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have a healthy breakfast before you hit the road

Having a good health insurance policy is part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. But along with scheduling regular checkups and practicing preventive medicine, there are some simple things you can do to ensure your good health. Eating a healthy breakfast is one of them.

You probably heard it all the time as a kid, but it's still true today: breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day. Considering your body hasn't had food or water for at least 8 hours, you need to "break your fast." Combine that with the fact that you have the whole day in front of you and it's easy to see why it's so important to fuel up on healthy stuff first thing in the morning.

We've compiled a list of fast, easy, and healthy breakfast foods to help you start your day out right.

Happy trails (trail mix, that is)

Keep trail mix on hand for those mornings when you hit the snooze button one (or 3) too many times. Nuts are a great source of protein and are generally high in dietary fiber, calcium, and iron, as well as Vitamins A, B, and C. Add raisins for healthy sugars, fiber, and a small amount of Vitamin B Complex. You'll be energized and ready to go.

A smooth start to a fruitful day

Smoothies are a quick, easy, and delicious way to get a healthy serving of fruit first thing in the morning. If you don't have time to whip them up before work, consider making them the night before and storing them in the fridge or freezer. In the morning you can just pour and go. Add plain, nonfat yogurt for extra nutritional value.

Granola is good

Forget all your "peace, love, and granola" hang-ups. In spite of its reputation, granola is a great way to get an energetic start to the day. High in fiber and complex carbohydrates, granola is a known energy booster and a favorite with athletes and health nuts alike. Don't have time for a bowl of cereal? That's what granola bars are for! Grab one and go.

Have an egg

Though sometimes given a bad rap, eggs are actually extremely nutritious and offer essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. In addition, eggs contain protein and vitamin D, and are relatively low in fat. Few of us have time for quiche Lorraine or a Denver omelet before we jet off to work, so keep it simple with hard-boiled eggs. Boil a dozen on Sunday night and place them back in their carrier in the fridge. Take a couple to go each morning for a quick, nutritious start.

The muffin man

Muffins can be an easy and delicious way to begin the day. You probably don't have time to bake in the morning, but you can make a batch in advance. Use whole wheat flour and add nuts and raisins for extra nutrition. And for a lower fat option, substitute apple sauce for oil. If you need a change of pace, consider savory muffins with tomato, Canadian bacon, and bell peppers.

Something is better than nothing

Let's face it — most of us rarely have time for an elaborate breakfast. But remember that eating something is generally better than eating nothing at all. A piece of toast with peanut butter, a banana, or a handful of raisins will at least kick start your brain and your metabolism. Like mom always said, "Your body is like a car; it won't run if you don't put gas in it!"

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