut butter and jelly - (Note - this is not the ideal option if you are trying to lose weight however it is healthy). Spread a thin layer of cashew butter or almond butter (they're lower in added sugars than peanut butter) over an entire grain rice cake, and combine it with a layer of your favorite flavor 100% fruit jelly (try St. darfours). Make one more sandwich and pack them up in a Ziploc bag. When you're ready to eat, simply untwist for 4 delicious, balanced (and colorful) breakfast treats!
6. Bring cheese and crackers. Make your own cute little cheese sandwiches by packing up a bunch of complete grain crackers in a Ziploc bag (try Melba rounds), sliced cucumber rounds in another Ziploc bag (you don't want them to make your crackers soggy) and bring along a small container of cottage cheese. If you have the time at work, you can make proper sandwiches. Otherwise, try dipping the crackers in the cheese while driving!
7. Mix up a bowl of berries and oatmeal. I happen to not like instant oatmeal, I much prefer total oats, but don't have time to make them in the morning. Instead, I like to cook up a pot of full oats and milk the night before (milk is an important source of protein) and flavor the mixture with fresh fruit (pears, peaches or blueberries), a Tbs of sugar in the raw, ¼ tsp salt and half a tsp vanilla or cinnamon (depending on my mood). Simply heat up the mixture in the microwave the next morning, and place it in an insulated coffee cup where it will stay warm until you're ready to eat it! This breakfast is great because it's made of complex carbohydrates and it's full of solueable fiber, protein and antioxidants (depending on the fruit you choose).
8. Omelet Sandwich - Using a tsp of olive oil, fry up a handful of veges (I like red pepper and mushrooms). Add 2 eggs (or an egg and 2 egg whites if you're watching your weight or cholesterol) and fry to make an omelet. Prepare a complete wheat pita (they're fairly low in calories) with a layer of lettuce and 2 freshly sliced tomatoes. Fold the omelet into the pita pocket to fit, and you have a hearty, protein and vegetable rich breakfast that will keep you full well into lunchtime!
9.Meal replacement - There are plenty of delicious, vitamin rich, meal replacements out there for those of you who simply can't be bothered at all. Try Boost, or Rice'n Shine (see side link to order) for a fiber and vitamin rich alternative.
10. Latte and a Muffin - I'm a cake baker and eater. I love the stuff, and I see no reason to give it up. I simply bake recipes that match my healthier lifestyle. At the beginning of the month, I like baking a couple batches of honey bran muffins or complete grain muffins. I freeze them in individual Ziploc bags, and take one out the night before to defrost in the fridge. I then grab it along with my coffee mug on my way out the door - it's my frugal method of a daily self pampering.
Hope you found something that appeals to your lifestyle from the concepts listed above. Please feel free to contribute any thoughts, comments or some of your own favorite breakfast ideas.