Breakfast – What’s the Big Deal?

by Janet Gamble on March 12, 2012

Our bodies need energy 24/7. Even while we are asleep our bodies are using up stored energy to keep us going. When we wake up in the morning and “break our fast” we are providing our bodies with an infusion of new energy sources to get us through the day until our next “fast”.

So why exactly is breakfast “the most important meal of the day”? When you consume an early morning meal it increases your body’s metabolic rate (how fast you are able to burn calories) and kick starts it into gear, telling it what to expect for the rest of the day. If you don’t eat breakfast, your body doesn’t process your next meal as quickly – it tries to hold onto that energy. So when you don’t provide your body with any morning fuel, it tries to hold onto its next meal (lunch) as long as possible — instead of burning those calories right away.

Research has shown that eating breakfast not only gets your metabolism going but it may reduce your hunger, help you make healthier food choices, and provide you with greater energy, and an increased ability to focus and concentrate throughout the day.
If you’re too busy in the morning to sit down and eat, pack a substantial snack for the car on the way to work (peanut butter and banana sandwich), or for once you’re settled at your desk (some yogurt and fruit). And if you’re not hungry in the morning… try and monitor how much ‘snacking’ you are doing in the evening – you may have eaten too many calories the night before. If you’re skipping breakfast because you don’t like ‘breakfast foods’ then eat something else – there are no rules about not eating leftover chicken stir fry in the morning, and this solution is better than not putting any energy into your system. Also, a breakfast high in protein and fibre help to delay the emptying of your stomach contents making you feel full for longer.

Here’s a great “On the Run” breakfast cookie from dietitian and professional chef Mary Sue Waisman that’s packed full of goodness (lots of fibre and protein)! I tried these last week and they were a hit with my family and friends. There are quite a few ingredients, but well worth it.

On-the-Run Breakfast Cookies
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ cup wheat germ
1 cup large flake oats
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
½ cup raisins
1 cup dried cranberries or cherries, coarsely chopped
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
½ cup unsalted peanuts, coarsely chopped
½ cup chocolate chips
½ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup flax seeds
¼ cup sesame seeds
¼ cup poppy seeds
1 cup soft butter
½ cup peanut butter
1 ¼ cups lightly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
¼ cup 2% milk

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease two large baking sheets.
2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, wheat germ, oats, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and ginger. Add raisins, cranberries, nuts, chocolate chips, and seeds, and mix together with a spoon.
3. In a separate, large mixing bowl, cream butter and peanut butter; add brown sugar and beat well. Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. Add milk and stir to make a smooth mixture.
4. Add fruit/nut mixture to butter mixture and stir well with a wooden spoon until blended together.
5. Drop by 2 tablespoons 2 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheets. Flatten slightly with the back side of a fork.
6. Bake for 15-18 minutes until light brown and semi-firm to the touch.
7. Remove from oven; cool for 5 minutes and transfer to wire racks.
8. Store in airtight container

* Makes 48 cookies

Freeze them!!

2 cookies and a piece of fruit or small greek yogurt could be a easy breakfast option every now and again.

CALORIES (kCal) 169
FAT (g) 11.17
TRANS FAT (g) 0.252
SODIUM (mg) 85
FIBRE (g) 2.6
SUGARS (g) 8.17
PROTEIN (g) 3.98
VITAMIN A (µg) 40
VITAMIN C (mg) 0
CALCIUM (mg) 41
IRON (mg) 0.98



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