Power Up in the A.M.

As a dietitian, I am chided if I ask what you had for breakfast.  This implies my own personal bias that everyone should eat breakfast.

That said, I describe breakfast as my a.m. meal which is ‘eating something’ within the first 3 hours of awakening.  That makes it easier for some than the thought of swallowing whole food as soon as your feet touch the floor (it’s got to be hot, partially caffeinated liquid for me when my eyes finally open).

There are benefits to eating in the morning. “Breakfast” eaters tend to be slimmer, enjoy a greater sense of alertness, perform better in exercise and sports, and have staying power (satiety) that non-morning eaters don’t.

While we’re here, let’s put to rest another myth – that you HAVE to ingest solid food before a morning workout.  Not really. Eating before a 6am morning run is a filling idea if your last intake was at 6pm – a 12-hour fast deserves to be broken to give your body the juice it needs to jog.  Yet, if you back up to the memory of the hour of last night’s dinner and maybe even after-dinner supping, you may not need additional nourishment for energy to exercise.  In other words, overeating at night means there’s still some sustenance on board and you’re simply not hungry.

To encourage at-home dining when time is short, set your table the night before with your bowl, plate, spoon and fork, and a nice napkin.  Add high-fiber, low-sugar cereal and milk, a sliced apple, and 6-oz juice.

Morning joggers, low-fat yogurt or kefer (drinkable) gives you an instant boost.  Bananas are an easy carry-and-go meal.  My favorite is a soy milk and chocolate soy protein powder shake with a squeeze of flaxseed oil.  It’s easy to exercise when the nourishment is liquid or soft.

Here are other ideas for home and travel:

  • fruit pizza
  • fruit smoothie with yogurt
  • toast spread with peanut butter
  • small bagel with toasted sliced cheese
  • banana or apple dipped in peanut butter
  • bowl of cut up fruit with dollops of vanilla yogurt
  • thin pancake spread with Greek yogurt and a touch of jam
  • egg-white omelette with spinach, tomatoes and mushrooms
  • oatmeal with slivered almonds and a drizzle of flaxseed oil and maple syrup
  • cooked quinoa (in veggie broth) topped generously with cubed avocado (my fav)
  • whole wheat tortilla wrapped around a scrambled egg (or egg whites) and salsa
  • open-faced toasted whole grain English muffin, a spread of Olivio and a poached egg on top
  • Whole grain bread, bagel or English muffin spread thickly with sliced or mashed avocado
Oprah is my guru
Thinking big? Plate small!

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