Breakfast, often hailed as the day’s pivotal meal, plays a crucial role in determining the trajectory of your day. The foods you opt for during this initial meal can either elevate your energy and mood or potentially dampen them. Renowned registered dietitian, Maya Feller, sheds light on how to strategically select breakfast foods that not only cater to your palate but also fortify your day with an abundance of vitality and positivity.
A Personalized Approach to Breakfast
Feller emphasizes that breakfast isn’t a one-size-fits-all affair. The ideal breakfast varies from person to person, influenced by factors such as affordability, accessibility, cultural significance, and of course, flavor. She poignantly remarks, “It’s not nutritious unless we eat it. If it doesn’t taste good, then we won’t interact with it,” during her interaction with CNBC Make It. The first meal, she asserts, sets the stage for the day, and thus, it’s imperative to choose wisely and in alignment with one’s goals and needs.
Strategizing Your Breakfast Choices
Understanding your objectives for the day and what you seek to achieve can guide your breakfast choices. Feller encourages individuals to ponder, “What are your goals? What is it that you’re looking for?” before settling on their morning meal.
Mood and Energy-Boosting Foods to Consider
- For Mood Enhancement: Opt for foods rich in fiber like berries and oats, which have been proven to positively influence gut health, subsequently uplifting your mood due to the gut-brain connection.
- For Sustained Energy: A combination of heart-healthy fats and slow-releasing carbohydrates (complex carbs), such as those found in wheat bread and sweet potatoes, can ensure a steady energy supply throughout the day.
Hydration is another key player in maintaining energy levels, and Feller underscores its importance, especially in the morning. Additionally, securing a good night’s sleep is paramount in ensuring you kickstart your day on the right note.
Quick, Nutritious, and Mood-Enhancing Breakfast Options
Feller is an advocate for incorporating a robust source of protein, whether plant or animal-based, alongside phytonutrients or plants in breakfast. Here are a few breakfast options that adhere to this principle:
- Breakfast Salad: Consider a bed of leafy greens, such as spinach, paired with a protein source like a poached or fried egg.
- Whole-Grain, Low-Sugar Cereal with Fruit: Be mindful of the sugar content in cereals by scrutinizing the first five ingredients on the nutrition label. Feller advises, “If sugar is ingredient No. 2, then you know that’s the second-most predominant ingredient in that cereal. So make your choice based on what your needs are.”
- Waffles Paired with Nut Butter and Fruit: Elevate this by drizzling honey and sprinkling nutrient-dense chia seeds or hemp seeds on top.
Feller appreciates the balance in these options, noting, “they’re giving you really wonderful nutrients. You’re getting high-quality protein [and] a plethora of vitamins and minerals. You’re also getting fiber which is quite important. When you’re eating it on a regular basis, you tend to see that you’re nourishing your body.”
Your breakfast choices can be a decisive factor in how your day unfolds. By opting for meals that are not only delicious but also nutrient-dense, you pave the way for a day brimming with positivity and sustained energy. Tailoring your breakfast to your personal needs and goals, while ensuring a balance of nutrients, can indeed make your morning meal the champion of your day.