Wednesday Homework Check! Did you work on YOUR muscles at least 2 times last week? If so, you might still be a little sore….and that’s a good thing! As long as you’re not in pain, and it’s just muscle soreness, you’re on your way to getting stronger. That’s awesome. Keep up the great work.
Today we’re continuing with lesson 3 of our Back-to-School series. These lessons are aimed to get your health back on track after the summer break. As a reminder, let’s look at those 6 key actions that will help us get back on track.
6 Actions to Get YOUR Health Back on Track
- Get 30 to 60 minutes of aerobic exercise at least 5 days per week.
- Perform strength-training exercises 2 to 3 days per week.
- Eat a healthy breakfast every day.
- Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water each day.
- Eat 3 cups of veggies each day.
- Eat 2 fruits each day.
Today we’re going to talk about action #3:
Eat a Healthy Breakfast Every Day
We’ve all heard it before…breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But, is this really true? And, if it is, why do so many people skip it? Let’s look at some details.
Is Breakfast the Most Important Meal of the Day?
The word “breakfast” originated in the 15th century and literally means to break the fasting period of the prior night. When you break that overnight fast, you really kick-start your metabolism for the entire day. Many studies have linked eating breakfast to good health. We’re talking about things like better memory and concentration, lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, and lower chances of getting diabetes, heart disease, and being overweight. I can’t think of another meal that has such a positive benefit to your health.
4 Reasons to Never Skip Breakfast
Diabetes: According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, skipping breakfast many increase a woman’s risk of diabetes. In the study, women who ate breakfast an average of zero to six times per week were at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than women who ate breakfast every day.
Heart Disease: Eating breakfast was associated with a lower incidence of heart disease in men between the ages of 45 and 82, according to a study in the journal, Circulation. The study also found that skipping breakfast was associated with hypertension, insulin resistance, and elevated blood sugar levels.
Memory: Back in 2005, the Journal of American Dietetic Association reviewed 47 breakfast-related studies. They found that eating breakfast is likely to improve cognitive function related to memory and test grades. The take-away: Eating breakfast is a SMART move!
Weight Loss: In one study published in the journal, Obesity, people who ate breakfast as their largest meal lost an average of 17.8 pounds over three months. The other participants ate the same number of calories per day, but ate most of their calories at dinner. The large-dinner group only lost an average of 7.3 pounds each over the same time period.
Guidelines for a Healthy Breakfast?
- You should always eat your breakfast within an hour of waking up. As mentioned earlier, this will help you break your overnight fast and give you lots of energy for the day.
- While the number of calories in your breakfast will vary depending on your age, gender, and how active you are, a good rule of thumb is to make your breakfast between 300 and 450 calories. Remember, don’t skimp on breakfast!
- Make your breakfast a combination of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. For example, make an omelet loaded with veggies, along with a small bowl of oatmeal topped with blueberries and chia seeds. (Yes, that’s what I ate this morning!)
- Make sure you get enough protein! Aim for 20 to 30 grams of protein in your first meal. Protein is important for developing and maintaining lean muscles, but if you don’t get enough in the morning and throughout the day, muscle maintenance is not at its maximal level. Another benefit of protein in the morning, according to another study, is that it’s likely to keep you feeling full longer.
- Watch your carbohydrates. Many people think a bowl of cereal is a “healthy” breakfast. Some cereals are better than others, but typically this is not your best option. While you get a small amount of protein in milk, it’s not quite enough. And, a lot of cereals that claim to be good for you actually contain lots of added sugar and food dyes. Make sure you check the label. If you decide you want to keep your morning cereal, try adding a hard-boiled egg on the side for some added protein.
- “You said I should eat fat, so I can eat bacon? “ Let me clarify. While, yes, you do want to include fat in this meal, make sure it’s good-for-you healthy fat. One option is a whole egg. One yolk contains about 5 grams of fat and lots of vitamins and minerals. Some other great healthy options to add to your breakfast include things like walnuts, chia, or flax seeds added to oatmeal; avocado added to a protein smoothie, or natural almond butter on toast made from sprouted grain bread.
Tasty Breakfast Recipes to Try
Skinny Fried Egg and Avocado Toast
Power-packed breakfast in about 5 minutes….plus it tastes great!
- 2 eggs (fried sunny side up)
- 2 slices of Ezekiel bread (toasted)
- 1 small avocado
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- sea salt + black pepper
- parsley (optional for topping)
- Prepare toast and fried eggs to personal preference.
- Peel and mash avocado with the lime juice, salt and pepper.
- Spread avocado evenly on each slice of toast then top each with a fried eggs and additional seasonings you prefer. Serve immediately.
Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie
Who doesn’t like a milkshake-style breakfast? This one’s tasty and nutritious!
- ½ a frozen banana
- 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
- 1 cup milk (almond, soy, skim)
- ¼ cup fat free greek yogurt
- ½ scoop chocolate OR vanilla protein
- drizzle of honey
- chopped peanuts (optional for topping)
Blend with 4 to 5 ice cubes until desired creaminess. Optional, top with a teaspoon of chopped peanuts.
Sweet Potato, Black Bean & Egg White Breakfast Burritos
Delicious sweet potato black bean and avocado stuffed burritos! Healthy, freezer-friendly and great for an on-the-go breakfast!
- 6 low carb whole wheat tortillas
- 3 medium sweet potatoes
- 1- 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- few dashes of red pepper flakes, if desired
- 8 large egg whites
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1/2 cup reduced fat shredded mexican or colby jack cheese
- 1/3 cup red enchilada sauce
- Cook sweet potatoes: Pierce sweet potatoes with fork a few times. Place in microwave and microwave on high for 4-6 minutes or until cooked though. This may take up to 10 minutes depending on how thick your sweet potatoes are. Alternatively you can roast them in the oven at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. Once sweet potatoes are cooked, remove the skins and place potatoes in a medium bowl. Mash with a fork; set aside
- In a separate large bowl, add black beans, cumin, chili powder and red pepper flakes if desired. Stir to combine then set aside.
- In a separate medium bowl, beat egg whites together. Spray a skillet with nonstick cooking spray and place over medium-low heat. Add in egg whites and cook. Fold every few minutes to get fluffy eggs. Once cooked, remove from heat.
- To assemble burritos, make sure you have warm tortillas; it makes them easier to roll. You can warm them up for 10-20 seconds in the microwave before assembling.
- Lay out warm tortillas and evenly distribute and spread mashed sweet potato on each. Evenly distribute egg whites, diced avocado, black beans, and shredded cheese on each tortilla. Next drizzle about tablespoon of enchilada sauce in each. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Tuck ends in, then roll up burritos.
- To warm up: Place on baking sheet in oven at 300 degrees for 5-10 minutes or simply microwave them for a minute or two.
- Serve with greek yogurt, salsa, or hot sauce. Makes 6 burritos.
Stay happy, healthy, and N motion, AND REMEMBER…age is just a number!