Despite all the positive exposure it gets in the media, breakfast is still a difficult meal for many people to pull off. We are told loudly and often that we should eat breakfast and yet, it seems to be a hard habit to acquire if it isn’t something you are accustomed to doing. This goes for some of our members, as well.
When health clubs promote supplements and sell convenience snacks in vending machines, it solves some of the problems for those members who don’t have time to prepare food for themselves. There will always be a place for that because some members will always need help some of the time.
I would like more clubs to engage members in conversations about what makes a healthy breakfast and how even the busiest members can fuel properly every morning, before and after their workout. Whether you have a café or not, you can help them learn that they can have a good breakfast with very little fuss, and make the morning meal a priority.
It is always more credible to state the scientific reasons for having breakfast. First, eating protein in the morning can reduce cravings and hunger throughout the day, according to a 2011 study published in Obesity. Second, our muscles and brain need fuel immediately upon waking. Neglecting to eat breakfast will force your body to break down glycogen — stored energy in muscle used during exercise — so it can fuel up. This results in less available energy and can lead to sugar cravings later in the day.
So here are some menu suggestions for breakfasts in your café or for members to make at home:
1. An omelet made with two egg whites, one yolk, spinach and tomatoes and a half cup serving of blueberries on the side. The berries are a terrific antioxidant to start the day. The omelet can be prepared the night before and can be doubled for two days.
2. A half cup (dry) of oatmeal made with water or almond milk, two tablespoons of walnut pieces, cinnamon and dried cranberries or fresh blueberries.
3. Three to six ounces of Greek yogurt, a handful of sliced almonds, cinnamon and a sliced banana.
4. Sprouted grain toast spread with almond or cashew butter, sliced apples and a cup of green tea. Sprouted grain bread has all the amino acids to make a complete protein and many more minerals than ordinary bread.
Notice that each of these suggestions contain all the macronutrients in some combination. And I think each of them is very easy to prepare. Hopefully, you will take these suggestions and help your members start their days with power and energy.
Judith Samuels, M.A. is a certified nutrition and wellness consultant and master personal trainer at Sport&Health Clubs in the Washington D.C. Metro Area. She can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.