Power-up your jump start to the day

Fruit Loops and Frosted Flakes. I grew up on that. It was fast and filling fare my working mom of 4 kids relied upon. Not the most nutritious breakfast for sure. It’s a whole lot more than many of us get – by 10am we’re so famished, we head for the nearest Dunkin Donuts for fat and sugar rolled into a doughnut or the cafeteria for sausage, hash browns, fried eggs and jelly toast.

Yet who has time for for morning food these days? And who’s hungry when your feet hit the floor? So goes the misnomer that the morning meal that breaks the overnight fast must be consumed with remnants of the Sand Man still in the corners of our eyes. Not so, though. Definition: first meal of the day eaten within 2-3 hours of awakening. Whew, that’s doable, right?

Who cares? You should. Your morning meal could be the most important of all as it improve attention, concentration, memory and personal achievement, not to mention it’s the foundation of successful weight maintenance.

If you’re running short on time and patience, but want to be running on the power wheel, add heart-healthy oatmeal to your morning. Organic old-fashioned oats cook in 5 minutes. Add a couple of tablespoons of dried fruit as it cooks or pour steaming hot oatmeal over a sliced banana and top with a healthy dose of cinnamon and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Need longer staying power? Stir in a scoop of protein powder.

Still not convinced you have time?

Slow cook steel cut oats while you sleep. Here’s a recipe I’ll share from the Environmental Nutrition group for Overnight Oatmeal:

  • 8 cups water
  • 2 cups steel-cut oats
  • 1/2 cup non-fat dry milk powder
  • 1/3 cup each dried cranberries, dried strawberries, dried blueberries, dried apricots (chopped)

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours until creamy and tender.  Makes 4 2-cup servings. Share with your family or reheat on another day.

Per serving: 406 calories, 6 g fat, 3 g sat fat, 74 g carbs, 12 g protein, 12 g fiber, 160 g sodium.



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