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The Most Important Meal of the Day: How Breakfast Can Change Your AM Classes

by Amanda Roach

 

 

We’ve all heard it before; “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”  But, show of hands of how many of us actually eat breakfast everyday?  Oh, well…I can’t see you, but I can assume not everyone reading this is raising their hand.

What’s the reason?  We all know that breakfast is important, and it’s rare for us to skip lunch or dinner, so why does breakfast fall in the trenches?

To put it simply, time.  College students don’t always have time before classes or work to make and eat a healthy breakfast.  Lucky for us, we recently found a little extra time on our hands, so let’s make a healthy habit that can help sustain us throughout this semester.

Why is breakfast considered the most important meal of the day?  Many people don’t realize that the answer is in the name.  Breakfast is a meal designed to break the overnight fast from eating and get our bodies energized for the day ahead.  Ideally, this would include protein, fiber, and a serving of fruit and dairy.

Unfortunately, in the year 2020, when life is crazy and chaotic, breakfast often means throwing an Eggo in the toaster and munching our way to class or work.  It means sugary cereals and Poptarts that contain more frosting than nutrition.

But breakfast doesn’t have to be hard.  Below, I have some of my top favorite breakfast ideas that take under ten minutes to prepare.

1. Eggs and Bacon

The classic breakfast combo, the breakfast of champions, filled with protein to get you going, it’s eggs and bacon!  This amazingly simple breakfast can last you a while without feeling hungry, and is an option that can be modified in a hundred different ways.  Scrambled eggs, fried eggs, poached eggs, oven bacon, stovetop bacon, even microwave bacon.  If you want to get fancy, you can crumble up the bacon and add it to the eggs for a delicious breakfast.

Pro tip: add garlic powder and cheese to this for the yummiest homemade scramble you can get.

Super pro tip: Cook the bacon first, then fry the eggs with a little bit of the bacon grease for extra flavor.

2. Toast

Toast is another food that can be modified to give you a different taste every day.  My best friend loves to put peanut butter on toast then drizzle honey on top to start off her day (bonus: she adds banana some mornings for extra potassium.)  You can top toast with anything from fruit and nut butters to avocado and smoked salmon.

Pro tip: Pair nut butter toasts with a small serving of yogurt on the side for an added refreshing treat.

3. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a classic breakfast full of fiber and nutrition.  You can top oatmeal with dried fruit, milk and sugar, or nuts for various options.

Pro tip: cook oatmeal in milk instead of water to add creaminess and flavor.

Super pro tip: add a little bit of cinnamon while cooking to add a yummy warmth to your breakfast.

If you’re not looking for a hot breakfast but still want something healthy, I recommend overnight oats.  Take a cup of uncooked oatmeal, a cup of liquid (juices, milk, or yogurt work well,) and add flavorings like cocoa powder, honey, nut butter, or spices.  Place all ingredients in a jar with a lid and set in the fridge overnight.  By morning, you will have a delicious cold breakfast full of nutrition.

Pro tip: play around with this ratio until you find what you like.  Some people like more liquid, and others like more oatmeal.  Explore different flavor combinations to see what works best for you.

Super pro tip: Pinterest has HUNDREDS of oatmeal recipes.  If you’re scared to leap out and try your own combination right off the bat, find one on there that looks good and start from that, adding and removing ingredients to your taste!

4. Smoothies

Smoothies are such an awesome breakfast option that are so easily customizable that they can never disappoint.  Add frozen fruit, a bit of ice, some yogurt, milk, juice, nut butter, and/or honey and blend together to make a refreshing and cold treat.  Work on ingredients and ratios until you find something you like, and remember that Pinterest is always there to get you started!

Pro tip: Smoothies can be made at night time and stored in the freezer until the next day.  I don’t recommend keeping them in the freezer too long, though, as they sometimes can develop a funky flavor.

5. Sandwiches

My mom is the master of breakfast sandwiches.  These are an excellent on-the-go option that you can also snack on while doing an online class.  Make two slices of toast, then fry up an egg and some bacon.  You can butter the toast or even add a condiment like mayonnaise if desired, then stack the egg, bacon, and a slice of cheese between the two pieces of bread.  Wrap in a paper towel to make a walk-able breakfast option.

Eating breakfast is important for students.  According to Rush.edu, it makes our minds alert for those morning classes and gets our digestive system working first thing in the morning.  Additionally, eating a healthy breakfast every day can help promote a healthy weight and help boost your immune system, which is something we can all benefit from, especially now!

Stay safe out there, Rams!  Let me know down below in the comment what your favorite breakfast food is.

Here is a recipe for one of my favorite make-ahead breakfasts.  These are full of nutrients to boost your brain while also being free of the sugars that often plague breakfast foods.

Ramtastic Breakfast Burritos

  1. Scramble EGGS (2 per serving) in a mixing bowl.  Add a splash of MILK or CREAM for some added fluffiness.  Add SALT and PEPPER (to taste.)
  2. Cook MEAT OF CHOICE (Sausage and Bacon are good options) on stovetop until cooked.  Set aside.  Reserve ONE TABLESPOON GREASE.  (You can save the rest in a mason jar to use later.)
  3. Pour egg mixture into frying pan with reserved grease.  Stir continually to scramble.  As eggs begin to set, add back in crumbles of meat.
  4. Add 1 TABLESPOON BUTTER and GARLIC POWDER (to taste) to the egg/meat scramble.
  5. Meanwhile, heat 2 FLOUR TORTILLAS (per serving) in microwave for 30 seconds.
  6. Add scramble to warmed tortillas.  Serve warm.
  7. Additional options:  Cook veggies (onion, potato, pepper, tomato, etc.) and add to scramble.
  8. Pro tip: Wrap in foil, place in a Ziplock bag, and store in the freezer for up to three months. When ready to eat, remove foil and microwave 1-2 minutes or until warmed throughout.

 

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