Eating breakfast is one of the most important things you can do to stay healthy. Studies have shown that people who eat breakfast everyday tend to have lower weights than those who don’t. Eating a healthy breakfast every morning helps to rev up your metabolism. This helps you to burn the energy you need for the rest of your day and for a healthy weight.
I know cereal seems like a great start to your day. Cereal companies have you believe that their product is super healthy with heart saving properties and high fiber to keep you regular. Truth is, though, most cereals are extremely high in sugar and very low in complex carbohydrates (the good carbs), protein, and nutrients you need to keep you going through the rest of your morning. Even most “healthy” cereals do not provide the proper balance for a great breakfast.
To have a great balanced breakfast to keep you going all morning you need a great balance of complex carbohydrates (whole grains, fruit, yogurt), lean protein, and fat. Yep, fat is not an enemy as long as it is in moderation! Here are some of my favorite breakfasts:
-Egg White Breakfast Sandwich
Cook 2 egg whites in a pan with a 1 teaspoon olive oil, butter, or cooking spray if you prefer, season with salt and pepper to taste. Toast half a whole wheat English muffin and top with a slice of provolone cheese then egg whites. Every once in a while I will also place a slice of turkey bacon on it. Complete the meal with a piece of your favorite fruit (try to eat your fruit, not drink it. You lose a lot of essential nutrients as well as fiber when you drink it)! If you do not have time to scramble your egg whites, place in a coffee mug or ramekin and microwave for 1 minute.
Combine 1 cup (8 oz) of your favorite flavor of low fat Greek yogurt with blueberries (a handful), sliced strawberries (about 8), or your choice of fruit. For added protein add a few sliced almonds. I sometimes add 1/4 cup of low fat granola to give the meal some extra crunch. If you have a sweet tooth in the morning try vanilla low fat Greek yogurt with 1 oz chopped dark chocolate and 1 tablespoon coconut flakes.
I love a great bowl of warm oatmeal on a cold winter day. Try to avoid the instant oatmeal and make your own. Quick cooking oats are very easy to make in the microwave and will have a lot less sugar in them. Add low fat milk (soy, almond, regular…whatever you like) instead of water for extra flavor, with a dash of vanilla, a teaspoon of brown sugar or agave nectar, and a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg. Accompany your bowl of oats with a piece of your favorite fruit or better yet cut up the fruit and add it to your oatmeal.
I know that not every morning allows for you to take the time to make a great breakfast so here a few fast healthy breakfasts:
-Peanut Butter Breakfast Sandwich
Toast 2 pieces whole wheat bread (I love Ezekiel sprouted bread). Top one piece with 1 tablespoon of Natural Low Fat Peanut Butter. Top the other slice with a teaspoon of your favorite jelly and place 2 slices together. Eat on the go if needed with a piece of fruit (are you catching on to the fruit thing yet?). I like to slice half a banana and place in the sandwich. Just a personal preference.
Smoothies can be a great time saving breakfast. Skip the smoothie shop and make your own lower sugar version! One of my favorites is a 1/2 banana, 1 cup low fat milk (again soy, almond, regular….your choice), 1 tablespoon peanut butter, 1-2 teaspoons honey (or agave nectar) and 1 cup ice. Mix in blender and enjoy. You may add 1 scoop of your favorite protein powder if desired. Try to mix it up by adding 1/2 cup of fresh or frozen fruit instead of the banana (omit ice if adding frozen fruit).
-Whole Grain Waffles
Make sure you are not grabbing the Eggos on this one. Try to eat whole grain waffles like Vans or Trader Joe’s. Top 2 toasted waffles with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and enjoy. Of course, have a piece of your favorite fruit along side it!
Please be creative when it comes to breakfast. You can find so many great ways to change a lot of these ideas up and make them your own. Some examples are using a different nut butter like almond or cashew butter instead of peanut butter, make an egg white omelet with peppers, onions, and pepper jack cheese instead of a breakfast sandwich, etc. Just remember to use low fat or non-fat options when a choice is available. Serving size is very important as well…don’t go overboard (more on that in a later blog)!