Power Breakfasts for School and Work

Breakfasts to Sustain Mind and Body

In recent years, when the proportion of adults who skip breakfast has essentially doubled, the rate of obesity has also doubled.

Breakfast is truly the most important meal of the day. Remember that the brain cannot run on fat stores. It needs ready supplies of glucose. If we do not supply our brain with good carbohydrates at breakfast, our mind will not be able to concentrate well at the office or school. Ultimately we get a headache or become so hungry that we go for a high-calorie, mid-morning pick-up.

If we skip breakfast and expect our mind to function through the morning, the body will have to find energy somewhere and, since it cannot use fat to supply the brain, it will be forced to tap (albeit inefficiently) into its protein (muscle) stores. This is one of the reasons that you cannot come out even eating the extra piece of pie over a late dinner, rationalizing that you will balance off the calories by skipping breakfast the next day. Without breakfast, your body goes into starvation mode and begins to hoard calories.

Starting the day with a good breakfast speeds up your metabolism and fuels your muscles as well as your brain. Studies show that people who eat substantial breakfasts end up consuming the fewest calories over the course of a whole day.

A good rule of thumb for a hearty breakfast is to observe the 40/30/30 guideline, with carbohydrates share a bit above that of protein and fats. Beyond this, anything goes! Use your imagination, your leftovers, and have fun. For a sustaining breakfast, there is nothing wrong with a steaming bowl of lentil soup, for example, with whole-grain rye bread, spread with a nut or seed butter. Meats, soups, vegetables are also fine breakfast foods. It is the food companies backed by advertising that have redefined breakfast to be high-carbohydrate/sugary boxed cereals, Pop-Tarts, and packaged goods rather than traditional eggs, whole-grain porridges, and other traditional whole foods that help stabilize blood sugar and sustain energy.

Amaranth with Goji Berries and Chopped Almonds
Amaranth is a high-protein, non-gluten grain. Goji berries are great anti-oxidants, anti-aging, and boost the immune system. Almonds add protein.

This recipe is simple and one of my favorites. It can be made in big batches, can be cooked up the evening before while you enjoy your dinner. It also freezes well.

1 cup amaranth
3 cups water
1 cup Goji berries, raisins, or other dried/frozen berries
1 cup chopped almonds

Put amaranth, water, and berries in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Stir. Simmer, covered for about 25 minutes until all liquid is absorbed.
For more texture, stir in cooked millet, brown rice, or other grains, after cooking.

Peanut Butter Muffins
2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 T. baking powder
t. salt
cup natural, organic peanut butter
1/3 cup cold-pressed oil
cup organic honey or molasses
1 cups milk

Mix together first 3 dry ingredients.
In a separate bowl, mix and blend the remaining ingredients.
Add dry ingredients to liquid mixture.
Blend, but do not beat.
Fill 12 oiled muffin tins 2/3rds full.
Bake 25 minutes in a pre-heated, 350 degree oven, or until done.

Almond-Oat Squares
2 cups rolled oats
cup chopped almonds
cup oat bran
cup sesame seeds
Pinch of salt
2/3 cup organic applesauce or mashed banana
2/3 cup almond butter

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. In a small bowl blend the applesauce or mased banana with the almond butter until well-blended. Aadd this to the dry ingredients, mix well, and pour into a 11×7 oiled baking dish.
Bake at 300 degrees for 35 minutes.
Note: Peanut and peanut butter or cashews and cashew butter can also be used.
Source: Ann Louise Gittleman

Pathways4Health Apple-Blueberry Bread Pudding
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups milk or nut milk
cup honey or equivalent
1 T. cinnamon
1 T. vanilla
3 cups whole-grain bread in cubes
1 cup dried blueberries
1 chopped apple, pear, plum etc.

In a large bowl, mix together the first five ingredients.
Place bread cubes in a greased 8-9 round baking dish and sprinkle with the dried blueberries (or other dried fruits and nuts) and the chopped apple/pear/plum.
Pour wet ingredients over all and bake in a pre-heated 325 degree oven, 35-40 minutes.

For more ideas, see Snack Bars