The Lunch Lady is not dogmatic about breakfast.
The Lunch Lady believes that if you eat breakfast and it works for you – i.e., you are maintaining your weight and health – that’s awesome. And if you’re not eating breakfast but are staying healthy and at a healthy weight, well, that’s great too.
However, after years of a breakfast that consisted only of a double espresso with a glug of half-and-half, the Lunch Lady is now a devout breakfast practitioner. Here are the reasons that swayed her:
- Keep off the weight – according to the National Weight Control Registry, 78 percent of the people in their registry have lost a significant amount of weight and kept it off for more than five years eat breakfast every day.
- Tend to be leaner – most research has shown that, even though they may consume more calories overall, breakfast eaters tend to be leaner than breakfast skippers.
- Can eat more fruits and vegetables – breakfast is a great opportunity to get in more servings of fruit or vegetables (or both!) and contributes to meeting the recommended daily amounts of these important foods.
- Love breakfast – looking forward to a good breakfast can be just the spur to get you out of bed in the morning.
Between long commutes, getting kids up and off to school, and getting ourselves presentable for the workplace, breakfast at home can often get squeezed out of the mix, a victim of time pressure. But bringing breakfast to work is a great compromise for time-pressed families or individuals and for those who can’t face food right when they wake up yet still want to get a nutritious start to their day.
Remember, swinging through the drive-thru for a waffle taco is not the only option. A little bit of prep the night before, or at the beginning of the week, will yield a delicious breakfast with minimal work in the morning. These breakfast ideas are not hard-and-fast recipes, just techniques you can adapt to your own tastes, budget, and calorie needs.
5 Easy Bring-to-Work Breakfasts
1. Peanut Butter and Banana Toast
A loaf of whole wheat bread, a few bananas, and a jar of peanut butter can all be stashed at work fairly easily. Toast bread if desired, and spread with PB and sliced banana. Honey drizzle optional.
2. Avocado Toast
Savory more your thing than sweet? Slice up a small avocado and layer it onto your toast with a dash of salt and pepper and/or a drizzle of olive oil. The healthy fats in avocado will keep you full until lunch. Try some salsa or a grind of Trader Joe’s Everyday Seasoning for a zingy topping.
3. Overnight Oats
In the evening, put a half-cup of rolled oats and a cup of milk (dairy or non-dairy, as you wish)in a sealable container (mason jars are perfect – see Naked Lunches) and refrigerate overnight. The next morning, you’ll have a cool, creamy treat packed with whole-grain fiber. Add fruit and nuts of your choice, seal the container, and head off to work to enjoy it. Don’t forget a spoon.
4. Office Scramble in a Coffee Mug
Coat a large coffee mug with nonstick cooking spray. Crack two eggs into it and add a tablespoon of water, some sliced mushrooms, green or red peppers, and a handful of spinach leaves. Microwave for 45 seconds. Stir. Microwave for 30 seconds or until the eggs are set. Top with a little grated cheese and seasoning if you like.
5. Yogurt Parfaits
The night before, layer yogurt with fruit (blueberries are a great choice) in a sealable container. In the morning, sprinkle a little granola over the top. Bring to work and enjoy.
Miriam Wolf (aka The Lunch Lady) is a wellness coach, editor, and an ACSM-certified personal trainer in Portland, OR.