Wednesday, June 18, 2008
An Easy, Healthy Morning Breakfast Routine
I wonder how many of you crave sugar first thing in the morning? When I ate sugar regularly, I would often get up in the morning and wander into the kitchen looking in cupboards and the refrigerator where I would find the jackpot: left over dessert from the night before. I would usually be thinking, "It will probably get stale soon, and I might as well get rid of it as soon as possible before it tempts me later in the day." Other treats in the morning have included: homemade cookies, a left over pan of brownies, M&M's, and the hardest thing to not eat--packaged cookies. Cheap packaged cookies have always been a favorite of mine. Being bite-sized, they are so easy to eat and before you know it, half of the package is gone. When half of the package is gone, and you already feel guilty for eating that many cookies, it's even easier to eat the rest of them so you don't experience a second bout of guilt. Just because I've gorged myself on sugar in the morning does not mean I'm done having breakfast. Even when I've been full, I've eaten breakfast food after eating something sugary. There were days that seemed like a vicious cycle. I did not want to listen to my body. My mind said "EAT!" so I overruled my body saying, "Give me a break! Stop eating, NOW!" It is very easy to say these things in retrospect. I would never have admitted to this while in the moment.
Currently, I have a healthy breakfast habit in place of my unhealthy habits. I still like to eat something sweet in the morning sometimes, and fruit tastes sweetest first thing in the morning before eating anything else. (Note: Fruit does NOT taste sweet right after eating a hunk of dessert.) My new habit is cereal (Grape Nuts, Ezekial Brand Cereal, Barbara's Brand Cereal, Oatmeal, etc.) topped with fresh strawberries (they are now ripe and in season!) bananas, blueberries, rasberries, peaches, raisins, nuts or dried apricots. I have never been left hungry after one bowl. After eating such a healthy meal, you will feel inspired to eat healthy at your next meal, too. It helps to have pre-prepared healthy snacks on hand, otherwise it can be tempting to run to a vending machine with the justification that you are starving.
If you are not a breakfast eater, I am guessing that around mid-morning when you begin to feel really hungry, it is easy to justify that Coke, or the donuts in the break room, or a sugary coffee drink of some kind. Skipping breakfast is the quickest way to eat unhealthy later in the day. Eating a healthy breakfast is the quickest way to eating healthy later in the day. If your concern is time, prepare something the night before and take it to work with you if you have to. A thermos is a great way to transport cereal (note: to avoid soggy cereal, pour milk or yogurt in the thermos and carry your cereal in a baggy until you have a chance to eat.) If you feel like you are too busy to shop for healthy food, order groceries online and have them delivered to your doorstep. It is easy to kick that sugary morning habit if you replace it daily with something healthy and filling.