The workday can be riddled with temptations that put our on-the-spot decision making ability to the test. From the bottomless dish of candy that we walk by five times a day, to the leftover meeting bagels, and the last minute invitation to have lunch at the Mexican restaurant across the street, some days the possible pitfalls are endless for those of us that have weight loss and nutritional goals to meet.
The key is to plan your workday eating beginning with breakfast and ending with afternoon break. We want to make sure we have variety for the pallet plus we need our food choices to be nutritionally sound. Having fruits, vegetables, whole grains and protein each day is important.
Part One Of A Three Part Series – Breakfast On The Go
I don’t know about you, but for me breakfast has always been grab and go. Let’s play a game of Eat This, Not That with breakfast foods.
Several years ago we came to believe that bagels are health food but it just isn’t so. Whole grain English muffins are a better choice. There are 310 calories in Lender’s 4 oz Cinnamon Raisin Bagel; 120 calories in a Thomas 100% whole wheat English Muffin.
- Small whole-wheat bagels can be an option just make sure you stay away from the over-sized bakery bagels that are made with processed flour and added sugars.
- Adding peanut butter to the English muffin or (small) whole-wheat bagel will give you the protein you need to keep you feeling more satisfied. Peanut butter is a better choice for an English muffin topping than butter, jam or honey.
Oatmeal is always a good choice for breakfast but the small packages that you pour into the bowl, add water and heat have too much sugar. Stick with plain oats and add fruit and sweetener to make it tastier. Crock-pot oatmeal might be the way to go if you have a family to feed.
- Keep in mind – Quaker Oats Cinnamon Roll instant oatmeal – 160 calories; 13 grams of sugar. There’s only 105 calories in the same serving of plain oatmeal.
Skip the pre-mixed fruit and yogurt and exchange it for cottage cheese with fresh or frozen fruit that you add. The nutritional value is higher and sugar content is lower.
Boil a dozen eggs to have on hand to grab on your way out the door along with whole wheat crackers and low-fat string cheese. This is a nutritional breakfast that requires almost no preparation.
A low-fat fruit smoothie is a treat but you’ll need some protein to go with it to stave off the mid-morning hungriness. Almonds, a boiled egg, half of an English muffin with a little peanut butter would work for that.
- For the smoothie combine a cup of fresh or frozen strawberries, a banana, a cup of non-fat yogurt, a packet of sugar substitute, and two cups of ice in a blender; blend until smooth. This is approximately 240 calories.
Starting off the day with a satisfying, nutritious breakfast will set you up for success in the hours that follow. You can find more ideas for quick and healthy breakfasts at Cooking Light.
Next we’ll tackle the lunch hour. Stay tuned!