We all know how easy it is to sleep a little longer, then get up and run out the door (literally or figuratively) without fueling up for the day. Too busy, right? Breakfast takes too long! I have to get that run in! Then get to work on time to prepare for my meeting/project/event! I’ll grab something on the way –
Okay, we may be preaching to the choir – we ALL know breakfast is important, right? – but we also know not everyone eats a healthy meal to start their day. You know who you are. We’re talking to you!
“A healthy breakfast not only kick-starts your day but also replenishes your glucose stores and helps boost energy and alertness levels,” says Ashley Muschiatti, a Performance Specialist & Dietitian at Novant Health Sports Performance. “Starting off your day with a meal and continuing to eat throughout the day results in less impulse snacking.”
If you fall victim to the 11 a.m. sleepies and your stomach is letting you know you’ve been ignoring it too long, you’re more likely to grab unhealthy snacks or whatever looks tasty from the office vending machine. STOP. Your brain and your body need better food than that!
Breakfast doesn’t have to be elaborate. Something you can put in a bowl or pop in a toaster is just fine if it’s made of the right ingredients. These are Ashley’s suggestions for days you run before work, and days you just run out the door:
A small, easily digestible simple carbohydrate snack food is best. It needs to provide energy for your run, but not sit in your stomach and cause GI problems. Avoid high fat or high fiber foods that can take longer to digest, and don’t forget to hydrate! Here are good options:
- Sport Gels
- Fuel for Fire
- Peanut Butter & Banana toast
After your run, Ashley suggests eating a nutritious breakfast with starch and color, and with a little extra protein to help you recover:
- Black Bean Omelet (~25g Protein) or Breakfast Burrito
- Breakfast Bento Box – 1 hard boiled eggs, ½ cup cottage cheese, cucumbers, berries, & almonds (~22g Protein)
- Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal – Oats, salt, bananas, peanut butter, almonds, agave syrup (~14g Protein)
- Turkey sausage, egg, and cheese on an English muffin (~28g Protein)
We admit these are the days we’re a little lazier with our breakfasts because we don’t need the fuel right away – but you still need to eat a small, balanced meal with a starch, a color, and a protein. Here’s a handy guide to choose from:
- Starch – Oatmeal, whole grain toast or English muffin, bagel, or granola
- Color – Fruits and veggies including spinach, berries, peppers, and avocados blended into a bowl or smoothie to take with you
- Protein – Eggs, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, ham, bacon, or turkey sausage
Use any of the foods from the list to make up a simple meal:
- Eggs & toast with a glass of milk
- Overnight oats with fruit added
- Avocado toast with mashed, hard-boiled egg and fruit
- Make-ahead omelet cups with eggs & veggies – bake on a weekend and eat all week!
The key for any of these is balanced, easy, and portable. Fuel up and rev up your day!