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Easy tips to avoid missing most important meal

Shake off breakfast blues with nutritional options

By Shaina Sidoti HEALTH columnist
On May 1, 2012

  • The rush of a typical morning will often lead people to make the unhealthy choice of skipping breakfast. There are several shake options that provide all the nutrition one needs for a healthy start to the day.

We've all been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Many of us don't believe it, but guess what? It really is.
Think twice before skipping this meal, especially as it comes down to the end of the semester or if you're trying to lose weight. Start your day with a large glass of water and a healthy breakfast. Eating a healthy breakfast helps with improved performance and weight control. You'll also have a more nutritionally complete diet, improved concentration - which at this point of the semester, all of us need - strength and endurance.  If you don't have time to eat breakfast, make a quick shake and be on your way.
There are many different shakes to choose from. Yet often, we're turned off by the high prices and decide not to purchase them.
First off, I want to remind you if you're spending a good amount of money on a shake, it should offer significant nutritional value. The shake should also include natural ingredients and taste good. Also take into account the amount of "breakfasts" you're getting with each container. Spending $50 on a shake may sound absurd, but if you're getting 20 breakfast portions out of it, $2.50 a breakfast is a good deal.
Vega One is a great breakfast shake and can be found at Lori's Natural Foods. This shake comes in a no sugar added option and four different flavors, including chocolate - my personal favorite. It is about 130 to 150 calories per scoop and is sold for under $6. It's fairly pricey, however when you find a good natural product like this, you'll spend more money. This shake is different from most available at convenience stores because it's gluten free, soy free, dairy free and 100 percent plant-based. To top it off, it has 15 grams of protein (equivalent to 2.7 eggs), 1 billion probiotics (equivalent to one yogurt cup), 1.5 Omega- 3's (equivalent to 2.3 servings of salmon), six grams of fiber (equivalent to 3.2 slices of bread), three servings of greens, and 2.7 cups of antioxidants (equivalent to 2.7 cups of blueberries).
Altogether, this shake provides you with 50 percent of the daily recommended vitamins and minerals. Since Vega One is such a positive dietary change, if you're not used to a clean diet, you may experience some cleansing symptoms. Therefore, you'll want to progress into a full serving as opposed to starting off with a full scoop.
If you want to stick to local grocery stores, Carnation Breakfast Essentials is another good low-priced option for a nutritional drink. This shake is available pre-made or as a powder, which is convenient for people on the go. If you're purchasing the powder, you'll have to purchase milk as well. Each serving contains between 220 and 250 calories, and provides at least 25 percent of your daily value of B vitamins. B vitamins help convert food to energy, which in turn helps you to stay awake and more alert. The shake also has 21 vitamins and minerals, 25 percent of your daily value of protein and 50 percent of your daily calcium.
 Beachbody LLC - the creators of P90X and Insanity - have also created the Shakeology shake. Shakeology is said to be the healthiest meal of the day. According to www.myshakeology.com,"[Shakeology] provides your body with nutrients that help you maintain healthy body weight, support your Immune System and well-being, protect your long-term health and give you energy."
Shakeology has 23 vitamins and minerals, is gluten free, has no refined sugars or artificial sweeteners, and is about 150 calories. It really is a fantastic meal supplement. Shakeology can only be purchased online through the Beachbody website and is fairly expensive. One bag of Shakeology gives you one month of shakes for $119. That's about $4 a day for breakfast. Yet again, if you're buying Tim Horton's every morning, this could be a solid investment for you. In addition, Beachbody does offer a money back guarantee on the product, so if you're not satisfied, you can return it and get a full refund - no questions asked. I drank the chocolate flavored one for a month about a year ago. It's not the tastiest shake around, but with all of the nutrients in it, it would be difficult to have something that tastes outstanding.
These are only a few of the many different nutritious shakes out there. If you're starting a weight loss regime, want to improve energy and focus or aim to maintain good health, shakes are a good option to start your day with. I recommend making any shake with a blender, that way it's more satisfying. Keep some frozen fruit in your freezer and mix your shakes with it instead of ice. This way, you improve the flavor of your shake mix and don't dilute it with water. Also try alternatives to milk. Almond milk is delicious, provides a lot of calcium and comes in different flavors. Almond milk is thicker, like 2 percent milk, whereas coconut milk is thin like skim milk. Coconut milk also comes in a few flavors.
When looking at breakfast shakes, make sure you check the labels. I can't emphasize to you enough how important it is to read the labels. Don't assume that it's good for you just because the package says it it. Make sure you take a few minutes in the morning to get yourself a healthy breakfast. Switch up your routine and replace your bagel and cream cheese for a healthy shake.


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