Regardless of whether you spend your days climbing mountains, working in an office or watching your kids, you want to make sure that you have enough energy at the end of the day to enjoy your favorite leisure activities. Needlepoint, movie-watching, wood-working projects and online casino cash slots gaming all require concentration and focus.
To make sure that you’re in the best physical and mental state throughout the day and evening hours, start the day off right with a better breakfast. Nutritionists and health professionals have been telling us for over a century that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A good breakfast fuels our bodies for the tasks ahead, both those that are physically exerting and mentally taxing.
Take the opportunity this September to set yourself on the path to a better breakfast for your morning start-up.
September was designated as Better Breakfast Month in 1951 by the Cereal Institute though the government and health professionals had been extolling the virtues of a good breakfast since World War I.
The campaign to encourage good breakfast habits ramped up during World War II and by the early ‘50s, it was decided that September, the month when children go back to school, would be the perfect time to promote the importance of starting the day off right.
Several studies suggest that eating breakfast improves memory, improves alertness, improves concentration, enhances problem-solving abilities and enhances one’s overall mood.
In addition, people who eat a proper breakfast have lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, have lower incidences of diabetes, have less heart disease and are less likely to be overweight. Breakfast kick-starts the metabolism which helps to burn calories throughout the day.
Researchers note that it’s hard to determine if people who eat a good breakfast enjoy these benefits because, overall, they have a healthier lifestyle or if it’s the breakfast itself that promotes these benefits.
What is known is that skipping breakfast keeps your blood sugar – which dipped during the time that you were sleeping -- low during the first part of the day. That, in turn, causes your energy level to plummet which means that you may be more likely to overeat later in the day.
A Good Breakfast
For a complete breakfast you should make sure that there are some of all the major food groups on your plate – dairy, fat, carbohydrates and protein. You only need a little bit of fat – perhaps a bit of butter on your toast or some oil in the frying pan when frying your eggs.
Fat is a source of essential fatty acids, and helps the body absorb vitamins A, D and E. The body cannot produce fatty acids by itself.
Protein and carbohydrates work together to stabilize blood sugar. They are most effective when eaten together.
Putting together a healthy breakfast is largely a matter of mix and match. If you do a bit of planning ahead of time, you will find it easy to get your day started right with a better breakfast. Some ideas:
If you buy granola in the supermarket, chances are that you’ll get way more sugar than you intended. You can make your own healthy granola easily and more cheaply than what you buy in the store. Make a big batch and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for months so it’s ready to be pulled out at a moment’s notice.
- 2 cups dry oats
- ½ cup ground flax seed
- ½ cup wheat germ
- ½ cup wheat bran
- 1/8 cup coconut oil
- A few Tbsps honey or brown sugar (to taste……start with a little bit and add as you need)
Mix everything together and put in the oven on a low heat for 20 minutes. Take out, mix up on the baking sheet and put back in the oven for another 20 minutes.
That’s the base – when you serve it you can add fresh fruit, dried fruit and/or nuts. Serve with milk or yogurt for a fully-balanced breakfast meal.
Speaking of yogurt, did you know that you can make your own yogurt for much less than you buy it? All you need is milk, a clean jar, a cooler and a bit of prepared yogurt.
Boil two cups of milk and let cool. Add 1 Tbsp of prepared yogurt and then place in a warm water bath in the cooler. Allow to sit for 6-8 hours – if the milk isn’t solidifying quickly enough, warm up the water in the warm water bath a bit. Take the jar out of the bath and put the jar in the refrigerator. The yogurt should solidify even more so when you take it out you can pour off the excess liquid.
Then, the next time that you make yogurt, you can use some of the yogurt that you just made for your “starter.”
Yogurt is a great breakfast. Pair it with fresh fruit and nuts and you have a filling, healthy and nutritionally-balanced breakfast.
Eggs are about the most versatile food that there is. Eggs have so few calories that they are considered a “zero points” food on the Weight Watchers point plan. An egg includes all 9 essential amino acids including vitamins A, B12, B2, B5 iron, phosphorus and selenium. They are also rich in choline, an important nutrient for brain development.
You can boil your eggs or fry them with almost any kind of vegetable –zuccini, eggplant, pepper, onions and mushrooms are only a few of the extras that you can add to your eggs. If you want to bake the eggs you can mix it with milk or cheese and then add in your extras.
Try baking potatoes in the oven in slices and cubes and then mixing it with scrambled eggs for an especially-filling breakfast treat!
Disclaimer: we do not intend to be offering medical health advice. This article is meant purely as a review of popular beliefs in the nutrition world.