This past month, my husband and I went on vacation. I played my usual part of finding a hotel in our price range that included everything that we were looking for, nice clean room, good reviews, hotel shuttle, continental breakfast, etc. In both cities we went to, I found this with ease. The vacation was very relaxing, but, the most difficult thing for me is eating. I like to eat healthy, no matter where I go.
One morning I was contemplating where we would eat during the afternoon. I looked around during our continental breakfast and was exceedingly grateful for all the walking we do on vacation because of all of the simple carbs and sugar. You see, after traveling so much in the U.S. (my husband works for Alaska Airlines), I have found that continental breakfasts are the same pretty much everywhere in America. This time I was in San Antonio, TX, and as I observed the rest of the travelers in my hotel munching on the various offerings of this particular breakfast, I was struck by how difficult it was for me to balance my carbs from my continental breakfast with at least some protein. I looked at the various parents with their children on spring break and wondered if I would let my children eat these foods if I am ever blessed with any. The answer was a resounding "NO."
The continental breakfast actually accurately reflects the American breakfast on the go, which sort of answers many questions about the mid morning slump, hyperactive children in school, and why we are all overweight. What does it consist of? Plain bagels, sweet bagels, cream cheese, waffles with maple flavored high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), sweet pastries, yogurt, sweet cereals, white toast, sweetened orange/apple juice, and of course coffee. The healthiest things I could find in this continental breakfast was an untouched basket of apples and oranges, some peanut butter, and at the second hotel we stayed at, to my deep gratitude, boiled eggs.
As I reflected on these offerings, it dawned on me that many of these items would be considered desserts in other areas of the world, and it got me wondering, how does this compare to chocolate cake for breakfast? We tell our children, "no," to chocolate cake for breakfast and generally, we wouldn't get caught eating it before noon ourselves, but we say yes to sweet jam filled donuts and pastries; we also say yes to various chocolate cereals, frosted corn flakes and "orange flavored juice" enriched with vitamin C and a large dose of HFCS, but contains only 15% real juice. How does this compare to the sugar intake of our basic desserts? Check this site out to find out more
After comparing Pop Tarts to chocolate cake, I found that 2, a usual breakfast for some families had nearly as many calories as chocolate cake. It's astonishing. If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, then why are we eating so much sugar, no fiber, and little protein? If your tired easy and get sluggish after your dessert breakfast, maybe it's time to opt for a little healthier breakfast. Try to include proteins, complex carbs, good fats, and something with fiber to keep you fuller longer. Not only will this help you feel sustained longer, but it will likely help you lose weight and snack less. A smoothie with various fruits and veges and nuts/nut butter is a good start, or prepare something the night before like 2 boiled eggs, a sliced apple with peanut/nut butter, and slice of whole wheat toast, or how about a Plain Greek Yogurt Parfait with fresh fruit, a sprinkle of granola, and some toasted nuts. On the days I have more time, I like 2 pieces of turkey bacon with 2 eggs, on whole grain toast. All of these suggestions contain the ingredients of a healthy breakfast while minimizing sugar and increasing healthy fiber, increasing protein and good fats, and increasing vitamin intake.