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Don't want a full meal in the morning? Consider berries for breakfast

Some mornings I just do not have an appetite, but knowing how important it is to eat breakfast first thing in the morning to jump start my metabolism and give me energy for my busy day, I still like to eat something simple yet balanced. One of my favorite options is berries topped with walnuts. On days that I'm hungry I may have this with two poached eggs, but on days that I'm just not up for a full meal right away, berries and nuts will do.

Now that it is winter, I buy frozen mixed berries and I always check the label to be sure that there is no added sugar. During the summer months I will purchase, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. I rinse them well and mix them in a big bowl so that it is easy to grab a serving when I want to. Top with your favorite nuts, I like walnuts for their high omega-3 content. You can even top the mixture with some milk, soy milk, or almond milk to take the place of sugar loaded, refined carbohydrate, boxed cereals.

Berries are loaded with fiber and antioxidants that protect your body against inflammation and free radicals. They are loaded with vitamin C as well as many other important vitamins and minerals.

Nuts are one of the best plant sources of protein. They are rich in fiber, phytonutrients and antioxidants such as vitamin E and selenium. Nuts are also high in plant sterols and fat, but mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (omega 3 - the good fats) which have all been shown to lower LDL cholesterol. Nuts are a very dense food, so don't go overboard with them. Measure out a serving and put the rest away.

Next time you find yourself in a breakfast rut, or even looking for a healthy snack, think simple. Berries and nuts can both be kept in the freezer, so add them to your list of staples to be sure you always have these healthy options on hand.

Corinna Maggy is a National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist offering private personal training, classes, and weight management programs. She can be reached at 605-3549 or corinnamaggy@yahoo.com.

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