“Rise and Grind” we say, but what about breakfast? I know what it’s like to have a super busy morning. Between getting ready and making sure i’m prepared for the day I sometimes feel rushed. It’s very tempting to just grab a cup of coffee in the morning and run out the door. I’ll admit that this has been me on several occasions and it never ended well! In those times when I would skip breakfast and try to make it to my “early lunch” my stomach would growl at me and all I could do was think about what I was going to eat once I got out of class. I’ve since learned my lesson; and being a dietetics major i’ve learned that breakfast is super important! I believe it sets the tone for the rest of the day. If I eat a well balanced breakfast I’m able to focus more on the tasks before me. So I’m here to tell you, before you jump into your long to do list; you should make time for a healthy breakfast. It has more of an impact than you may know 🙂
Eating breakfast kick starts the metabolism. When we’re sleep our metabolism runs slower and more conservatively than when we are awake. In the morning our bodies need to break out of their fasting period, hence breakfast! In the long run skipping breakfast can lead to weight gain because 1) Your metabolism gets all out of whack and thinks you’re starving yourself; so it starts storing whatever you eat as fat and 2) You may end up overeating later on in the day which can obviously lead to putting on extra pounds.
Keep in mind that your blood sugar is low first thing in the morning, so your body needs to be refueled. Just think, your car needs fuel in order for it to start in the morning or whenever you need to go somewhere. Your body is the same way, it needs fuel to function! Skipping breakfast can leave you feeling tired and unable to concentrate; but including a nutritious breakfast can help with alertness and concentration. Research has even shown that students who include breakfast have improved grades and cognitive performance. I don’t know about you, but I need all the focus I can get! Student or non-student breakfast plays a significant role in getting your brain going in the morning! That’s why it’s the most important meal of the day! Make it good and make it healthy 🙂
What Should You Include In a Nutritious Breakfast?
Healthy Breakfast Ideas
- Spice up oatmeal by adding a variety of dried fruit and fresh fruits. Berries and bananas are my favorite! Also try adding almond or peanut butter to oatmeal for extra yumminess and protein!
- Fresh fruits are generally best, because if you were to try to consume the same volume of dried fruits you’d be consuming significantly more sugar.
- Mix fresh fruit, dried fruit , and nuts into a bowl of fat free vanilla greek yogurt.
- Go easy when adding pecans, walnuts, or almonds. Although they are an excellent source of protein and good fat, eating too many can lead to weight gain in the long run. When using them as a mix in, try to use just enough to fit in the palm of your hand.
- Quinoa (seed/ “grain” that packs alot of protein) can be enjoyed for breakfast alone or by adding fresh fruit!
- Experiment with different breakfast sandwiches! Spread avocado, a good source of omega-3, on toast and layer with scrambled egg whites, sauteed veggies, and greens for something savory! Also try toasting a whole grain english muffin with ham and swiss! One of my favorites!
- Have a little extra time in the morning? Make a omelette loaded with veggies!
- Go easy on the oil when sauteing.
- If cholesterol is a concern you can always go for egg whites or just decrease the ratio of whole eggs to egg whites. Just keep in mind that the egg yolks have alot of great nutrients 🙂
- If you’re craving pancakes or waffles try drizzling whole grain toast with a little honey and layer with fruit. Toast with peanut butter and fruit is always goods too!
- Need something you can just grab and go! Whip up a smoothie! Mango, pineapple, banana, and spinach are my favorite additions plus they’re a good source of fiber.
- Make trail mix in advance as another grab and go option! Toasted Oats + Toasted Coconut + Almonds + Dried Fruit is an excellent combo of protein, carb, fat, and fiber!
- Remember Moderation! I’d suggest not adding any additional oil when toasting nor any additional sugars or syrups.
- Then there’s always the standard cereal and milk. It doesn’t have to be boring though…add mix ins! One of my favorite combinations is plain cheerios + coconut + fresh blueberries + pecans. It tastes just like a blueberry pancake!