So long sweet summer, the fall semester has begun and now, instead of being awoken by the sun shining in our eyes, we are awoken by quite possibly the worst sound in the world: the alarm clock. And, if you’re anything like me, you probably hit snooze multiple times, causing yourself to be late and rushing out the door. In which case, nutrition and being healthy is the last thing on your mind.
However, maybe it’s time to reevaluate our mindsets in the morning. Let’s stop thinking of waking up and actually getting out of bed as the day’s greatest triumph and start thinking of what most of us seem to forget: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
We’ve heard it dozens of times before and studies show that starting your day off with a well balanced breakfast reaps health benefits. In fact, eating a healthy breakfast each morning can boost energy, turning you into an alert and active student, instead of a sluggish and sleepy mess. Not only does eating a good breakfast leave you bright-eyed and fueled for a day full of classes, it can also help you lose weight. If you start the day off right with a nutritious meal, you will, in return, eat less during the day. How many of us completely skip breakfast because we are short on time? Or how many of us count a granola bar and coffee as a “breakfast?” That will fill you up for a mere 30 minutes, only to be left with a growling stomach and a brain too groggy to even comprehend what your professor is saying. When breakfast is skipped or considered a measly 100-calorie bar, our bodies are starving by lunchtime, causing us to eat larger meals and stuff our pie holes to feel satisfied. It’s a vicious cycle that will last all day, causing weight gain and other health issues, like a slow metabolism.
But the problem isn’t realizing breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The real problem in trying to eat a healthy breakfast while being a student and, for many of us, maintaining a job or other responsibilities, is finding these healthy breakfasts and getting them quickly. After all, we are on a college campus that throws greasy, fast foods in our faces. But if you look past the temptations, you can find a great deal of health foods on Main Campus and ideas of what to eat at home in your apartment or dorm.
For instance, consider the Student Center’s breakfast options. Einstein Bros’ bagels aren’t the only option you have for breakfast. Inside the refrigerators you can find fruit cups and yogurt, which can be grabbed quicker than standing in line. Fruit is full of healthy nutrients that’ll wake you up and get your day started in the right direction. The same goes for yogurt. You can eat it quickly, and yogurt is jam-packed with vitamins and good bacteria essential for a healthy body.
Another great option for eating healthy on campus is the Johnson & Hardwick cafeteria. While stopping at J&H might be more time consuming, there is an array of healthy foods to grab there. Just like the Student Center, J&H has yogurt available that you can add granola and fruit to, making it even healthier. You can also find oatmeal at J&H. Oatmeal is a great breakfast because it is full of enriching nutrients that can help boost your immune system and level your blood sugar. If you don’t prefer the taste of plain oatmeal, try adding in cinnamon or fruit. It is easy to overlook oatmeal when J&H offers a multitude of cereals at the push of a button, literally. But a lot of those cereals are high in sugar and low in nutrients. If you’re trying to be healthy and feel full until lunch, skip the sugary cereal and go for the oatmeal.
Although healthy breakfast found on campus will do your body good, I prefer eating my breakfast in my apartment or while sprinting to class in the five minutes I’ve left myself to get there. Whether you live in the residence halls on Main Campus, have your own apartment or are commuting to class, you can make healthy breakfasts at home in a timely manner. One of my favorite things to make for a quick breakfast is hard boiled eggs. I boil them at night and leave them in the fridge for the morning. Hard boiled eggs contain protein that is essential for weight loss and that will leave you feeling fuller longer. Grabbing one out of the fridge is easy and fast. Another healthy option I love making at home is wheat toast with peanut butter. Peanut butter is also full of protein that will keep you full until lunch. You can also make oatmeal packets at home or in the dorms in just a matter of minutes.
These quick, healthy foods are just the beginning of what you can make or grab on the go. So, next time you want to skip breakfast or think of a breakfast bar as enough, consider these foods as something more substantial and healthy. If you start your day smart, the healthy benefits will continue throughout the rest of your day.
Brianna McGrody can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.