A balanced breakfast is most certainly not a muffin in one hand and coffee in the other. People often get hung up on what a balanced breakfast is. Heck, people get hung up on breakfast in and of itself. I’ve heard every excuse from I don’t have time, I’m not sure what
balanced is, I can’t eat in the morning, I grabbed a coffee, and I’m just not hungry. But these are all excuses.
Studies have shown it really is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast provides you with the energy and nutrients needed to have a productive morning; whether you’re learning, working, or just hanging out, you have gone anywhere from 6 to 12 hours without eating, and it’s important to break that fast.
Having breakfast helps keep your metabolism at peak performance. It reduces the urge to snack on foods high in fat and sugar. You are more likely to get your proper daily intake of vitamins and minerals when you eat breakfast in the morning. Eating breakfast is also essential in maintaining healthy body weight.
It’s important when considering a balanced breakfast that you incorporate high-quality proteins (eggs, nuts, lean meats like chicken or fish); they are digested more slowly, so they allow you to feel fuller longer. Secondly, include complex carbohydrates (whole grains, fruits and vegetables). Most people don’t get adequate fiber to begin with, so adding these to your breakfast will help you get closer to your daily requirements. Healthy fats (dairy, olive oil, and avocados), when included in your morning breakfast, have been proven to lower your overall fat intake throughout the day.
Here are five quick and easy balanced breakfast ideas.
1. Veggie omelet with cheese — Two eggs, minced veggies and 1 ounce of cheese can be easily prepared in less than five minutes. You can also get a nifty little device that allows you to microwave the omelet.
2. Whole-grain waffle with almond or peanut butter — This one actually makes it to the portable category. Toast the waffle, smear a little nut butter on it, and you can eat this on the run.
3. Fruit smoothie — A handful of strawberries, almond milk and a blast in the blender and you have another breakfast on the run.
4. Turkey roll up — Two slices of turkey breast rolled around a piece of string cheese and a handful of whole wheat crackers; easy and portable.
5. Oatmeal with fruit and nuts — This is my personal favorite. I probably eat this five days
out of the week; once a week I make a large pot of steel cut oats. I make the oatmeal
with water so that all I have to do is microwave my serving each morning. I then add a
splash of milk, a small pat of butter, and whatever I feel like having that day (chopped pecans, chopped almonds, canned pumpkin, dried cherries, golden raisins, minced apple, dried apricots, dried cranberries, fresh blueberries/raspberries or strawberries). It’s healthy instant oatmeal made for pennies per serving and exactly the way I want it.
Give breakfast a try. I guarantee you’ll feel much better in the long run.