Monthly Archives: March 2012

“Breaking The Fast:” The Importance of a Nutritious Breakfast

We’ve heard it said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, yet if you asked people which meal they most often skip, that would be the one.  We all have busy schedules, and it’s not uncommon to let that get in the way of making sure that we look after ourselves by starting the day out right.

Breakfast originally got its name because that early morning meal was considered to be “breaking the fast of night,” but it now seems to refer to the speed that we make a break for the front door with nothing but a cup of coffee and a piece of cold toast in our hands. The snooze button has taken the place of the eggs, and rather than hauling ourselves out of bed to have a healthy meal, we have taken to either eating on the run or worse yet, rushing through a fast-food joint to pick up a “sandwich” made of pancakes and processed meat.

A little fast food breakfast treat is fine once in a while, but the focus should really be on getting a balanced meal that will help sustain us until lunch. If you simply don’t have time to prepare something that is nutritious, then at least make the effort to find a decent compromise that doesn’t involve inhaling five pounds of farm animal. Just a thought — ciabatta and smoothie breaksfastsmoothies are a refreshing, healthy way to start the day and they pack enough of a fresh-fruit punch to give you the energy to get through the first few hours of work without feeling bloated, or having a caffeine crash. (Plus, you can add protein to that smoothie for even more of a health benefit.)

If we all understand the importance of breakfast, then why are we so quick to ignore it, or simply settle for something that is unhealthy? The sad truth is that many people are under the illusion that skipping a meal or two will help them lose weight, and let’s be honest, it’s not everyone that wakes up feeling the need to eat. There is a point when that hunger will kick in though, and that usually happens long before your lunch break rolls around. That may cause a trip to the vending machine, or diving into the bowl of candy on your co-worker’s desk. The effect is that you then end up eating more of the wrong thing, which in turn hurts any and all attempts to shed the pounds.

It’s not only your physical well-being that can be affected by opting to skip breakfast. Starting the day with a nice healthy meal actually works wonders for the mind as well, and you will find that you are more alert and focused when you eat well at the breakfast table. That will be really beneficial to kids when they are heading off to school, and if parents are actively skipping that morning meal, you can bet the little ones are too. Starting the day out right can mean much more than making sure to eat, it can also be done by sitting around as a family and taking a little time to connect before the work and school day begins. Taking that time to just relax can be the perfect side to have with your breakfast.

We are all pretty much aware of what constitutes an unhealthy breakfast, but not all of us know what makes a good one. What you need is a good mixture of carbohydrates, proteins, fruit, and a healthy beverage. When you’ve left enough time to eat at home, a bowl of cereal and a piece of fruit is good enough for many, although it’s a good idea to avoid those cereals that are held together by chunks of chocolate, or crystallized sugar.  A nice omelet is also a great idea, and you can even mix in sausage or a piece of bacon, but if you want to keep it really healthy, try the turkey versions of those meats. A low-fat muffin or a slice of toast is the perfect complement to all of those, as is a glass of fresh juice. If you’re craving your morning java, consider trying decaf, because even though coffee will give you that initial rush of adrenaline, it will always end in a crash at some point in the morning.

If you can commit to getting up a little earlier each day and preparing yourself (and your family) a healthy breakfast, you are quickly going to see why it is considered such an important meal. You are going to feel better throughout the day, and you will discover that you seem to have a renewed sense of energy. Your kids will also see those benefits, and don’t be surprised if their grades take a little turn for the better, as they will feel more alert in the classroom. It’s a win/win situation for everyone, but if you get the urge to eat out for breakfast or just want to grab something on the way to work or school, then be sure to pick up something that fits into your new healthy routine.

Of course, a great place to do that is at Tropical Smoothie Café, and what you will find there are some healthy breakfast favorites, as well as a few alternatives that will tickle your taste buds at any time of the day. There are items as simple as a bagel and cream cheese, all the way up to delicious wraps and sandwiches that have all your breakfast favorites jammed inside – such as eggs, sausage, or chicken.  And, as you might expect, there are our famous smoothies, including coffee versions for those that can’t live without a little java jolt in the morning. The good news is that Tropical Smoothie Café in Henderson will be opening at 6am every day starting March 12, which means it’s easier to get your healthy breakfast before work or school. (“You’re welcome,” Basic and Foothill High School students!) And if you work odd hours of the day or night, then you’ll be pleased to know that those great breakfast items are served all day, even 24-hours a day at our Cheyenne and I-215 West location in Las Vegas. (And, it’s quick there too – with the convenience of a drive-thru.) If you really want to start feeling better throughout the entire day, then begin it with a healthy breakfast, either at home or at Tropical Smoothie Café.