You’ve heard the age-old saying that breakfast is the most important meal of day, but if you’re grabbing a sugar-laden waffle or high-fat muffin, you’re negating its benefits: Not only has research shown that breakfast eaters are better able to pay attention and concentrate throughout the day, but people who make time in their day for the nutritious morning meal are also more likely to maintain a healthy body weight.
So what counts as a healthy breakfast?
“Whole grains, fruits and vegetables will provide energy, along with dietary fibre for intestinal health,” says the Calgary-based dietitian Adam Betzelt. “Protein and a little bit of fat from eggs or low-fat dairy products will help keep your energy level up and your hunger down throughout the day.”
If you’re planning a morning walk, Betzelt advises eating breakfast before hitting the pavement. “After an overnight fast, the body has used up most of its energy supply,” he says. “If you don’t replenish that energy, you’ll feel sluggish and your mind will be foggy, increasing your risk for injury and reducing the effectiveness of the activity.”
Try one of these quick, satisfying breakfasts that’ll keep your body fuelled “on the go.”
1. Breakfast smoothie
Toss the ingredients together the night before and store in the fridge.
Blend half banana, 1 cup (250 ml) low fat milk, 1/2 cup (125 ml) fresh or frozen berries and 2 tablespoon (30 ml) of ground flaxseed for a wholesome breakfast. Pour it into a travel mug and pair with a piece of whole-grain toast.
2. Morning wrap
Prepare in advance and eat on the run.
Stuff a 6-inch whole-grain pita with 2 tablespoons (30 ml) peanut butter and a sliced banana. Enjoy a glass of low-fat milk (1 cup/250 ml) or small yogurt (3/4 cup/175 ml) on the side for a calcium boost.
3. Perfect parfait
Store in a portable container and eat on the bus or when you get to work.
Combine 3/4 cup (175 ml) low-fat yogurt, 3/4 cup (175 ml) whole-grain cereal and 1/2 cup (125 ml) blueberries. Top with 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of sliced almonds.
4. Toast and latte
Sometimes toast is the easiest thing to grab when you’re running out the door.
Top two slices of whole-grain toast with 1/3 of a mashed avocado (about 2 to 3 tbsp) and freshly ground pepper. Pair it with a piece of fruit and a small (12 oz) low-fat latte.
5. Breakfast sandwich
Hard-boiled eggs are an excellent choice because you can boil a batch at the beginning of the week and have a quick, high-protein breakfast food for the rest of the week.
Place a sliced hard-boiled egg between a toasted whole-grain English muffin, and top with a handful of spinach leaves, sliced tomato and a slice of reduced fat cheese.