In our busy day-to-day lives it is easy to get carried away and give little thought to our first meal of the day. However, breakfast powers up the mind and body, and it can give us the energy we need to start the day off right.
A quick and easy meal to start the day is granola or oatmeal. A wide range of toppings can be added to these oat-based options, to satisfy your personal taste. Adding nuts and fresh and dried fruits is a great way to mix in flavor and nutrients. DelicioUS! recommends adding California Raisins which provide a natural sweetness and California Walnuts will give your oatmeal or granola a flavorful crunch.
Overnight oats are another quick breakfast option for those on the go. To prepare, combine milk (or your favorite dairy-free option) and rolled oats and place the mixture in the fridge overnight. This allows the oats to soften and become a creamy consistency without actually having to cook them. For inspiration try the Tart Cherry Almond Butter Overnight Oats recipe. The ruby red, U.S. grown Montmorency tart cherries in this recipe are a source of vitamin C, vitamin A, and copper.* Want to give your overnight oats an extra kick? Then drizzle on your own, homemade Power Protein Almond Butter! This meal leaves you feeling satisfied and gives you the boost you need to start your day off right.
If you plan on staying fit and exercising more this year, chances are you’ll need snacks while you are out and about. There aren’t always healthy options outside of your home, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore a grumbling stomach. In fact, preparing nutritious snacks is a great way to include certain foods in your diet that you might be leaving out otherwise.
A savory and satisfying snack for in-between meals is the USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council’s Crispy Black Lentil Falafel Bites. Made with just five ingredients, this delicious snack is quick to make and easy to pack. Black lentils are pulses (or dried seeds of legume plants), which are a source of protein and fiber.* Make sure to pack your favorite yogurt dip – or even better, make your own hummus to top it off!
The equally yummy, but sweet California Prunes and Sweet Potato Traybake makes for another great treat. California Prunes and American Sweet Potatoes are sources of carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and fiber.* As if that wasn’t enough, these wholesome squares contain mixed seeds and walnuts that give it a deliciously crunchy texture.
Looking for a refreshing boost during your busy day? Then vitamin rich smoothies can satisfy your cravings! Blended with vibrant cherries, bananas, and coconut water, the Cherry Revitalizer Smoothie is both thirst-quenching and fueling at the same time.
Bite size energy balls are a currently trending treat not to be overlooked. Protein packed and portable, energy balls have gained popularity – especially amongst fitness enthusiasts. These Peanut Butter Chickpea Energy Balls from the USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council look and taste more like a sweet treat than a healthy pick-me up. Yet the superfood ingredient, chickpeas, contain fiber and protein as well as some other vitamins and minerals.* Not to mention, American Peanuts are another source of protein that can be found in these bite-sized energizers.*
Raise the Bar
Planning to finally go on that long hike you’ve been eyeing? Or committing to a daily exercise routine? Or simply taking steps towards achieving certain goals that you have set for yourself this year? Whatever it may be, pushing outside of your comfort zone requires both mental and physical strength. Making sure to include beneficial foods in your diet and nourishing yourself correctly throughout the day can help you get there.
Quinoa Raisin Nut Bars are a great on the trail snack. The variety of ingredients – raisins, pumpkin seeds, almonds, oats, flax seeds, and quinoa – come together deliciously and offer some nutritional value. The recipe’s incorporation of egg whites, especially when using high-quality eggs, gives this bar an extra dose of protein.*
Another delicious and nutritious bar is the Cherry Almond Red Lentil Granola Bar. The chopped California almonds, red lentils, and sweet dried cherries in this recipe make for another well-rounded pick-me-up.
When trying to keep up with your New Year’s resolutions this year, remember that a lot of factors play into your success. Ensuring a balanced and healthy diet may help with certain aspects of your life, but one shouldn’t forget, that everyone is different. Not every tip and trick will work the same for everyone and not every resolution has to be kept up perfectly. Do what makes you feel happy and healthy!