Balance your Mornings with a Balanced Meal

by: Haiya Patel, Kennedy College of Sciences Well-being Leader

As a college student, we are typically in a rush and finding the most accessible food
items available. From experience, I remember buying coffee every day and thinking that was
enough for my breakfast or eating sugary food such as donuts or munchkins as a meal. The
main reason that I would do this is because I thought it was good enough to give me energy, or
even just to check off the ‘criteria’ as ‘I had a meal’. Since Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, and
Einstein’s are on the North campus, it was just convenient for me to stop by these locations to
pick up the food on the way to class. Moreover, it was a medium for me to spare few extra
minutes to myself to sleep in, instead of spending that time to prepare myself lunch. Overall, I
had noticed that I would often have a crash in my energy after a bit because of rapid glucose
spikes and drops, which would lead to more craving, and excessive use of energy drinks and
caffeine. Other than the health concerns, these habits also contributed to my inability to have
control of my financial decisions.

Once I learned how the food I consume affects my day-to-day tasks, and its effects on
my output for my academics, my physical energy, and being mentally motivated, I was inspired
to consume the meals that will fuel me in a manner that is more beneficial. I learned to
incorporate nutritional foods in my meals that satisfied my soul and health.

I learned some simple meals that can be incorporated in the mornings to start off the
day on the right foot. This meal provides healthy fats and good amount of protein from peanut
butter, good fiber and nutrients from the bananas. The honey or maple syrup adds a bit of
sweetness for the sweet tooth people.

Rice Cake Toast:
• Flavored rice cake
• Peanut (or any other nut)
• Banana or any other fruit slices
• Drizzle of honey or maple syrup
• Sprinkle of Cinnamon, or
chocolate chips

Another balanced meal is overnight oats: This recipe is my personal favorite because not
only does it save me time in the morning for the food prep, but also, it can be customized in
many variations such as Chocolatey, fruity, add some vanilla essence for that vanilla flavor, or
peanut butter. The overnight oats provide great complex carbohydrates that keeps you full for
a longer period of time. Additionally, you can also add some nut butter or raw nuts and soaked
chia seeds to add on the vital minerals and nutrients such as omega 3 fatty acids, cholesterol
and many more. The fats from the nuts and the nut butter also helps to regulate the glucose
spikes, while also providing nutritional benefits. Recently, my friend started to incorporate
flavored protein powders in her overnight oats for that extra protein.

Overnight Oats:
• Soaked overnight Oats (and chia seeds) incorporated with:
o Vanilla essence
o Dash of salt
o Any nut butter of your choice
o Raw or toasted nuts of choice
o Fruits of your choice
o Chocolate protein powder (if you choose to)

Lastly, you can make the morning a little extra nutritious by making a smoothie of your
choice. The smoothies will most likely take maximum of about five minutes, and it is packed
with fruits, vegetables, and nuts of your choice to satisfy your soul in the morning, but also start
off the day with vital nutrients for your health.

• Oat milk (or any other variation of milk or coconut water)
• Ice
• Spinach
• Any fruit of your choice
• Hemp seeds or chia seeds
• Protein powder (if you choose to)

Overall, the food you consume in the morning makes a big impact on how your say
starts, and further reflects onto your rest of the day. Hence, starting off the morning with meals
that satisfy your heart but also your body in terms of health can have a lasting impact on your
day and your ability to take over the day. The morning meals does not have to be complicated
by any means to have them be balanced. They can be as simple as rice cakes with nut butter
and some fruits, or a quick smoothie, or overnight oats to save you time in the morning. These
recopies are simple and packed with nutrition to help you throughout your day.