You may find yourself struggling to fit a healthy breakfast into your life. Between getting the kids ready for school, trying to get some exercise, and getting to the office on time, there is little time left to prepare a healthy meal. In addition to rushing in the morning you may feel overwhelmed by the variety of breakfast choices and feel confused about what to eat.
It is no surprise that most people don’t feel their best if they are skipping breakfast altogether or eating one of the following types of breakfasts:
- Cup of coffee with sugar and creamer
- Breakfast sandwich from a local coffee shop
- Bagel or pastry
- Yogurt parfait
- Whole-grain English muffin
You may notice that you get hungry 1-2 hours after eating the breakfast options listed above because they don’t contain enough fiber, protein, or healthy fats. Incorporating protein into your breakfast will help to increase satiety to keep you full for longer. Starting your day with a nutrient-rich breakfast is going to provide you with more energy, focus, and mood stability. If you can add in some vegetables, too, that’s a bonus!
Some common results from in skipping breakfast or eating a poor-quality breakfast include:
- Blood sugar instability
- Sugar cravings later in the day
- 3 p.m. energy dip
- Overeating at lunch and/or dinner
- Difficulty losing weight
Luckily, with a little planning, you can get in a healthy breakfast routine. All you need is 3 to 5 breakfast options to rotate through during the week to have some variety. Once you have some breakfast options that you like, stock up your fridge and pantry to get ready for the week.
Here are five quick and healthy breakfast ideas to get your day started.
Overnight Oats with Chia Seeds
This breakfast is a great option to assemble the night before. That way you can just grab your jar and head out the door!
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- 1/2 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut palm sugar or 2 drops dark liquid stevia
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1 tablespoon walnuts or almonds
Add almond milk and protein powder to a jar. Whisk (or shake) until well combined.
Add chia seeds, cinnamon, coconut palm sugar, and peanut butter; stir.
Add oats and give everything one more stir. Push the oats down with a spoon to make sure they are fully covered in liquid.
Cover the jar with a lid or plastic wrap then place in the fridge overnight (at least 6 hours). You can keep the oats in the fridge for up to 24 hours but they taste best when you eat them within 12 hours.
In the morning add the garnish of your choice.
Berry Green Protein Smoothie
Get your fruits and veggies all together in one easy smoothie. One quicky tip is to put all the ingredients in a blender the night before except for the liquid. Put the lid on the blender, put it in the fridge overnight. In the morning all you have to do is add the liquid and blend it up.
- 1 cup water, unsweetened coconut milk, or unsweetened almond milk
- 1 scoop protein powder
- 3/4 cup frozen berries
1 tablespoon almond butter (or cashew butter)
- 1 handful of spinach or kale
- 2-3 ice cubes
Add ingredients to a blender. Blend until well combined.
Coconut Chia Seed Pudding
This a nice lighter breakfast option for those of you who tend not to be ‘breakfast’ people. You can make a batch on Sunday and portion it out into little jars so they are ready to go!
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- 2 cups almond milk or coconut milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons raw cacao or carob powder (optional)
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pure stevia extract
Whisk all ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl together for 4 to 5 minutes until there is a gel-like consistency.
Cover the bowl and place in fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes to chill.
When you are ready to eat, scoop out one serving. Add 1 scoop of protein powder and then top with berries and nuts.
Egg and Vegetable Muffins
You’ll want to make this recipe on the weekend to have them ready for a grab-and-go breakfast during the workweek. You may want to add some fruit, roasted sweet potato, and/or avocado on the side.
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil or ghee, divided
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1 cup mushrooms, diced
- 3 cups spinach, chopped
- 6 pasture-raised eggs
Grease a muffin tin or two with 2 tablespoons coconut oil, ghee, or butter. (You can line the muffin tin with muffin liners to help prevent sticking if you prefer.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Melt 1 tablespoon of ghee in a medium-sized skillet. Sauté the onion, pepper, and mushrooms for about 10 minutes, until the onions are soft. Then, add the spinach and stir while it cooks down for a few minutes. Then, take the pan off the heat and let the mixture cool for a few minutes.
Now, spoon the vegetable mixture into the muffin tins—it’s best to cover the bottom of the cups completely, but try not to fill the cups more than a third of the way. You need to leave room for the eggs!
Whisk your eggs together until the yolks and whites are combined, then season with salt and pepper.
Pour a bit of the egg mixture into each muffin cup, leaving about an eighth of an inch of the cup empty.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-24 minutes (22 is usually perfect), then remove and let cool.
Avocado Toast with Eggs
Avocado toast has become a new favorite item on breakfast menus. The good news is you don’t have to wait until the weekend to enjoy this delicious combination.
Here is how to assemble:
- 1 piece gluten-free bread or sprouted bread, toasted
- ½ avocado smashed with sea salt + black pepper
- 2 organic eggs (scrambled, fried, or hardboiled)
The Breakfast Experiment
The best way to figure out what type of breakfast works best for you is to do an experiment. For five days in a row, try a different breakfast and keep track of your results in a journal. Try a few of the current breakfasts that you eat and a few options from the recipes above. Here is what you will want to record in your journal:
- What you ate
- How you feel right after you ate (energy, mood, physical symptoms)
- How do you feel 2 hours later (energy, mood, physical symptoms)
Those results should help you focus on the types of breakfasts that get you charged—and keep you charged. Don’t be afraid to play around with your savory and sweet options. You may also want to experiment again as the seasons change as your body’s needs and wants shift. Just be sure to focus on finding foods that leave you with more energy and better focus as well as foods that boost your metabolism.
*Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only; does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Chopra Center's Mind-Body Medical Group; and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.
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