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The Voice of the Black Community

Life and Religion

Eating a nutritious breakfast is as easy as 1-2-3
Expert tips on preparing a quick and easy morning meal
 
Published Thursday, January 17, 2013 8:30 am
by Michaela L. Duckett

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Breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day, but many of us have little time to prepare a nutritious meal in the morning.

Breakfast is said to be the most important meal. It fuels the body with the energy it needs to start the day off right. But even with the best intentions, many of us have little time to prepare a nutritious meal each morning.

It is often tempting to grab something on the go, which can actually leave you feeling hungrier, sluggish and tired by mid-morning.

“When you start the day with coffee and a pastry, your blood sugar peaks quickly and then it crashes, which may send you for another sugary snack, adding empty calories, fat and sugar to your diet,” said health and wellness expert and bestselling author Chef Devin Alexander.

However, Alexander said making a nutritious breakfast is easy. Just follow her three simple steps:

Step one: high fiber carbs

“It’s a myth that all carbohydrates are bad,” says Alexander. “Carbohydrates that deliver fiber and nutrients, like fruit and whole grains, provide energy, and the best ones also deliver high fiber to help digestion. With high-fiber choices, your body is using up 25 percent of the high-fiber food’s calories just to digest it, and it’s going to fill you up, too.”

High-fiber choices abound for breakfast, from whole grain breads and muffins to hot or cold cereals.

Get creative with toppings to jazz up these choices for added nutrition and flavor. Try adding dried fruits such as raisins or apricots, or even unsalted nuts to oatmeal. Or top a whole wheat English muffin with chunky peanut butter and a sliced banana for a satisfying treat.

Step two: berries or fruit

Berries pack in a host of nutrients including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, plus fiber. And because of their high water content, you can eat more of them than denser fruits.

For instance, you can enjoy a full cup of berries versus half of a banana or half of a large apple for the same number of calories. Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries are all good choices, as the richer the color, the more antioxidants and vitamins they will have.

During the winter when it’s harder to get fresh berries, buy freshly frozen berries and keep them on hand to incorporate into breakfast. So have fun. Toss them on cereal. Add them to yogurt for a flavorful parfait. Fold them into pancake batter, and flip with happiness.

Step three: protein

A key component of a better breakfast is protein. The Institute of Health’s Dietary Reference recommends 10 to 35 percent of total daily caloric intake for normal healthy adults to come from protein.

“Most Americans struggle to take in enough protein to make up 35 percent of their daily calories,” Alexander says. “One way to stay satisfied all morning is to add protein to your diet as part of breakfast.”

A recent survey found that bacon is the most popular breakfast protein, with taste cited as the main factor that sets it apart from sausage and ham.

Eggs, another great source of protein, were cited as the most popular food to eat with bacon, according to survey respondents. If you want the protein but without saturated fat and cholesterol, there are a variety of egg substitutes and egg whites available that work great in breakfast recipes.

Try this recipe with a side of fruit to enjoy all three components of a better breakfast:

California Breakfast Sandwich

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PHOTO/BRANDPOINT
California Breakfast Sandwich

Prep time: 5 minutes

Total time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

Butter-flavored cooking spray

2 egg whites

1 whole wheat English muffin

1/4 small avocado, cut into three slices or 1 ounce Wholly Guacamole Classic dip

1 large or 3 small, thin tomato slices

2 slices JENNIE-O turkey bacon, cut in half crosswise

Directions:

Mist a large ramekin (about 5 inches in diameter) with spray. Add the egg whites. Set aside. Heat a medium-nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Lay the bacon strips side-by-side so they do not touch. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, turn and cook 1 minute longer until cooked to desired crispness, about 2 to 3 minutes total. Place on a paper-towel-lined plate. Meanwhile, poach the egg whites. Separate the halves of the English muffin and toast. Place the bottom half of the English muffin on a plate. Add avocado slices or spread 1 ounce of Wholly Guacamole Classic dip on English muffin. Add the egg, tomato and bacon. Cover with English muffin top. Serve immediately.

Makes 1 serving: 277 calories, 17 g protein, 28 g carbohydrates, 3 g sugar, 11 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 602 mg sodium.

Visit www.Jennieo.com or  www.SwitchToTurkey.com for more recipes.

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