Confessions of a Recovering Breakfast-Skipper
This is a breakfast staple and so easy to keep at the office or on hand wherever you go. Opt for high-fiber cereals made from whole grains, and stay as low-sugar as possible. When it comes to choosing milk, make sure you buy organic milk from grass-fed cows to avoid all the nasty preservatives and hormones that come along with regular, industrially produced milk. You won't be disappointed. It tastes so much better.
Try to find a variety that has live cultures in it, since this will help build up good stores of bacteria in your belly and keep digestion running smoothly. I indulge with full-fat yogurt, since this helps the protein keep me full and tastes better. I sometimes toss in a teaspoon of jam or jelly that is sweetened with fruit juice. This is a simple sugar though, so I use it as a special treat when I'm craving something sweet and not as an everyday option.
This is one of my favorite breakfasts and snacks. It is incredibly creamy and very high in protein. I add it to canned peaches (in fruit juice, not syrup!) for a sweet and filling breakfast loaded with protein and fiber.
Carrots and Celery Sticks
These may not sound all that exciting, but really hit the spot when you're craving something crunchy. You can spice them up with your choice of dressing (avoid nonfat varieties—they're packed with sodium and sugar) or nut butter. I love to make a dip out of yogurt, crushed garlic, dill and a pinch of fresh sea salt.
These are my dad's all-time favorite snack food because they're rich in omega fats and protein and can travel anywhere. Make sure you refrigerate whenever possible, though, to prevent the oils from going rancid.
Sometimes you really just need a good chip. Rather than loading up on calories and greasy fingers, opt for the high protein and incredibly flavorful soycrisp. There are even varieties available for my gluten-free friends.
When the craving for something chewy and chocolaty strikes, sometimes it's better just to cave rather than graze around the kitchen hoping to find something else that will satisfy. Whenever possible, I try to find the healthiest cookie on hand—even if this might sound like an oxymoron. Making sure to avoid refined sugars and processed flours makes a big difference in how your body processes food, even cookies. Your body knows what to do with natural sweeteners like honey or agave, or even dehydrated cane juice. And alternative flours like spelt and whole wheat have a lower glycemic index than refined flour, meaning you won't get the blood sugar spike we spoke about. Little substitutions like this can go a long way in making sure you can indulge every now and then without doing much harm.
What are your favorite simple, easy and healthy breakfasts and office snacks? Share your ideas in the comments section below.