Breakfast: 6 Tips for starting the day off right
Breakfast is often touted as “the most important meal of the day.” Why? Because it’s the meal that jump starts your metabolism and lays the foundation to fuel you through whatever activities the day brings. But this doesn’t mean any old breakfast will do, what you eat to start your day makes all the difference. Here are six tips for getting breakfast right.
- Avoid the energy crash: An all-carb breakfast ultimately leads to an energy crash. For instance, if you simply eat a bunch of carbohydrates for breakfast—think sugary cereals, muffins and bagels—it can cause spikes in your blood sugar and insulin. And then of course, after the spike comes the energy crash, leaving you to wonder why you’re suddenly so tired mid morning.
- An all carb breakfast can lead to weight gain: The other side effect of a carbohydrate-based breakfast is that it can lead to weight gain. Blood sugar spikes lead to increases in insulin. Insulin is needed to convert blood sugar to energy. But, whatever blood sugar is not converted to energy or used by the body is converted to fat, also with the help of insulin. Forget about “fat-free” if you’re daily breakfast is carb-centric then you’re on the path to store more fat.
- A high-carb breakfast will leave you feeling hungry: With little nutrient value in simple carbs to satiate you, you can end up feeling hungry soon after you eat. This is because simple carbs are quickly broken down and digested and don’t have a lot of long-lasting nutrient power.
- Not all carbs are bad. We can’t just ignore carbs: Our body needs them for energy. But forget the sugary cereals and choose whole grains, fruits and veggies. Think of chia seeds, millet, oatmeal or quinoa along with berries, bananas, apples, avocado, spinach and red peppers all as good bets.
- Go for protein and healthy fats: Add protein and fat to any breakfast and it’s a different story. Proteins and healthy fats can leave you feeling more satiated. They also not only slow down digestion, they provide a longer-lasting slow release of energy to help you get through the day. When paired with protein or fat, the energy from carbs is harnessed. So rather than giving you a spike and a crash, you get a longer-lasting release of sustained energy that can last through the morning, without any highs and lows. Think: a packet of Justin’s almond butter with a banana; egg and avocado on toast; eggs with cheese and kale over sweet potatoes; oatmeal with milk, berries, nuts and seeds; or an almond milk smoothie with a banana, frozen fruit, yogurt and chia seeds. For an extra protein boost in the smoothie, add a spoonful of coconut oil or cashew butter. Or in a pinch grab a wholefood protein bar like the RX Bar on the way out the door.
- Veggies & Fruits for micronutrients: In addition to eating your macronutrients like carbs, proteins and fats, micronutrients are also important. These are your essential vitamins and minerals. Add berries and various rich-colored fruits for vitamins and antioxidants, spinach and greens for your minerals to help supercharge any breakfast with the nutrients your body needs.
Nut butter and bananas
Eggs and toast
Avocado Toast (try it with a poached egg on top!)
Oatmeal with almond milk
Yogurt with berries and seeds or granola
Seeds and nuts on everything
Cheese & apple slices
To help get you started on the path to a healthier breakfast, try these 3 easy and healthy breakfast ideas from nutritionist and trainer Lisa Cohen at lisacohenfitness.com
Egg Biscuits? You betcha.
Full of protein, easy to make and portable. You can make egg biscuits ahead of time and have a great grab and go high protein breakfast all week.
How to cook:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Coat a standard nonstick muffin tin with cooking spray.
- Crack one egg into each muffin cup. Place pan on the middle rack of the oven. Rotate the pan after 5–6 minutes, when the eggs begin to turn white.
- Bake 10–15 minutes total until whites are set and yolks are partially set. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes; eggs will continue to cook while resting. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Have fun experimenting by sprinkling items on top or adding to the bottom of the muffin cup before adding the egg. Try these options:
- Canadian Bacon
- Sweet Potato
- Hash Browns
- Spaghetti Squash
A few of our favorite recipes: