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05/01/2014
Power Breakfast Ideas Fuel up on brain food before a big test

1) Choose a meal that will kick-start your brain

2) Don't grab something quickly and haphazardly on your way out the door the morning of the test. 

3) Plan what you are going to eat for breakfast ahead of time. 

Here are some ideas that will set both your brain and your body on the right track: 

1. Steak or ham and eggs with multigrain bread. This breakfast of champions consists of steak or lean meat and eggs, as it has a winning combination of amino acids that improve energy and choline (found in egg yolks) that boosts brain function.

2. Buttermilk biscuits with poached egg Florentine. While protein is the No. 1 choice for power breakfasts, carbohydrates are second in line. Avoid the easy option of grabbing a sugar-based breakfast, such as doughnuts, cereal or pastries. After the sugar high wears off, test takers will be left feeling lethargic and slow--making concentration difficult during the examination. Eggs provide the protein and spinach the slow-burning carbs, to make this one last throughout the morning. Don't worry about a little bit of sauce in this well-balanced breakfast; even the cheese helps round this one out with protein and vitamins to keep you going. Balance the meal out with grapefruit or orange juice.

3. Breakfast burrito in whole wheat tortilla. Add Canadian bacon or ham to a couple of scrambled eggs and top them with salsa and shredded cheese. For a meat-free or gluten-free alternative, use tofu with chopped veggie burgers, or replace with a corn tortilla.

4. Brown rice cakes topped with veggies and eggs. For another gluten-free idea, grab brown rice cakes, and build them up with your favorite toppings, such as egg, cheese, spinach, tomatoes and bell peppers. Avocados are great for adding healthy fats along with flavor.

5. Steel-cut oatmeal with bananas and peanut butter. Prepare steel-cut oatmeal--it's less processed and therefore a more complex carb than the microwaveable baggies--and blend in sliced bananas for a power-shot of potassium. Peanut or almond butter is an excellent addition for protein, especially for those avoiding meat.

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