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Runner’s Plate: 5 breakfast ideas for the runner in a rush

Posted Dec 11 2012 6:56am

Scene (6:00 am): alarm goes off, you roll over and look outside — it’s still dark out. As you reach your arm out from under the covers you realize how much warmer and more comfortable it is in your bed. You then begin hitting snooze every 10 minutes until you realize if you don’t get out of bed now, your morning run before work is a goner. So, you get yourself up and out the door for a quick run (knowing you’ll be happy you did – never regret a workout!). But, when you return home you realize all that snoozing left you with about 20 minutes to shower and get out the door to make it to work on time. Forget any type of sit down breakfast; you’re missing it altogether. Sound familiar?

Maybe it’s not the run that led you to skip breakfast;  maybe you are rushing around trying to get your kids out the door to school, or your dog took extra long to do his business today. Whatever the reason, missing breakfast shouldn’t be an option. I’ve written about the benefits of breakfast before , but it’s probably the most missed meal, even among otherwise healthy eaters. Breakfast is especially important for athletes to refuel after a morning workout, and to help maintain steady blood sugar throughout the morning. A little preparation can make it much easier to get in a healthy breakfast while on-the-go. In the summer it’s easy to whip up a smoothie and run out the door, but who wants a cold drink when it’s 20 degrees outside? So, I thought I’d share with you 5 of my top go-to “in a rush” breakfasts; all of which I can put together in less than 5 minutes, and most of which I can take with me and eat on my way to work if need be. Each breakfast has protein, whole grains, healthy fats, and some fruits or veggies to make it a well-balanced, filling meal.

  1. Banana walnut bread/muffins: I make these on a weekend to have for the week (bonus: you can freeze them for up to a month if you make extra). When you’re ready to eat them, microwave for 15 seconds, cut in half and then spread 1 tbsp of your favorite nut butter on it for some extra protein and healthy fat, which gives the muffin more staying power. You can make these in loaf pans or as muffins!
  2. Mini muffin frittata. For the egg lover – make on the weekend (or the night before) and store in the fridge for up to 4 days. I like this recipe, but the recommended serving sizes are a little weird. For a balanced breakfast, eat 1-2 mini frittatas and serve with a piece of fruit and/or whole grain toast on the side for some healthy carbohydrates.
  3.  Overnight oats: Yet another delicious breakfast that can be made ahead of time and ready to eat when you wake up. Grab a mason jar or a jar leftover from salsa or something of similar size. If you have the end of a nut butter jar with just a little bit of nut butter left, it’s a delicious way to use up the last traces of nut butter. Add together: ½ cup rolled oats (uncooked) and ½ cup 1% milk and let sit overnight. In the morning top with ½ cup Greek yogurt and toppings of choice – I like nuts, fruit, and granola. Easy to take with you too!
  4. Smoked salmon & cream cheese sandwich: 1 whole wheat English muffin with 2 oz smoked salmon, 2 tsp cream cheese, a slice or two of cucumber, and if you’re feeling extra fancy you can throw on a little avocado (delicious).  Wrap it up and take to go if you are in a rush!
  5. Peanut butter and banana (or apple slices) sandwich (or go standard PB&J). Who says this can only be eaten at lunch? This probably the easiest homemade breakfast to take on-the-go, and it keeps you full until lunch. When you make it with whole wheat bread (or even better a whole wheat cinnamon raisin English Muffin from Trader Joe’s), you’ve got yourself a healthy mix of whole grains, protein, healthy fats, and some fruit.

For a grab and go breakfast that require no preparation at all- keep granola bars or fruit & nut bars and some bananas or other fruit on hand for a day when you’re really in a rush.

What are your grab-and-go healthy breakfasts? Do you skip breakfast after a morning run?

- Sarah

(Sarah is a future registered dietitian and is completing a nationally recognized dietetic internship at The Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston  She also holds an MS in Nutrition Communication from Tufts University Friedman School in Boston. Sarah is a certified spin instructor, a triathlete, and an avid runner who regularly participates in road races from 5k to  1/2 marathons.  Follow her on Twitter  @SpinnerSarah  and at her personal blog  Food and Fitness Friend .)

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