Breakfast On the Go

Quick and Easy Weekday Meals Worth Waking Up For — And Why You Should Eat Them
Scott Holstein

It’s Tuesday morning. You have a stack of paperwork in front of you that’s taller than your 3-year-old nephew, a phone that refuses to stop ringing, mid-morning hunger pangs, deteriorating mental clarity and (if we’re being honest here) maybe even a case of the grumps. Looking for a quick fix? The solution to your tale of woe is quite simple: Food is fuel, your tank seems to be running a little low and it’s past time to fill ’er up. 

These uncomfortable symptoms of a missed breakfast are common ailments for those of us living life on the go. If you count yourself amongst the rushed, chances are eating a well-rounded breakfast isn’t at the top of your to-do list. Yet, perhaps it should be — because after all, isn’t prevention better than a cure? 

It certainly is, according to Sarah A. Johnson, MS, RD, CSO, an instructor and doctoral candidate with Florida State University’s Department of Nutrition. 

Johnson said the easiest way to get the most out of your day, from start to finish, is to begin on a full stomach by introducing energy-giving fresh protiens and dietary fibers into your system.

“While you’re sleeping your body uses up its reserves pretty quickly and then turns to breaking down muscle,” Johnson said. “By having breakfast, you can stop this from happening.”

The science behind breakfast is actually pretty intuitive and can be traced to the origin of the word “breakfast” itself. Derived from the Old English word “morgenmete,” (translated as “morning meal”) our modern term of “breakfast” literally means to break the fast from the night before. Its practice is a necessary truth recognized by the English-speaking world for centuries — who are we to deny its validity now?

All you dieters out there, listen up — if you’ve been citing your waistline as the reason for omitting breakfast from your routine, think again. Research shows the leading cause reported for voluntarily missing breakfast, besides time constraints, is a concern for caloric intake. However, skipping the morning meal could lead to overeating throughout the day — an act that often more than makes up for any calories saved by initially going without. 

By now you’re undoubtedly looking to change your lackadaisical weekday breakfast regimen. (And why not? You could feel better, think better and maybe even look better.) The first step in breakfast rehabilitation is to, in short, accept the fact that Mom was right — breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Whether you’re headed to the classroom or the boardroom, opting to start your day out on “E” will put you at a disadvantage both physically and mentally. A health-conscious meal in the morning can offer your taste buds a treat and be chock-full of everything you need to give your day the kick-start it deserves. 

There’s never been a better time to start. As the slow-paced days of summer draw to an end and a new school year approaches, weekday morning routines all across Tallahassee will get a little more hectic. Before the madness sets in, start incorporating daily breakfast into everyone’s schedule. Making the change now will allow for a smoother transition as schedules get fuller and will increase the likelihood of breakfast becoming a lasting morning ritual in your household.

Remember, as good as it is for you to start your day out full, it’s even more important for your little ones to get the appropriate vittles and sustenance they need to maintain proper brain function. 

“It’s extremely important for children to eat breakfast,” Johnson said. “Studies have shown that when children don’t consume breakfast before going to school they don’t pay attention as well, they don’t concentrate, they don’t work as efficiently and they don’t learn as much.”

Concerned about time management? Don’t be. The rewards of waking up a few minutes early go far beyond your taste buds. So shrug off the sleepiness and excuses, folks, you’ve just made a date with breakfast. And with these scrumptious, on-the-go recipes by your side, it’s an occasion you won’t want to miss.

Tasty Toast 

  • 2 slices whole wheat bread
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 banana 
  • ¼ cup fresh strawberries

Directions: Toast bread and spread each slice with one tablespoon of peanut butter (for a different flavor, supplement almond butter or a hazelnut spread). Slice strawberries and banana to ¼ inch thickness, distributing them evenly across toast. Multiply serving size as needed. Yields 2 servings. total time: 3 minutes

Smoothie Sailing

  • 1 ½ cups reduced-fat milk
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 bananas 
  • 2 cups frozen whole strawberries (do not thaw)

Directions: Place milk and sugar in blender. Peel and slice banana into manageable chunks and add to blender; add still-frozen strawberries. Blend on high until smooth. Chill until ready to serve.
Yields 4 servings.
total time: 7 minutes

Banana Sushi

  • 1 banana
  • 2 tablespoons peanut or almond butter
  • ¼ cup Rice Krispies

Directions: Spread peeled banana with butter of choice, covering thoroughly. Sprinkle Rice Krispies over banana so that they adhere to its surface. Slice into ¼-inch pieces. Eat with a fork. Multiply serving size as needed. Yields 1 serving. total time: 3 minutes

Crisp Quesadillas

  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 2 large whole-wheat flour tortillas 
  • ½ cup grated medium cheddar cheese
  • 1 Granny Smith apple

Directions: Wash and cut apple into several thin slices. Melt butter in large skillet, coating the bottom completely. Place one tortilla in pan and sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese. Arrange apple slices evenly. Top with second tortilla. Flip quesadilla, letting each side cook for 60 seconds. Yields 4 servings. total time: 5 minutes

A+ Yogurt

  • Single serving Greek yogurt of choice (try vanilla)
  • ¼ cup toasted almonds
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry preserves
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Directions: Slowly mix all four ingredients together. Multiply serving size as needed. Enjoy. Yields 1 serving. total time: 2 minutes

Categories: Recipes