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Duke Medicine: Breakfast ... just what the doctor ordered

Posted July 8, 2013

Why is breakfast important? Studies have shown that eating a healthy breakfast fuels your brain to improve focus, jump-starts metabolism for weight loss, increases energy levels, stabilizes mood, and helps keep you from overeating throughout the day.

We asked some of the busiest people around, Duke primary care providers, to tell us what they eat to get their day off to a healthy start.

Leanne Owens, MHS, PA-C
Hillsborough Family Practice

A few years ago my priority was eating a quick breakfast rather than a healthy one. However, when my daughter began to eat table foods, my priority shifted.

Now we eat a quick and healthy breakfast together: one wholegrain vegetable muffin, a side of fruit, and low-fat yogurt. I make the muffins in advance, freeze them, and take them out the night before to thaw. They are ready to eat in the morning.

Recipe for Vegetable Muffins

Here is my family recipe for vegetable muffins via my sister-in-law Meredith:


1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup applesauce and 1/4 cup canola oil
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups grated vegetable of choice: zucchini, sweet potato, or carrot
1 cup chopped walnuts


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Sift first six ingredients into medium bowl. Beat sugar, applesauce, oil, eggs, and vanilla in large bowl.
Mix in vegetables.
Add dry ingredients and walnuts, and stir well.
Transfer batter to prepared muffin pan. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

For more recipes and healthy breakfast options from Duke doctors, read the full post at Duke Medicine. Go Ask Mom's sponsor, offers health tips and information every Tuesday.


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  • thegoodship Jul 9, 2013

    I agree with julesm, cut out the refined sugar! That's the biggest problem with modern diets, it's not healthy.

  • julesm Jul 9, 2013

    These ingredients are NOT healthy for anyone:
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1 cup sugar