If there’s one thing that keeps me centered and sane every day, it’s having breakfast. No matter where I am in the world or what I’m doing, the one consistency I try to keep in my life is starting my day with some good food.
Whether you are trying to eat healthy or not, breakfast is so important. But especially if you are trying to eat healthy or lose weight, breakfast is your key to success. We’ve all heard how people who eat breakfast are more likely to maintain a healthy weight than those who skip it. If you skip breakfast, your body stays in the fasting, starvation mode that it was in while you slept. In this state, your body holds on to fat, trying to retain fuel, not knowing when the starvation state will end. Eating within 60-90 minutes of waking up will jump-start your metabolism and tell your body to get out of starvation mode and start burning fuel. Eating breakfast also gets your blood flowing, making you more alert and awake as it delivers nutrients to your body.
Here are a few of my go-to breakfasts.
When I need something quick that will fill me up for a long day, I go for one of the following:
- Granola with Greek yogurt, homemade almond milk, or kefir (Make your own granola—it’s so easy!)
- A slice of whole wheat toast with all natural peanut or almond butter and sliced banana or apple
- Oatmeal (sweet or savory!)
- Eggs, cooked as desired with whatever veggies I have on hand
- A smoothie with whatever fresh or frozen fruits I have on hand, a scoop of protein powder, and whatever milk, yogurt, or kefir you like. Add water to thin as desired, or a handful of whole grain oats to thicken it and make it a more filling meal.
When I have more time to spare, I love to treat myself to a slow-paced morning of reading, sipping my tea, and whipping up some of these:
Gluten-Free Protein Pancakes
- 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder (A post to come soon on my favorite brands…I like plant-based, soy-free powders!)
- 2 Tbsp almond flour
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-2 Tbsp Old Fashioned oats
- 2 egg whites
- 1-2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce OR mashed ripe bananas
Blend it all together, and then…well you know, do the pancake thing. Serve with maple syrup, honey, or vanilla Greek yogurt and top with any fresh fruit!
And when I really have ZERO time to make breakfast, (read: I’m way too familiar with waking up at 3:30am to be at the airport at 5am…) I might make a smoothie the night before and stick it in a travel mug for the next day, or I do my go-to of “Overnight Oats” (credit for the name goes to Catherine of Rabbit Food for My Bunny Teeth!) Here’s how to make them:
In a jar or portable container, combine 1/4 cup old fashioned or steel cut oats, water or milk of your choice (just enough to cover the oats), and any add-ins that you like (try some of the same combinations you use for conventional oatmeal!). Mix it all together and leave in the fridge overnight. And in the morning, voila! The oats have soaked up the liquid and softened to the same texture as if you had cooked them. I often grab the jar as I run out the door and eat them cold, but you could also throw the container in the microwave for a minute or two just to warm them up (make sure to use a microwave-safe container!).
With so many fast and easy options, breakfast is one of the easiest meals to get right. And if you can eat healthy for breakfast, then you are already guaranteed to have one-third of your meals be healthy ones—that’s huge! It gives you more wiggle room to indulge later on. So don’t waste the glory of breakfast on sugary cereals or greasy drive-through meals when you can so easily do better and have something more eatable.