Category Archives: breakfast

4 ways to boost your energy naturally with breakfast – Harvard

Healthy living requires that we make intelligent choices every day. We need to get enough sleep, eat intelligently and exercise regularly. Sleep is one of the  underappreciated aspects of living a healthy and long life. Please check out my Page – How important is a good night’s sleep? for more details.

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As you sleep, your body is hard at work digesting yesterday’s dinner. By the time you wake up, your body and brain are demanding fresh fuel. “Breaking the fast” is a key way to power up in the morning. Do it right and the benefits can last all day. Continue reading

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The Worst Breakfast is No Breakfast

There are lots of good ideas here. I know that in the hustle and bustle of working (career or school) folks are sometimes willing to skimp on breakfast. This shows why it is a big mistake.

I did have one small quibble with the general statement on healthy fats. I am a giant believer in coconut oil, a saturated fat. Check out my Page – Coconut oil – Why you should include it in your diet. I start every morning with a spoonful of peanut butter dipped in coconut oil. I eat it; I love it; I recommend it.

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I couldn’t resist sharing this.

Tony

Athletic Performance Training Center

Breakfast[1]I always enjoy traveling to different schools and organizations to discuss Strength & Conditioning, Speed & Agility, and Nutrition.  Invariably, when discussing nutrition, we touch upon the importance of breakfast.  When I tell the audience that any breakfast is better than no breakfast, I usually get a few sarcastic responses like, “what about donuts?” or some other sweets or junk food.  Although I differentiate between a healthy, nutritious breakfast and a less sensible option, the point is this:  Eat something — anything — within 30-90 minutes of waking.  It will set the tone for the rest of your day.  It’s not that the quality of what you eat is unimportant, but the benefits of eating breakfast are indisputable:

  • Improves physical and mental health
  • Improves behavior and performance
  • Kick-starts your metabolism
  • Improves your mood
  • Boosts your energy level
  • Helps to minimize daytime hunger

Like any other meal or snack, the…

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How Important is a Good Breakfast?

A recent online study by a Cornell University research team demonstrated how important a good breakfast is to healthy individuals.

“The study showed that the most common breakfast items consumed by slim people were fruits and vegetables (51%), dairy (41%), cold cereal / granola (33%), bread (32%), eggs (31%), hot cereal (29%), coffee (26%). Only 4% of participants indicated that they didn’t eat breakfast.

Slim by Design infographic

“One important take away from this study is that a very high rate of slim people actually eat breakfast instead of skipping, which is consistent with previous research on the importance of breakfast,” explains lead author  Anna-Leena Vuorinen, “But what stands out is that they not only ate breakfast, but that they ate healthful foods like fruits and vegetables. Also, egg consumption was higher than we expected.” If the Food and Brand Lab has a refrain of its own it’s: do what slim people do.”

Tony

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New Scientific Review of Health Benefits of Whole Grain Oats

While oats have been the focus of scientific investigation for decades, the supplement uniquely summarizes the developing science and technology around oats. In the supplement, new evidence is presented, while well-established benefits are further supported, in relation to human health, agriculture and food processing.

Cooking with Kathy Man

According to a new, wide-reaching collection of scientific reviews published in the October 2014 supplement issue of the British Journal of Nutrition, oats may play an important role in improving satiety, diet quality and digestive, cardiovascular and general metabolic health. In the supplement issue, entitled “Oats, More Than Just a Whole Grain,” scientists from around the world explore the oat from agriculture and sustainability to nutrition policy and opportunity and new insights in nutritional science that go beyond cardiovascular health.

“The British Journal of Nutrition oats supplement is a comprehensive compilation of scientific reviews written by a diverse group of international experts that showcase the remarkable role the oat plays in human health and agriculture,” explains Jan-Willem van Klinken, MD, PhD, MSc, of the Quaker Oats Center of Excellence. “Not only does it enhance the understanding of the role of oats in health promotion from satiety to chronic disease, but…

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8 Healthy Breakfast Ideas

There’s no rule that breakfast has to consist of food specifically designated for that meal. In fact, last night’s leftovers may be perfect. That’s because most people consume about 50 to 60 percent of their total daily protein at dinner, and shifting those calories to the morning may have health benefits.

Cooking with Kathy Man

1. Front-load your calories

Aim to consume 20 percent to 25 percent of your total daily calories at breakfast (up to 400 calories for women, up to 500 for men, and a bit more for vigorous exercisers). Research shows that it increases levels of the satiety hormone PYY, helping you to feel full, and may reduce the number of calories you consume at lunch, according to Heather Leidy, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the department of nutrition and exercise physiology at the University of Missouri, Columbia. It may also help you avoid overeating later in the day, which may lead to weight gain.

2. Think protein

The latest research suggests that eating protein first thing in the morning is crucial. Having 24 to 35 grams may help prevent weight gain and promote weight loss by stabilizing your blood sugar, decreasing your appetite, and making you feel full. Morning protein also…

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How About Some Granola Without any Grains?

