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Healthy 'Briefcase Breakfasts'

A healthy breakfast that you eat on the go isn't impossible. We've got great ideas for healthy breakfasts that fit in your briefcase.

Breakstone's Cottage Doubles

The container has cottage cheese in one well and fruit the other. You spoon the fruit into the cottage cheese, mix it, and presto -- breakfast. You would have to bring a spoon with you, however. One Cottage Double packs 14 grams of protein into 140-150 calories and 2.5 grams of fat total, although there's very little fiber.

Carnation Instant Breakfast

If you have time to chug a glass of orange juice in the morning, you have time to make a Carnation Instant Breakfast. Just add the powder to a glass of milk, stir, and drink. A packet of "No Sugar Added Rich Milk Chocolate" added to 8 ounces of skim milk yields 150 calories, one-quarter of your daily protein requirement, just half a gram of fat, and no saturated fat.

Morningstar Farms Breakfast Sandwich

If you like McMuffins, then you may like these little food units. Morningstar Farms has used the wonders of food science to create tasty alternatives to high-fat meats out of soy and other vegetable products.

Their healthy breakfast sandwiches are made with egg substitute, a meat substitute that looks and tastes like sausage, and American cheese on an English muffin. One of these will fill 20% of your daily fiber requirement, and it's loaded with protein -- 28 grams. The fat tops out at 3 grams, and only half a gram of that is saturated fat. It gives you 280 calories.

Compared with a McDonald's McMuffin, these sandwiches are obviously the healthier option. One Egg McMuffin has 290 calories, 12 grams of fat total, and 5 grams of saturated fat. A Sausage McMuffin has 360 calories and 23 grams of fat (8 grams saturated).

"You'd have to eat really low fat and really healthy the entire rest of the day in order to offset that Egg McMuffin," Finley says. And she sees another advantage to "nuke and go" breakfast sandwiches, besides how they stack up nutritionally. "You save time by packing it yourself rather than trying to go through a drive-thru," she says.

Other Healthy Breakfasts?

If you can think of something more appealing and just as healthy, eat it. "There's no one right breakfast food," Rarback says. "It's what feels right to someone."

Although a turkey sandwich, for example, isn't a traditional breakfast food, no one would disparage you for eating one at 8 a.m. "I'd say maybe you want it on whole wheat bread," Rarback says. Some people have their dinner leftovers for breakfast, and that's fine, too.

For those who say they're just not hungry in the morning, Rarback has a rebuttal. "When people start eating breakfast, they have to continue," she says. "You get used to it and then your body does want it."

Reviewed on March 17, 2006

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