You do eat breakfast, right? When I'm away from home and can't eat normally, I miss my yummy morning meals more than any other. I always have strong, black tea brewed from loose leaves, some kind of fruit and whole grains in one form or another. This time of year, pink grapefruit is my breakfast fruit of choice, and I also load up my oatmeal or cold cereal with fresh berries, dried cranberries and/or chopped apple.
But there are lots of good breakfast options. One of my favorite healthy-foodie tipsters, Andrew Weil, has suggested the best (and worst) foods we can have at breakfast. Here's his three best and three to avoid. As you can see, he is a real fan of soy milk and other soy products. (I use soy milk in my oatmeal but otherwise haven't adopted a lot of soy in my diet.)
EXCELLENT MORNING CHOICES:
- A bowl of whole-grain cereal with calcium-fortified soy milk and some fruit. Add a tablespoon of freshly ground flaxseeds on top as a source of omega-3 fatty acids.
- A soy shake (blend 1/2 cake silken tofu, 1/2 cup apple juice, 1 cup frozen organic strawberries and 1 banana).
- Keep some hard boiled eggs (choose free-range, omega-3 fortified eggs) on hand to eat with whole-grain toast. Include a glass of calcium-fortified orange juice and a container of nonfat plain yogurt. Add your own fruit or granola.
BUT DON'T DO THESE:
- Doughnuts. High in sugar, trans-fats, calories and refined flour, doughnuts are not only bad for your waistline, but ultimately disastrous for your energy levels as well. The high sugar content is likely to end in a midday energy crash. If you crave a doughnut, try a piece of whole-grain bread with some jam and peanut butter instead.
- Fast-Food "Breakfast Sandwiches." The combination of low-quality, fried meats, processed cheese, and refined breads adds up to a high-calorie, high-sodium, fat-laden food. A better option is to make a sandwich at home - include whole-grain bread, and low-fat cheese, along with fresh veggies to boost your morning fiber.
- Sugared Cereal. While different brands vary widely in the amount of added sugars (do your homework and read the labels), sugared cereals should not be a part of your morning routine - or your diet, period. If you crave sweetness, try adding a teaspoon of sugar or stevia to unsweetened whole-grain cereals, or try a bowl of steel-cut oats with some blackstrap molasses, which provides an added dose of calcium.