Published: Apr. 12, 2012
Updated: Apr. 12, 2012
Why is breakfast important? Studies have shown that eating a healthy breakfast fuels your brain to improve focus, jump-starts metabolism for weight loss, increases energy levels, stabilizes mood, and helps keep you from overeating throughout the day.
We asked some of the busiest people around, Duke primary care providers, to tell us what they eat to get their day off to a healthy start.
Practice Medical Director
Wake Forest Family Physicians
I am a big believer that fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, and whole grains are the cornerstone of a healthy diet and one of the best ways to prevent heart disease, strokes, and cancer. Every day for breakfast, I try to eat a bowl of high-fiber cereal with half a banana or some blueberries on top.
I recommend a cereal with 4 to 6 grams of fiber per serving on the label. Doing this along with aerobic exercise for 20 to 30 minutes several times a week is a great way to start a healthy lifestyle.
Do you ever skip breakfast or eat in the car? Never.
Hillsborough Family Practice
A few years ago my priority was eating a quick breakfast rather than a healthy one. However, when my daughter began to eat table foods, my priority shifted.
Now we eat a quick and healthy breakfast together: one wholegrain vegetable muffin, a side of fruit, and low-fat yogurt. I make the muffins in advance, freeze them, and take them out the night before to thaw. They are ready to eat in the morning.
Do you ever skip breakfast or eat in the car? No.
Here is my family recipe for vegetable muffins via my sister-in-law Meredith:
Duke Primary Care Morrisville
I eat a cup of high-protein, high-fiber cereal with a cup of skim milk. For me, this is the perfect breakfast.
The cereal I choose contains 10 grams of fiber, which supplies 40 percent of my daily fiber needs. With the milk, it’s just 230 calories and also contains 21 grams of protein, which helps keep me stay fuller longer. It is low in fat and sodium.
Sometimes I add blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries to make it more interesting.
Do you ever skip breakfast or eat in the car? Never have, never will.
Duke Primary Care Morrisville
I choose breakfasts with a balance of protein, fiber, and healthy nutrients that are quick, easy to make, and less than 400 calories. I am always counting or “guesstimating” calories, as I too am weight-challenged and have size and fitness goals. I never leave home without breakfast.
I have a hot caffeinated beverage -- coffee or tea with ½ cup of soy or almond milk (50 calories) -- and one of the following options, which are all gluten-free and vegetarian.
Do you ever skip breakfast or eat in the car? Never skip; occasionally eat in the car.
My most-used recipe -- even my daughters can throw this together for me.
Sometimes I’ll add one scoop of vanilla-flavored protein shake powder (100 calories).
Flavor options: five prunes (110 calories), 1/2 banana (52 calories), 1/2 apple (22 calories), cinnamon, or a spritz of vanilla extract
Texture options: 12 almonds (1/2 ounce, 82 calories) or 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed (60 calories)
When there is no time and I’m heading to the car, I choose one of these options: