Most nights as I’m drifting off to sleep, I’m thinking about breakfast the next morning. Although my mind often wanders to pancakes and waffles, my body is usually telling me smoothies and veggie omelets. Thankfully, though, pancakes win out on the weekends.
But when we get in breakfast routines and ruts, it’s easy to forget about the importance of having balanced meals with complete nutrition. On a recent appearance on The Today Show, Bob Greene – Oprah’s personal trainer and author of the new book “20 Years Younger” – gave some great tips on what we should look for in a breakfast, as well as four meals containing superfoods to help ‘super-start’ our day.
Greene reminds us that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and that the four things we should look for in well balanced breakfast are whole grains, antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids and calcium. We should aim to get these components in every meal, and especially at breakfast. And a good calorie range to stay within is 400 for females, and 440 for males.
Whole grain cereal with berries – Greene recommended shredded wheat with walnuts, flax seed, strawberries and soy milk as an ideal breakfast option because it meets all of the requirements a breakfast should. The walnuts provide plenty of protein and omega 3s, the strawberries antioxidants, and the soy milk calcium. Another great cereal option would be oatmeal or bran flakes with almonds and blueberries.
Smoothies – I can’t get enough of smoothies as they’re loaded with nutrients and seem to be the best option for an on-the-go breakfast, or lunch. Greene recommended an acai almond butter smoothie with acai berries – which have been shown to boost memory – and almond butter for staying power. You can either make your smoothie the night before and keep it in the fridge, or make it the morning of and drink it on the way to work.
Yogurt parfait – Parfaits can also be made the night before to save time, and are a great way to get calcium, fruits, protein and carbs all in one dish. Greene recommended a lighter yogurt with blueberries, nuts, and either crisp bread or crackers as granolas tend to add too many calories from fat and sugar. I personally prefer greek yogurt with a little honey, a handful of dark chocolate chips and spoonful of whole grain cereal. But parfaits are so versatile and filling the options are virtually endless.
Blueberry oatmeal pancakes – Did somebody say pancakes? Greene recommended oatmeal pancakes with blueberries as a healthy breakfast option, and I’m totally on board with that. Again, the walnuts provide tons of omegas 3s, the blueberries antioxidants, and the oats plenty of healthy carbohydrates. Try our recipe for Better Blueberry Pancakes as a nutrient-packed weekend breakfast. We promise they won’t disappoint.