I know it is cliché but breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. When I miss it (which is very rare) I’m definitely not myself – I do not have the energy I need to get through the morning or function the best I can. Breakfast, or ‘breaking your overnight fast,’ can also help get your metabolism moving for the day.
Pictured is a typical breakfast for me, including whole grain toast, 1-2 tablespoons of peanut butter, a small banana, and a Greek yogurt. This kind of meal is a satisfying blend of protein, grain, fruit, and a dairy serving. You don’t necessarily need to eat every single food group from MyPlate at every meal. I think it’s important to focus on a balance of foods so that you get the nutrients you need and feel as satisfied as possible.
However, knowledge about what constitutes a healthy meal is only one step of the battle. You may know what to eat, but how are you actually going to do it? As you’ll see in my picture, I put down a placemat at breakfast. This is a psychological cue for me to relax and enjoy the meal without rushing. By planning to wake up 20 minutes earlier and having this morning ritual, I ensure I get a healthy meal that is both satisfying and keeps me full all morning long. This also helps me become more in tune with my physical hunger cues so that I eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full.
Maybe I’ll save the Greek yogurt for later or maybe I’ll add another slice of toast if I need it. By really listening to those cues, I am able to make healthy decisions all day long and resist giving into emotional hunger temptation.
March is National Nutrition Month and this year’s theme is “Get Your Plate in Shape,” focusing on MyPlate. We invited nutrition and fitness professionals to share their typical plate to give you a glimpse of how some of the healthiest people in the country eat on a daily basis. See the series.