Oh, breaking up. It just sounds awful. Even if you’re breaking up for a perfectly good reason, it’s still no fun.
Unless we’re talking about food!
A few weeks ago, I was working on a sorority presentation and I was writing my spiel about healthy breakfasts. There are a few things that I consider absolutely crucial to healthy living, and breakfast is #2. (Sleep is #1, in case you were wondering.) So I was preparing to tell the girls they had to eat breakfast, and I knew some sorostitute was going to get all, “But I just never wake up hungryyyyyy.” What I want to say to that is, “Oh, God, stop with your whining already! I’m telling you to eat; why in God’s name are you arguing?!” But what I actually said is…then break it up! (Or break it down, if you’re more into hip-hop analogies than relationship ones.)
When it comes to breakfast, eating a little something first thing is better than nothing. And starting small will help train your body to want to eat in the AM. So split your breakfast up and have something within an hour of waking up…and then you can round it out in terms of nutrition and calories a little later!
Here are some suggestions:
- 1/3 cup of almonds when your alarm goes off…and a tall skim latte on your way to class. I’m actually a big fan of skim lattes for breakfast or snacks. Provided you don’t fill them with mocha and whipped cream, they are very healthy – protein and calcium from the milk, and a little jolt of caffeine. And if you’re not really hungry, you might prefer to drink your breakfast. (I would drink all my meals if I could…and I’m not talking smoothies.)
- A cubed pear, topped with ½ cup of plain nonfat yogurt, 1 tsp almond butter, and cinnamon while you check your e-mail….and a packet of Kashi instant oatmeal when you get to your desk. (Or any brand. I just love that Kashi Very Vanilla.)
- A banana with a tablespoon of peanut butter before you hop in the shower…and a slice of toast topped with a sliced hard-boiled egg on your commute.
- A cup of mixed fruit as you do your make-up…and a homemade McMuffin with one egg, one slice of bacon, and reduced-fat cheese an hour later.
- A serving of Honey Nut Cheerios with a half-cup of skim milk as you make eyes at Matt Lauer during the first hour of The Today Show…and a 200-calorie smoothie as you watch Kathy Lee and Hoda Kotb tear it up during the last hour.
Actually I take that back. Do not eat while watching Kathy Lee and Hoda…you will surely lose your appetite.
Now, if you’re really into breaking up/breaking it down/just breaking shit, you can do this at lunch as well. If you’re a soup and sandwich kinda girl, why not have your soup at noon…and your sandwich at 3 PM when the vending machine starts singing you its siren song?
The key with this is to pump up both meals with healthy, low-calorie sides. I think our Value Meal culture makes us desire “sides” with everything, but I have a good list of light sides that might do the trick. Just having a cup of black bean soup at lunch time might make you feel sad…but having it with a glowing pile of orange and red pepper slices and hummus will make you feel a lot better about it. And come mid-afternoon, when everyone else is reaching for Snickers or pitiful 100-Calorie Packs, you can bust out your sandwich and apple.
HEYYYYYY, REAL FOOD!!!!
Breaking up your meals like this is a simple way to keep your blood sugar stable and keep hanger at bay. And if you’re the kind of person who is always thinking about food and your next meal, it’s great to know that you get to eat more frequently.
And if you go back to eating full meals in one sitting again, I think that’s akin to break-up sex, no??