Three Components for a Healthy Breakfast

1) Healthy, fiber-filled carbohydrate: Some people skip food and go for coffee or diet soda to rev up lagging energy levels.  But this doesn’t change the physiological need for calories, and it may lead to extreme hunger later--and overeating.  It may trick your stomach into feeling full, but you can’t trick your body and ultimately, it’s not giving your brain or your body the fuel or nutrients that it needs to for energy or for health and later in the day, when the caffeine wears off, you’ll be craving energy and be ravenous and exhausted.

Carbohydrates are your body’s energy source, so they provide fuel for your brain and muscles to get you started on the right foot in the morning.  Be sure to choose whole grains or fruits that are packed with nutrients and contain fiber to help you to feel full.

2) Lean protein: For satiety! Carbs typically digest in 1-4 hours, while protein takes 4-6 hours to digest. So they slow digestion and keep you feeling full much longer.  Fatty proteins that are high in saturated fat will weigh you down and clog your arteries, but proteins like eggs/ egg whites, non or low fat yogurt, low fat & low-sodium cottage cheese, peanut butter and tofu are all good sources of lean protein.

3) Produce/Antioxidants: By having fruits or vegetables, you start your day with nutrients that are required to stay healthy. Antioxidants fight disease and prevent aging by mopping up those harmful free radicals.  Be sure to include a fruit or veggie in your breakfast. Plus, more fiber to fill you up.

Breakfast Meal Options

* Choose an egg white low cholesterol omelette with peppers, mushrooms, onions, tomato or vegetable omelette with fresh garden vegetables (request to be made in cooking spray or cooked “dry” to cut lots of fat and calories)  (hold the home fries and swap for extra veggies) with whole wheat toast with cinnamon or a teaspoon of jelly– At home, use a spread like I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter which has 70% less saturated fat than butter and no hydrogenated oils, so there’s no trans fat.  Or cut the calories completely by using calorie free or low-calorie spray like I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter spray to get the buttery flavor without any calories.

The eggs in the omelet are the lean protein, the veggies are the fiber and antioxidants. The whole grain bread is also a fiber-filled carbohydrate.

* A multi-grain waffle topped with fresh yogurt berries and nuts is also a good option. Request low-fat or non-fat yogurt and light on the nuts to keep the calories in check. The multi-grain waffle has the fibrous carbs, assuming it’s truly whole grain and the low-fat or non-fat yogurt is the lean, satiating protein.  The berries contain the fiber and antioxidants and the nuts also are a good source of protein, fiber and antioxidants.

* Try melon with low-fat cottage cheese and small bowl of oatmeal (if there is no oatmeal on the menu, then get a whole wheat English muffin. The cottage cheese for lean protein, but you must request low fat and if possible low sodium… cottage cheese or a cup will cost you 240 calories, 10 g of fat and 800 mg of sodium (more than ½ the sodium many of us should get in our entire day). If they don’t have low-fat cottage cheese, then go for hard boiled eggs or low-fat yogurt instead for the protein. The melon is great for fiber and antioxidants and carbohydrates.

From our book The Secret To Skinny:

Blueberry Protein Pancakes

Makes 6 servings

These make a great breakfast because you get fruit, whole grains and protein in one delicious pancake.  This will give you nutrients and long-lasting energy.  Enjoy!

1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
3/4 cup egg substitute (equal to 3 eggs)
1/4 cup skim or fat- free milk
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons sugar or the equivalent in artificial sweetener (or two tablespoons of most artificial sweeteners)
1 cup blueberries

Combine the cottage cheese, egg substitute, fat free milk and flour in blender. Blend until smooth. Add sugar and blend again.
Spray a pan with non-stick cooking spray. When hot, pour batter onto pan to make 12 pancakes. (If pan is small, you may have to cook in batches). Sprinkle with blueberries. Cook until golden brown on both sides.

The blueberries add so much great flavor that these taste delicious without a topping. If you do want to add something, try sugar-free syrup which will save you hundreds of calories over the regular version.

Serving size: Makes 12 four-inch pancakes (1 serving equals 2 pancakes)

125 Calories (129 calories with artificial sweetener), Total fat 1 g, Saturated fat 0 mg, Cholesterol 2 mg, Sodium 215mg, Total carbohydrate 25g (20g total carbohydrate with artificial sweetener), Dietary fiber 4g, Sugars 8g, Protein 11g