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I think it was my college years when I forgot what breakfast meant… rushing to morning classes meant a hurried bite, gobbling up whatever was available in the hostel mess. But, later when I began working, it was hard to sustain this lifestyle. Fatigue set in with being on the feet for ten hours non-stop. Adjusting to a new weather in a new city led to frequent doctor visits. I had the inkling that something was fundamentally wrong but could not zero in on the problem.
Around this time, I made a trip to the US and one fine morning, a colleague joined my breakfast table at the hotel we stayed. His plate was wholesome to the extent that I continued staring at it... there were a few wheat bread slices, a bowl of oats, eggs and some milk. In contrast, my plate looked yearning.
That experience triggered me to do something that my mom always insisted – have a nourishing breakfast!(It seems that moms are always right! Huh!)
There are three things that I keep in mind while opting for my morning meal.
Eating the right quantity- As the saying goes, eat breakfast like a king and dinner like a pauper. Every day is different, but I let my appetite, not any calorie meter, guide how much I need to eat. A well-balanced breakfast should be sufficient enough to not contemplate food until the lunch time. The trick, though, is to stop a little short of ‘eating full’.
Supplementing liquids- Closing the meal with a glass of fruit juice, a cup of yoghurt or butter milk has worked as a double wonder. It’s light on the tummy and helps me remain brisk through the morning. Tropicana juices packed in Tetra Pak cartons is my favorite option as its 100% juice with no added sugar or preservatives. I like that there are a variety of flavours to choose from, so drinking juice is not a monotonous routine any more. Additionally it also combines nutrients such as Vitamin A and C, folate and potassium in an appealing six-layered aseptic carton provided by Tetra Pak that keeps the juice fresh. This option is certainly more tempting than popping a vitamin pill.
Balancing nutrition, variety and taste- Although nutrition is a main factor, it can get a bit challenging at times. While sprouts maybe a great source of proteins, they do not work for me and so I incorporate alternate protein rich foods in my diet.I try to keep the breakfast honest to my palate and also whip it up with ample variety to make me go “What’s for breakfast today?” There is no dearth of healthy breakfast options – from idlis, dosas, pohas and parathas to delightful sandwiches and salads, there are so many to choose from! Yum!
Having a healthy breakfast has given me some key advantages:
1) Having a full morning meal means that I tend not to binge on fast foods and that keeps my weight in check.
2) I do not miss out on the daily dose of nutrients. An invigorating breakfast coupled with a Tropicana juice every day keeps my concentration at its best and I get a lot of work done before the lunch hour.
3) A pep-up in my stamina has, thankfully, reduced visits to the doc. Also, its helped me stay alive all day through and has hiked up my energy levels so I don't feel exhausted by the end of the day.
A healthy breakfast has given the much needed tilt to my lifestyle and I plan to reiterate the same thing to my little one – well, until he makes his own mistakes and learns from them!