Break the Fast

Have you heard people say: “I eat pretty healthy all day, but I’m not a breakfast eater.  I just drink my morning coffee.”  Or “I don’t have time for breakfast.”  Well, let me just clarify this for your – they weren’t lying when they said, “Breakfast is the MOST IMPORTANT meal of the day!”

Skipping out on breakfast can have short term effects such as moodiness, poor focusing ability, and low energy levels.  But it can also have horrible long-term effects on your body.  Did you know that skipping out on breakfast can lead to obesity which in turns leads itself to cardiovascular disease, joint pain, labored breathing which prohibits oxygenated blood to get to your brain and extremities, sometimes diabetes, and some types of cancer.  So you see – eating breakfast is pretty important.

Let me get elementary school teacher on you for just moment and let’s break down the word breakfast.  Breakfast is made up of two words: break and fast.  Simply meaning, breakfast is breaking the fast.  Think about it – you just got done sleeping for 6-8 hours, you probably ate dinner and hour or 2 before that.  So let’s assume you’ve just gone 8+ hours WITHOUT eating.  Your body is SCREAMING for fuel.

Eating breakfast in the morning ramps up your metabolism for extra fat burning throughout the day.  It also gives you energy, helps you focus, and let’s face it, we’re always in a better mood when we are not hungry.  When you eat breakfast, you are less likely to snack on candy bars, cookies, and other unhealthy snack choices that simply sound better when you are starving.  You are also less likely to binge during your lunch hour on not so healthy options as well.  I mean whoever says, “Man, I’m starving!  I am really craving a garden salad with light balsamic dressing.”  NO ONE.  When you are starving you want the burger and fries (and speaking from experience – your belly and waistline, not to mention your energy levels will be paying the price later).  So it’s extremely important to fuel your body in the morning so it doesn’t come to this.

Now that we’ve gotten the why squared away, we need to talk about the what – meaning: What should I be putting into my body?  You might be thinking to yourself, “Well, I don’t have time to get up and make breakfast, so I’ll just run through the drive-through on my way to work.”  While that is better than skipping breakfast, eating fast food every day is not a good idea.  Not only will eating fast food breakfasts every day cause you to gain weight (no – just because you are ramping up your metabolism doesn’t mean it will burn off that 900 calorie breakfast sandwich you just put down), the fat and sodium that are packed into these delicious drive-through goodies can have adverse affects on your health. Namely: high blood pressure, heart attack & stroke (due to blocked/clogged arteries), and even a risk for dementia.  Mmmm – McDonald’s anyone???

So yea – we get it that fast food isn’t good for you, especially on a daily basis.  Ideally, egg white omelettes with fresh veggies are probably your best bet.  But if you are anything like me, I would have to get up an hour earlier than I already do in order to cook my breakfast, eat it, and wash the dishes, and I’m sorry but my butt isn’t getting out of bed at 4 AM just to eat breakfast.  So what are some alternatives?

Oatmeal – They make oatmeal to go, just add water in the container, microwave, and eat it in the car.  Oatmeal is a great source of whole grains and it’s chock full of fiber.  Fiber is great for weight-loss and for keeping you full longer.  Whole grains are also said to lower your bad cholesterol and therefore heart-healthy.

Overnight Oatmeal – This is a simple recipe, but it must be made the night before – hence Overnight Oatmeal. This is a simple concoction of greek yogurt, old-fashioned oats, flaxseed meal, and any sort of add-ins you like.  It makes a porridge like substance and it is eaten cold, right out of the container.  The benefit of this breakfast is that it has protein from the greek yogurt, fiber from the oats and flaxseed meal, and it has healthy omegas added in from the flaxseed.  I ate it for a while, but quickly got bored with the flavors and if you don’t rinse out your container right away, it gets pretty nasty.

Eggs to go – You can use Egg Beaters or Scrambled eggs, but simply pour them into a muffin tin that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, add in your favorite fresh ingredients (veggies not bacon – sorry!) and whatever seasonings you like.  Throw it in the oven at 350 degrees until the eggs are set.  Put them in a tupperware and refrigerate them until you are ready to use.  Pop them into the microwave, eat as is, or put them on toast for an at home breakfast sandwich alternative.  Making this at home saves you on money and you know exactly what ingredients are being used.

Vi-Shape Shake – This is my personal favorite because it is what I drink every morning.  I don’t always drink the same flavor so it allows me to mix it up a bit so I don’t get bored.  But I absolute favorite thing about drinking a shake is that I pour 12 oz. of light soy milk into a shaker bottle, dump 2 scoops of Vi-Shape protein in it, and take it in the car.  I literally will be shaking up my breakfast while I’m pulling out of my driveway.  This is by far THE FASTEST breakfast I’ve ever made.  And you are probably thinking that it won’t keep me full – and that’s where you’d be wrong.  The Vi-Shape protein shake has a full serving of fiber which keeps things moving (important for weight-loss) and it keeps you full because it takes longer to digest.  It also has 12 grams of protein (17g when using 12 oz. of soy milk) which aides in the breakdown of fat and promotes the production of lean muscle.  What I love about the Vi-Shape shake is that it has a unique blend of proteins that you can’t get from any other protein powder that you can get at GNC or GNC like stores.  Also – it has less than 2 grams of sugar and virtually no fat (except for what you mix it in) and for all you Weight Watcher folks out there, it is only 2 POINTS on the Weight Watchers scale.  Yup – so you can start out your day knowing you are putting good fuel into your body.

The take-away from this article – EAT A HEALTHY BREAKFAST.  You’re body will thank you for it and it will boost your fitness/weight-loss goals.


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About Food4Thought

I am no fitness expert. I am simply someone who has found joy in fitness and nutrition. I am a certified group fitness instructor. I’ve been teaching at the local health club for about 3 years now. While Zumba was my first love, I have since added Total Conditioning, Bodyworks plus Abs, and Core to my repertoire of classes. I work with a personal trainer to help me reach my fitness goals that I cannot obtain through group fitness alone. This year I ran my first 5K and plan to run my first 10K in March. To further my knowledge in the fitness realm, I have begun reading Strong Women Stay Slim, New Rules for Lifting Abs, and The Body Sculpting Bible for Women. On my list to read next is Wheat Belly. I am always looking for new ways to further my education and knowledge to better serve the members that take my group fitness classes. Lately, I have started tinkering with recipes, buying healthy cookbooks, and finding easy, tasty, and healthy foods to make. Like I mentioned earlier, I am by no means an expert, but the things I share with you have helped me tremendously with my fitness journey. It is my hope that with these easy tips and recipes, that you too can make these tiny steps and see big positive changes in your life.

3 responses to “Break the Fast”

  1. moderngirlnutrition says :

    Great post! Breakfast is really so important:) Green smoothies are my favorite!

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