Let’s talk breakfast! Personally, it’s my favorite meal. It can really get your day started off right, or wrong, but lets’ focus on right. A simple way to make sure you’re getting a well-balanced and nutritious breakfast is to aim for 3 out of the 5 food groups. Specifically, make sure you are getting one from each of the fruits and/or veggies, protein, and whole grains. You could certainly add in some healthy fat and dairy, but when you get at least the previous 3, you are setting yourself up for a successful start. Here’s why.
While you sleep, your body breaks down stored sugar to help your brain and heart continue to work. When you wake, it’s a good idea to provide your body with some source of carbohydrate that it can use for sugar, mainly whole grains and/ or fruit. Both of these have fiber when you eat the least processed versions, think steel cut oatmeal with blueberries, and the fiber slows down digestion, keeping blood sugars from rising too quickly, while keeping your digestive tract healthy. Along with the quick energy from carbs, your body could use some protein to help it keep going for longer. If you have chosen whole grains, you will get some protein there, but adding in some non-fat Greek yogurt, an egg, or a handful of almonds will keep you fuller, longer.
Use these ideas to help make sure you are getting at least 3 out of 5 at breakfast time.
- Breakfast burrito: 1 egg plus 1 egg white scrambled with ½ c spinach, 1 small whole wheat tortilla, 1 tablespoon shredded cheese, and salsa
- Breakfast parfait: 1 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt, ¾ cup fresh berries, ½ cup low sugar, whole grain cereal
- Cinnamon Oatmeal- 1 cup cooked steel cut oatmeal, 1 tablespoon peanut butter stirred into warm oatmeal, ½ a banana, cut up, and sprinkles of cinnamon