I hear people make excuses for not eating a healthy breakfast. I’m too busy, too tired in the morning, it takes too long and even I’m too lazy. The best way to start of a healthy day is with a balanced breakfast. We all know this is true, but so many of us ignore the advice anyway. A balanced breakfast stabilizes blood sugar, keeping cravings at bay. And that balanced breakfast keeps you well fueled through your busy morning at work until you can break for lunch.
My number one piece of advice to anyone trying to make a healthy change is to get your breakfast in order. That way, the rest of your day is set up to be successful.
As a working gal myself (I start at 7am), I’ve learned over time how to cram a healthy breakfast into my busy morning schedule. So here are my go-tos. They are quick, easy, customizable and some can be made ahead of time!
Whole Grain Toast with Cheesy Dip and an Egg
After a work potluck, I had leftover Cheesy Spinach Artichoke dip to use. I spread it on my whole grain toast and topped with an egg. You could do this with any dip, spread or spreadable cheese. This breakfast has the bread for carbohydrates, dip for a fat source and the egg for some protein. I cook the egg right before I leave, throw it in a Tupperware container and head off to work. 15 seconds in the microwave at work and I’m eating breakfast while I check my email.
Whole Grain Cracker with Vegemite, Avocado and Egg
This is a slight variation on the last one. A Wasa cracker serves as the carbohydrate source, avocado for fat, egg for protein and Vegemite because it’s a delicious combination! I don’t expect most of you to appreciate the Vegemite but feel free to sub in whatever flavorful spread you like. Again, I throw this together before I head out the door and eat it at work.
After getting my Blendtec blender for Christmas, green smoothies became one of the easiest thing to prepare for breakfast. The choices are endless for combinations, the only thing I stress, is to go easy on the fruit and portion size, (it’s still sugar!) and keep the protein and fat in the mix. Yogurt, cottage cheese, or protein powder for the protein are easy add-ins and nut butters, or coconut oil for the fat source! When the protein and fat are forgotten, the smoothie becomes just sugar which tastes delicious but won’t keep you full through your morning or help with sugar cravings the rest of your day. I like to make my smoothies the night before so hubby isn’t woken by the noisy blender at 5:30 am. But hey if you are groggy in the mornings, I’m sure the sounds of a professional grade blender could help you out with that 🙂 I’m going to stick with coffee.
Fage Greek Yogurt with Mashed Banana and Peanut Butter
This is one of my favorites! It may not look pretty but it’s a nutritional powerhouse and tastes great! If you can find the full fat Fage, buy it! The full fat isn’t processed and leaves all of that vitamin rich fat to make it a complete food. With 10g fat per serving, 8g carbs, and 18g protein, I consider this a protein source. So I add in a mashed banana, you can use whatever fruit you have on hand though, and a big scoop of peanut butter and stir it all up. This yogurt is unsweetened, you get all the sugar needed from the dairy and the banana but if plain yogurt’s too tangy for you, drizzle some raw honey until you get used to the taste. You can prep this breakfast the night before or even the Sunday before your work week, grab and go! I again, like to eat it at work.
This is not for anyone who has issues with weird textures, be warned! If your like overnight oats or tapioca pudding, this is for you. Chia seeds can absorb more than 12 times their size so when soaked for several hours in liquid, these seeds take on a more gelatinous state. They are loaded with fiber and are therefore very filling. They have a great amount of fat and protein but are still mostly carbohydrates. Soak 1/4 cup seeds in 1 cup whatever liquid, typically water, but you could use almond milk. Refrigerate overnight and stir in what you like. Treat it like a bowl of oats but don’t forget your fat and protein! Mashed banana is my favorite with peanut butter. Again, you may need some honey drizzles over the top depending on what you stirred in but keep sugar as low as possible. Then stir it up and eat at work!
So this is number six but I felt I had to be honest with you guys and leave you with a back up plan. Sometimes your morning is just too much. You woke up late, maybe the power was out, or someone ate all of your yogurt and eggs, life happens. For those times, I highly recommend a low sugar protein bar made with as few ingredients as possible. Maybe you’re really on top of things and make your own already, but if not, these LARA ALT bars are pretty awesome! The ingredient list is super short and the protein, carbs and fat are as balanced as I’ve seen in a store bought protein bar. And they’re delicious!
Next time you’re wishing you had have had a good breakfast, think of these quick and easy throw together meals! They’re especially good alongside some coffee and heavy cream!