Don’t Skip Out on Breakfast
For some reason, and as often as we read, hear, and even say, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” the idea is still met with skepticism. Breakfast continues to score pretty low on many people’s priority list.
It’s normal. We’ve become a sleep deprived society, thanks, in large part, to poor sleep hygiene, more work demands to complete in less time, and the enticing world of electronics. Naturally, skipping out on breakfast to sleep in an extra fifteen minutes is too tempting.
Moreover, with the focus on getting out of the house (or getting the kids out of the house), packing lunches, making sure you’ve got your presentation for work ready, among the thousands of things that steamroll us in the morning, life can distract from the recognition of hunger. Many clients tell me they are not hungry in the morning. Breakfast can become difficult.
The biological reality is that, however, we need breakfast. Our bodies have been “fasting” for the last seven hours and need nourishment. Our brains need nourishment to work. To kick start our brain power, breakfasts should have fat (nuts, seeds, avocadoes, whole eggs), protein (fatty fish, nuts, dairy products, lean meats), and carbs (whole-grain breads, cereals, steel cut oats, quinoa).
We’re not magical beings, though. And mornings will, most likely, always be busy. Just as you schedule meetings and doctor’s appointments, why not find a way to schedule breakfast?
Here are four easy-to-follow tips to make time for the most important meal of the day.
- Who says breakfast has to be … breakfast? Leftovers are a hit in my house for breakfast. Heat up last night’s lasagna, or a bowl of soup for the morning. It’s a great way to use up leftovers and save time (brain time – what’s for breakfast, and prep time).
- Plan ahead. Try some easy, fast-and-friendly recipes that you can prepare ahead of time.
- Overnight oats can be prepared the night before. In the morning, add cut-up fruit and nuts for a quick, nourishing breakfast. Or go instant! (Not the pre-packaged kind). Buy instant oats. For every tablespoon, add a half a cup of water or milk, a pinch of salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Serve with cut up fruit and a drizzle of honey. Five minutes!
- Make your favorite muffins (pumpkin, pear oatmeal, strawberry bran). Muffins from the store are basically cupcakes. Homemade muffins can use ½ the amount of sugar called for in the recipe and still pack that craved-for-sweet flavor without losing nutritional value.
- Wrap up leftovers (black beans, chicken, cheeses and more) in a whole-wheat tortilla for a yummy breakfast burrito.
- Eat … later. Instead of eating in the midst of the morning flurry, plan to get to work fifteen minutes earlier and enjoy your breakfast there. Or, after the kids are out, sit down at the table, be mindful of the food you are putting into your mouth. Ten minutes of quiet eating can fill more than your stomach. It can fill your soul.
- Learn to listen to your body and its cues. With so many distractions, we often put our biological needs last. STOP. Stop. Take the time to listen and pay attention. Observe. Proceed.
September is officially #BetterBreakfastMonth. Starting in World War I, the US Government urged citizens to eat a better breakfast. The need to stop and consider our breakfast habits holds true eve more today. Nourishing your body after a night is essential to start the day right.