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Followers eat doughnuts, leaders eat oatmeal

March 19th, 2012 | no comments

How many times have you stood with your fellow employees in the office lunch room with a piping hot cup of coffee in one hand and a glazed doughnut in the other?  As you take a bite, you think to yourself:  “I really shouldn’t be eating this, but everyone else is and Mary was nice enough to bring them in.”  What do you think they would say tomorrow if they caught you warming up a packet of instant oatmeal in the microwave instead?  I know what they would say because they have said it to me:  “Gosh you are so good!”  Sorry Mary, it was awfully nice of you to bring in those doughnuts, but if I eat one now, I will crash and burn in an hour.  Of course I don’t expect you to say that, but you can politely refuse and say “thank you, but I’ve already got my breakfast” as you wave the packet of oatmeal proudly in the air like an American flag.

Think about it.  How do you feel after you eat a doughnut or any other sugary, high carbohydrate breakfast pastry?  Do you feel energized, nourished, and ready to take on the world?  My guess is probably not.  That’s because foods that are high in sugar digest pretty rapidly.  They usually lack protein and fiber, which means you’ll be looking for something to eat again soon!  Not fair, right?  You should feel satisfied after eating 220 calories.  I’m afraid it doesn’t work like that friends!  Please understand that I am not suggesting you swear off sugar, just know that you will not get the energy you desire from a sugar-laden meal or snack.  It has the reverse effect in fact!  Sugar is an “energy-robber”.

One glazed doughnut from Dunkin’ Donuts costs $0.89 and has 220 calories, 9 grams of fat (4 grams of saturated fat), 31 grams of carbohydrate, 1 gram of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.  If you’re looking for  something that will satisfy and energize you, this is exactly the opposite of what you want.  Is it worth it?

For those calories, you could eat 1 packet of prepared instant oatmeal, a sprinkling of cinnamon, 2 tablespoons of chopped walnuts, a ½ cup of sliced strawberries, and 4 ounces of skim milk.   This breakfast offers 5 times the amount of fiber, three times the amount of protein, and half the amount of sugar!  The real bonus is that you will remain satisfied for a few hours because it contains the perfect balance of protein, carbohydrate and fat.  It is especially important that your breakfast has all three.  If one is missing, you will feel it.  For example, if your breakfast is:

  • Low in carbohydrates = you won’t have the energy to get through the morning
  • Low in protein = you will get hungry within an hour
  • Fat free = you won’t be satisfied and may end up eating a larger portion just to feel full.

You can also make your own “breakfast-to-go” in a zip-lock bag using Old Fashioned Quaker Oatmeal.  I prefer this over instant oatmeal because it has a “meatier” texture and is sodium free.  Here’s what you need:

  • ½ cup dry oat meal
  • ½ cup of sliced strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • Sprinkling of cinnamon
  • 1 sandwich size zip-lock bag

Toss all of the ingredients in the zip-lock bag.  When you get to work, empty the contents in a microwavable bowl or large coffee mug, add ½ cup of water and microwave for 1 ½ minutes.

Be the leader in your workplace today!  Take charge of your body and your health.  Eat how you want to feel and you will have them all saying:  “Gosh, you are so good!”

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