another (food) rule to live by

Eat whole grains for breakfast

Whole grains you make yourself, not that come ready to eat out of a box, for the most part.  If you don’t have time to make yourself breakfast each day from scratch, make up a big batch of something on the weekend, and prepare easy to grab servings for each morning.  It may take a little bit of prep time up front, but what’s the time difference between popping an eggo in the toaster and toasting a waffle you made yourself?  It sticks in your stomach and keeps you full until lunch, reducing the urge to snack snack snack.

I think the reasons why whole grains are good is fairly well known, but in case you’re interested, here’s  something from Harvard and a piece from the Mayo Clinic.  And speaking of Harvard, take a look at their food pyramid suggestion.  I give it 2 thumbs up.

Make up a big pot o oatmeal Sunday afternoon, and then warm up a bowl each morning.  Experiment with different stir ins to keep things exciting – bananas, assorted dry fruit like raisins, apricots and dates, nuts, some honey or agave nectar, maple syrup, a spoonful of peanut butter and/or jelly, maybe even some chocolate chips on occasion.

If you don’t like oatmeal (although I strongly suggest that you try it with different mix ins.  You may be surprised), or are just plain sick and tired of it, there’s a whole world of potential whole grains for breakfast.  I like a bowl of whole wheat couscous with a bit of butter mixed in.  I’m betting you could cook up just about any whole grain and make it breakfastable.  Brown rice, quinoa, bulgur, millet etc etc etc.

Of course, there’s always the old standby, pancakes and waffles.  Mmm MmmMmm!  My favorite are these whole grain pancakes by Mark Bittman and my mom’s oat bran waffles.  I’ll have to find the recipe and type that one up one of these days.  Remember that moderation is key.  Don’t eat a whole huge stack o pancakes swimming in butter and maple syrup.  Eat one, with just enough maple syrup for you to taste it, and then eat some fruit to fill you up.

And while I’m not a fan of processed foods in general, there is whole grain cereal out there that isn’t too bad.  Just avoid things that have a ton of sugar and a long long list of ingredients.  And even if a brand touts itself as healthy (Kashi, I’m looking at you), it doesn’t automatically make it a good choice.  And then there’s granola.  It must be healthy right?  A lot of popular brands are unfortunately chock full of sugar.  Tastes great, but not necessarily the best way to start the day.    Why not try to make your own?  There are tons of recipes out there, just a google search away.

*disclaimer – I am not a doctor, nor a professional nutritionist.  I claim no expertise.  These rules are simply what I’ve gleaned from reading way too much about healthy and sustainable eating habits.  Thus far, they’ve helped me lose 17 lbs and counting*

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