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Begin your day with breakfast

February 29, 2012
By Katie Wilhelmi , Marshall Independent

Breakfast simply means to "break-the-fast." When you sleep, your body tends to burn fewer calories. You can burn more calories and jump-start your metabolism by eating breakfast.

Researchers have consistently found that breakfast benefits men and women of all ages.

Children who are hungry in the morning have reduced concentration abilities, problem-solving skills and muscle coordination, all important in reading, writing and math.

Adults who consume breakfast have improved ability to perform tasks that require memory.

Breakfast helps to prevent mid-afternoon cravings for sweets.

Here are some tips to maximize your breakfast experience.

Start with whole grains

Whole grain carbohydrates provide energy, fiber and lots of vitamins and minerals. In order to add healthy carbs to your breakfast, try oatmeal and whole-grain products such as bread, cereal, muffins or waffles.

Add protein

Proteins contain amino acids that build, maintain and replace tissues throughout the body. Try lean proteins like an egg, slice of cheese, Greek yogurt, kefir, nut butters, cottage cheese, Canadian bacon or a sprinkle of wheat germ atop just about anything.

Remember fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are loaded with antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals. It's easy to incorporate fruits at breakfast since Mother Nature packages many of them in a ready-to-go container. Before heading out the door, grab a banana, pear, apple, grapefruit or other seasonal selection. Frozen berries and tropical blends can be whipped into a smoothie. Chopped vegetables like spinach, broccoli, carrots and tomatoes can be added to your morning omelet or served up raw in a juice.

Easy-to-make breakfast ideas

Fiber One chewy bar; drinkable yogurt.

String cheese wrapped with slice of ham; whole grain bread wrapped around meat and cheese; 100 percent grape juice.

Peanut butter spread on toasted waffles or Fiber One crackers; chocolate milk.

Hard-boiled egg; tomato juice or spicy V8 juice

Western bagel with Laughing Cow cheese; orange or orange juice.

Erin Baker's breakfast cookie; single-serve milk.

Breakfast-in-a-bag: whole almonds, dried cherries or cranberries, Kashi Heart to Heart cereal and chocolate Chex. Mix and pre-portion ahead of time in snack-size bags.

Breakfast parfait: layer strawberry yogurt, Back to Nature granola and sliced banana, or stir 2 tablespoons powdered peanut butter into vanilla yogurt; top with crushed graham crackers.

Breakfast taco: 1/4 cup 2 percent milk. Shredded cheddar cheese on a flour tortilla; microwave 30 seconds; roll while warm - add salsa, if desired. 100 percent juice.

Oatmeal topped with walnuts or almonds, and fresh fruits.

Whole wheat muffin sandwich, made with Egg Beaters, Canadian bacon and reduced-fat cheese.

Greek yogurt with fresh berries; whole wheat toast with almond butter.



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