Start the day off right

What is your typical morning like?  You wake up a few minutes too late, spend a few too many minutes in the shower, and end up with little to no time for breakfast.  Maybe you make time for a bagel with cream cheese (empty carbs and fat), or an Egg Mcmuffin (empty carbs, cholesterol, and fat), or a pastry (empty carbs and sugar).  As delectable as you may find these options, they aren’t the best way to start your day. 

Starting your day with a poor breakfast, or in many cases, no breakfast at all puts your blood-sugar level dangerously low.  What that means is, 4 hours into your day you need an instant sugar fix which will typically come in the form of a donut or pastry or some other unhealthy choice.

Not to mention, getting a healthy meal in your stomach first thing in the morning is a great way to jump start your metabolism for the day.  A higher metabolism means your body will burn more calories at rest, while you are sitting there typing at your desk.  An elevated metabolism that is sustained at high levels is key to weight loss.

The 10 options below are just a few ideas, but there are obviously many more to choose from.  Aim for high protein without the saturated fats.  Look for whole-grain over white breads.  Look for low-fat, low sugar, and high in fiber.

Egg white and turkey breast omelette.  High in protein, low in fat.  Add some vegetables for some extra nutritional value.

Fresh berries, yogurt, granola.  Opt for low-fat yogurt over non-fat (non-fat often makes up for its lack of flavor with sugar).  Soy yogurt is another great option.  Cut up some berries, or other fruit and add some granola cereal, like Kashi Golean Crunch.

Grapefruit with whole-wheat toast & almond butter. Add a little sugar on top of the grapefruit, and it’s actually pretty good. The almond butter is healthier than peanut-butter, with lots of good protein to fill you up.

Fresh fruit salad. Cut up some apples, melons, berries, oranges, pears, bananas, grapes … any or all or whatever your favorite fruits are. Add a little bit of lime or lemon juice. Perfect.

Protein shake with extras. I use soy protein powder, but whey works well too. Blend up with low-fat milk or soy milk, some frozen blueberries, and perhaps some almond butter or oatmeal. That may sound weird, but it’s actually pretty good, and pretty filling. A little ground flax seed works well too.

Eggs with peppers. I’m not a fan of eggs, but many people love them. Egg whites are healthier than whole eggs. Scramble with a little olive oil, red and green bell peppers, maybe broccoli, onions, black pepper. Goes well with whole-wheat toast.

Cottage cheese and fruit. Get low-fat cottage cheese. Add any kind of fruit. Apples, citrus, berries.

Oatmeal, flaxseed, blueberries & almonds. To me, this is the perfect breakfast. Steel-cut oatmeal is probably the healthier choice, but if you are in a hurry, the instant kind will do fine (it doesn’t have as much fiber, but the other ingredients make up for that). After microwaving the oatmeal, add ground flaxseed, frozen blueberries, sliced almonds. You can add a little cinnamon and honey (not a lot) if you’re using the non-instant oatmeal. That’s four power foods, full of fiber and nutrients and protein and good fats, with only a couple of minutes of prep time. And very tasty!

Kashi Golean Crunch. Actually, any whole-grain, high-fiber cereal is a good choice, but I mention this particular one because it’s a favorite of mine. It has a high amount of protein and fiber, low sugar. Add low-fat milk or soy milk (which has 1/3 the saturated fat of 1% milk), perhaps some berries if you like.

Gibb’s muffins & jam. While most muffins you buy at a coffee shop or grocery store are just empty carbs with lots of fat (basically, cake), this is a delicious recipe with lots of fiber and nutrition. (Note: the recipe in the link doesn’t mention it, but it’s actually a recipe from Simplify Your Life by Elaine St. James — it’s her husband Gibbs’ recipe). Bake them the night before, and they’re perfect in the morning (and for days to come). A little honey or jam makes them perfect.

How do you make time?  Get yourself up 15 minutes earlier so you can start your day off right.  A small price to pay for starting the day out on a healthy foot.



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