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Start Your Day With a Healthy Breakfast

Running on empty calories can lead to weight gain

Opt for a healthy breakfast: Buckwheat crepes with fruit

Try buckwheat crepes as an alternative to regular pancakes — Photo by: Brian Hagiwara/Getty Images

Are you a breakfast-skipper? You've heard it said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but on busy weekday mornings it's hard to take that advice to heart. Too often we make it to lunch running on empty, or succumb to sugary coffee beverages, nutrient-poor pastries and fatty fast food to hold us over. Put breakfast in perspective: it's an opportunity every morning to start anew and set the tone for your day.

See also: 10 superfoods for health

Not convinced?

  • Studies have shown a correlation between those who eat breakfast and those who have lost and kept off at least 30 pounds.
  • What's more, 90 percent of those weight-loss success stories eat breakfast five or more days per week.
  • Eating a healthy breakfast with plenty of fiber, lean protein and healthy fats gets you off to a good start and keeps you full, making you less likely to snack on empty calories later on in the day.

Still think you don't have time?

  • Preparing make-ahead breakfasts, like homemade granola or pre-chopping fresh fruit, can make your morning go more smoothly!
  •  On weekends, make extra whole-grain waffles, pancakes or muffins and freeze them — then stick them right in the toaster oven on a busy morning during the week.

Buckwheat Crepes by Naomi Duguid and Jeffrey Alford — At 54 calories and 2 grams of protein per crepe, these make a nutritious breakfast. Top them with eggs for a full meal!

Delicious & Guiltless French Toast by Domenica Catelli — The usual French toast is made with refined white flour, while this version uses whole-grain bread. It's 144 calories per serving, not including butter, syrup or other toppings, but you can keep calories relatively low and nutrients high by adding fresh berries or a 100 percent fruit spread.

Raspberry-Banana Smoothie by Victoria Blashford-Snell and Brigitte Hafner — Smoothies made at home are a great choice for a healthy breakfast. This recipe rings in at 123 calories with no added sugar, and lots of Vitamin C.

Whole-Grain Health Bread by Jay Weinstein — Make a loaf of healthy bread on the weekend to use for toast on weekday mornings. This version contains healthy amaranth, spelt and quinoa flours, and walnuts add protein. 203 calories per slice is worth it, with 6 grams of protein as well.

Hot Breakfast Cereals or Creamy Morning Millet With Apples by Judith Finlayson – Cooking multigrain hot cereal, millet or oatmeal in a slow cooker overnight makes a hot breakfast the next morning easy. With raisins and apples included, the multigrain version is 283 calories per serving, with 8 grams of protein and 10 grams of fiber!

Raisin Bran Muffins by Lora Brody — These lower-sugar muffins are a far cry from the supersized variety filled with sweeteners and fat. They're 135 calories apiece, and can be stored in a plastic bag at room temperature or in the refrigerator, or frozen to reheat in a toaster oven.

Orange and Strawberry Juice by Angela Tunner — On a weekend or a special occasion, make your own juice! This orange and strawberry variety includes fresh vanilla and tons of Vitamin C. At 232 calories per serving, though, stick to unsweetened tea as your breakfast beverage on a daily basis if you're watching your calorie count.

Whole-Wheat Apple Pancakes With Nutty Topping by Ellie Krieger — 15 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber per serving make these a whopper of a breakfast, with healthy ingredients such as pumpkin; sesame and sunflower seeds; almonds; and wheat germ. The batter can be made a day ahead, so make it on a Sunday for a treat Monday morning! A two-pancake serving is 400 calories. 

Wholegrain Waffles by Lorna Sass — These vegan waffles get extra crunch from cornmeal in the batter, and they can be topped with fresh or cooked fruit like sliced bananas or baked peaches. They're 401 calories each, and include 11 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber.

You might also like: Eat to stay young. >>

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