You’ve likely heard before that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” But do you know why it is true?
In many ways, breakfast sets the energy and metabolism “tone” for the day. Will this be a day of high energy, muscle building, and feel good brain chemistry? Or, a day of fatigue, excessive food cravings, and a sluggish, fat-storing metabolism?
Think with me on how typical Americans manage their breakfast. Are you like many who are rushed in the mornings, skipping breakfast all together? Or, perhaps it is a Starbuck’s coffee on the way to work, or a bagel? Maybe it’s a “drive through” fast food muffin with bacon, “egg” and cheese?
Maybe you eat breakfast at home. Cereal, sugary and sweet, is a possibility. Maybe on a good day, a packet of “sugar-added” instant oatmeal? Perhaps you will have a glass of juice, full of sugars.
Do any of these options sound familiar? If so, you are likely experienced with how stress and being busy in the mornings has impacted the nutritional intake of the average American. We can and MUST do better if we value excellent health.
Common breakfast foods do not come close to containing the recommended amount of essential protein, vitamins, and minerals. Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible on common American foods to consume our breakfast portion (⅓ of daily total) of recommended nutrients in the breakfast meal.
An interesting research study asked dietitians to create meal plans using common American foods and attempt to get all the recommended nutrients in the meals. The finding was shocking! Even registered dietitians could not make it happen. In fact, the daily intake of food to achieve all the nutrient goals resulted in a calorie intake of 27,000 calories per day! That’s enough to feed a high school football team for a day!
American breakfast foods tend to be very deficient of quality nutrients.
So, if dietitians can’t do it, what chance do hurried, stressed, untrained adults have? Not much. However, if we don’t get nutrition right at breakfast, there is little chance of finishing our day having consumed all the nutrition we need.
Here are 2 reasons why most people fail to achieve great nutrition at breakfast:
Reason #1) We are rushed in the morning.
You know what I’m talking about. We go to bed too late, so we set the alarm as late as possible. Then, we have to get ready for work, plan our day, and drive to work. We just don’t have time to prepare a quality breakfast.
Reason #2) Nutritious foods are typically not convenient foods.
Cereal and breads are convenient, but those grains (oats, wheat, corn, etc) are exactly the grains that fatten up cattle, hogs, and people! With little protein, but plenty of carbohydrate calories, cereals, breads, pastries, muffins, bagels, etc, do little to contribute to our true nutritional needs. Flavored coffees (and even sodas) are often the convenient breakfast of choice, with obvious health concerns from all the sugar.
Achieving great nutrition at breakfast does not have to be difficult.
It does require a plan.
If you will “give me your breakfast”, and let me guide you with modern nutritional principles, you’ll be taking a major step toward long-term health.
Here are 2 simple strategies for achieving the protein, vitamins, and minerals you need to get your day off to a fantastic nutritional start:
Strategy #1: Guarantee yourself that you will get your essential vitamins and minerals every morning by using quality supplements.
This is simple and convenient. At our clinics, we call it our Essential Nutrient Package. It includes Metabolism Essentials Multi (vitamins, minerals, other key nutrients), Omega 3 Essentials (omega 3 essential fatty acids, and Cal Mag Essentials (a balance of the important calcium and magnesium minerals).
By pre-portioning your doses in a Weekly AM/PM Pill Planners, it’s just a matter of taking what is in that morning’s compartment. Done! You’ve just gotten half the vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids that you need for the entire day! What a great way to start off your day’s nutrition!
Strategy #2: Guarantee yourself that you will get a generous portion of high quality, low fat protein to start your day by giving yourself a “protein promise”.
For those of us seeking weight control, a goal for men is 30 grams of quality protein at breakfast. For women, 15-30 grams is usually appropriate. This can be accomplished, when time allows, with lean poultry, egg whites, certain low carbohydrate high protein yogurts, or low fat cottage cheese. The reality for most of us, however, is that a “grab and go” meal replacement is far more convenient and achievable for a routine breakfast.
Our clients seeking quality nutrition and weight control have made the following meal replacements top choices for breakfast:
- Chocolate Dream Shake (Ready to Drink). Just grab and go. Works great for taking your morning vitamin supplements. (15 grams high quality protein)
- Marshmallow Treat Bar. This is our top selling bar. Tastes great, very convenient. Remember those rice crispy treats we loved as kids? This one is guilt-free! (15 grams high quality protein)
- Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal . This (with the Chocolate Dream Shake) is my daily breakfast. Just add hot water, stir, and enjoy. (17 grams high quality protein)
- Peanut Butter Cup Bar. This is another top selling bar. If you love peanut butter cups, you’ll love your new breakfast option! (15 grams high quality protein)
- Chocolate Comfort Bar. If you are a milk chocolate lover, our popular chocolate bar without the typical 24 grams of sugar, is a win. That’s right, 0 grams of sugar! (10 grams high quality protein)
Making breakfast a nutritional win does not have to be difficult. It simply requires a plan. Nutritional supplements, such as our Essential Nutrient Package for adults, or the Basic Nutrient Package for teens, guarantee the intake of essential vitamins, minerals, and essential omega 3’s. Remember, protein is an essential nutrient. By using high quality, protein-rich, ready to eat or drink meal replacements, breakfast can turn in to a nutritional “win” every morning, feeding your body and your metabolism the protein it needs for health. Start your day, every day, with a health-promoting breakfast routine. You’ll be glad you did!
And remember, Optimum Health is ALWAYS worth the effort.
For Optimum Health,
Rick Tague, M.D., M.P.H.