Healthy Breakfast & Snack – Nutrition for a Champion

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Ever heard these sayings, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” “The breakfast of champions,” “Have you had your Wheaties today?” Did you know that breakfast was named for exactly what the name entails- you are breaking a fast?Studies have shown over and over again that individuals who eat breakfast perform better at work, school, and other activities that require concentration or thought. Your brain needs good fuel to function, and food provides the fuel for it to function- it’s that simple.

It doesn’t stop with breakfast either, mini-meals and snacks should make up your entire waking hour’s schedule. Doing this helps to keep blood sugar levels even, resulting in more consistent energy, moods, and concentration and consistently shows a better sense of health and well-being. Without proper, frequent nutrition individuals tend to experience middle of the day slumps in work performance, less than optimal performance during exercise or sport practice sessions, lethargy, irritability and tend to be less rational than a regularly fed person. Unfortunately this not only effects the individual, but more often than not co-workers, family members and friends.

Often sited reasons for skipping feedings include too tired in the morning to eat, not hungry, lack of time, not sure what to eat, or they are saving all their calories for that one great evening meal- one of the worst ideas yet. Too often these excuses lead to poor food choices later in the day, too many calories consumed and an unpleasant feeling of an overfull, gorged gut. Our bodies are designed to eat every 2-3 hours, just like a newborn baby. You wouldn’t make an excuse for a baby to miss a meal, nor should you make and excuse for yourself. There are plenty of simple solutions for breakfast, snacks and mini-meals.

Below is a list of suggestions for quick and easy breakfasts, snacks, as well as several ideas for replacement options to make meals more nutritious, less fattening, plus lower in sodium and refined products (white flour and sugar). Make a shopping list and start planning for tomorrow’s breakfast and snacks.

BREAKFAST IDEAS: Quick and easy options

  • Fresh seasonal fruit- largest selection, most common in produce section
  • Organic Yogurt with ¼ cup of Kashi cereal or organic granola
  • Rice Cakes with nut butters, 100% fruit jam, or applesauce
  • Whole Grain Cereal with 1 cup non-fat, low fat milk
  • Whole Grain Toast with nut butters or 100% fruit jam
  • Small Odwalla or Naked Juice with ½ bran muffin
  • Instant Organic Oatmeal served with chopped fruit, raisins or berries, nuts or seeds, or dried fruit
  • Frozen Whole Grain Waffles or Pancakes with fresh or frozen fruit
  • Smoothie (yogurt, fruit, non fat, soy or rice milk)
  • Hard Boiled Egg with whole grain toast
  • Luna, Cliff, Lara, or other organic, whole grain meal replacement bar
  • 1 cup of soup or leftovers

EASY SNACKS: between meal comforts

  • Fruit
  • Smoothie
  • ¼ cup of nuts or seeds
  • Dried Fruit
  • Fruit Leather
  • Apple Sauce (unsweetened)
  • Raw Vegetables with 2 Tablespoons of hummus
  • Celery stuffed with peanut butter
  • ½ of sandwich
  • Soup (1 cup)
  • Frozen 100% juice popsicle
  • Organic popcorn
  • Yogurt
  • Whole grain crackers with low fat cheese
  • Rice cakes with nut butters, applesauce and a sprinkle of cinnamon
  • Cereal
  • Granola Bars
  • Baked Corn Chips & Salsa
  • Trail Mix (1/2 cup)
  • Hard Boiled Egg