01/21/2015

The Breakfast Habit

If Week 1 of our Staff Wellness Challenge was about getting active, Week 2 was about giving our bodies the energy to do that. We’re still taking those daily physical activity breaks, but now our community programs team has upped the ante.  This past week they added a bonus challenge: eating breakfast.  Every day.

Registered dietitian Kathleen Zelman explains that breaking the fast provides the body with energy for physical activity, improves mental focus, lowers cholesterol, and sets a healthy tone for the whole day.  Studies have shown that poor breakfast habits increase risk for metabolic syndrome, and that both skipping breakfast and consuming a glucose drink (think: your morning cup of Joe) were followed by declines in attention and memory that were significantly reduced when the day was started with a healthy meal.

For folks who have a more time in the morning, or like to get creative, breakfasts like these can be an exciting way to start off with this healthy habit:

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Savory oatmeal with cracked black pepper and pecorino cheese, braised Brussels sprouts, roasted sweet potatoes, and a sunny-side up egg will certainly start your morning off on the right foot.

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A piece of toast with coconut oil, almond butter, pistachios, and dried sour cherries is a delicious option too.

But it can be even easier than that.  You can prepare a week’s worth of breakfasts—healthy muffins or smoothie ingredients—on Sunday, put them in the freezer, and then reheat or blend them each morning as you go.  Feeling even more crunched for time?  Plain instant oatmeal kept in your desk, microwaved at the office, and sweetened with fresh, frozen, or dried fruit that you add yourself is another healthy option.  Or even just an apple and a scoop of peanut butter. Almost any breakfast is better than no breakfast.

What do you like to eat in the morning?