Starting your day with a healthy and filling breakfast provides energy and allows for greater concentration. A brain with no fuel is hard to work with and can result in a morning filled with less than stellar work. When your first meal of the day is a healthy and hearty one, you are more likely to stick to a healthy eating plan. Start with a morning workout and your chances increase. Keep moving your health and wellness goals to the top of your list.
Skipping breakfast, or having one that doesn't keep you full, will have you standing in front of the vending machine or happily accepting junk food at the office. It will have you eating a giant lunch, most of the time not a healthy one, because you are so hungry. For some, after your lame breakfast, you "get too busy" to have snacks or lunch and then resort to a giant unhealthy meal for dinner due to your ravenousness (that's a fun word to say). Then, after your dinner has digested, probably late at night, your stomach starts to rumble and then the real trouble starts, the munchies!! Yes, a healthy and fulfilling breakfast can help prevent the munchies :)
A good healthy breakfast will have the following:
- A good source of protein - eggs, yogurt, quinoa, chia seeds, protein powders, nuts, nut butters, spinach, kale, hemp powder, non dairy milks, tofu, sprouted breads, leftovers.
- A good source of fiber - fruits, veggies, oatmeal (my recipe here), high fiber options of muffins, breads, english muffins, waffles, pancakes, and the like. Fiber is what keeps you full.
- Has staying power - This is directly related to the amount of fiber. If you are hungry an hour after your breakfast, you need more. Maybe more fiber or possibly even more calories. Your breakfast should keep you full for 3-4 hours, and should fall in the range of 250-500 calories depending on your current state and goals. Just add a little at a time until you hit that 3-4 hour mark.
- Easy to make or grab - When I have the time to make a big breakfast I gladly do so, mainly because it almost always includes bacon! But for the weekdays it is important to get your breakfast down to a science. Pick two or three "go-to" breakfast options and stick to it. I know it might seem boring but the most important part is that you have a healthy option that you enjoy. If you have no time in the morning, and can't find an additional 15 minutes, I suggest pre-making a batch of healthy muffins that you can have with some fruit.
- Smoothies - I have my smoothies down to a science. Start with some protein, fill with almond or coconut milk and then add all the fun stuff. Chia seeds have both protein and fiber so I accept the seeds in my teeth all day.
- Oatmeal - This takes about 5 minutes to make and is a blank canvas for whatever your craving. Fruit (fresh, frozen, or dried), nuts, nut butter, cinnamon, vanilla extract, or protein powder for added protein. I also add oatmeal to my smoothies.
- Greek Yogurt Parfait - Start with yogurt, add fun stuff like, fruit, nuts, honey, a little granola, trail mix, cocoa powder, whatever you need to use up before it goes bad :)
- Toast with peanut butter and a banana - This is my fastest breakfast option. Make it into a sandwich.
- Pre-made muffins and fruit. Here is one that I have used before.
Experiment with different breakfast options and see which ones work best for you. The ones that you really enjoy and keep you full for hours are keepers. Just make sure you have some snacks with you in case you find yourself wandering towards that vending machine.