Why is Breakfast the Most Important Meal of the Day?
In a recent WebMD article, they said that skipping breakfast could lead you down the path to a heart attack.
One of the reasons cited is that when you skip breakfast, you are more likely to over-eat throughout the rest of the day which results in weight gain and weight gain puts you at a higher risk for a heart attack.
What you do once your feet hit the floor in the morning can make a big difference for the rest of the day…and a lifetime!
Here are 3 healthy breakfast choices that are high in protein, low in processed sugar, and loaded with taste and variety that can make you slow down in the morning to enjoy the “most important meal of the day”
Power-pack your protein shakes with new flavors…
When you’re on the go in the morning, a protein shake is a good stand-by. Watch the pre-made store bought varieties for sugar content and keep it low. Think beyond milk, yogurt and fruit…there is so much more you can combine! When you’re blending it up at home, try adding ingredients that make it even better and make it easy by keeping the staples in your pantry, fridge and freezer:
- Peanut Butter (or other nut butters)
- Something Green (spinach, kale, spirulina)
- Dry Oatmeal (about a quarter cup)
- Non-dairy milk (soy, cashew, coconut, almond)
- Seeds (sunflower, chia, pumpkin, hemp, flax)
- Nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans, Brazil, macadamia)
- Rich colored berries (blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, cranberry, goji)
- Beets (sweet, rich color)
- Carrots (sweet, packed with Vitamin A)
- Herbs (parsley, mint, basil, sage)
- Flax seed or oil
- Citrus (lemons, limes, grapefruit, orange)
- Ginger root (love, love, love!)
- Spices (Turmeric, cayenne pepper, cinnamon)
- Chocolate (cacao and high percentage organic chocolate)
- Coffee or Tea (prepared or grounds/leaf)
- Protein powder (high quality whey or plant protein variety)
- Honey or Maple Syrup (the real stuff)
Add variety to your morning grains…
Reach beyond the colorful cereal box and experiment with different types of grains for your morning meal. Remember, the “fortified” cereal on your grocer’s shelf has had all the naturally good nutrients stripped away and then added back in the lab. Get back to natural as often as possible.
Oatmeal (rolled and steel cut) – most of us are familiar with this. However, did you know you can cook steel-cut oats in your slow cooker overnight? Add the ingredients you love (raisins, cranberries, almonds, cinnamon and more) and your house will smell like a freshly baked cookie when you wake up!
Rice Porridge with Apples: This recipe allows you to keep all the best parts of brown rice and give you the flavors you love. For the easiest prep, you can cook your brown rice in advance because it takes a while to cook, and then just pull it from the fridge or freezer when you’re ready to prepare the porridge.
Combine the following in a saucepan over medium-low heat. You will bring it to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until the apple is soft:
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 Apple, peeled and cut in to small cubes
- ¼ cup water, nut milk of your choice, or coconut water
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of sea salt
Toast: Take any quality whole grain toast and top it with your choice whole foods: eggs, avocado, seeds, nut butter, goat cheese and tomatoes, Bell peppers and spinach leaves….and more! Think of the toast as an edible plate and go from there.
Salad for Breakfast
Add traditional lunch and dinner meals in the morning…
You don’t have to stick with traditional breakfast food for your first meal of the day! Warm or cold, depending on the season, start with a mix of your favorite greens (bok choy, spinach, spring mix, arugula, sea vegetables) then include a variety of some healthy favorites:
- Eggs (over easy, hard boiled, scrambled)
- Brown rice
- Legumes (black beans, lentils, red beans)
- Your favorite vegetables (bell peppers, avocado, tomato, mushrooms)
- Oil and vinegar for dressing
- Fresh salsa as your dressing
- Squeeze of lemon
- Sprinkle on the seeds and nuts of your choice
The Takeaway is This:
Breakfast doesn’t have to be boring and it shouldn’t be loaded with junk. Too often, we think what we eat is healthy (like the most popular yogurt brands), only to find out that somewhere from the source to the shelf, all the good stuff has been removed or it has been filled with things we don’t need (like too much sugar, salt, or bad fats). Read the labels and fill your pantry with foods that encourage healthy eating.