We've all heard time and again how breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I used to think that skipping breakfast was a good idea because it would save me calories. After all, I didn't have much of an appetite in the morning anyway, so why not just skip it altogether. It turns out, however, that missing breakfast usually results in overeating throughout the day, so it's likely that you'll more than make up for the calories. Recently, I've made a commitment to get my day off to a healthy start with more than just cold cereal. I realized that with a little effort, I can make a wholesome and delicious meal that will keep me full and energized until lunch comes around. When I eat breakfast, I'm less likely to scour my pantry for unhealthy convenience foods when I end up starving midday.
A balanced and nutritious breakfast for me might include a toasted whole grain English muffin with eggs and avocado, or a yogurt parfait with fruit and granola. On days when I don't really feel like eating, I'll blend up a smoothie for an easy pick-me-up.
Eating breakfast has really helped me get my day started on the right foot. I'm not much of a morning person but when I sit down to a healthy meal, I feel energized and ready to start my day. Here are some tips to help you get started with a healthy breakfast routine.
If you don't have much of an appetite in the morning, smoothies are the perfect breakfast for you. They're cold, easy to drink down with a straw, and you can hide lots of goodies in there that will fill you up and keep you energized throughout the day. You can combine a variety of fruits and vegetables, liquids, and healthy additions like oatmeal, flax seeds or protein powder.
Here are some of my favorite smoothie combinations:
- banana+dates+almond butter+almond milk
- avocado+raspberries+pomegranate juice
- kale+kiwi+banana+orange juice
- strawberry+banana+pineapple+coconut milk
A great tip for making smoothies is to use frozen fruits. It eliminates the need for ice cubes, and it allows you to use nonseasonal fruits any time of the year.When making smoothies, try to keep them healthy by sweetening them with agave nectar. It looks similar to honey but it's slightly sweetener and has a lower glycemic index load. In other words, it causes less of a spike in blood sugar, so you're less likely to feel hungry soon after you've had your smoothie.
Eggs are a versatile breakfast food that is full of protein. My favorite way to prepare eggs is to serve them poached over toasted bread, but I usually don't have the time. Instead, I prepare a simple omelet and use it as a base for healthy toppings. I love to top my omelets with a fresh salad, or serve them on an open face sandwich with lots of veggies.
- Greek Salad Omelet - top a plain omelet with chopped tomatoes, feta cheese, black olives and chopped onions or scallions. Drizzle with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.
- Power Breakfast - scramble 2 egg whites + 1 egg, seasoned with salt and pepper. Mash avocado and season with lemon juice and salt. Spread it over a toasted english muffin with a slice of tomato. Top with scrambled eggs and a spoonful of cottage cheese.
- Easy Shakshuka - heat up 1/2 jar of your favorite marinara sauce. When it starts to bubble, gently slide eggs into the sauce and simmer until the yolks set.
Oatmeal is one of the best ways to add more fiber to your breakfast. It's guaranteed to keep you full till lunchtime.
Baked oatmeal is a great alternative to cooked oatmeal as it can be prepared ahead of time and rewarmed in the microwave. It also makes a great breakfast to serve when hosting guests. My favorite is Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal.