It might not be the most important meal, but breakfast can be the most predictable if you’re traveling, making it one of the easiest times to eat healthy.
“It starts your metabolism and it really helps refuel you,” said Jessica Crandall, a registered dietitian nutritionist with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Breakfast basics such as whole grains, lean protein, fresh fruit and nonfat dairy are all excellent choices, Crandall said. Resist temptation by avoiding restaurant or room-service menus, and instead ask your server for a scrambled egg, fresh fruit and whole-wheat toast.
Crandall’s advice? If you find yourself at that morning temple, Starbucks, choose from these healthy options: the reduced-fat turkey bacon and cage-free egg white breakfast sandwich plus a fruit cup, the protein bistro box, or the classic whole-grain oatmeal (skip the brown sugar and top with only the nuts).
Downsize your breakfast drink by choosing nonfat milk and dialing back the sugary flavor syrups in that latte one pump at a time. “Your taste buds change and you get used to not having all that added sugar,” Crandall said. Have the barista sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg on top for a pop of flavor instead.
No Starbucks? Pack nuts, unflavored instant oatmeal and protein bars (with 20 grams of protein, fewer than 200 calories and fewer than 5 to 7 grams of added sugar) for breakfast emergencies. You can even find healthy options like bananas and low-fat string cheese at gas station mini marts, Crandall said.
She also approves of the occasional a.m. splurge – if you keep portion sizes in check. So ask for half the cheese on that Mexican breakfast skillet and choose fruit instead of fried potatoes on the side. If pancakes are your pleasure, have one instead of a stack, then fill up on eggs and fruit.
“Two bites cures a craving. After that, you’re just feeding old behaviors and habits,” Crandall said. “Don’t deprive yourself of what you enjoy. Just modify it.”
It’ll get your day off to a healthier start.