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Wake Up, Fuel Up: 5 Ways to Build a Better Breakfast

Written on September 24, 2013 at 11:07 am , by

Forget the breakfast bars and baked goods! They’ll just spike your blood sugar, leaving you ravenous well before noon. (Photo by Laura Doss)

Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern

While breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, it’s the first thing to go when a busy morning schedule gets the best of us. Unfortunately, those spared minutes do not provide the metabolism-revving, energy-boosting and cholesterol-lowering benefits of a well-balanced breakfast. We touched base with Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, author of Read It Before You Eat It and New York-based nutrition expert to get her top tips on fueling up before running out the door each morning. The most important meal of the day just got easier, tastier and a whole lot faster!

1. Think outside of the box of cereal. An ideal breakfast is made up of three components: whole-grain carbohydrates, lean protein and healthy fats. Mix and match some of your fave whole-grain, high-fiber cereals to customize your flavor—just read the label to keep sugar levels in check. If you have a thing for cereals that are a little too high, find another that is low in sugar (1-3 grams) and combine the two. Remember, watch portion sizes! Aim for 1 cup total, about the size of a tennis ball. For more dense cereals, like granola, shoot for a little less, as the cereal is more dense.

2. Don’t make having breakfast negotiable. As much as we may hate to admit it, breakfast sets the tone for the rest of the day. Skipping breakfast altogether leaves you feeling hungry and irritable, and possibly leads to overindulgence at lunchtime. Even nibbling on a handful of nuts or a piece of fruit is better than nothing—it sends the message to the brain that you have fuel to last you until the next meal. “If you have time to put on makeup, there’s time for breakfast,” says Bonnie. Have containers of yogurt, snack bags of chopped almonds and dry cereal and a bag of plastic spoons available for some grab-and-go goodness.

3. When making your lunch, toast a frozen whole grain waffle and add a smear of almond butter or cottage cheese topped with cinnamon for munching on-the-go. For those of us who squeeze in a workout before work, finding the right time to eat breakfast can be tricky. “Eat something on the light side about a half hour before working out,” she suggests. Try Greek yogurt or a smoothie for a quick, easy-to-digest meal that will keep you energized through your workout and the rest of your morning.

4. When you are able to (even if it’s only one day a week), take the time to make yourself a gourmet breakfast—perhaps an omelet stuffed with a medley of sautéed veggies and a whole grain muffin. You’re worth it and your body will thank you for the attention!

5. Don’t break the fast while multitasking! Yes, it’s better to have breakfast while posting something on Twitter than to ditch this meal altogether, but when possible, pay attention to the texture, temperature and taste of your meal. If you pay attention to what you’re eating you’ll not only appreciate those three T’s even more, but you’ll also feel more satisfied and be less likely to search for something else.

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7 Tricks to Get More For Your Produce Buck

Written on May 31, 2012 at 9:22 am , by

Use 'em or lose 'em! Toss extras on oatmeal, Greek yogurt or low-fat ice cream. (Photo by Bob Stefko)

Earlier this month, new research was released that showed it really isn’t more expensive to eat according to USDA guidelines than to maintain a steady diet of junk food. Still, one gripe that many have about fresh, nutritious food is how quickly it can go bad (especially compared to that boxed pastry on grocery store shelves). So we asked Coupons.com savings expert Jeanette Pavini to fill us in about the best ways to save dough while shopping in the produce aisle.

  1. Keep onions, potatoes and garlic out of the refrigerator. Place them in a cool, dark and dry spot. And to try Pavini’s top trick, grab an extra pair of nylon stockings next time you’re at the drugstore. She swears that onions last longer if you store them in the legs of stockings!
  2. Store apples in a separate crisper. Since the fruit emits ethylene which can increase the ripening speed of other produce in your fridge, keep them in the bag you carried them to the register in and pop them in a bin solo.
  3. Ripen in a paper bag. Your supermarket may have some foods on special if they’re not quite ripe. Stock up and save: Buy underripe pears, peaches and nectarines and get them ready to eat by putting them in a brown paper bag (at room temperature).
  4. Prep greens for easy eating. Wash leafy greens and herbs under cold water, drain in a colander and store in the refrigerator in a plastic bag with a few paper towels. They’ll be more appealing to add to a meal when they’re pre-washed, and the early cleaning of these items doesn’t increase their spoilage speed.
  5. Purchase multi-pound bags. Those five-pound sacks of oranges, apples, potatoes, etc. must weigh at least five pounds, so many often have an extra quarter- or half-pound for free (since they’re not going to cut an item in half to exactly meet the limit).
  6. Buy frozen. If the ingredients list just produce, the bagged, frozen version generally tastes comparable to fresh after cooking. Plus, you’re much more likely to find a coupon for an item on ice.
  7. Don’t be tricked by buy one, get one deals. Strawberries on sale this season? Only buy two boxes if you’re sure you can make it through them in a couple days (they spoil quickly). If you did get lured in to the savings, pop extras in the freezer for smoothies and extend the life of fresh ones by skipping the rinse cycle until you’re ready to snack.

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Fit Links: How to Shape Up at Your Desk and 10 Outrageous Road Races to Try

Written on May 18, 2012 at 3:23 pm , by

Stop stressing and start stretching! (Photo by Sarah Forrest)

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Sweet! 3 Low-Cal Sundaes For Summer

Written on May 17, 2012 at 10:45 am , by

Cool news: The Soft Serve Fruit Co., home to healthy, wholesome frozen yogurt-like concoctions made from real fruit, water and a bit of organic cane sugar, can now be shipped straight to your doorstep. Inspired to try a similar treat? Here are three sundae recipes from the company, which you can create with your own favorite base. (Hint: Blend up a frozen banana or some frozen strawberries with a little milk for homemade soft serve!)

(Photos courtesy of The Soft Serve Fruit Co.)

Crunchy Salty

  • Banana Soft Serve Fruit
  • Sliced banana
  • Pretzels
  • Peanut butter
  • Chocolate chips

Banana Split

  • Strawberry Soft Serve Fruit
  • Diced banana
  • Diced strawberries
  • Diced pineapple
  • Walnuts
  • Hot chocolate sauce
  • Maple syrup

Breakfast Berry

  • Strawberry Soft Serve Fruit
  • Raisins
  • Granola
  • Whole O’s (or Cheerios)
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries

Now tell us: What’s your favorite warm weather dessert?

Fit Links: Find More Fruit and Fitness Rules You Should Break

Written on September 30, 2011 at 4:25 pm , by

This week’s fit links from around the web:

Make it easy to grab the healthy grub. (Photo by James Worrell)

Fit Links: Kitchen Stomachache Cures and a Lesson From Laughter

Written on August 12, 2011 at 4:29 pm , by

This fuzzy fruit may help ease tummy woes. (Photo by Dean Schoeppner)

This week’s fit links from around the web: