Super Foods – Breakfast

Happy Thursday!

I think running and I are *almost* friends again – yesterday was 4.5 pain-free miles on the tready followed by some elliptical. Hooray! It’s been less than a month since the marathon, but I’ve missed my time out on the roads/bridle path so, so much – I think I’m going through Central Park withdrawals. Hopefully the IT band holds up when I give it a try outside this weekend!

Anyways, on to some food/nutrition fun - something I think has been missing on the blog since the marathon madness. I feel like every other day there’s an article in some magazine or website about the latest and greatest “super foods,” usually consisting of the usual suspects – pomegranates, salmon, spinach, for example.

There are tons of “super foods” out there that may not get as much attention, but provide some great nutrients and are also pretty damn delicious

So here are some of my super foods, starting with…

Breakfast - my absolute favorite meal of the day. Ever since I’ve basically been able to eat (right, mom?) I’ve loved cereal – hence the giant pile of boxes in my kitchen.

My tastes/preferences have changed since my youth and I prefer “healthier” cereals these days, but sigh – remember how good Lucky Charms were? Fruity Pebbles? Gah. But to this day it just feels weird not to start the day out with a heaping bowl of deliciousness.

When picking out cereals at the supermarket, I look for a few key things on the nutrition panel:

  • Calories - some cereals have a higher calorie count, but can be more filling (i.e., no need for mid-morning snackage). I usually mix a cereal with 100 – 110 calories per cup with a little bit of one with 190-210 calories per cup
  • Fiber - cereals are a great way to get some good fiber in your diet. I look for anywhere between 4-6 grams per serving (usually one cup)
  • Sugar – the good cereals don’t have to be high in sugar! I usually pick up boxes with 8 grams or less per serving. Adding cinnamon to cereal is a great way to add some sweetness without the sugar.
  • Protein – can’t forget about protein! I usually make sure cereals contain at least a little protein. About 3-6 grams per serving is good enough for me

A must for cereal? Milk, of course :)

I’m a fan of almond milk, but enjoy skim milk as well.

If comparing them directly, skim milk provides more protein while almond milk is a little lower in calories. I think both are great options – just make sure they’re fortified with calcium and vitamin D (most are these days).

Fruit makes for an excellent cereal topper, and I’m partial to berries. I love getting them fresh in the summer, but the frozen kind are also great and pack just as much of a nutritional punch.

Blueberries are a usual suspect atop my morning cereal. Just one cup of berries provides:

  • 4 grams of fiber
  • 25% DV of vitamin C and manganese
  • 80 calories

Not to mention their antioxidant power, which can help neutralize free radical damage to the body’s cells and improve the vascular system. 

Bananas are also a morning staple of mine – they’re the only thing I can consume right before heading out for a run or visit to the gym that settles well with the stomach.

Besides providing some quick energy, bananas are a great source of fiber and potassium, which can help prevent muscle cramping (major win for runners!)

Oats are also a great cereal alternative for chilly days!

The combination of things that can be added to a bowl of oats are endless – nut butter, yogurt, fruit, nuts, granola…

Oats pack a TON of vitamins and minerals, and are great sources of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese,  folate and thiamin. Oats also provide soluble fiber, which can help reduce cholesterol.

One of the most important things to remember about these foods is that they actually taste good. Just because a food is healthy doesn’t mean is  needs to taste like cardboard!

Stay tuned for some of my favorite lunch super foods next!

Question: What are some of your breakfast super foods?

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  • Marci

    Love your blog!

    I HEART Kashi Heart-to-Heart! Just had it two hours ago w/ skim milk!

    I am also a huge fan of the following: One apple (peel chop and microwave with cinnamon and nutmeg for one minute); add 1/3 c. quick oats with H20 (microwave); 1 tbsp chopped dried cherries and 1 tbsp. unsalted Trader Joe’s toasted sliced almonds on top. Enjoy!

  • http://www.beyonddefeat.com baker

    Whoa- I didnt know they sold frozen blueberries!!! that just changed my life. i normally buy them in the produce (I eat steel cut oats, blueberries and honey pre-race) but they are expensive!

    • http://mealsformiles.wordpress.com mealsformiles

      Dude, check out the freezer section! It’s very exciting :)

  • Carina

    I love your food posts! For me, my breakfast super food is egg whites. Very low in calories, and if I get the kind in a box, I can get up to 30g of protein before I leave for errands or classes in the morning. I find that if I have a lot of protein early on in the day, I crave sugary and salty foods less during the afternoon. No idea why, but I go with it!

  • http://marathonmaiden.wordpress.com/ marathonmaiden

    oatmeal + pb = heaven food. i love kashi cereals too but they’re my mid-afternoon snack :)

  • http://jallen.blogspot.com/ Jess @ Blonde Ponytail

    Super food, super post! Thanks for sharing your insight on breakfast! I love incorporating blueberries into my FAGE yogurt, but when it’s cold out, oatmeal sounds so much better!

  • http://movesnmunchies.wordpress.com movesnmunchies

    oats aLL the way! you must check out my insane amount of toppings!

  • http://objectsevents.wordpress.com Lacey

    oatmeal w/ banana… lately i’ve been adding pumpkin + cottage cheese. i also top w/ raspberries and almonds. i also like eggs!!

  • http://leashieloo.wordpress.com leashieloo

    Oats, fruit, and some kind of nut butter. I also love almond milk!

  • http://washingtonranhere.wordpress.com/ sarah

    I’ll have an oatmeal/cereal combo on most (every) day, but if I’m headed out, then MAN do I love me some eggs. Never make them at home, because any breakfast meal that requires more than one dish is just ridic.

  • http://hungryrunnergirl.com janae @hungryrunnergirl.com

    I am so glad you are almost friends again:) 4.5 miles no pain wahoo!
    I love your ‘super foods’ list, gave me some great ideas.
    My breakfast super foods include eggs, oatmeal and apples:) Love me some fiber!

  • http://secondcityrandomness.wordpress.com Amy @ Second City Randomness

    Considering I live by myself, my cereal collection is obnoxious. And I’m all about the mixing.

    Oh and I put it ON my oatmeal, too.

    Can’t get enough. Clearly…

    • http://mealsformiles.wordpress.com mealsformiles

      hehe, I live by myself too – that cereal is alll mine!!

  • http://littlemisshealthify.wordpress.com Kayla

    Love this post!

    I like to have a big bowl of oatmeal with pb, and fruit every morning. It’s so filling and healthy and of course, delicious!

    I love buying frozen fruit! It’s cheaper, too and it’s just as good!

  • http://www.foodtorunfor.blogspot.com Lizzy

    I wish I loved breakfasts as much as you. I’ve never liked cereal- can you believe it? I usually make baked banana oatmeal for the week and cut them into bars.

  • http://crunchygranolagal.wordpress.com/ Sofia

    i am all about cereal, milk and fruit. if i’m working out, i go for the apple + almond/ peanut butter combo, and if i’m doing brunch or fancy-pants breakfast i love making french toast, oatmeal, or eggs. i want to branch out into the world of pancakes, but it seems like too much effort. i’ve never been huge on breakfast, so i like to keep it simple.

    still trying to figure out the almond milk obsession. i kind of hate it. weird?

  • http://hungryrunnergirl.com janae @hungryrunnergirl.com

    I am so glad we share the same dessert philosophy….if only we lived closer than we could go together to get dessert.

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