Mornings are a busy time of day, rushing to and from, and trying to get there on time! Add in breakfast and it seems overwhelming to get it all done. You already know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, yet so many Americans miss out on this meal. Missing breakfast can have a domino effect of making unhealthy choices or overeating later on in the day.
It's also been shown in studies to help keep weight in check by those who regularly consume a healthy breakfast. But breakfast does NOT have to be a traditional sit down meal with omelets, bacon and more. Breakfast can be as simple as "grab and go" and eaten on the road. So why not aim to eat something within 60 to 90 minutes of waking up every day? Your energy levels and waistline will thank you!
Carbohydrates are not bad for you. Sure, greens with eggs are nice and healthy in the morning but that doesn’t translate to quick energy that we receive from carbohydrates. Oatmeal is full of whole grains for sustained energy level, making it easier to focus. Steel cut oats are easy to make ahead of time (my favorite is to mix honey and peanut butter into them), and then just warm up in the microwave in the morning.
Hard Boiled Eggs
Eggs have gotten a bad rap, but not any longer! Good news is that they are an ideal food and perfect for an on-the-go breakfast. They are low in calories, portable and contain protein, zinc, folic acid, iron and Vitamins B12, E and D. Hard boil half a dozen eggs on Sunday evening and have plenty on hand for the week ahead to add to your weekday breakfast.
Try a newer take on oatmeal by making “overnight oats” that don’t need to be heated, simply by using a Mason jar and adding any type of milk, oats, Greek yogurt, chia seeds, honey, vanilla and cinnamon in a pint jar with a lid. Refrigerate and in the morning, you have a delicious portable breakfast ready to go! Make several ahead of time on the weekend for a timesaver during the week when time is limited.
Fruit contains fructose, which is easily broken down into glucose for a fast energy surge. Glucose is necessary for brain functioning, so eat up. A bowl of mixed fruit is great but, it’s important to add some protein in the morning so throw in a cup of Greek yogurt and head out the door or, grab a hardboiled egg to help balance the meal out.
Nuts are a good source of healthy fats and protein to balance blood sugar levels and keep energy levels up throughout the day. Cashews, almonds and hazelnuts are also high in magnesium, which plays a key role in converting sugar to energy. Nut butters are an easy way to incorporate healthy nuts in the morning. Put some peanut or almond butter on a whole wheat English muffin, sprouted grain tortilla, or on whole grain toast and you have a delicious, simple and sustaining breakfast that’s easy to take with you too. You can also add nut butters to oatmeal to add some protein in the AM.
This grain is rich in complex carbohydrates and protein. It is a highly nutritious grain that keeps you full, energized and focused well into your next meal. Quinoa isn’t normally thought of as a breakfast food, but it makes a great breakfast when substituted for oatmeal as a nice, warm and hearty breakfast. You can also easily add some Greek yogurt, fruit and honey to make a quick and delicious breakfast bowl that’s sure to satisfy and easy to transport as well.
Benefits of Breakfast
The benefits of breakfast are vast including maximizing daily energy levels, but maybe you didn’t know it’s one the key ways to increase concentration for the day too? Overnight is basically a long fast and your body is running on fumes when you wake up, therefore it’s important to get fuel first thing in the morning, ideally within an hour to hour and a half of waking up. Breakfast keeps cravings at bay and as anyone who's tried to eat sensibly knows, starving yourself now will just have you eating much more later. To combat the urge to overindulge in the evening, make sure to eat breakfast that morning. Breakfast can also help with structured eating. Eating a healthy breakfast will subconsciously encourage healthy eating throughout the rest of the day and help keep you on track for more structured, less-sporadic eating.