“It’s also an organizational thing,” says Tallmadge. “Building in a time to eat breakfast sets you up for an orderly, successful day. If you start out feeling rushed, it can throw you off.”
A balanced breakfast, she says, consists of a protein, whole grains, a fruit or vegetable, and a heart-healthy fat. So you might try some eggs cooked in olive oil, lean Canadian bacon, and whole-grain toast topped with tomato and onion. Whole-grain pancakes with nuts and fruit work, too. You could even top it with some yogurt.
Of course, most people don’t have time to cook up bacon and pancakes on a hectic weekday morning, so try this: Keep a breakfast stash in your desk. Store a jar of peanut butter and some jelly or honey at the office, and at the beginning of each week, bring in a loaf of hearty whole-grain bread, a tub of yogurt, and five pieces of fresh fruit. Voilà—a complete and instant PB&J breakfast at your desk. It’ll keep you full until lunch, too.
If you have a breakfast meeting on the books, Tallmadge says it’s best to plan ahead. “Those meetings usually have the most unhealthy breakfast options: doughnuts, Danishes, giant bagels. Eat breakfast at home before work, then you can snack on a bowl of fresh fruit and sip a cup of coffee during the meeting.”
Oatmeal is one of the best breakfast foods out there, says Tallmadge, and it’s one even her most skeptical clients come to love. Here’s why: Her recipe includes enough natural sweetness and variety to make anyone an oatmeal convert. What’s better, it’s fast and easy to make.
½ cup rolled oats
1 cup soy or skim milk
1 ounce of your favorite nuts (Almonds are a good choice for curbing hunger because they’re high in protein.)
Teaspoon of brown sugar or honey
A handful of fresh or frozen berries, or other chopped fruit
Mix oats, milk, and nuts in a bowl, and cook in the microwave for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove carefully, and add brown sugar or honey. Top with fruit and enjoy.
For a heartier twist, use steel-cut oats. The grains are sliced instead of rolled, so they’re coarser and have a nuttier flavor. They also take much longer to cook—between 30 and 40 minutes on the stovetop—but you can speed it up significantly by soaking them overnight. (Click here for good instructions.) By morning, you’re just 10 minutes away from oatmeal heaven.
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