I know there are many of you out there who are not breakfast people. As someone who is very much a breakfast person, I don’t quite get it. But yet, I guess I kind of do—that’s probably how I feel when I’m unwell or so nervous about something that I don’t have appetite to get anything in my tummy early in the morning. Otherwise, its on days where I’m in a rush and my day gets to me before my breakfast does. However, because there are so many benefits to having breakfast. They include a better attention span, more controlled glucose levels throughout the day, and reduced hunger at subsequent meal times. So I really think you should try to have a light and fuss-free breakfast, if anything.
I want to convince you to have something before lunch. Therefore, I’ve put together this list of somethings you can have to get your day going. It also prevents you from feeling like you can eat a horse before lunch, and end up making unhealthy food choices. I anticipate that you would not be used to having much food, or any at all, at breakfast. So, I’ve designed it such that you can break these foods up into intervals. For example, one before leaving the house, one when you reach work, and the last one at mid-morning. For those of you who were directed here from my post about foods to keep you full and healthy during Ramadan, you can have them all at one go at Suhoor, as fuss-free, easy to grab options.
I’ve split the food items up into 3 categories. Aim to have all of them for breakfast, but in intervals of your choice.
1. Dairy products
It is important that we get enough calcium every day for strong bones. Did you know that from your teens to your twenties, having enough calcium helps you build bone mass, but beyond the age of 30, any calcium merely maintains bone mass? A glass of calcium-fortified milk will easily meet half your calcium requirements for the day. If you’re lactose intolerant, go for a glass of calcium-fortified soy milk as an alternative.
2. Nuts and grains
These items contain carbohydrates that provide you with sustained energy, vitamins and minerals, and fibre that helps keep you full. Some good options include one of:
- one or two slices of wholemeal bread with cheese, egg, or a spread of your choice
- a quarter cup of baked nuts (these reduce your cholesterol levels!)
- one or two muesli bars (providing at most 200 calories)
- three to four pieces of wholegrain biscuits
With wholemeal bread, muesli bars, or wholegrain biscuits make sure you choose an option that is higher in fibre, while being lower in sugar and saturated fats as compared to other brands.
It may be fresh fruits, dried fruits, or fruit juices with pulp. We need two servings of fruit a day for its vitamins and fibre. They have also been shown to reduce risk of chronic diseases and cancer. What are you waiting for? Breakfast is the best time to get a serve in. It may be one of:
- a tennis ball size worth of fresh fruit
- a quarter cup of dried fruits (like prunes, apricots, raisins, or mango slices)
- a cup of natural fruit juice with its pulp added back in
Fruit juice should always be the last option as it is higher in sugar and leads to a greater peak in your sugar levels than the first two options. If you really have to have fruit juice, make sure it is natural with pulp, and limit it to a glass a day. However, if you are diabetic, I would advise against juices. An better option to fruit juice is just blending a fruit with some ice (or even some milk/soy milk from the earlier category) to have as a smoothie.
Within each of the three categories above, think about which option you prefer, which one is convenient for you, and how it can be made easily assessible to you. After you’ve decided, all you have to do is remember to stock up on those items the next time you go to the supermarket. These food options are light and simple foods, do not take much time to put together, and pretty fuss-free. If you feel like they are still too much to stomach, you can simply start with one or two of the 3 categories above.
The amounts I’ve stated above are a guide. Some aspects are variable and dependant on you as an individual. For more detailed and specific advice on how much or what foods you need for your lifestyle and medical condition, feel free to contact me for an appointment.