Jay Cardiello, founder of the workout system JCORE and trainer for The Real Housewives of New York and 50 Cent, likes variety in the morning, but one of his go-tos is a blend of Greek yogurt, walnuts, cinnamon and banana.
Cardiello starts with a 6-ounce serving of Greek yogurt for protein. “I am getting approximately 15 to 20 grams of protein, which will help me feel more satisfied throughout the morning,” says Cardiello. “Greek yogurt is mostly made up of the slow-digesting casein protein, so my body is constantly being fed, which is important for the long mornings where I may not be able to grab a healthy snack.”
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Next, he adds a handful of walnuts, one banana and a little cinnamon. “Walnuts are a wonderful source of omega-3 and help decrease my cholesterol levels,” says Cardiello. “Bananas provide energy because they contain carbohydrates, fats and protein. I sometimes eat a banana as a pre-workout or afternoon snack when I am starting to fatigue.”
In 2011, researchers from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania found that walnuts contain more healthy antioxidants than any other nut. “A handful of walnuts contains almost twice as much antioxidants as an equivalent amount of any other commonly consumed nut. But unfortunately, people don’t eat a lot of them,” said study author Dr. Joe Vinson in a statement.
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As for the cinnamon? “I have had 13 surgeries, and I use cinnamon to help reduce the pain from arthritis that I sometimes feel in my joints,” Cardiello says.