Good morning, y’all! And a big, fat, HAPPY REGISTERED DIETITIAN DAY to you and you and you! And here’s a little bit of some beautiful music to make those good feelings come alive.
So when you wake up in the morning, or more like, tumble out of your bed and stumble to the kitchen (or maybe this is just what I do), what’s the first thing you reach for? Is it that pot of joe? Your cereal bowl? Energy drink? A granola bar or piece of fruit? We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and guess what? It is. Even if you’re not hungry, eating a little bit of something helps to light your fire…errrm, furnace, if you will…and gets your metabolism going. Not breaking the fast in the morning keeps our body in a semi-starvation mode, a sneaky little biological response our body does to help us survive. This means that when we skip breakfast, our bodies hold on to the energy stores (fat) it already has to keep our muscles moving, heart beating, and mind working as it should, even though we don’t give it energy when we wake up. That’s pretty smart of it, huh?
Now for the clincher: there are tons of reasons why we do not always eat breakfast. I like to call them Breakfast Pet Peeves and maybe some of these sound familiar to you:
BREAKFAST PET PEEVES
“I’m not hungry.”
“I don’t have breakfast foods in the house.”
“There’s no time in the morning to eat breakfast or prepare it, for that matter.”
“Breakfast foods? Ewww, I don’t like them!”
“The morning is insane! My kids are insane, and YOU’RE insane for wanting me to eat breakfast!”
I know that I have fallen victim to some of these reasons, too, so you are not alone. The good thing is, however, is that there are realistic solutions to all of these problems with breakfast. My biggest breakfast pet peeve is not being hungry in the morning. However, I know that if I go without, I will be absolutely FAMISHED within 4 hours and then proceed to consume everything that happens to cross my path. This means the friendly donut that calls out to me, the slab of coffee cake in the break room that tells me it wants to be in mah belly, and the candy bar in the vending machine that seems to grow legs and walk into my eager little hand.
Sound familiar, anyone?
There are a few solutions to this problem. One is to think about what you ate the night before. Did you eat a lot right before you went to bed? Maybe sticking to a smaller snack when eating close to bedtime is a good solution for you. Alas, some people just aren’t hungry in the morning, regardless of what they ate, or didn’t eat, the night before. Well, you are in luck my friends, because eating breakfast does not mean eating something right as your feet hit the floor. The key is to eat something within 2 hours of waking up, or even split your breakfast up into two parts. Drink a glass of low-fat milk before racing out the door and then eat a banana and a granola bar with 3+ grams of fiber once you get to your destination. Some more portable breakfast components include baggies of cereal (with 3+ grams fiber!), pieces of fruit, yogurt, a tupperware of last night’s pasta dinner – whatever you will tolerate in the morning. Which brings us to another solution of these breakfast pet peeves. Breakfast foods don’t need to be “breakfast foods”. So go ahead and eat leftovers for breakfast! The key is to have breakfast contain at least three food groups:
This means a dairy with a fruit and grain, or a protein with a grain and dairy, etc. I’m wishing right about now that I had a handout of breakfast ideas to post along with this blog post, but I think this is something that could be done in the near future. So check back soon, and there just may be some fun lil handouts waiting for you!
Lastly, we have our last breakfast pet peeve to tackle: the T-word.
We’re always talking about how we wish there was more of it, there’s not enough of it, and how it goes by too fast. Well, I can’t give you more time (I wish I could, I really do), but I can help you save time in the morning when you want to eat breakfast but the kids are screaming or you’re later than you’ve ever been in your life or any other reason why time seems to slip away. One thing I like to do to save time is to actually set out everything you will need to eat a balanced breakfast the night before. Everything. This means, for example:
Cereal in the bowl covered with plastic wrap
…all laid out at your kitchen table, waiting for you, and happy to see you when you wake up. You could even go so far as to pour the milk that you will drink in the morning into a glass and cover that with plastic wrap and place it in your fridge. This might sound silly at first, and you may think, “Really? It takes 5 seconds to pour milk into a glass!”, and yes, this is true. It does not take a long time to pour milk. BUT! I challenge you to try this for a few days and see if it works. Most times it does because everything is literally right there that you need to eat a balanced breakfast.
What do YOU do to make time for breakfast? Is there an unusual food that is your favorite to eat for breakfast? Got any good ideas for breakfast-y deliciousness? Post ’em! I’d love to hear what you have to say!