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Try Breakfast for Dinner (or Anytime)

By Marni Sumbal

Without a doubt, the best way to start your day is with breakfast. Whether you workout first thing in the morning or late at night, it's important to plan a balanced, wholesome and filling meal, either within 60 minutes after you wake up or soon after your morning workout. It's important to feel satisfied after your morning meal and to aim for nutrient-variety in order to keep your blood sugar balanced for at least 3-4 hours (it is recommended to eat at least every 4-5 hours).

Depending on your current workout routine, when you increase your volume, try adding in carbohydrate-extras to your normal balanced breakfast, such as high-fiber cereals, grains or fruit. When you increase the intensity, add a little extra protein to your normal balanced breakfast such as yogurt, eggs, skim milk, cottage cheese or whey protein. If you find yourself feeling hungry (or unsatisfied) shortly after you eat your morning meal, opt for a little extra heart-healthy fat such as nuts, seeds or nut butters.

When you increase weekly volume and intensity, it's completely normal to have an appetite that is larger than normal. However, by starting your day with a filling breakfast, it is likely that you will set yourself up for a controlled day of eating, and with balanced blood sugar levels to keep you energized and productive throughout the day. 

But who says breakfast foods should only be consumed before 10 a.m.? This pancakes-and-egg combo can be eaten in the morning, afternoon or evening – whenever you’re looking for a healthy, balanced meal!

 pancakes and eggsFruity pancakes

  • 1 cup your favorite whole grain pancake mix (I typically make my pancakes from scratch with whole wheat flour)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • X-amount of water —I like to bump up the protein of my pancakes so even if the mix calls for water, I like to add around 1/2 cup milk. Then I’ll add water for the remaining liquid measurement
  • 1 Tbsp flax seed (ground)
  • Fruit — apple slices, cherries
  • Favorite nut/seeds — a few spoonfuls of your favorites; I used walnuts and sunflower seeds
  1. Combine ingredients and mix well. Add additional water (if needed) so that batter just barely drips off spoon.
  2. Spoon a ladle full of batter onto a non-stick pan heated to medium heat. You can spray the pan with a little non-stick spray if you prefer.
  3. Flip after a few minutes.

Optional topping for pancakes:

  • Natural peanut butter and low-sugar jelly
  • Honey and non fat plain yogurt with cinnamon
  • Banana slices with natural peanut butter

Scrambled eggs with spinach

  • 2 egg whites + 1 whole egg (per person) with a splash of milk
  • 1 large handful spinach
  • 1 clove garlic (chopped)
  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  1. On medium heat, cook garlic in olive oil until golden.
  2. Add spinach until semi-wilted.
  3. Add scrambled eggs and toss until cooked to your liking.

Marni Sumbal holds a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology, is a Certified Sports Nutritionist (CISSN) and is certified in adult weight management by the American Dietetic Association. Marni is a Level I USAT coach and is currently pursuing a registered dietician degree. She is a Hammer sponsored athlete and a 2007 Ford Ironman World Championship finisher. She has several published articles in Hammer Endurance News, Cosmo Girl and Triathlete Magazine, and contributes monthly to IronGirl.com and Beginnertriathlete.com. You can check out her blog at http://trimarni.blogspot.com.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and not necessarily the practices of USA Triathlon. Before starting any new diet or exercise program, you should check with your physician and/or coach.

Active.com