Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wellness Wednesday: Eat your breakfast

Every Wednesday, I plan to post some information regarding health (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual) and achieving/maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Each week will include a challenge so that together we can all begin to live healthier lives.

I have chosen to start with a topic pertinent to physical health, eating breakfast. Breakfast has often been touted as the most important meal of the day, yet many of us choose to skip it and/or allow our children to leave home without it. Skipping breakfast can play a part in obesity, high cholesterol, high blood sugar levels, inability to concentrate, and lack of energy. Studies have shown that eating a healthy breakfast helps bring our blood sugar levels back to normal which in turn, helps to control our satiety (feeling of fullness) and energy levels. In fact, not only is eating breakfast important, it should also be the meal in which we consume the majority of the day's calories. It is not uncommon for many of us to do just the opposite of this by skipping or skimping on breakfast and eating a huge dinner. When you think about though, we NEED the extra calories in the morning when we are starting our day's activities, not in the evening when we are beginning to settle in.

So what is a healthy breakfast? You want to include as many different food groupos as possible (grains, fruit, vegetables, dairy, and protein), but definitely include whole grains and some protein in order to ensure feelings of fullness as the day progresses. There are many breakfast ideas and recipes on Mr. Breakfast's website and he even has a page dedicated to healthy breakfast options. Also, on MoneySavingMom, there is a recipe for a healthy, frugal breakfast of Baked Oatmeal. Some other meal ideas are an egg cooked to your liking, some whole grain toast, an orange, and a yogurt; whole grain blueberry waffles with a slice of lean ham and a glass of skim milk; or a scrambled egg on a whole wheat muffin and a slice of cheese with a banana.

A healthy weight, a reduced risk of diabetes/heart disease/high cholesterol, and the ability to concentrate and have the needed energy for your day are great motivators for eating breakfast and ensuring that your children eat it as well. From personal experience, I know I just feel better and tend to be in a better mood, on days when I have eaten breakfast. I also lost 80 pounds over the course of 2004 and one of the major changes I had made was to eat a healthy breakfast every day. I have since gained much of that weight back, and while I did have 2 children during that time (December 2006 and June 2008), I also stopped eating breakfast every day. My challenge for this week for myself and for you, is to eat something for breakfast every day and to try one new recipe from the Mr. Breakfast website. Of course, the healthier the breakfast the better, but the goal right now is to just get in the habit of eating breakfast every day. Bon appetit!

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