Most people agree with mama, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” But who has time to eat breakfast? With today’s busy life-styles, we’re tempted to skimp on breakfast or find excuses to skip it altogether. What a big nutritional mistake.
Here are just a few benefits of eating breakfast:
• Increased concentration. Your brain needs to refuel in the morning for peak performance.
• Improved mood and positive attitude. You won’t feel irritable because you’re hungry
• Work or study more efficiently. You won’t be thinking about your stomach.
• Increased energy/athletic performance. You’ll be fueled instead of running on empty.
• Breakfast eaters tend to be leaner than breakfast skippers. Breakfast skippers burn fewer calories throughout the day which can result in weight gain.
• Improved overall diet. Breakfast eaters’ diets tend to include more fiber, vitamins and minerals, and less fat, saturated fat and cholesterol. Smaller more frequent meals help control weight and keep cholesterol in check.
Still not convinced?
Here are answers to your excuses:
“I don’t have time!”
No excuse. Wake up just 15 minutes earlier and you’ll have time for breakfast at home. Prepare a breakfast-to-go the night before. If you must grab and run, check out the Quick & Health Beginnings ideas on this page.
“I’m not hungry in the morning.”
No excuse. You probably ate too much the night before which can contribute to weight gain. Try portable foods such as bagels or yogurt, and eat within two hours of waking. Drink a refreshing smoothie for a liquid breakfast. If you have to skip any meal, skip dinner.
“I’m on a diet.”
No excuse. You don’t get fat eating breakfast. Skipping breakfast leads to excessive hunger and over eating at night. Breakfast is one of the easiest meals to make healthy. Try skim milk, bran cereal and a banana.
By Sandy Hernandez, MS, RD, Nutrition Services, The Mount Sinai Comprehensive Cancer Center, Miami Beach, Florida.
10 Quick and Healthy Beginnings
1. Low Fat Yogurt - add oats and fruit for a “stir-and-go” breakfast.
2. Banana - wash it down with skim milk.
3. Bagel - lightly spread it with lowfat cream cheese or jelly and drink with Healthy-Request V-8 Juice.
4. Leftover Veggie Pizza - wash it down with orange juice.
5. English Muffin and Orange Juice - from the drive-through window at McDonalds.
6. Pocket - fill a whole wheat pita pocket with fruit and lowfat cottage cheese.
7. Smoothie- pick your favorite fruits and blend them up with skim milk.
8. Breakfast Pizza - smear pizza sauce over a whole grain English muffin and top with tomato sauce, pineapple and lowfat cheese.
9. Cereal To Go - mix your favorite cereal with yogurt so you can eat it on the go.
10. Instant Oatmeal - take it with you and microwave it in the office.
Judy’s passion for cooking began with helping her grandmother make raisin oatmeal for breakfast. From there she earned her first food service job at 15, was accepted to the world famous Culinary Institute of America at 18 (where she graduated second in her class), and went on to the Fachschule Richemont in Switzerland where she focused on pastry arts and baking. But after learning that the quality of a croissant directly varies with how much butter it has, Judy sought to challenge herself by coming up with recipes that were as healthy as they were tasty.
Judy received The Culinary Institute of America’s Pro Chef II certification, the American Culinary Federation Bronze Medal, Gold Medal, and ACF Chef of the Year. Her enthusiasm for eating nutritiously and deliciously leads her to constantly innovate and use the latest in nutritional science to guide her creativity, from putting new twists on fajitas to adapting Italian brownies to include ingredients like toasted nuts and cooked honey. Judy’s publishing company, Food and Health Communications, is dedicated to her vision that everyone can make food that tastes as good as it is for you.