I have posted about this before. Up until the past year or so I was never a breakfast eater, despite what Oprah and Dr. Oz have been preaching. In part because I just wasn’t THAT hungry, but truthfully I was worried about eating too many calories in the morning. I mean, who isn’t? I would rather have dessert at night than a bowl of cereal in the morning.
Breakfast and I were NOT friends. (Unless I am on vacation and there is a breakfast buffet, because I love me some breakfast buffet! Belgian waffles, eggs Benedict, bacon, toast, Danish, fruit and granola – and that’s just the first plate! Okay, and actually, if I am traveling to a touristy destination [read: lots of walking around to see stuff] I do always need to have breakfast and a pack of peanut butter crackers/granola bar as a mid morning snack or hello crazy-town.)
Here are the facts about breakfast that I think every sane person can buy into:
- If you eat breakfast, your blood sugar stays normal and you aren’t as hungry later on = less likely to pig out at other meals.
- Nourishment in the a.m. keeps you going strong at work and school.
- Children who eat a healthy breakfast do better in school (okay, this is a good one. I don’t want to starve anyone’s children).
- If you work out in the morning, a light breakfast is imperative, as well as refueling afterward (depending on how hard you work out – you probably don’t need to refuel after a 20 minute walk, of course, but definitely after a 5 mile run).
A compromise is in order. Less than 210 calorie breakfasts that are fast, healthy, tasty enough that I will eat it and not complain that I am not eating a chocolate croissant, and possibly can be prepared the night before, are clearly in need.
So…alas, here are my superior breakfast choices. One for each day of the week. Simple, satisfying selections for even the most elevated palate portioned to curb those hunger pains that I get by about 10am.
Runners Note: I am personally training for a marathon. I am running and strength training way more than I would in real life. Food has truly become fuel at this point. For me, before my a.m. workouts of 6 miles or less, I eat a half of a granola bar, small yogurt, slice of bread with jam, basically an under-100 calorie snack to start off right. Then after my workout I might enjoy one of the breakfasts below (maybe 2 of them, truthfully). I am also a fan of a packet of instant oatmeal with fresh cut up fruit (under 250 calories/4 WW points). On days when I run in the afternoon or have a short morning workout, I may only eat ½ a packet of oatmeal and save the calories and WW points for a larger afternoon snack to fuel my evening run.
Apples (sliced the night before/sprinkled with lemon juice to keep them from browning). One stick of Cracker Barrel cheese. Total calories are right under 150/ 2 grams of fat/about 3 WW points (2 for the cheese and 1 for the apple).
Yogurt (Danon 60 calorie light and fit) – any flavor – and ¼ cup of Bear Naked Granola (Fit) (120 calories). You can even throw some fresh blueberries on top for some antioxidants. This can be made the night before; the granola touching the yogurt does soften, but I don’t mind that. It’s a personal choice. This whole breakfast is 180 calories/ about 3 grams of fat/ 3 WW points (2 for granola and almost 1 for yogurt).
Dunkin Donuts (because seriously – you’ve been so good for two days, you deserve a treat). One plain or whole wheat bagel (SKIP the multi-grain – trust moi!). 2oz. of light garden cream cheese (or light plain cream cheese) – so just the small package they give you. Calories: 420/ 12 grams of fat/9 WW points – not really worth it I am sorry to say. HOWEVER: if you share this breakfast with a starving co-worker or your significant other or you know, just package up the other half (half a bagel/half the cream cheese) it’s only 210 calories/6 grams of fat/ 4.5 WW points. And if you walk during your morning break to go get it…hello exercise!
And a medium iced coffee, skim, two Splenda. Please.
1 whole wheat English Muffin toasted/slice of tomato/slice of cheese (low-fat) – maybe 20 seconds in the microwave. Seriously – this is like 130 calories/1g fat/1.5 WW points. You can add an egg or egg beaters, but I totally dig the muffin with just tomato and cheese, all melty goodness.
2 slices of toasted low-fat whole wheat or multi-grain bread (I use WW bread), 1 tablespoon of fat-free cream cheese, 1 or 2 slices of smoked salmon. Calories about 180/6g of fat/3.5 WW points…really depends on how heavy you are with the cream cheese – lighten up! This sandwich has to be made fresh, but it takes literally 3.5 minutes in the morning and smoked salmon just feels superior to peanut butter, and has tons of protein and less fat!
Question of the day:
What are your favorite go-to breakfasts?