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Monday, October 25, 2010

Making breakfast healthier

Are your breakfasts high in grains but don't provide the protein and fiber you want for a good start to your day and a well running metabolism? A small amount of "good" fat will also help absorbtion of the Vitamins A, D, E and K - essential fatty acids, vitamins and  fat soluble nutritients you consume from food or a mutivitamin.

Typical cereal and muffin style breakfasts rarely offer much other than carbohydrates for energy so consider the following convenient and healthy options to help sustain you through the morning.

Convenience:

Add a slice or two of sliced chicken or meat, you might have for lunches or leftover from yesterday's dinner. Heat and it's ready.

Do you eat oatmeal? Great on fiber and better with an add-in of a spoonful of flavored beans for a savory flavor. There are lots of varieties in the store - I love Trader Joe's Cuban style black beans adding protein, fat and fiber to my breakfast for under 50 calories. Use any spices you like. For other less savory oatmeal flavors mix-in cinnamon. It's great to lower inflammation and consistently one of the top selling flavors of cereal hot or cold. If you must use a sweetener, limit it to a teaspoon or two of raw sugar or honey. Consider fresh fruit to add fiber and vitamin C. An occasional 8 oz. glass  of juice (1 serving) with pulp preferrably for fiber and added water for more hydration can complete your meal.

Boil a few eggs at a time for hard boiled eggs in 5-10 minutes. You'll want to eat about 2-3 a week for protein and nutrients. Eggs have the most "complete" protein. If they are good enough to develop life, they are good for you! If you do want to make an egg dish, buy whites only in a container and and add them to extend your whole egg. You can take a hot cup, pour in the eggs and or whites, a slice of ham or even crumble of cheese, microwave for 2 minutes and you have a breakfast to go. You can add some egg whites to your oatmeal in the microwave too. I like to add a spoonful of low fat cottage cheese (chosing one with no additives) for a great boost to my breakfast.

Save your money:

Light juices just have water added so save money by adding your own. Buy pure juices and over time add more and more water to your juice. You'll get used to the light flavor and lower the amount of sugar you consume. Drinking no more than 8 oz. of pure juice per serving will give you what you need nutritionally.

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First trained as a food chemist and nutritionist, my career began enriching a Twinkie, comparing the nutrition of a Twinkie to an apple and studying the role of sugar in the diet. With an M.B.A. and years in food and pharma understanding consumers and manufacturers led back to where I started - food should taste great and serve to keep us healthy. To do so there needs to be consumer awareness. Consumers need to vote for what they want by buying what they really want. They need to practice balance and responsible choices. That's when change will come. Please engage me with your conversation so that I can help you make better food choices that you enjoy and gain a deeper appreciation of food not only from farm to table but farm to health. My vision is to promote solutions to marketing healthful food and food practices.