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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Lifestyle: The Importance of Eating Breakfast

[For balanced breakfast recipes, see these recipes: Soyrizo Scramble and Steel Cut Oats]

So, unless you have completely ignored all heath and nutrition advice for the last several years, chances are you've heard or read at some point that you really, truly, ought to be eating breakfast. Old hat, right? Maybe even dead horse, and yet, for some reason, so many Americans still skip their breakfasts.

Now, let's not mistake breakfast for a high-calorie, low-nutrition, high-sugar "snack" scarfed down during the commute: a doughnut and latte is absolutely not a good breakfast. If you need something quick, you'll save time, money, and calories by grabbing a Clif bar and a cup of coffee from your eco-friendly French Press....or at least from the old percolator. After all, a quick, nutritious breakfast is better than nothing, but a balanced breakfast is better than anything.

A balanced breakfast will help you wake up, concentrate, eat less throughout the day, lose weight, will give you more strength and endurance, will lower your cholesterol and will improve your memory. As a fairly young person with a heinous memory, that last benefit caught my eye and perked my ears more than the others on the list. Of course I've eaten a balanced breakfast nearly every day since I started eating for an anti-anxiety lifestyle, and I do think my memory has improved...I just had no idea the two could be linked.

But how do you create a balanced breakfast?
A balanced breakfast will contain a whole grain, a fruit or vegetable, a source of protein (preferably non-meat), and if you're me, a cup of coffee. There are various ways to make this combination, so there's no need to get bored with it. I mentioned a good quick breakfast earlier - a Clif bar and a cup of coffee. If you wanted to balance this breakfast, grab a whole fruit on the way out the door. A handful of berries is a great superfood, or you can go with the most portable fruit; a banana. Having a few sandwich bags of sliced apples in the fridge can be very helpful for packing lunches or breakfasts on the go during the week.

If you have a little more time, you can stir up some steel cut oats for breakfast. Add some nuts for omega-3's, some fruit and a cup of almond or soy milk, and you'll be going strong for hours! You can also have an egg, a piece of whole wheat toast, and a glass of Simply Juice, or a Greek yogurt with a serving of blueberries and a bran muffin. A great breakfast burrito can be made from an egg, a sprinkle of cheese, some avocado and salsa on a whole wheat tortilla, sour cream optional.

Generally, it's a very good idea to have a snack mid morning. Walnuts or almonds are delicious and full of good things...get some that are roasted and unsalted, and eat just a small handful. Balancing the rest of your meals is very important, but it's breakfast that sets you up for successful eating the rest of the day. Remember, in the morning, it's probably been about 10 hours since your last meal, maybe more. Your body is "running on empty", and it needs that fresh burst of fuel and energy to have a successful day!

If you are trying to lose weight, breakfast is integral. It will keep you from eating too many calories during the rest of the day and will  give your metabolism the kick-start that it needs!  It's worth noting that eating a significant lean protein at breakfast is associated with less hunger throughout the day, and more energy.

So eat breakfast, live a balanced lifestyle, and enjoy your health!

-The Calm Cook

2 comments:

  1. Love it

    btw, bird nest (www.geocities.jp/hongkong_bird_nest/index_e.htm) is made up of about 58% soluable proteins...the highest amoung all food and even synetic protein powders

    it greatly increase tissue regeneration

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very interesting! Thanks for the link!

    ReplyDelete