Breakfast: Waking up on the right side of the bed
Everybody already knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And if it isn’t convincing enough that this age-old piece of advice has been passed down from generations yonder, the claim has spurred plenty of scientific research to help it hold its ground. In fact, you can probably rattle off the facts as well as we can: from improving report cards at school and productivity at the workplace to kickstarting our metabolisms and our good moods, breakfast packs an awful lot of positivity.
So why are we addressing this already-beaten-into-the-ground topic? Well, for starters, because we believe in it. And because of one key benefit of breakfast that often goes unrecognized: breakfast is a beginning. Each and every day.
Here’s another one that you already know: you are what you eat. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again (we believe in this one too). And if it’s true in general, it’s especially true for breakfast. Because when it comes to breakfast, what you eat isn’t just what you are, it’s what you’ll become for the day. The food you wake up to sets the precedent for the sixteen-or-so hours to come. If you take the time to eat something that you care about, a breakfast that’s uplifting and invigorating, that feeling stays with you throughout the day. If, on the other hand, you try and exchange a little extra shut eye for a breakfast that’s easy and unfulfilling (or, worse yet, no breakfast at all), that feeling stays with you too.
While there’s no surefire way to secure a good day, it’s safe to say that you can either enter a day on the inside – attentive, upbeat and interactive – or you can enter a day from the outside – detached, downcast and wishing to get back to your bed to get it over with. Consider breakfast as your invitation inside.
And with that, we’re proud to present to you the College Greens’ Guidelines for Breakfasting:
- Eat something stimulating. No, your cup of coffee doesn’t cut it. Get your senses going for the day with a mouthwatering morning! Unless you’re an early bird, the mornings can be one big, hurried chore. But if you know a scrumptious something is on its way, you have at least one fantastic reason to get out of bed! So push the alarm back, make a new routine, and give yourself time to thoroughly enjoy your breakfast. Prepare it the night before if you’re looking to save time (such as pre-mixing some Rip’s Big Bowl cereal, making overnight oats or a rice cooker meal). While you’re eating, pay attention to each bite – the flavors, the textures… Before you know it, your taste buds will be in party mode, your body will be tuned in to the world around you, and your belly will be nice and full, ready for the day to come.
- Eat something energizing. Once again, your cup of coffee doesn’t cut it. It may not seem like your body is doing much while you sleep, but sure enough, it’s undergoing a quiet recovery from the day before and prepping your systems for the day that’s on its way. This means that even after a refreshing night’s sleep, your body could still use an energy-rich meal to jumpstart the day. As always, sugary, processed foods are not the way to go here, however convenient they may be. Choose fruits, leafy greens and whole grains to get the boost that doesn’t fade out by midmorning. But don’t be intimidated by thinking that you have to go through the hassle of cooking up an involved meal – a breakfast of regular oats with frozen fruit and a handful of fresh greens is quick source for long-lasting energy.
- Eat something healthful. It can be easy to convince yourself in the morning rush that you can skimp on breakfast and eat better when you have the time to do so. What your groggy state of mind might not realize is that your breakfast sets the pace for the rest of your meals. Start with a healthy, hearty breakfast and you’ll be right on track to eat well the rest of the day.
- Eat something creative. Don’t get us wrong – we are undeniably creatures of habit. But we also understand that you need to pick your habits carefully. To eat breakfast each day, at the same time, perhaps in the same place… we thrive off of this kind of regularity. But to eat the same thing every day? There’s a fine line between constancy and stagnancy. Don’t get stuck in the confines of “breakfast foods.” Last night’s leftovers are never off limits! When preparing meals, consider cooking extra grains or vegetables that you can keep separate and add to future meals; for example, leave some brown rice on the side for a breakfast tofu scramble, or some extra sweet potato for your morning oatmeal. And remember that little changes can make a big difference! Adding mango and blueberries to your oatmeal one day gives your morning a completely different feel than adding strawberries and bananas, or apples and cinnamon, or cacao powder and walnuts… and that’s only a few to get you started!
A wise man will tell you that all great deeds depend on the little things. We’re here to remind you that the little thing he was talking about is breakfast.
-The College Greens (a.k.a. “The BreakFEAST Club”)