The Breakfast Club


You're trying to lose a few pounds
Most importantly, don't skip breakfast or turn to low-calorie, low-fiber cereal in an attempt to control calories. The National Weight Control Registry (NWCR), a listing of thousands of people who have lost at least 30 pounds and kept if off for one year or more, indicates that 78 percent of the NWCR participants eat breakfast every day.

Quick fix: Fill up on water-rich and fiber-rich fruits and veggies. You'll get more forkfuls for the calories. Try a big fruit salad with some reduced-fat cottage cheese and granola; a mix of colorful bell peppers and onions with scrambled eggs and salsa with a slice of whole-grain toast; or a high-fiber cereal and milk.

Recipes

BANANA BREAD
From Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook Banana bread is a favorite for pre-marathon carbohydrate loading and for snacking during long-distance bike rides and hikes.

3 large, well-ripened bananas
1 egg or 2 egg whites
2 tbsp oil, preferably canola
1/3 cup low-fat milk
1/3 to ? cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
? tsp baking powder
1 ? cups flour, preferably half whole-wheat and half white

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mash bananas with a fork. Add egg, oil, milk, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Beat well. Gently blend the flour into the banana mixture and stir for 20 seconds or until moistened. Pour into a 4-inch by 8-inch loaf pan that has been lightly oiled, treated with cooking spray, or lined with wax paper. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the middle comes out clean. Let cool for five minutes before removing from the pan.

Nutrition per serving (1 slice): 135 calories, 3 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 24 g carbohydrates, 3 g protein

COLD CEREAL WITH HOT FRUIT
From Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook. You'll love the combination of hot fruit with cereal and cold milk. Bananas, pears, apples and berries work well.

1 cup Life cereal
? cup All-Bran cereal
? cup low-fat granola
? cup blueberries or other fruit
1 cup low-fat milk

In a microwaveable bowl, combine the cereal. Sprinkle with blueberries or other fruit of your choice. Heat in the microwave for 20 to 40 seconds, until the fruit is warm. Pour the cold milk over the top.

Nutrition per serving: 500 calories, 7 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 85 g carbohydrate, 20 g protein

BREAKFAST STRATA
A perfect dish to prepare for guests, this veggie-packed meatless strata is delicious.

1 to 2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb each of two vegetables or 2 lbs of any of the following vegetable combinations: bell peppers, onions, spinach and tomatoes; mushrooms and onions; corn and asparagus
12 eggs
1 quart low-fat milk
salt and pepper to taste
12 slices whole-wheat bread
12 oz reduced-fat cheddar cheese or jalape?o
cheddar cheese

Saut? the vegetables in olive oil. Whisk the eggs and milk. Season with salt and pepper as desired. Spray a 9-inch by 13-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray. Line the bottom with 6 slices of bread. Sprinkle with half the cheese. Pour 1 cup of the egg mixture on top. Repeat with bread, vegetables, cheese. Carefully pour the remaining egg mixture over the top. Press down with a spatula. Bake at 325 F about 50 minutes until set. Broil about 3 to 5 minutes until brown and puffy. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes.

Nutrition per serving: 270 calories, 9.5 g fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, 25 g carbohydrate, 21 g protein
Jill Weisenberger is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator for the Hampton Roads Center for Clinical Research in Norfolk, Virginia.

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