Making Time for Breakfast

This article was originally published in Diabetes Health in September, 2005.

Breakfast is not the meal to miss

| Sep 22, 2008

Many people know that it is beneficial to eat your morning meal, but it can be challenging for many reasons. Breakfast is not the meal to miss, especially when you feel stressed, since it can set the mood for the entire day. The truth is that what you eat for breakfast may be more important than if you eat breakfast at all.

Following is a list of major obstacles to eating breakfast along with some information and healthy meal ideas:

1. I’m too busy

It really doesn’t take long to eat a meal; the preparation is what requires time. The trick is to establish a routine and have a plan. It’s okay to eat the same meal repeatedly; in fact, many people rotate two basic meals, depending on how much time they have in the morning.

2. I’m not hungry

Some people’s stomachs do not easily accept food early in the morning, especially people who take many medications. It is not necessary to eat immediately after arising, but waiting more than one or two hours or until lunch is not desirable. Try a few nuts or a piece of cheese even if you don’t feel hungry.

3. I wake up too late

If you need to leave your house without eating, bring a snack that you can eat either as you travel or at a break. Some easy on-the-go snacks are a few nuts, a cheese stick, some jerky, several grapes, a small banana or other small piece of fruit, a few crackers. Meal replacements are also helpful on those rushed mornings.

4. I don’t like breakfast foods

That’s easy—don’t eat them. Eat leftovers or heat up some soup, some beans, chicken salad, pasta, green salad with turkey or cheese, a meat or peanut butter and sugar-free jam sandwich.

5. My blood glucose is high

By learning to adjust your rapid-acting insulin to match your blood glucose and the carbs you plan to eat, you should be able to eat breakfast. If you do not take insulin or oral medications, it will take time for your blood glucose to come down unless you are able to walk or do some physical activity. You may find that by eating some protein and healthy fat, your blood glucose may decrease more quickly and keep you satisfied.

Breakfast Ideas

For Hectic Days

These “ready to eat” or “heat and eat” foods require little to no preparation or cleanup.

  • Hardboiled egg with carrot sticks or tomato juice
  • Plain yogurt or carbohydrate-controlled flavored yogurt with sliced almonds
  • Whole grain toast or waffle with peanut butter
  • Meal-replacement drink: Choice DM, Glucerna, Carnation Instant Breakfast (no sugar added)
  • High-protein drinks such as Atkins or SlimFast (low-carb variety)
  • Lean Pockets
  • Weight Watchers Breakfast Meal

For Routine Days

These foods require minimal preparation, cooking and cleanup. To save even more time, purchase pre-cut vegetables and fruits.

  • Cooked eggs with avocado, black bean or salsa
  • Cottage cheese and tomatoes or fruit
  • Canadian bacon or sliced cheese with vegetables
  • Soft tacos made with corn tortillas heated with leftover fish and vegetables
  • Egg salad or tofu-no-egg salad (prepared ahead) and cucumbers or rice cakes
  • Turkey and tomato or cheese and avocado wrapped in lettuce or in a sandwich

For Leisurely Mornings

Try these meals on weekends or when you have a little extra time to cook.

  • Eggs scrambled with vegetables and avocado
  • Cottage cheese pancakes
  • Fresh-cooked turkey sausage with sautéed vegetables
  • Quesadilla (low-carb tortilla and cheese) with added vegetables
  • Main dishes made with eggs, such as quiche, frittata, eggs benedict, huevos rancheros
  • French toast with ricotta cheese and sugar free syrup
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Posted by Anonymous on 22 February 2009

No wounder people are dying from Diabetes.
There is not enough food to feed a Flea and most of the ideas sound putrid.

Posted by Anonymous on 8 March 2009

the putrid comment probably came from someone who prefers the delicacy Cap'n'Cruch for breakfast.

the ideas sound yummy to me! Great article.

Posted by Anonymous on 30 March 2009

There is little magic involved. Eat what you prefer, as long as it is a balanced meal, with about 15g of protein, 45g of carb, 7g good fats.

For example, I just had:

1/2 cup Kashi Lean cereal
1/4 cup Light Soy Vanilla Milk
1/3 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup fresh sliced strawberries
1 cup French roast coffee
2 tbsp Coffeemate

which I took with my oral meds. In about 2-3 hours I will have a mid-morning snack:

1/2 cup fat-free Trader Joes cottage cheese
3 peanut butter crackers

For lunch today, I'm going to enjoy:

Turkey Taco, made with whole wheat tortilla
1 slice Haas avocado
3 oz lean sliced turkey
1/3 cup shredded lettuce

1/2 banana

This afternoon's snack:

1/2 green apple with peanut butter dipped on the edges (about 1 tbsp total)

Tonight is salmon!

4 oz broiled salmon with lemon wedge
1/3 baked sweet potato
1 cup steamed green and yellow beans
1/3 cup steamed broccoli

Before bed, a few of those wonderful peanut butter crackers as a treat.

Nothing "putrid" about that.

Posted by Anonymous on 17 April 2009

Love the ideas and not sure what the first comment was all about, the reason people are dying from diabetes is lack of education and the willingness to understand what is good for you, and also i bet what ever he/she is eating i bet his parents and grandparents didnt have those choices ( mcdonalds, taco bell ect...) It time to get back to basics!!!

Posted by Anonymous on 8 June 2009

are these foods good for a diabetic??
because im doing an assignment on diabetes and im trying to find a good breakfast food i don't know it nuts in the morning is an ideal food for diabetics?

Posted by Anonymous on 10 November 2009

I am a 62 year old female and my doctor just told me I was "on the low end of diabetes". No meds, but told to exercise and eat right to lose weight. DUH! This sample day's meal just saved my day! Yes, I was told: "no animal fats, veggies, fruits, etc.", but NOTHING SPECIFIC! Thank you for this post. At least I have a starting point. It was exactly what I wanted to hear. Sometimes we need to be told exactly what to eat to begin. I'm just beginning my research on this. Thank you again. ~Happy Reader

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