A quick stop at the grocery store on the way home is roughly equivalent to sitting in a line of smog-coughing SUVs in the queue at the drive-through, so make the stop at night to stock up on a week's worth of breakfasts and shed one facet of morning stress.
Nothing is more portable and easy to eat on the go than an apple or pear. No packaging is more green than a banana's. Full of antioxidants, vitamins (and even those addictive breakfast sugars), fruit is an easy option. Check The Daily Green's guide to the 12 foods you should always buy organic (to avoid pesticide residue) and the 15 fruits and veggies least likely to have pesticide residue.
Slice and dice your fruit the night before, pack in a reusable container and sample an assortment of fresh fruits in the car or at the office. Or, try mixing your favorite fruits or berries with organic yogurt and granola for a simple parfait you can enjoy at your desk. A few minutes of preparation at night lets you avoid all the hassle in the morning. Making smoothies, too, can be surprisingly quick if you've prepared the fruit the night before. After blending the ingredients, give the blender a good rinse and then set aside for a thorough cleaning after work.
Try our recipe for delicious Fruit and Oat Granola Bars. Spend less than an hour in the kitchen, and you'll have breakfast (or part of a breakfast) for a week or more.
Hard-boiled eggs are easy to make, easy to carry and easy to eat. Set aside a few minutes twice a week to boil eggs, and you'll have a high-protein breakfast waiting for you each morning. Find a neighbor who raises chickens and buy local, organic eggs if possible -- it's not only good for the environment and local economy, but will turn a stressful trip to the supermarket into a relaxing visit to the farm. (Be skeptical of other claims on egg packaging, like "free range".
Get a reusable travel mug and make coffee at home. It will help you resist the temptation to eat a sweet, sticky something at the coffee counter. Can't manage the hassle of measuring coffee in the morning? At least have your coffee shop refill your mug to save on disposable cup waste. (Oh, and look for fair trade, organic coffees, and/or bird friendly and shade-grown varieties, whenever possible.)
Why not take the cue from lunch and "brown bag" a sandwich? (Better yet, green bag it.) Natural peanut butter and honey on whole wheat is about as simple a meal as there is to prepare, and it's loaded with vitamins, minerals, protein and all the health benefits of honey.
Take advantage of that hot water spigot on the company water cooler, and treat yourself to some hot oatmeal in the office. Buying a tub of oats is among the cheapest ways to eat breakfast, most any cubicle can find space to store one, and the meal can be spiced up with dried fruit. Or, if your office has a refrigerator, there's no reason you can't bring a bowl and a box of cereal and eat breakfast while skimming through the morning e-mail. (Did you know fortified cereal can be a top source of both iron and calcium?
If you share a car to get to work, or sit a cubicle wall away from your best office buddy, why not designate one person each week to be responsible for breakfast for the group? Set some ground rules about health, and then let the creative spirit lead you to new discoveries.
If the day gets away from you before it's begun, think twice before you eat. Stop at the grocery store for some oatmeal from the breakfast bar before you pull into the drive-through lane at the fast food joint. Consider a whole wheat bagel. And choose options with the least amount of packaging, so at least the problem of empty calories won't be compounded by overstuffed landfills.
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