I think we’re all guilty of skipping meals more often than we’d like – and the most common culprit is breakfast. Some days I think it’s worth the extra couple of snoozes to skip my breakfast, but I quickly regret this once 10:00am rolls around and my stomach is already growling for lunch. Then, when I finally get to eat glorious lunch, I over indulge, eat way too much, and feel like falling into a food coma for the remainder of the day. The unfortunate reality is that I have another 4 hours of work ahead of me… a long 4 hours, at that.
Eating a good, healthy breakfast is a sure fire way to start the day on the right foot. Making sure you actually eat it is of great importance – the reason you start to feel sluggish after skipping breakfast is because your blood sugar level drops in response to an empty stomach. Getting those initial calories at the beginning of the day brings blood sugar back to a healthy level after not eating all night.
The best way to get that morning meal is to simply wake up earlier. No bones about it, when that alarm strikes, just sit up and get your day started. You can easily prepare a healthy breakfast and eat it down in 15 minutes – 10 minutes if you’re in a real hurry.
The key to a healthy breakfast is to actually make your breakfast – don’t eat all those pre-packaged breakfast bars that taste good, but have little nutritional significance in them. They’re mostly sugar and carbs, which will give you a momentary boost in the morning, but will send you crashing in an hour or so. They’re also highly processed, so your body digests them too easily, resulting in this rush of energy, which is quickly expended by the body.
So! Here are some quick, easy, and healthy ideas to get a healthy meal before you rush out the door for another busy day. Again, make the time to get this in – you’ll thank yourself later!
Yogurt, Granola, and Fresh Fruit: Chop up some fresh fruit, like blue berries, strawberries, kiwi, or banana, and add them to some yogurt and granola. This is a great way to get some raw roughage for the stomach, and a good source of natural sugar, not to mention antioxidants. Low fat, 2% yogurt is typically the way to go, as it has less sugar than non-fat yet retains high amounts of protein, good fat, and calcium. If you’re vegan, simply replace this with soy yogurt. Also, you can try replacing the granola with a healthy cereal to mix it up a bit.
Banana and Nut Butter Toast: Use whole wheat toast and top with almond butter for the healthiest variation on this. A banana compliments the toast well, with its creamy texture and sweet flavor. A small glass of milk or soy milk rounds this out to a nice, healthy breakfast. Extremely fast.
Kale Scramble: For the vegans out there, simply replace the egg with some cubed tofu and lots of spices. Otherwise, simply chop up some kale very finely, sauté in olive oil on high for 2-3 minutes, then toss in an egg and scramble. This is a very quick breakfast, and heartier than some of the other breakfast options available. Serve with a piece of whole wheat toast for a tasty breakfast. This can easily be made and eaten in 15 minutes.
Smoothie: These take a bit longer than some of the other options – just with the amount of dishes to be done alone – but can yield a tasty, healthy breakfast, along with a great snack later. Throw some milk, yogurt, or a soy alternative into a blender (1-2 cups) and add whatever fruits and vegetables are on hand. Bananas and berries are the most commonly used, but also consider throwing in a couple leaves of kale or a carrot to give it a veggie boost (and a fun color!). Peanut butter works well, also. Have a glass for breakfast, and put the remainder in a jar for a healthy afternoon snack. You can even make a whole bunch of smoothie at once and store it in the fridge for quick breakfasts for a few days.
Fruit Salad: Fast and easy. Cut up your favorite fruits – banana, apple, orange, etc. – add a dash of vanilla and some yogurt, and you’ve got a simple, healthy breakfast.