Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Sound familiar? This is something most of us are told from as far back as we can remember, yet we still often shrug it off as something our parents said simply to nag. Truth is though, after a good night of rest and fasting for an average of 10 hours, breakfast is essential to replenish our body with energy and provide us with the nutrients we need to function well throughout our day.
With this said, eating any old breakfast simply isn’t enough. We should be mindful of the breakfast foods we choose. Lack of time and appetite in the morning may seem like a great reason to just grab a pre-packaged option or completely skip your a.m. meal, but today I will provide you some easy tips that you can put in practice to make sure you never miss the opportunity start your day on the right foot again. 1. Start with a whole-grain
While I wouldn’t recommend grabbing sugar-filled muesli bars or muffins, white bread or donuts for breakfast. A cup of cooked oats, quinoa, buckwheat, a slice of whole grain, sourdough or sprouted bread are all healthier bases to build your morning meal around.
2. Always include a healthy protein-rich food.
Including a healthy source of protein in your first meal of the day is beneficial for many reasons, such as supporting our neurotransmitters that regulate such things as our alertness, calmness and mood. However, the reason that you may notice most when including protein in your meals is that it will keep you fuller for longer. A few healthy choices to add to your meal may be eggs, natural Greek yoghurt, cheese, nuts, a touch of nut butter, smoked salmon and low-fat milk.
3. Add fruit and/or vegetables for bulk.
Eating a serving of fruit and vegies in the morning is such a simple way to get a great dose of fibre, vitamins and minerals. Add a handful of fresh spinach to your eggs on toast or some mushrooms and capsicum to your omelette. For a special boost of healthy fats and protein add an avocado to your breakfast too. Fruits like apples, bananas and pears are easy to run out the door with when you’re in a rush but smoothies are an easy way to get in both fruit and vegies when you don’t have time to sit down and eat breakfast too. Even add cup of berries over pancakes on the weekend or to your cooked oats. Aim to use whole fruit in your breakfast as it will fill you up with more fibre and you will be consuming less energy and sugar than you would from a tall glass of juice.
4. Time to put it all together!
Now that we know which foods breakfast should be built around, it is time to put them together. When you’re getting ready for a grocery shop think about your morning routine and what kind of meals you’d enjoy and have time for. While it is always recommended to sit down and eat mindfully, sometimes we simply don’t have the time or appetite to do so first thing in the morning. That doesn’t mean you have to skip breakfast though! When you’ve planned ahead, written a shopping list and pre-prepared breakfast it makes mornings oh-so-easy. Here are a few healthy breakfast combinations and their on-the-go alternative.
Vegie Omelette on Toast or a Vegie Frittata with Bread.
Omelette is a fantastic (and delicious) way of getting vegetables in! If you like the idea of an omelette but hate the idea of cooking in the morning, make a frittata on a Sunday night with the same ingredients! Use an egg or two for each day that you’re cooking for, as much vegies as you like (aim to pick a variety of colour, eg. Greens such as broccoli, spinach, spring onion, zucchini, white such as mushroom, onion, cauliflower, reds such as red onion, capsicum, chilli), a splash of milk, dice some whole grain bread, add pepper or herbs to taste, mix and put in the oven to bake. Once cooked, slice and wrap portions to run out of the door with in the mornings.
Porridge or overnight oats.
Oats are such an easy yet satisfying breakfast choice. You can eat them warm straight off the stove or pre-prepare by mixing your oats, milk and toppings into a container and letting it sit in the fridge overnight or even for a few days. A scoop of oats, your milk of choice, a serve of fruit (mixed berries and coconut shreds are my favourites) are all you need but to add more substance you can always use a small handful of nuts or a scoop of nut butter or a scoop of raw cacao powder to complete your oats.
Fibre filled smoothies.
Smoothies are great if you don’t feel like eating in the mornings. You can use fresh produce or pre-prepare and freeze portions of fruit and vegetables in ziplock bags and simply add them to the blender with some ice, liquid and extras when you’re ready. Some great satisfying smoothie combinations are banana, strawberry, oats, milk & nut butter. If you’d prefer something green try spinach, mango, lemon, passionfruit & coconut milk. For tropical flavour use pineapple, mango, raspberries & coconut water. To satisfy your sweet tooth a cherry ripe inspired combination of frozen cherries, coconut chunks, cacao powder & almond milk. Easy add-ons to smoothies are seeds, nuts, yoghurt and oats.
Yoghurt with wholegrain cereal is another super easy breakfast option. Again, you can prepare this right before you sit down to eat or over the weekend you can portion servings for the week in containers to take with you in the mornings. Use natural Greek yoghurt, a whole grain cereal or muesli, a serve of fresh fruit and toppings like nuts, seeds, a drizzle of manuka honey or some cinnamon turn a simple yoghurt into complete and satisfying meal.
5. Finally, when making breakfast, get creative!
If you don’t have a particular ingredient, don’t stress! Overthinking it can make breakfast seem like a daunting way to start your day. Just use what you do have at hand and compromise. Your body will be grateful for any healthy source of wholegrains, protein, fruit and vegetable that you provide it with as long as you’re making good choices!