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Get your day off to a healthy start

January 21, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but it can also be the toughest.We've all seen the commercial where the actor smacks himself for not having a V-8. While that's a nice option, there are loads of healthy others.

The truth is, it's just as easy to grab a nutritious good tasting breakfast as it is one high in fat and calories. Here's the best and worst morning wake up calls.

Starting at the coffee shop, rather than a blueberry muffin and mocha that will set you back over 800 calories and 35 fat grams, make your own berry parfait to tote to work in the morning. Blueberries, nonfat yogurt, raspberries and high fiber cereal along with a nonfat latte can knock 500 calories off breakfast and about 25 grams of fat to boot.

For another great option spread peanut butter on a whole wheat tortilla with all-fruit spread and a sprinkling of berries to get a mix of fruit, fiber, and heart healthy fat under 300 calories.

Many like eggs as a hearty way to start the day. Think about this, many restaurant omelets feature a half dozen eggs and cheese to the tune of 700 calories or more.

Substitute all that cholesterol and fat for McDonald's Egg McMuffin made with Canadian bacon or two great new grocer's freezer breakfast muffins from Jimmy Dean (Delights) and Aunt Jemima. Both offer about 250 calories and only six fat grams with substantial protein. A great grab and go choice.

Even better, make your own with Egg Beaters or egg whites, a whole wheat English muffin, and low fat cheese. Add a side of pink grapefruit for a little over 300 calories total, plus substantial protein and fiber.

Then there is sweet and hearty food. Try oatmeal with honey, pears and nuts or whole grain raspberry waffles with ricotta, vanilla and cinnamon for a healthy start.

Not hungry you say? Small portioned smoothies can help here. Try "enlightened" 16 oz. smoothies at Jamba Juice. Smoothie King also makes reduced sugar smoothies as well. Both have protein powder options.

Remember your body hasn't eaten in 12 hours and is looking for a balance of protein, carbohydrate and fat. Aim for about 300 to 400 calories,10 or more grams of protein, with 12 or less grams of fat and at least five grams of fiber to keep you satisfied until lunch.


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