Breakfast of Champions?

You’ve heard it time and time again: breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  You already know that it helps to curb overeating during the rest of the day and that people who eat breakfast regularly are less likely to be overweight than their breakfast-skipping counterparts (or at least you do now).  So, why are you still skimping on that morning meal?  For many of us, it comes down to the morning rush.  Here’s how to get your day – and metabolism – off to a great start!

Oatmeal and Fruit

Stop making excuses. Coffee does not count as breakfast! Sure, you have to leave early to beat traffic or class starts at 8 AM on the dot.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t have breakfast while sitting in a traffic jam or at your desk, especially if you try some of the portable breakfast ideas below. The ideas below take no more than ten minutes to put together, and will give you more energy the ten minutes of “sleep” you get after slamming the snooze button (again).

Think outside the “box.”  The cereal box, that is. While a bowl of cereal can be nutritious and a great part of a balanced breakfast, it’s not exactly conducive to eating on the go. (Think: sloshing milk all over your car during your morning commute.)  Make breakfast portable! Try one of these ideas:

  • Breakfast burrito:

Whole-wheat tortilla + scrambled egg + reduced-fat cheese + salsa = brain food! Add a small banana or apple and you’re golden.

  • Toaster waffle sandwich:

2 whole-wheat waffles + 2 Tbs peanut butter + banana slices = portable monkey bait.

  • Smoothies:

Frozen fruit + low fat milk/yogurt + blender = liquid breakfast. Toss into a lidded travel cup with a straw and grab a handful of almonds to round it out.

  • Oatmeal:

Skip the processed, flavored kind and spice up your own plain bowl with cinnamon or fruit.  A little trick I learned: oatmeal in the coffee mug is very convenient for taking bites at the red lights, and the cup holders also make for hands-free stabilization.

Think beyond the pizza box too.  The healthy dinner you made a couple nights ago is healthy no matter when you eat it.  That whole-wheat peanut noodle recipe you’ve just mastered probably tastes great cold!

Plan ahead. No time to actually scramble eggs?  Try scrambling the night before and keeping them in the fridge.  A few seconds in the microwave ought to do the trick when you’re ready to put it in your burrito.  In the same vein, making hard-boiled eggs, muffins or quick-breads ahead of time can make breakfast for the next few days a snap.  Try fixing a whole pot of oatmeal one night and heating only the portion you need for breakfast for the next few days. Make sure to stock up on ingredients you need to build a healthy breakfast on the go.

With a little creativity and some planning ahead, breakfast can be a daily occurrence.  Who knows?  You might stop hitting that snooze button just because you are so excited about your planned meal.  Tell us what you do to fuel up for your day!

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