Summer is fast approaching. The coats and layers come off. Is the shedding of the coverups something you look forward to, or do you feel a sense of dread that last year’s summer clothes will be just a bit too snug on you? Losing weight and gaining it back is demoralizing.
If you stepped back and looked at how you spend your day, what would you see? Most of us see a fairly predictable routine, with a few unexpected but manageable events peeking into our routine on most days.
In essence, most of our lives are built around habits. Some are very conscious habits while others may be things we haven’t given much thought to but we do them every day nonetheless.
Learn how habits may be the biggest indicator of weight and lifelong health.
Dr. Monique Tello of Harvard School of Public Health is a working mom who takes the train to work. She needs something quick, easy and transportable as many of us do. She combines fruit/yogurt/grain/nut bowl for her breakfast, which happens to be my daughter's daily breakfast. I personally cannot eat the same thing for breakfast every day. If I have time to eat at home it's likely to be sautéed vegetables with a pasture raised egg. That is not transportable so it's only on eating in mornings I have that. In the office the fruit/yogurt.grains/nut bowl works perfectly.
Here's Dr. Tello's description of her breakfast ingredients:
- "Frozen fruit: berries, mixed fruit, fruit with kale bits, whatever. Fruit is frozen at the peak of freshness, so the quality and vitamin content can be better than what’s in the produce aisle. We buy large bags of frozen mixed berries at the wholesale club or discount grocery, as they are much more economical than fresh and don’t go bad.
- Nuts and/or seeds and/or grains of your preference: for example, unsalted nuts, toasted seeds or grains, or a combination such as a low-sugar granola.
- Your favorite yogurt, ideally plain or low-sugar.
Either the night before or the day of work, grab a plastic container that can hold at least a few cups, and fill with the frozen fruit, heaped up at the top (mine holds 3.5 cups). Defrost it in the microwave (mine takes about 3 minutes). Put a top on it. Throw that in your lunch box alongside a snack-sized baggie of nuts and/or seeds and/or grains (I like cashews), and the yogurt. Don’t forget your spoon.
Why is this a healthy breakfast?
The fruit is not a token sprinkle, nor a decorative touch. The fruit makes up the bulk of this meal. There’s fiber in the fruit, and plant sugars in their natural form, not to mention healthy fat in the nuts, and protein in the yogurt. A low-sugar yogurt will leave us feeling more satisfied, for longer. We won’t get the insulin spike that triggers hunger pangs (unlike when we eat processed carbs).
If you want to step it up a notch, ditch the dairy. We can get plenty of calcium and other vitamins from leafy greens and other veggies. Personally, I’m not there yet, as I love yogurt, and have weighed the added benefits of my beloved creamy protein and probiotics against the recognized risks of regular consumption of animal products. So, I limit my intake of animal products as much as I can, and enjoy my daily morning yogurt."
How would that work for you? Additional at work options might be whole oats that you reheat in the morning and add nuts, cinnamon and fruit.
Planning Is Key
We can have the best of intentions, but unless you have the ingredients you need at the ready, a healthy breakfast, lunch or dinner just won't happen.
If you're not sure of what a healthy shopping list looks like, contact me and I will send you one.