Top o’ the Mornin’

Yesterday was a rough day, food + hunger wise, and I think I know why: breakfast!

I’ve always been a breakfast eater; it’s rare that I skip breakfast because I am hungry in the morning (sometimes not until a couple hours after I get up, but it’s there), I enjoy most breakfast foods, and I know how important it is to start the day right.

Throughout my adult life I’ve gone through a lot of phases of what I like to eat for breakfast – cereal in high school, cafeteria food in early college (usually eggs, yogurt, fruit, and some sort of calorie-bomb pastry… sugary!), coffee shop food in later college (even worse – like a latte and a croissant). Every so often I get on a “kick” of something, like in the summer of 2006 when I made a 2-or 3-egg omelet with cheese and jalapenos every morning for weeks.

Right now I’m in the best kick I’ve ever been in, I think. I’ve mastered a breakfast routine that keeps me almost always full and satisfied until lunch time, and has a lot of good elements of a healthy diet. The two choices?

  • oatmeal made with milk, topped with add-ins like nuts, fruit, spices, coconut, chocolate chips, flax seeds, etc. The add-ins very but I always have nuts or nut butter with the oats, providing a good mix of fat and complex carbs.
  • a breakfast sandwich of sorts made with an Ezekiel muffin, nut butter, and fruit. My most frequent combo is strawberries and almond butter with a few chocolate chips sprinkled on. The flavors were inspired by bella eats awhile back, and it is a delicious way to start the morning – again, with fat + carbs. Often I have some extra fruit with this, like an apple.

If I think back over the past three or four months, I’ve had one of those two breakfasts almost every single workday. I didn’t even realize I had created such a habit! When I make the oatmeal, I usually stick it in a Thermos and eat it during the first hour of work. With the sandwich, I stick it in a paper towel or some foil and eat it while waiting for the bus, or driving to work, or walking – whatever. I’m not so good at making the time to actually sit down at home and eat in the morning, but that’s okay. It’s just a choice I make.

For the record, these breakfast choices are usually between 300 and 400 calories, with coffee I drink at work. And on the weekends I usually choose to add in more variety to breakfast, with eggs, veggies, or meat.

Yesterday, I had a banana, part of an Odwalla bar, and one of Becca‘s banana muffins. There certainly could’ve been other causes of this, but I felt so hungry and so low-energy all day. Was it because I didn’t have my normal breakfast? Was my body really performing more poorly or was it just a psychological thing because I broke my routine? I’m not sure. But I do know that I had oatmeal this morning and it tasted sooooo good.

With all of this, I’ve reminded myself a good lesson I’ve learned in the past year: find what works for you. My two breakfasts might not make you feel as good, whereas you might do well with a banana and protein bar when I didn’t. I’m so glad I found my own ideal breakfast; it just took missing out on it to realize I had!

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