Whether you’re going to work or hitting the gym, you’re usually heading out the door in a hurry. Too often that means skipping breakfast, which most nutritionists agree is a bad idea. “Skipping can lead to several unwanted side effects, including a sluggish metabolism, loss of lean muscle and overeating at night,” says Cynthia Sass, sports nutritionist for the New York Yankees and New York Rangers.
With a little pre-planning and a well-stocked fridge, there’s no reason to leave your house hungry when you’re in a rush. We asked Sass to recommend some quick meals that’ll get you ready for a busy day ahead.
Loading up on sausage on your way to the gym is a terrible idea. “Keep protein and fat low if you’re going to be getting your heart rate up within an hour of eating,” Sass says. Stick with nutrient-rich carbs to fuel your workout, like oatmeal drizzled with a little organic honey and a sliced banana (prep time: about 5 minutes). Don’t even have five minutes? Sass recommends a bowl of organic corn flakes with a little almond milk (about 2 minutes).
A mad dash
Already late? No problem, Sass says. Grab a to-go cup and fill it with ¾-1 cup organic nonfat Greek yogurt. Add a dash of cinnamon, some fruit (Sass recommends a chopped apple or pear, cut pineapple or berries), some cooked chilled quinoa for protein and nuts or seeds (such as chopped walnuts, almonds or sunflower seeds) for some good, filling fats (about 2 minutes). Don’t have quinoa lying around? Throw in some raw or toasted rolled oats.
Expecting a late lunch
If you’re not going to be eating lunch for a while, 10 minutes and a few eggs can go a long way. “Sauté your favorite veggies (like tomato, onion, mushrooms and spinach) in a little organic low sodium vegetable broth and Italian herb seasoning,” Sass says. “Then add one whole organic egg and three whites and scramble.” Some black beans and avocado on the side will provide additional protein and fat to keep you going well into the afternoon.
It’s a good idea to have a quick smoothie recipe ready to go if you sleep through your alarm. “One of my favorite simple smoothies is vanilla almond milk, frozen cherries, almond butter, protein powder (either pea protein or organic, grass-fed whey) or nonfat organic Greek yogurt, a handful of fresh spinach, and a dash of cinnamon,” Sass says. Blend until smooth, then drink it on your way to work.
How to Make It
1/2 - 3/4 cup vanilla almond milk
3/4 - 1 cup frozen cherries
1-2 tbsp almond butter
1 scoop protein powder,
or 3/4 - 1 cup nonfat organic
1 cup fresh spinach
A dash of cinnamon
—by Billy Brown