04. April 2011

My Mom was big on breakfast. Maybe it was just an Iowa thing. But every morning we awakened to the aroma of fresh-brewed coffee and the beginnings of a boffo breakfast. Eggs, buttered toast or English muffins, oatmeal, o.j. and fruit. It was just part of our family routine.

I can still hear Mom reminding us to eat our breakfast. “It’s the most important meal of the day!”

Turns out, Mom was right… about a lot of things, actually. Too bad I didn’t heed her advice as I embarked on my own. As a young woman, I’d skip breakfast (thinking I could save the calories until later!) run on fumes for much of the day, then gobble up whatever crossed my path later. If a bag of Oreos was handy, that would be dinner. Big mistake.

In my early 40’s, I finally woke up and “smelled the coffee!” My energy low and outlook bleak, I turned to my doctor for help. His advice took me back to the basics… and back to breakfast. I started feeling better almost immediately!

Mom was right. Eating breakfast not only gives me energy (duh!) to start the day, it helps me concentrate, gives me strength AND helps me maintain a healthy weight.

How ‘bout you? If you start the day with an empty tank and wonder why you’re fading by 10, add breakfast to your morning routine and experience the difference for yourself.

I keep it simple with a bowl of whole grain cereal. I like to mix ‘em up… Shredded Wheat, Raisin Bran, Kashi Go Lean Crisp and Barbara’s multi-grain Shredded Spoonfuls… to name a few! To that I add a couple spoonfuls of ground flaxseed, some wheat germ and a scoop of whey protein (available at any health food store), then cover it all in low-fat almond or dairy milk.

My husband calls it “glop,” but I don’t care! Add a mug of full-bodied coffee and I’m ready for anything! And even if I can’t eat right the rest of the day, at least I’ve got a good start.

Now, if “glop” isn’t your thing… not to worry! Here’s a list of healthy and easy breakfast options. One is sure to be right for you:

  • Cooked oatmeal with almonds or dried cranberries
  • Cold cereal with a side of fruit
  • A whole wheat pita stuffed with hard-boiled eggs
  • Leftover vegetable pizza (seriously!)
  • Vegetables, salsa and low-fat shredded cheese wrapped in a tortilla
  • A smoothie blended from fruits, low-fat yogurt and a spoonful of wheat germ
  • Whole-wheat crackers with low-fat cheese or peanut butter
  • Veggie omelet and toast
  • A whole-wheat sandwich with lean meat and low-fat cheese
  • Multigrain pancakes with fruit and yogurt
  • A whole-grain waffle with peanut butter

So, whether you tend to stick with traditional breakfast option or prefer the variety of eating “outside the (cereal) box,” you have plenty of ways to eat a healthy breakfast each day. Just make sure you incorporate the core of a healthy breakfast… whole grains, low-fat protein, low-fat dairy, fruits and vegetables.

So, don’t rob yourself of the opportunity to eat more vitamins and minerals, eat less fat, have better concentration and productivity, control your weight and have lower cholesterol, which may reduce your risk of heart disease.

Eat your breakfast. It’s good for you. Thanks Mom.

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