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High Life Health: Break for breakfast

muesli with yogurt and fresh berries
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A full day of winter recreation requires more than just warm layers and technical gear. Fuel up with a well-balanced breakfast so you won’t have to stop when the snow keeps falling.

“Who wants to stop midmorning to eat on a powder day?” asked Katie Mazzia, a registered dietician and diabetes educator in the Vail Valley. “A power breakfast is a healthy meal that fuels you for three to four hours to keep you going and going on that perfect ski or snowboard day, snowmobile trip or snowshoe outing.”

Mazzia said your breakfast plate should consist of 50 percent whole-grain carbohydrates, 25 percent protein and 25 percent healthy fats. Need some ideas for filling your plate? Take this list of items with you on your next trip to the store:



Whole-grain carbohydrates (foods that have three grams or more of fiber): cereals, whole-grain breads, tortillas, English muffins, brown rice, quinoa, barley, oatmeal, pasta, sweet potatoes and corn.

Protein: eggs, plain yogurt, red meat, fish, poultry, pork, nuts, nut butter and cheese.



Healthy fats: nuts, nut butter, olive or canola oil, avocado, trans-fat-free butter spreads and olives.

“Carbohydrates fuel your muscles,” Mazzia said. “Protein and fat increase satiety, take longer to digest and keep you fuller, longer.”

Skipping breakfast will not only decrease your stamina on the slopes, it may also make put you at risk of getting hurt.



“Eating breakfast gives you energy to start your day and stamina when participating in your favorite sport,” Mazzia said. “If you skip breakfast, your muscles will be low or depleted within 90 minutes, which may increase your risk for injury, as well.”

Catching first chair doesn’t always allow for a leisurely breakfast, so you can even grab an energy bar to get you going.

Mazzia recommends nutrition bars that are around 250 calories, with 10 to 15 grams of protein, five or more grams of fiber and five or fewer grams of fat. Try Cliff Bar, Honey Stinger and Luna Protein bars. Although this is not enough for a full “power breakfast,” you can add some yogurt, nuts and fruit to boost your bar. Make the most of your mornings in the Vail Valley. Here are some of Mazzia’s suggestions to fuel your day:

• Westside Cafe or Avon Bakery: Plain egg and whole-wheat bagel sandwich (skip the cheese, mayo and bacon), add a glass of orange juice and coffee.

• Starbucks: Oatmeal with walnuts and cranberries or a spinach/egg sandwich and green tea latte.

• Yeti’s Grind (Solaris): Soy Bhakti chai, gluten-free bar and Noosa yogurt.

• Peanut butter and honey sandwich on 100 percent whole wheat with sliced apples and cinnamon in the middle and a latte.

• Breakfast burrito with a whole wheat tortilla, eggs, black beans, salsa and a little cheese, add some fruit, with tea or coffee.

• Nonfat Greek yogurt with 1 cup fresh-cut fruit or 1⁄4 cup dried fruit, 1⁄4 cup nuts.

• 1⁄2 cup scrambled eggs, one piece or 1⁄2 cup fruit and whole wheat toast or 1 cup potatoes.

• Gluten/Dairy Free: 1 cup fresh-cut fruit, 1⁄4 cup nuts, milk or yogurt alternative (soy, coconut or almond milk or yogurt), 1 cup gluten-free cereal, cooked quinoa or rice.

• Leftovers: Eat 2 to 3 ounces of grilled chicken, ham, steak with a whole-grain roll and fruit as an alternative to a traditional breakfast.

Don’t like breakfast food? Check out these recommendations from the American Dietetic Association:

• Peanut butter and banana sandwich on whole-wheat bread.

• Leftover veggie pizza.

• Deli turkey, a slice of low-fat cheese and lettuce wrapped in a tortilla.

• Leftover rice mixed with low-fat yogurt, dried fruit and nuts. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Contact local dietician Katie Mazzia at ktmazzia@gmail.com.


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