Let me hear that, get me near that
Crunchy Granola Suite
Drop your shrink and stop your drinkin’
Crunchy granola’s neat ( Neil Diamond )


I agree with Neil about crunchy granola being neat. It has been a part of my diet for more years than I care to remember.

I know ‘Granola Without Grains’ sounds like something left over from April Fool’s Day. But it isn’t.  That’s why I was so surprised to discover Paleo Granola by CJK Foods of Chicago, IL.

“Granola,” according to Wikipedia “is a breakfast food and snack food, popular in the Americas, consisting of rolled oats, nuts, honey, and sometimes puffed rice, that is usually baked until crisp. During the baking process the mixture is stirred to maintain a loose, breakfast cereal-type consistency. Dried fruits, such as raisins and dates, are sometimes added.”

So, clearly, grains are an integral part of granola.

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I must confess almost total ignorance of the Paleo diet. I just checked the web and the first thing I learned is that they don’t eat grains. They do eat grass-produced meats, fish/seafood, fresh fruits and veggies, eggs, nuts and seeds and healthful oils, like coconut oil. Lots of good eating there. So, the fact that you don’t eat grains explains why the Paleo Granola has no grains in it.

Before going further, I need to tell you that I bought it from my local grocer who had a girl passing out samples. I tried one and was blown away by the taste. A party in my mouth! I went right back and picked up a package. I am now on my third one.

Okay, so what is in Paleo Granola?

The ingredients are Organic almonds, organic sunflower seeds, almond flour, organic cashews, organic walnuts, maple syrup, organic flax seeds, organic coconut oil, organic raisins, vanilla, organic coconut flakes, spices and salt.

Here is the nutrition breakdown:
Serving size 2 ounces, 57 grams
Calories 295
Total fat 23 grams
Saturated fat 8 grams
No Trans fat
Sodium 16 mg
Dietary fiber 4 grams
Sugar 11 grams
Protein 7 grams

A quick comparison with a regular granola, puts Paleo slightly higher on calories, a lot higher on total fat, due to the nuts and coconut, way down on sodium and higher on fiber and protein. Not a bad tradeoff, I think.

Although I am a big granola fan and have a bowl almost every day. I have found that I like the taste of this Paleo mixture so much that I use it as a snack and sometimes take chunks of it with me for energy breaks when I ride the bike.

While I usually refrain from writing up local products that are not available to readers of an international blog, I did this one because I thought you might enjoy being exposed to the concept of granola sans grains. Also, resourceful readers might even try to make it on their own with a little experimentation. You have all the ingredients.

If anyone does try to make their own, I hope you will share your experience with the blog.

For Neil Diamond fans, here is the best audio version I could find on You Tube:

Tony

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How Important is Breakfast?

Let’s start with the word – breakfast. You are breaking your fast after shutting your body down in sleep all night. So, your body is ready to be nourished and made whole again. There is a need for fuel. Skipping breakfast robs your body of basic needs and puts it on the defensive right from the start. Why handicap yourself like that?

As everyone who has skipped or skimped on breakfast knows, you get hungry long before lunch time rolls around. That often means you end up snacking on convenient junk foods high in fat and sugars. You can read my Love Letter to Hostess Ho Ho’s NOT for all the reasons to avoid junk food.

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WebMD in a slideshow on brain foods said, “Tempted to skip breakfast? Studies have found that eating breakfast may improve short-term memory and attention. Students who eat it tend to perform better than those who don’t. Foods at the top of researchers’ brain-fuel list include high-fiber whole grains, dairy, and fruits. Just don’t overeat; researchers also found high-calorie breakfasts appear to hinder concentration.”

I recommend including some protein in your breakfast to extend the benefits.

“Protein blunts your hunger the most, and is the most satiating,” Purdue University researcher Wayne Campbell, PhD,  tells WebMD. Eggs are a natural, low in calories and high in vitamins, minerals and protein.

Don’t sweat the cholesterol.

I wrote the following in my post, What is the Food Value of Easter Eggs? “The yolk of the egg contains many excellent nutrients as well as cholesterol. Don’t forget that your body needs cholesterol to function. If you don’t have enough of it in your diet, your body will manufacture it. Organic Foods says, “Recent research has also shown that consuming eggs does not lead to increase in serum cholesterol levels,”

So, do yourself and your body a favor and make time for a good breakfast, you will reap rewards from it all day long.

Tony

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What are the Best and Worst Breakfasts at McDonald’s? – WebMD

I have written numerous blog posts on McDonald’s entrees objecting to the amount of sugar, fat and salt included. You can read some of them in the Fast Food Nutritional Info link at the top of this page.

WebMD offered its version which I thought you would like to check out.

McDonald’s worst choice, according to WebMD is “McDonald’s Big Breakfast with Hot Cakes. It’ll weigh you down with 1,090 calories, 56 g fat, and 19 g saturated fat — close to the daily limit for this unhealthy fat. Even the biscuit is loaded with saturated fat, topping even the sausage patty or eggs. The sodium hits 2,150 mg, nearly the daily limit.”

