Friday, May 8, 2009

Bars For Breakfast

Lately I've been thinking about my eating habits, specifically how to improve them. Things have slowly started to slip out of balance, and I found myself eating loads of food at night and not much during the day. Although I stayed within my healthy caloric bracket, this approach doesn't make much sense. I felt hungry during the day with this kind of approach. I was failing to fuel when I needed it most! And then, to make up for that, I later ate a large dinner and pre-bed snack. As a result I felt bloated and rather sick and could not sleep well.

So I'm shaking things up! I have decided to start eating a later breakfast at work to help tide me over to my 12:30 PM lunch break. These breakfasts need to be portable and easy to eat while teaching, so I've turned to energy bars and the like. I always drool over the new Clif Bar, Kashi, and LUNA Bar flavors I see at the grocery store, so I'm finally allowing myself to go nuts and try them all.

Yesterday's breakfast was a product I've been eager to try for quite some time: Erin Baker's Breakfast Cookies. A similar idea to Gina's homemade breakfast cookies, but more portable, these cookies are made from whole grains and fresh products. I tried the banana walnut flavor and found that it does taste somewhat like banana bread. It was moist and chewy, tasted freshly baked as the packaging claimed, and was pleasantly dense. The cookie felt like something I could truly sink my teeth into that would fuel me through lunch time. As Kath says, my banana walnut breakfast cookie had good chew! My verdict is that this cookie is tasty and healthful, and it kept me fueled until my lunch. Check out this nutrition facts:

After my breakfast cookie success, I'm eager to try my other easy-eating breakfast bars. Some of them are lower in calories than others. As a result I'll have to bolster these breakfasts with other items like a banana, milk, or peanut butter. I've got a small stash of snacky items tucked into the top drawer of my desk to help curb any appetite issues during the workday.

This is a shot my snack drawer from yesterday, pre-breakfast. In addition to the breakfast cookie, I have a banana, a chocolate mint LUNA cookie, and a can of light beef pot roast Progresso soup (and a bowl!) for a day when I might feel like a warmer lunch than the one I packed. I also have various teas, some peppermints snagged from this week's teacher appreciation goodie tables, and some Malaysian candy in mango and sour apple flavors (which I use as special rewards for super-awesome behavior for my students -- occasionally I'll grab a mango gummy for myself, but that's rare). I also have a little baggy of fresh veggies to snack on throughout the morning that I keep on my desk. Between all this and my packed lunch, I feel prepared to fuel myself throughout the day.

How do you keep yourself fed when you need it? I've got a few ideas, but am always on the lookout for more suggestions. I can't wait to hear your nutrition workday strategies!

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