A loud, unwelcome noise pierces the air. And then it
happens again. And again.
You reach out to douse the alarm, shake your head groggily and then realize it is time to face a new day. You force yourself to sit up, get up and sleepily go through the morning rituals to get ready for a new day — shower, shave or put on makeup, get dressed and comb your hair.
Next, it is time for breakfast.
Breakfast? Really? A look at the watch says there is no time for breakfast. Or perhaps it’s just that there is no facing food at an early hour. Or maybe there is no desire to put on weight — cutting breakfast calories cuts the calories for the day by about a third. Right?
Actually, that’s wrong.
The benefits of eating breakfast are well documented. In terms of dieting, those who eat breakfast are far less likely to overeat at lunch and are less likely overall to be overweight.
After a full night of fasting, the body’s energy stores need to be replenished. If they are not, by lunchtime, the need becomes even stronger and the appetite responds.
There is a psychological component to this as well. Knowing that you haven’t eaten anything all day gives you a tendency to add a few extra calories at dinner to make up for breakfast.
Studies have documented clearly that kids do better on tests, think more clearly and get along better with friends and classmates if they have had a good breakfast.
The same is certainly true for adults. With the morning energy supply replenished, they are more alert, think more clearly and are better able to cope with stresses. Waiting for the donut at break time isn’t as good as a meal at home — nutritionally and financially.
If it seems like that extra 10 minutes of snooze time is worth skipping breakfast for, think again. Even if you have to grab something on the way out the door, do it. The consensus is that breakfast on the fly is better than no breakfast at all. In other words, anything is better than nothing, but that anything is also better if it is nutritious.
Consider some nutritious options like grabbing an apple as you go or spread some bread or a whole grain bagel with peanut butter and add a glass of juice to drink on the way. There is certainly nothing wrong with leftover pizza for breakfast — cold or hot.
For those who just can’t face the thought of food at an early hour, try to eat just a little bit anyway, even if it is just an energy bar. It may take time to adjust to early eating, but the benefits outweigh the inconveniences.
Think of possibilities for a quick morning bite as you do your grocery shopping. Grab and run foods could include toaster pastries.
Although there are certainly better options, if you check the nutrition label on the back you will find that they do have some nutritional value beyond calories.
Fresh fruit like apples and bananas are easy, nutritious and very portable. Oranges require a little more effort because they need to be peeled.
String cheese or cheese sticks also make good take-alongs. You can make ahead and freeze individual sized quiches which can be popped out of the freezer, reheated in a microwave and carried along.
Quiche in a Cup
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
2 cups grated cheese
Other vegetables as desired (frozen spinach thawed and squeezed to remove excess moisture, chopped red, yellow or green bell peppers, mushrooms, etc.)
Pinch of oregano
2 well-beaten eggs
2/3 cup warm milk
Sauté onions in butter (and other veggies as desired) until translucent. Add flour. Stir in remaining ingredients. Place foil cupcake wrappers into a muffin tin. Spray lightly with cooking spray. Portion quiche mixture into cupcake foil wrappers and fill about 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until a knife blade inserted into the center comes out clean.