You Do Have Time for Breakfast

Maria, a nurse who was training for her first marathon, had the same excuse of no time for breakfast. She'd rise at 6:00 and be at the hospital by 6:45; she didn't want to eat breakfast at that early hour, claiming her stomach was not awake. However, by her break time at 10:00 she'd be grumpy, unable to focus on her work, and ravenously looking for the doughnuts or cookies that were in the nurses' station, begging to be eaten.

I recommended that Maria eat something nutritious between 7:00 and 9:00 to curb the overwhelming 10:00 a.m. hunger that interfered with her ability to concentrate and be pleasant to her patients. Maria made the effort to do one of the following every day:

  • Bring a sandwich to work to eat within four hours of waking.
  • Buy a bagel, yogurt, and orange juice at the coffee shop.
  • Take an earlier break and enjoy a hot breakfast at the cafeteria.
  • Keep emergency food in her desk drawer: granola bars, crackers, peanuts, and dried fruits.

She soon became a breakfast advocate, feeling so much better when well fueled rather than half starved.

If you lack creative quick-fix breakfast ideas, the following food choices can help you make a fast break to becoming a regular breakfast eater:

  • Yogurt. Keep your refrigerator well stocked; add cereal for crunch.
  • Banana. Eat an extra-large one, chased by a large glass of milk.
  • Blender drink. Whip together juice, fruit, and yogurt or dried milk (or protein powder).
  • Raisins and peanuts. Prepacked in small plastic bags, these are ready to get tucked in your pocket.
  • Whole-wheat bagel. Spread it with peanut butter, then wash it down with a large glass of milk.
  • Graham crackers. These are a crunchy favorite with a latte made with low-fat milk.
  • Pita bread. Stuff it with low-fat cheese, cottage cheese, hummus, sliced turkey, or other handy fillings.
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