It often amazes me how
people take better care of their cars than their bodies. I have yet to
meet a person who said, “God has a plan as to when my car should ‘die’
and I do not need to worry about it. I don’t need to check or change
the oil, or perform any routine maintenance. And I don’t need to worry
about the type of gasoline I use.” We recognize the necessity of
proper care to get the longest life and best performance out of our
automobiles. When will we realize that proper care also gives our
bodies the longest life and best performance?
Today, a wealth of
scientific research has confirmed that most of the leading causes of
death and chronic diseases are preventable. We have been talking about
the lifestyle factors that will help us improve our health. Adding
breakfast to your eating pattern is a major step to improving your
lifestyle. Well, why bother with breakfast? Food is fuel. Many studies
have emphasized the importance of breakfast. If you want to make the
most of your day, fuel your body early with the right stuff.
ONE STEP AT A
TIME: WHAT TO DO
IMPORTANCE OF BREAKFAST
studies have even linked healthy breakfasts with less chronic disease,
increased longevity and better health. Starting your day with a good
breakfast boosts your energy, increases your attention span, and
heightens your sense of well-being. You’ll be in better control of
your emotions. A good breakfast is one that provides at least one
third of the day’s calories.
Most people give a variety
of reasons for not eating breakfast. A common reason is that they are
not hungry in the morning, which is a result of eating a full meal
late in the evening or late snacking. When they go to bed, the body is
still busy digesting all that food. Digestion then goes into a slower
gear during the hours of sleep and there is still food in the stomach
in the morning. The stomach needs a rest too. A tired stomach does not
feel like digesting a big breakfast. When you get up in the morning,
your glucose or blood sugar level is at its lowest point in the day.
Glucose is the basic fuel for the brain and central nervous system. A
good breakfast will keep you from being tired and irritable by
The effects of a skipped
breakfast are short attention span, lack of alertness, longer reaction
time, low blood sugar, decreased work productivity. Surely, breakfast
is the most important meal of the day. Take time to eat a large,
balanced breakfast. It’s a good investment of your time. Once you get
into the habit of eating breakfast, you may feel hungry in the
HOW TO DO IT
Breakfast is a great way
to get more fiber into your diet. Plan wisely for a healthy breakfast.
Many prepared cereals have added refined sugar, often hidden. Read
labels carefully to select cereals prepared without excessive sugar,
salt, fat, and additives.
What’s your excuse for not eating breakfast?
• “No time?” How much time
does it take to eat a bowl of cereal? Make toast and eat it on your
way to work. Make your breakfast the night before. Making time for
breakfast is making time to be healthy.
• “Not hungry?” To get started, don’t eat anything
after an early supper. Finish supper by 6:30 p.m.
• “Might gain weight?” Eating
breakfast will actually help you reach and maintain your healthy
weight. Your appetite will be satisfied longer. You’ll be eating food
when you can best burn the calories. You’ll feel great. Eat breakfast.
• You “don’t like breakfast
foods?” You don’t have to eat traditional breakfast foods. You can eat
leftovers, or a sandwich. Any healthy food is fine. Caffeine may mask
You “don’t like eating breakfast?” It is in your best interest to eat
breakfast. Take the step. Do the right thing. Eat breakfast.
Simple, easy ways to add
• Start Small. If your not a
breakfast eater, begin with whole wheat toast and/or a piece of fruit.
In a few days, add more food.
• Choose Fruit for Breakfast.
Fruit gives you fiber. Fresh fruit is the best choice. There are many
to choose from: oranges, grapefruits, apples, bananas, grapes, kiwis,
mangos, melons, berries. Eat two servings of fruit every morning.
Canned fruit packed in juice is also a good choice. Add dried fruit to
• Eat High Fiber Hot Cereal.
Hot cereal is the best choice, but there are several brands of cold
cereal on the market that are high in fiber and low in sugar. Oatmeal
is a favorite hot cereal. Try a seven grain cereal and experiment with
different grains such as millet, brown rice, quinoa, corn grits for a
variety. Try cooking grains in a crock pot overnight and it’s already
the next morning. Or cook up a large batch and re-heat the next day.
Make your own granola. Add a high fiber cereal to your favorite low
fiber cereal. Gradually increase the amount of the high fiber cereal
and decrease the amount of the low fiber cereal. For example, if you
like cornflakes, add Wheat Chex to the cornflakes. Each morning add a
little more Wheat Chex and a little less Cornflakes.
• Choose Whole Grain Bread.
Eat two slices of toast in the morning or a whole grain bagel. Spread
with fruit spread or applesauce or your favorite nut butter.
• Make Healthy Pancakes or
Waffles. Have you ever considered topping your pancakes or waffles
• Instead of scramble eggs
try scrambled tofu. You’re in for a great surprise.
The sky’s the limit. The only limitation is your imagination. Make it
a priority. Eat breakfast.
High fiber, ready to eat cereals and whole grain
--Choose a cereal with at
least 3-5 grams of fiber per serving.
--Choose cereal that have 5
grams or less of sugar per serving.
Remember 4 grams of sugar=1 teaspoon.
--Choose bread with at
least 2 grams of dietary fiber per slice.
CHALLENGE: YOU CAN DO IT!!
Try this simple
experiment. Eat one or two servings of fresh fruit every morning for
the next three weeks. Eat as many different kinds as you can find.
remember, Health is by Choice...not by chance! The choice is yours.
You don’t have to be a statistic. By adopting a better diet and wiser
lifestyle habits, you can live longer, feel better, and enjoy a
healthier, more productive life.
Nancy Schmieder works with the Better Living Ministries in
Wayland , NY as a Certified Lifestyle Consultant and Specialist.
The Better Living Ministries is a Community Resource for Lifestyle
Education and Support. Health by Choice is a practical, simple
journey on how to incorporate healthy habits into your lifestyle.
Nancy is a Mother of five and she lives with her family in
Springwater , NY . Her e-mail address is
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