Written by Lifestyle Contributor, Andrea Merrill
Most mornings I wake up with a growling stomach, and eating breakfast is one of the first things I do. I know that not everyone is like me, but when I set out to started making small but lasting healthy changes, breakfast seemed like the logical place to start.
Breakfast is an opportunity to put great nutrients in our body first thing in the morning that will give us energy! Breakfast also sets our tastebuds and blood sugar up for either a roller coaster ride of fluctuation, or a steady state void of crazy cravings. When we start with sugary things, we automatically want more sugar. The average American breakfast tends to be heavy on simple carbs – think cereal, bagels, pastries, waffles and pancakes. Even those “healthy” granola bars we grab and eat in the car aren’t really that healthy. Check the sugar content on that label. In my opinion, if it’s over 6 grams it’s too much! Blood sugar is controlled largely by the simple carbs that enter our blood stream. Simple carbohydrates break down quickly, and those sugars get released into our bloodstream. This is great when we need a burst of energy to do something physically taxing, but not so helpful when we are sitting at a desk or in a car. Eating complex carbs combined with protein will slow the sugar absorption, creating less cravings later that day. That combination will also keep us satisfied longer (aka: less calories going in!).
I made breakfast my first change because, if I could reign in my mornings, it would set me up for success later on. Every decision we make throughout the day has the ability to help us or hurt us, so I’d prefer to get off on the right foot!
Lack of time is often the argument I hear when I challenge clients to start making better choices in the morning. I get that. We are all rushed to get out the door and get on with our day, but making a healthy breakfast for yourself doesn’t have to take up a lot of time. Prep a smoothie the night before, or throw an egg in a bowl and microwave it. Before you know it, this will become a habit that just fits right into your morning routine.
You could also try this super easy, take it to-go recipe that will give you a nice blend of protein, complex carbs, nutrition and taste. You can make up a big batch of oatmeal and peach purée all at once and have enough for the week, or even put together a few mason jars in advance for a grab-and-go breakfast.
Easy Mason Jar Breakfast
1/4 cup cooked oatmeal, cooled (I used Steel Cut oats)
1 small container of plain greek yogurt
1 peach (or substitute your favorite fruit)
cinnamon, to taste
stevia or raw honey, to taste
1. In a blender, purée fruit, cinnamon and stevia or honey
2. In mason jar layer a scoop or two of oatmeal, then greek yogurt, then fruit purée. Repeat as many times as you’d like to
3. Eat right away or refrigerate to enjoy later!