Brown Bag Breakfast

Kashi Go Lean cereal with bananas and milk

Many of us have made a New Year’s resolution to eat better and lose weight. In order to achieve this goal, I would encourage you to make this preliminary resolution:

Eat breakfast.

Eat breakfast everyday, even if you have to do it at work.

My own experience has taught me that skipping breakfast results in fatigue throughout the morning. At about 10 o’clock, my appetite starts to kick in. If I haven’t eaten up to that point, I will make a beeline for the vending machine and load up on cookies, sweet rolls, or some other carb-rich treat. Not conducive to a balanced diet.

So in this post, I’m going to provide suggestions for breakfast foods that provide a combination of carbs and protein to sustain you until lunch. By the way, I’m categorizing breakfast as a brown bag issue, because many people simply don’t have an appetite when they first wake up on a week day and prefer to eat at work.

Have your meal ready to eat as soon as you enter the work area. Why? Because most employers are not crazy about workers who show up at their desk, drop their belongings, and then immediately go to the breakroom or cafeteria to fix their meal. This sort of thing will not help your career. Your management wants to see you at your desk at the beginning of shift, ready to work.

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Morning beverage. If you are lucky, you have some sort of coffee/tea station at the office when you arrive at work. I have not always find that to be true, and I.need.my.caffeine. So I got into the habit of preparing my morning brew before going to work. I bought a 5 cup Mr. Coffee with a delay setting. I place the filter, grounds, and water in the device the night before. I choose the time that I want my coffee brewed, and then hit the delay button. Next morning, the coffee is made. All that’s left to do is to put my nice, hot morning drink into a Thermos and place it in my rolling backpack. No muss. No fuss. No long lines at Starbucks.

If tea is your preference, you can make it in the microwave before you go to work. Put the teabag and water into a tall, wide mug or ceramic teapot. (Make sure you remove any metal staples in the bags prior to nuking.) Hit the “Beverage” button. Then take your shower, put on your makeup, or something else for about ten minutes. By then, you’ll have a hot, hearty brew. Pour your tea into a Thermos and pack it.

Eggs. Next time that you go to the market, check out the egg section, which is usually next to the dairy section. You will find eggs that have already been hard-boiled and peeled. You’ll pay more than you would buying raw eggs and cooking them yourself. Still, it’s a nice convenience.

Pack a couple of hard-boiled eggs for some extra protein in the morning. You also might want to pack a high-quality bread which has been spread with butter or cheese for some carbohydrate, fat, and additional protein. If you like bagels but are watching your weight, I recommend Thomas’ Bagel Thins, which have less than half the calories of most standard-sized bagels.

Nut butter sandwich. Speaking of bagels, a multi-grain bread or bagel spread with nut butter is a good choice. Almond butter, peanut butter, sunflower butter, etc. provide healthy fats and protein. Look for brands with no added sugar. Maranatha is a good choice, as well as Laura Scudders Old Fashioned Peanut Butter.

Cold cereal. An extremely easy item to prepare. I like Go Lean Kashi, because it contains 12 grams of protein and 13 grams of fiber per serving. Pack the cereal separately from the milk and fruit. If your fruit of choice is banana, you will need to slice it immediately before you place it on your cereal. So don’t forget to pack a paring knife with your food.

Check out the photo at the top of this post. You will note that I used the lunchpail and container set that I recommended in my October 18th post concerning brown bag equipment. If you are interested in learning more about these items, please check out the October 18th post.

Yogurt. A great source of carbs, protein, and calcium. Look for plain, unsweetened brands to avoid a sugar overdose. My favorites are Mountain High Plain Yogurt and Strauss Family Creamery Plain Yogurt. They taste wonderful when combined with diced strawberries, blackberries, or mangoes. If you can’t find fresh fruit, look in the freezer section for frozen. If needed, add an envelope of stevia to your yogurt to cut the tartness.

Nutrition bars. I suggest this as a last resort. Even the best of us forgets to pack food for the day. For that reason, I ALWAYS carry a protein bar or two in my purse for emergencies. My favorite brand is Atkins; their bars provide lots of protein, fiber, and vitamins.

NEXT WEEK: More about breakfast

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