Monday, September 10, 2012

Worksite Wellness: Breakfast to Get You Going

Remember the speech, "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day," from your mom?
Your mom isn't the only expert in our midst.  According to Mayo Clinic, breakfast fuels the body and gives you the energy to keep you going for hours.  The National Institute for Health reports that when you eat a healthy breakfast you are less likely to overeat later in the day.  Weight Watchers teaches if you are trying to lose weight, skipping meals may cause you to gain weight.  Breakfast is really "breaking" your night time fast.  So if you skip the first meal of the day, your body will be running on the energy (food) from the day before.  That's a lot to ask of your body, don't you think?  But wait, you already know that.  So what's the problem?  How to do it.

Squeezing in a healthy breakfast
Mornings tend to be hectic for most of us.   For some of us the kids, husband, and pets are more than we can juggle.  For the rest of us, just getting out of bed is challenge enough.   Adding breakfast to the mix and a healthy one at that just seems like too much.

Good planning, change a few habits and you're half way to improving your health.  It's equally easy to eat healthy as it is to eat unhealthy.  You're just in the habit of eating unhealthy.   Now is a good time to develop the habit of eating healthy.

  • Start the night before you go to work. 
  • Think about what you want for breakfast the next day.
  • Set out any dry ingredients and any bowls, blenders, or pans so they're ready for use. 
  • Make breakfast the night before and put in the refrigerator. 
  • Make a week’s worth, divide it into daily portions. 
  • Pack a to-go breakfast the night before.

Quick healthy breakfast ideas
You have plenty of ways to get in a healthy breakfast each day, and it doesn't always have to be your mom's breakfast of cold sugary cereal, fried eggs, and bacon.

Here are some healthy breakfast ideas to get you going in the morning:


  • A whole-wheat pita stuffed with organic scrambled or hard-boiled eggs, organic sliced tomatoes.
  • Organic egg omelet with chopped vegetables, fruit, and 100% whole wheat toast.
  • Breakfast sandwich with 100% whole grain bread sliced and an organic hard-boiled egg.


  • Cooked oatmeal, steel cut oats, or multigrain cereal topped with almonds or dried cranberries.
  • Whole grain high fiber (at least 8 grams) cold cereal.


  • A whole wheat tortilla filled with vegetables and salsa.
  • Vegetable smoothies - blended romaine lettuce, kale, spinach, banana, flax seeds and protein powder.
  • Carrot, celery, cucumber sticks, and yogurt.
  • Celery sticks, peanut butter, and raisins.


  • Yogurt with chopped fruit, nuts, and raisins.
  • Fruit smoothies-blended from fruits, some low-fat yogurt, a spoonful of wheat germ, and protein powder.
  • Trail Mix of nuts and dried fruit.
  • Sliced apple and almond butter.

Pancakes - Waffles 

  • Multigrain pancakes with fruit and yogurt.
  • Buckwheat pancakes with pecans.
  • A whole-grain waffle with peanut butter.

Bagels - Toast - Crackers

  • Whole-wheat crackers, bagels, or 100% whole wheat bread with peanut butter or almond nut butter.  Add a banana or apple.
  • A whole-wheat vegetarian sandwich on a bagel with hummus, fresh spinach, romaine lettuce, tomato, and cucumber.

A word about food bars, protein powder, and processed soy products. Food bars are not always a good option.   Food bars have become a popular to grab-n-go food for a speedy breakfast.   However, it's important to read the food labels carefully.  Many food bars have as many calories, fats, sugars, and the overall nutrition as a candy bar.

Powdered protein can be a problem.  The protein in protein powder is generally from whey, milk, or soy.  Many people are allergic or develop gastric distress to milk and whey. The American Cancer Society recommends soy as cancer protective and the American Heart Association recommends it as reducing your heart attack risk.  When selecting soy, go with whole food sources, the healthiest option. 

Processed soy is used in food bars and substitutes for protein such as veggie burgers.  Processed soy like all processed foods is bad for you. Stick with natural genetically modified organic (non-GMO), soy beans, tofu, miso, soy milk, and whole food soy protein drinks.  If you're wondering what company to go with, check out Cornucopia Institute's “Behind the Bean” report.

There you have it, breakfast in an egg shell, or well you think about. We'd love to hear about your morning breakfast. Healthy or no?

Your partner in health,

Cindy Cohen RN, BS BA
Wellness Consultant
WELCOA Faculty

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