Think thin? Think breakfast
By JIM ROMANOFF
For The Associated Press
It seems like a paradox, but eating actually can help you maintain a healthy weight and even lose a few pounds, especially when comes to breakfast.
Many of us skimp on this important first meal of the day, either because we're in a rush or it seems like a good place to cut a few calories. Unfortunately, this usually leads to feeling starved by mid-morning. That's when the temptation is greatest to grab a doughnut or other carb-dense food for a quick (and counterproductive) energy fix.
Studies have shown that people who eat a healthy breakfast have an easier time dieting (because they're not hungry all the time) and are better at keeping off the weight they lose.
Of course, this isn't license to start the day with a stack of syrup-drenched pancakes. Instead, choose foods that are low-calorie and filling, such as fresh fruits and vegetables or low-fat dairy products, such as yogurt or skim milk.
Like fruits and vegetables, whole-grain cereals are filled with plenty of nutrients and dietary fiber, which makes you feel full longer.
For more energy-dense choices, especially if you're going to work out or go for a hike, consider an egg, some peanut butter or even a few nuts, such as almonds or walnuts.
This mango-blueberry breakfast couscous is a convenient hot meal that fits the nutritional bill by combining whole-grains with non-fat dairy, dried fruit and nuts.
Because the recipe calls for dry non-fat milk powder, you can mix this cereal up ahead of time and store it in airtight containers or plastic bags. Add water, bring the mixture to a boil, and you have a healthy breakfast in under 10 minutes.
Keep some of this mix in your cupboard for those mornings when you're short on time, or even throw a bag of it in your backpack for a lightweight, almost instant camping breakfast.
MANGO-BLUEBERRY BREAKFAST COUSCOUS
Start to finish: 15 minutes
• 1 cup whole-wheat couscous
• 1/3 cup dry nonfat milk
• 2 tablespoons brown sugar
• 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/4 cup slivered almonds
• 1/4 cup dried blueberries
• 1/4 cup chopped dried mango
In a medium bowl, combine the couscous, dry milk, brown sugar, cinnamon, almonds, dried blueberries and dried mango. Mix thoroughly. Store dry mix in a zip-close plastic bag or other airtight container until ready to use.
To prepare, in a medium saucepan, combine the dry mix with 1 1/2 cups water. Heat, stirring occasionally, until boiling. Cover, remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Mix well before serving.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 247 calories; 37 calories from fat; 4 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 2 mg cholesterol; 46 g carbohydrate; 8 g protein; 6 g fiber; 38 mg sodium.