The Most Important Meal

Katie Schlemer, RD, LDN

We all know the saying “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” but how many of us actually follow through and live up to this saying? Common problems for incorporating a healthy breakfast are that we either skip it altogether or end up eating something unhealthy. Below are some tips for getting the most out of our breakfast meal!

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The problem: I skip breakfast.

The excuse: I’m not hungry when I wake up in the morning.

The fix: Nobody said you have to eat breakfast the second you wake up! It’s okay to wait an hour or two before eating. Make sure to schedule in a time to eat if you will be at work or busy with errands. The key is to plan for your breakfast by having something healthy on-hand.

The problem: I skip breakfast.

The excuse: I don’t have time to fix and eat breakfast.

The fix: Make time for it! Start your day a little bit earlier by setting the alarm 15-30 minutes before you usually get up (and don’t hit the snooze button!). You can also consider preparing your breakfast the night before. A recipe such as overnight oats can be made in advance. If you find yourself short on time at home, plan ahead and bring a healthy breakfast to work with you. Quick and easy grab-and-go foods could include items such as hard boiled eggs, fruit, yogurt, cottage cheese, granola bars, sandwiches, or toast.

The problem: I eat breakfast, but I know it’s not healthy.

The excuse: My office always has _____ (doughnuts, bagels, muffins, etc).

The fix: Consider talking to your coworkers or managers about changing this! Maybe you can convince the office to order healthier items like a fruit tray. You can also compromise by keeping the food in the break room or conference room. People often make healthier decisions when the unhealthy choice is out of view or inconvenient to get to. In any case, being prepared with bringing your healthy breakfast can limit the temptation to get a doughnut. If you go in to work starving, it’s much harder to deny free food!

The problem: I eat breakfast, but I know it’s not healthy.

The excuse: It’s too expensive to eat healthy.

The fix: It all comes down to planning ahead. Eating healthy, affordable meals can be done! Getting dollar menu fast food items may seem like the cheap fix, but making smart groceries in advance can be even cheaper! Buying in bulk can lower the total cost. For example, a 42-oz container of quick oats from Wal Mart costs only 8 cents per serving! Doing the prep work yourself can also save money. For example, hard-boiling a carton of eggs will be less expensive than buying a cafeteria hard-boiled egg. Another money-saving tip is to buy produce in season. For example, citrus fruits like oranges, satsumas, and clementine tend to be less expensive in the winter whereas berries such as strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries are in season during the summer months.

Katie Schlemer, RD, LDN, is a Registered Dietitian and a Diabetes Educator in the Touro Diabetes Center. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics from Saint Louis University and completed her Dietetic Internship at Tulane University. Katie counsels individuals with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes, and gestational diabetes. Her goal is to help individuals learn how to maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to live well with diabetes.

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