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We’ve all heard the saying, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” so why do so many of us skip breakfast on a regular basis? The most frequent response to that question: time. Morning is one of the most hectic parts of the day. You’ve got to get the kids to school, yourself to work, maybe you’re trying to fit a workout in as well. After feeding everyone else, many people just don’t take the time to feed themselves, and that’s a mistake. Breakfast sets the tone for the rest of your day. It gives you energy after a long night of not eating, it fuels you until lunch so you can think and work at your best level. And do you know what happens to lots of people who skip breakfast? They end up eating large lunches to make up for it, and usually, large dinners as well. Studies show that people who eat breakfast are generally thinner than those who don’t. Do you know why? People who let themselves get really hungry tend to make bad food choices because they push themselves so far that they’ll eat anything quick. Look at these statistics: Those who skip breakfast generally consume 40% more sweets, 55% more soft drinks, 45% fewer vegetables and 30% less fruit.  Ouch.

So, now that we’ve got your attention, how about trying some of these healthy breakfast options?

Oatmeal: There’s a reason that your oatmeal has a little heart on the package. Oatmeal is heart healthy and helps to reduce cholesterol. It’s also rich in omega 3’s, folate and potassium. Steel cut oats are the powerhouses of oatmeal because they contain more fiber than your average oatmeal, but they take 15 minutes to cook, so if you’re in a big hurry, you may need to go with the instant variety. Instant oatmeal is still good, but watch out for flavored oatmeals because they can be loaded with sugar. Try adding honey, fruit or milk to your oatmeal instead.

Greek Yogurt: The Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest in the world, and Greek yogurt is no exception. Greek yogurt differs from regular yogurt in the way that it’s made. Greek yogurt is strained of its whey which makes it thicker and richer than your run-of-the-mill yogurt. It has twice the amount of protein as regular yogurt and usually half the sugar. If you really need to sweeten yours up, honey does the trick; or try boosting the nutrition factor while you sweeten by adding granola and/or fresh fruit.

Eggs: It used to be that eggs got a big skull and crossbones, but not anymore. Eggs are back and you should be eating them! Eggs are a great way to start your day because they are a complete protein, meaning they contain the 9 essential amino acids, and that’s not always easy to come by. They’re also a great source of vitamin D. If you’re limiting your diet to lean proteins and not loading up on fats and cholesterol, there’s no reason not to have an egg or two. For an even better breakfast, toss some veggies in, like peppers and tomatoes, maybe some mushrooms or spinach (the possibilities are endless), when you cook them up. Eggs are also great to go and easy to transport when boiled, and you can make them the night before and save some precious morning minutes.

Smoothies: Just blend them and go! Smoothies are a great choice for people on the go. You can pack in nutrients by including some leafy greens along with your favorite fruits, then add a protein punch with almonds or other nuts, almond milk or low-fat/non-fat milk, or protein powders, and even get your grains in with a dash of wheat germ, granola or flaxseed. Easy peezy!

Almond Butter: If you don’t do dairy or eggs and need an alternative to your smoothie every once in a while, give almond butter a try. Spread it on whole grain toast with bananas, or put it between two slices of apple with some granola tossed in for a new kind of breakfast sandwich. Almond butter is more or less equivalent to peanut butter calorie wise, but it contains slightly less saturated fat (and that’s always a good thing.)

At Brown Bag, our brand of cuisine-on-the-fly includes healthy breakfasts. We have omelets and breakfast sandwiches, as well as yogurt and fresh fruit. Think you don’t have the time or energy to put breakfast together for yourself every morning? Come see us. We’ll start your day off right and keep you energized ’til lunchtime. And if you’re looking to have breakfast meetings catered, we’re your answer. Healthy for the whole office–with a dose of morning caffeine courtesy of Swing’s coffee! We do hot and cold catering, so give us a call with any questions. In the meantime, have some breakfast.:)