You may not be surprised to know that 50% of Americans skip breakfast at least once or twice a week.
Many clients tell me that they’re not hungry when they first get up and they are already on their way to work when hunger pangs hit. . I get that! Over time, skipping breakfast can over ride the bodies need for fuel and become just another habit. Not having enough time for breakfast, is another challenge that many people struggle with. Grabbing a breakfast bar, gobbling down a quick bowl of cereal or stopping for a pastry or bagel and coffee on the way seems better than nothing. The downside to this is that sugar and refined, processed foods are lacking in fiber, vitamins and vital nutrients.
These types of foods are quickly digested, rapidly spiking blood sugar levels, (which can feel like a burst of energy), followed by a quick drop in blood sugar. Regularly consuming sugar and refined carbohydrates has been linked to diabetes, obesity, low energy, chronic inflammation and a host of many other health conditions.
Breakfast, the first meal of the day, provides needed fuel after a night of fasting and resting. But what are some easy to prepare foods that I can bring with me to eat for breakfast on my way to work, (or for lunch), is a question that I hear often. According to a recent study by Author Michael Pollan, “20% of food eating happens in the car”, usually on the way to work, school or other activities.
Busy schedules combined with cultural habits of multi tasking have changed the way many of us nourish ourselves each day. Eating on the go or mindless eating. (eating when you are focusing on something else) is a no win situation. Eating on the go has been shown to lead to over eating and more snacking throughout the day. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes a good snack is exactly what you need, especially if you haven’t eaten breakfast. But when you’re not paying attention to the full experience of eating; tasting, aroma, texture, chewing and pleasure, it’s hard to feel satisfied. Nourishment is only in part derived from the actual food that we are consuming.
Many Americans don’t even take a break for lunch, eating at the desk, skipping lunch or just nibbling throughout the day. It is no wonder that many people experience difficulties with digestion, acid reflux, blood sugar stability, bloating and irregular bowel movements.
Instead of focusing on what can I throw in my bag to eat quickly, how about adopting a new approach to eating that supports your health and leaves you feeling energized?
Practically speaking it’s helpful to have a plan, write it down and decide what you’re going to eat ahead of time.
As often as possible, set aside time in your morning routine to sit down and eat breakfast. When this is not possible, prepare your food ahead of time, pack it up and have it ready to take with you. Put the effort and attention into this step and keep it simple. Don’t rely on packaged, processed foods to get you through especially when you know you’re going to be busy.
Be open to adding new foods into your meals. Breakfast doesn’t have to look like a bowl of dry cereal and fruit or eggs & toast. When the weather gets cooler, try sippable, nutritious soups, bone broth or leftover from the meal the night before for breakfast (and lunch), sautéed greens or roasted vegetables with poached eggs are some of my favorites.
Put aside time to just eat your meal.
Even if you are taking food with you to eat, stop and take 15 minutes to just eat, pull the car off the road into a safe rest stop, step out of your office , away from the desk and just eat your meal… no phones, no computer, no TV.
Improving your health & happiness is often achieved with small and consistent steps. How about starting with Breakfast? Take a look at Breakfast Recipes for some delicious inspiration.