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Just to expand on this analysis, 1090 calories amounts to half the calories a 150 pound man requires in an entire day. So, plan on a light lunch and dinner if you have this for breakfast.

Also, the 2150 mg of sodium is near the daily limit for most people. If you are over 50 or have any kind of blood pressure problem experts say you shouldn’t have more than 1500 mg of sodium.

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On the positive side, WebMD suggests: “The Egg McMuffin is a better choice under the golden arches at 300 calories, 12 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, and 2 g fiber. Lean Canadian bacon offers protein and a meaty taste with very little fat. In any restaurant, ask for the nutrition information. Items with some fiber and protein will keep you satisfied for hours.  Sodium watchers take note: the Egg McMuffin has 820 mg.”

Tony

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How to Boost Your Energy with Breakfast – Harvard

This is from the “always nice to see your ideas come out of other people” department. I am a big believer in starting the day with a big nutritious breakfast. Harvard’s HEALTHbeat publication agrees.

“If you miss the day’s first meal, notes Dr. David S. Ludwig, a nutrition expert at Harvard-affiliated Children’s Hospital Boston, you may start off with an energy deficit and have to tap into your energy reserves.”

Amen, Dr. Ludwig.

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HEALTHbeat says to include healthful protein, slowly digested carbs and some fruit or vegetables.
Here are their four tips for creating an energy boosting breakfast:
1. Choose whole grains. High-fiber, whole-grain cereals and breads can help keep your blood sugar on an even keel and avoid a midmorning energy crash. With the hundreds of types of cereal on the market, bran cereal, bran flakes, and steel-cut oatmeal are typically the healthiest bets. To choose the healthiest breakfast cereal, read the label and look for:

• 5 grams or more of fiber per serving
• less than 300 milligrams of sodium per serving
• less than 5 grams of sugar per serving
• whole grain as the first item on the ingredient list

2. Include protein. Yogurt is a good choice; Greek yogurt has more protein than regular yogurt. Eggs (up to one a day) are okay for healthy people. Although yolks are high in cholesterol, eggs have proteins, vitamins, and other nutrients and don’t appear to increase the risk for developing heart disease.

You might also include foods that have healthful fats such as those in nuts or salmon. Limit processed meats to the occasional treat as these foods are associated with a higher risk of colorectal cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.

3. Eat in, not out. You can enjoy a healthful breakfast out if you stick to oatmeal. But much of the traditional fare will start your day with loads of refined carbohydrates and saturated fat. Like most processed food, the breakfast offerings from fast-food chains tend to be high-sodium, low-fiber disasters.

4. Blend up a breakfast smoothie. Combine fruit, juice, yogurt, wheat germ, tofu, and other ingredients. Toss them in your blender with a bit of ice and you have a refreshing, high energy breakfast.

I concoct a breakfast smoothie every morning in my Vita-Mix machine with strawberries, blueberries, banana and this week I started adding green veggies like kale and spinach.

These four tips are part of a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School – Boosting Your Energy.

Tony

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Chia Seed Super Breakfast – With Oat Flakes

I picked this breakfast idea surfing the web. Mr. Lazy Cook’s version is simplified somewhat from the original which was from a vegan website.

How good are Chia Seeds for you? Find out here.

Actual prep time is very short, but then you put it in the fridge overnight to set. So you need to remember to fix one before you go to bed if you want it for breakfast, which I recommend strongly. Very nutritious. There are 16 grams of fiber and 16 grams of protein.

This is how it looks without the berry or nut toppings

Start with 3 tablespoons of Chia Seeds
1/3 cup of oats flakes
1 cup of vanilla soy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Stevia (or your preferred sweetener) to taste.
Mix together in a bowl and place in fridge.

The next morning you can add any of the following:
1 chopped banana
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup strawberries
1/8 cup Broken walnuts

Here is the nutritional breakdown:
Calories 360
Fat        14 grams
Sat Fat    1.6 grams
No cholesterol
Sodium 100 mg
Carbohydrates 41 grams
Fiber 16 grams
Protein 16 grams

This breakdown does not include any of the optional toppings. The 1/8 cup of walnuts will add 8.2 grams of fat, no cholesterol or sodium, 1.7 grams of carbs, 1 gram of fiber and 2 grams of protein.

I have had this breakfast once, this morning. I liked the taste and texture. I also found that it gave me a nice fueled feeling that lasted for several hours. I ate it plain the first time. Tomorrow I plan to add blueberries and walnuts.

Please share your experience if you try it out.

The original recipe is from the Choosing Raw website. It used quinoa flakes which I didn’t have instead of the oat flakes which I did have.

If you want to satisfy your sweet tooth later in the day, try our Chia Seed Chocolate Shake. Also, Supermodel Miranda Kerr likes Chia seeds, too.

What is Chia Fresca?

Tony

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