Back to Breakfast Basics
| Posted On Nov 13, 2018 | By: Marlene O'Donnell, RD
Many people avoid eating breakfast, explaining “I don’t have time in the morning” or “I want more sleep” or “I’m not hungry.” But did you know that eating breakfast may help you feel better, improve your mood and increase your energy? According the National Registry of Weight, among individuals that have lost 30lbs. and have kept it off for more than a year, 78% of them eat breakfast daily. Breakfast may help with weight loss by preventing you to overeat at other times of the day, while skipping breakfast is linked to early stages of hardening and narrowing of arteries, higher blood pressure and higher fasting blood sugars.
Nutritionist Adele Davis in the 1960’s suggested people should eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper. It’s good advice. You may want to experiment with eating more in the morning and less at night for 1 week and evaluate how you feel.
So how do you bring breakfast back into your routine? The Back to Breakfast Basics tips below should give you and your family some new ideas to start your day and boost your health.
A simple equation for a nutritious breakfast is Protein (P) + Grain (G) + Fruit (F). The protein foods – which include eggs, peanut butter, nonfat milk, yogurt, hummus, and nuts – will help you feel full and build and repair muscles. Grains or starches, which include, oatmeal, whole grain bread, waffles and high fiber cereals, will provide energy, fiber and stabilize blood sugar. Whole fruits like oranges, blueberries, strawberries and apples will provide energy, hydration, and vitamins and minerals.
Energy boosting breakfast choices
- Whole wheat English muffin or toast with 1-2 Tbsp natural peanut butter and fresh fruit
- Trail mix
- ¼ – ½ cup of unsalted almonds and walnuts and 1 -2 Tbsp raisins and dried cranberries
- Overnight oatmeal: ½ cup oatmeal, ½ cup skim milk and ½ cup yogurt, 1 Tbsp chopped walnuts, 1 cup fresh fruit. Refrigerate overnight and enjoy in the morning.
- Sweet Potato: Cook 1 medium sweet potato for about 10 minutes in the microwave. While the potato is cooking, heat in a sauce pan ¼ cup walnuts and add cinnamon, nutmeg and a pinch of salt and pepper. Then pour over the cooked sweet potato. This is a great way to add some vegetables to your diet. (Hint: an apple would be a great ending for this meal!)
- High fiber cereal: any cereal that is greater than 5 grams fiber per serving works well. Add 1-2 Tbsp of ground flaxseed and fresh fruit.
- Smoothie: Mix in a blender 1-2 Tbsp of protein powder, 1 cup fresh or frozen fruit, ½ frozen spinach or kale, ½ cup almond or cow or soy milk, and lots of ice
- Egg muffin in a tin: Mix eggs with onions, peppers and shredded cheese. Pour in a muffin tin ½ full. Bake for 20 minutes. Make a whole batch on the weekends and freeze. When ready to eat, place in the microwave and enjoy with a piece of fresh fruit.
- Greek Yogurt with slivered almonds or chopped walnuts and fruit
- Breakfast burrito: 1-2 scrambled eggs with shredded cheese, peppers, onions, beans, and salsa on a flour tortilla
- High protein pancake with yogurt, fruit
- Low fat cottage cheese, 4-6 whole wheat crackers, fruit
- Hummus on a whole wheat pita pocket, fruit
To Go Breakfast Choices
- At your drive through restaurant select an English muffin or a wrap with egg and cheese and choose skim milk for a beverage.
- At your office bring a box of cereal, fruit and skim milk. If you have a toaster in your office, try an English muffin and natural peanut butter. Experiment with a high protein bar (10-15 grams of protein per serving) and a piece of fruit. These can provide some great breakfast choices for the week.
- Frozen breakfast meals may be another alternative. Select brands that have 500-600 mg of sodium per serving, higher fiber and less fat. There are many unhealthy choices available, so it is important to read food labels. Some good choices include: flatbread breakfast egg sandwich, whole grain waffles, whole grain breakfast bowls, French toast and pancakes. Don’t forget to add a piece of fruit!
So remember: Protein (P) + Grain (G) + Fruit (F) is the healthy breakfast equation that will help you start your day with more energy and focus. To assist you with your food choices and offer some ideas for healthier eating, make an appointment with an Atrius Health nutritionist by calling us at 617-629-6444.
About Marlene O'Donnell, RD
Marlene O’Donnell is a registered nutritionist and certified diabetes educator with over 25 years’ experience helping people develop healthy eating habits and lifestyles. With a master’s degree in nutrition from Boston University, she has a passionate interest in diabetes, weight management, and cardiovascular health. In her spare time, she likes to spend time with her large extended family and participate in running, swimming and cycling.