Most experts agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. As the name suggests, you are breaking your fast, or period when you have not been eating. Some people eat at around 6 or 7 pm in the evening and get up about 12 hours later. Skipping breakfast would mean running on an empty fuel tank.
Eating a sugary sweet donut can be worse than eating nothing because it will cause a spike in blood sugar. The spike will last about 30 minutes, temporarily boosting one’s energy. Unfortunately, this spike can often leave you hungrier than before and prone to uncontrollable cravings which can cause you to start packing on the pounds.
The Secret of Healthy Breakfasts
There are a number of things to consider when planning a healthy breakfast. It should have protein in it, and fiber. Both of these will help fill you up. You should also eat “slow carbs” – ones that will not release their energy in one big spike, but gradually over time.
Eggs are an excellent breakfast food as long as no one is allergic. There is about 7 grams of protein for 70 calories in a boiled or poached egg.
A lot of people enjoy breakfast proteins such as bacon and sausage. Just be careful that they don’t have too much hidden sugar in them (such as maple bacon) or too much salt (sodium).
When choosing bread and cereals, opt for whole grains. Avoid white bread and sugary cereals with lots of food coloring. Homemade oatmeal is a great way to start off the day; it is rich in fiber and can be dressed up with cinnamon and fruit.
Fresh fruit can be eaten on its own, or added to oatmeal, made into yogurt parfaits, or added to cereal, pancakes and waffles. Berries are a good choice because they are high in disease-fighting antioxidants. You can use apples for the same reason.
Some people like to start the day with citrus, such as orange juice and grapefruit. Try to use the whole orange to get all of the fiber. Grill the grapefruit with a bit of brown sugar on top for a tasty start to the morning.
Slow carbs take longer to digest and are high in fiber. They release their energy slowly, so they should tide you over until lunchtime. They also make you less prone to cravings because you feel fuller for longer.
Bread choices include whole wheat and any of the 12- or 15-mixed grain breads, which usually have a dense texture and a nutty taste. Cut off the crusts if the children are picky. Use the bread for French toast or a breakfast bread pudding.
Multigrain wraps are ideal for breakfast burritos. You can make them the night before while you are cleaning up after dinner. Wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate overnight. Heat and eat the next morning. For breakfast on the go, wrap in foil before heading out the door.
Pancakes and waffles can be made with whole wheat flour, but they will be denser and absorb more liquid, so adjust your recipes accordingly.
French toast and pancakes can be ideal bread substitutes for a breakfast sandwich such as bacon, ham, cheese, sausage, and so on. You can also fill with berries, cream and Nutella for a tasty treat on the go. Cook your French toast and pancakes in batches and freeze in a zippered storage bag. Take out, heat and eat as needed.
Potatoes in hash brown or home fries can also be a good choice provided you don’t use a lot of oil when frying them.
Use these suggestions to keep the hunger pangs out until lunchtime.