As you sleep, your body is hard at work digesting yesterday’s dinner. By the time you wake up, your body and brain are demanding fresh fuel. “Breaking the fast” is a key way to power up in the morning. Do it right and the benefits can last all day.
If you miss the day’s first meal, notes Dr. David S. Ludwig, a nutrition expert at Harvard-affiliated Children’s Hospital Boston, you may start off with an energy deficit and have to tap into your energy reserves.
What’s a good breakfast? One that delivers some healthful protein, some slowly digested carbohydrates, and some fruit or vegetables. A vegetable omelet with a slice of whole-grain toast qualifies, as does a bowl of high-fiber cereal topped with fresh fruit and reduced-fat or soy milk, along with a handful of almonds or walnuts.
Try these 4 tips for creating your own energy-boosting breakfast:
- Choose whole grains. High-fiber, whole-grain cereals and breads can help keep your blood sugar on an even keel and avoid a mid-morning energy crash. With the hundreds of types of cereal on the market, bran cereal, bran flakes, and steel-cut oatmeal are typically the healthiest bets. To choose the healthiest breakfast cereal, read the label and look for:
- 5 grams or more of fiber per serving
- less than 300 milligrams of sodium per serving
- less than 5 grams of sugar per serving
- whole grain as the first item on the ingredient list
- Include protein. Yogurt is a good choice; Greek yogurt has more protein than regular yogurt. Eggs (up to one a day) are okay for healthy people. Although yolks are high in cholesterol, eggs have proteins, vitamins, and other nutrients and don’t appear to increase the risk for developing heart disease. You might also include foods that have healthful fats such as those in nuts or salmon. Limit processed meats to the occasional treat as these foods are associated with a higher risk of colorectal cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
- Eat in, not out. You can enjoy a healthful breakfast out if you stick to oatmeal. But much of the traditional fare will start your day with loads of refined carbohydrates and saturated fat. Like most processed food, the breakfast offerings from fast-food chains tend to be high-sodium, low-fiber disasters.
- Blend up a breakfast smoothie. Combine fruit, juice, yogurt, wheat germ, tofu, and other ingredients. Toss them in your blender with a bit of ice and you have a refreshing, high energy breakfast.
For more on developing natural strategies for boosting your energy, buy Boosting Your Energy, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.
Bible verses for today’s meditation and inspiration: Matthew E. McLaren
But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 1 Timothy 6:11 NIV
For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 1 John 5:4 NIV
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:2 NIV
I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I have set my heart on your laws. Psalm 119:30 NIV
“Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road. Mark 10:52 NIV
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:35 NIV
“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Mark 9:23 NIV
For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. Romans 10:10 NIV
And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise. Hebrews 11:11 NIV
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 NIV
So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. Galatians 3:26-27 NIV
For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” Romans 1:17 NIV
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. Mark 16:16 NIV
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