Breakfast is arguably the best meal of the day. Breakfast, breaks the fast that your body has been experiencing through the night. During sleep, recovery is in full affect, using up nutrients you provide it during the day to help build and recuperate the skin, muscles and even the brain.
If you’re someone who likes to skip out on this important meal, you’re not doing yourself any favors. Consider this – not eating breakfast has been shown to result in eating more calories later in the day, versus those who ate a healthy breakfast. What’s more, breakfast can help kick-start metabolism and improve cognitive performance, but only if you provide it with the right nutrition.
Struggling to determine what that should be? Here are a few breakfast dos and don’ts, as well as five healthy breakfast recipes to get you on your way.
Eat Fiber Filled Foods. Choose complex carbs like oatmeal or quinoa, multigrain or sprouted bread. You can also have fruit or slow digesting carbs like beans – think black beans or fava. We need a minimum of 25 g of fiber daily to keep our guts healthy and functioning properly; what’s more fiber helps slow down digestion and helps sustain energy levels and subside hunger until your next meal at lunch.
Eat Antioxidant Rich Foods. Fruit and vegetables are rich in all kinds of natural nutrients, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that will help boost your antioxidant status in the body. Why is this important? Antioxidants are key factors in reducing oxidative damage in the body, which can cause disease, aging and inflammatory reactions. Plant food is a critical part of your nutrition regime and with so many good options when it comes to breakfast, why wouldn’t you include them? Consider berries, apples, citrus fruits and bananas. For veggies think greens like spinach or kale – mixed in omelettes or blended in smoothies!
Eat Some Protein. Protein is a highly satiating macronutrient – which means it can help keep hangry levels from creeping up on you. It will also help stock up your amino levels – these are used to build the tissues of the skin, hair and even your muscles. Without adequate protein in the diet you could suffer the consequence – being skinny fat instead of being lean and trim. Also, consider this, those who eat higher protein diets tend to eat less calories overall and lose more body fat! What’s on the menu? Try whole eggs, Greek yoghurt, a protein smoothie or smoothie bowl.
Have a Good Coffee or Tea. Both of these beverages have caffeine and antioxidants that can improve focus, reduce mental fatigue, increase energy, boost performance and stimulate metabolism. Consider raw coffee or matcha green tea, mixed with a drop of almond or coconut milk. Skip on the sugar, or choose natural sweeteners like stevia, honey or agave.
Skip Over the Starchy Carbs. Forget white bread, sugary cereals, granolas and pastries like doughnuts. These highly processed carbohydrates are low in fiber and high in sugar and calories. Items like these use white flour, sugar, processed additives and not much of anything else. Not only do they not provide any nutritional value, you’ll be feeling very hungry shortly after you eat them. Starchy carbs spike blood glucose levels quickly giving energy high, which is quickly followed by an energy low. You also want to check the label on your so called brown bread – is it actually made with whole grains, or just have brown food coloring? If you must indulge in bread, make sure it’s made with whole grains, seeds, quinoa, amaranth or sprouted grains.
Forget About Jams and Sugary Spreads. Jam is mostly a sugar-filled fruit topping that will only add calories, sugar and not much of anything else. Opt for natural nut butters like peanut or almond, which provides protein and good-for-you fats. Not to mention, this slow-digesting spread can decrease digestion of other food, providing sustained energy. Avoid nut butters made with hydrogenated oils, added sugars and preservatives. #deliciousbutdeadly
Avoid Drinking Bottled Juice. Juice can be good and bad. Fresh juice is full of fiber and a great source of natural phytonutrients – vitamins and minerals, but they also provide sugar and a lot of carbs. Where possible avoid processed brands of juice that add sugar, preservatives and additives. Always pick fresh and where possible dilute with water or opt for juice blends to save calories. Juice-vegetable blends are lower in calories and higher in fiber! Drinking just water is also a good option. Water can help improve cognitive function and performance, and get your brain functioning at full capacity for the day ahead. Not to mention it is essential to your metabolic function and to digestion.
Don’t Do Fancy Coffees. Say no to Frappuccinos, Mochaccinos, Caramel Macchiatos and any other fancy coffee shop concoction. Most are mixed with glucose syrups and high fat milk or cream, making them high in sugar, fat and calorie dense! Although there are now lower fat and lower sugar versions of the same, they still have more calories than just plain coffee. Keep it simple. Go for brewed or espresso – not a black coffee fan? Try adding low fat milk, unsweetened coconut or almond milk. Need it to be sweet? Add stevia or natural sweeteners like honey or agave. Top with some cinnamon or unsweetened cocoa for more flavour.
The Breakfast Breakdown
Eat These Foods:
- Chia Seeds
- Green Juices
- Natural Nut Butters
- Plain Greek Yoghurt
- Kale and Spinach
- Sweet Potato
- Wholegrain Sprouted Bread
Not These Foods:
- Boxed Cereals and Granola
- Pastries and Doughnuts
- Granola Bars
- Low Fat Fruit Bottom Yoghurt
- Bottled Juice
- White Bread
5 Easy Healthy Breakfast Ideas
Now that you know what to eat for breakfast, here are five simple better breakfast ideas to try!
Combine spinach, chopped capsicum, sliced mushrooms and diced tomato with ½ cup of egg whites and 1 whole egg. Top with low sugar salsa and ½ an avocado sliced. Serve up with one piece of toasted sprouted grain bread.
Superfood Green Bowl
Combine sautéed kale, 1/3 cup of cooked quinoa, 2 poached eggs, 1/3 cup roast chopped sweet potato and ½ chopped avocado into a bowl. Top with a few roasted pumpkin seeds and pomegranate seeds.
Chocolate Banana Smoothie
Blend 1 scoop of chocolate whey protein or plant based protein, ½ frozen banana, 1 tsp natural peanut butter, ¼ cup oatmeal, ¼ cup of non-fat Greek yoghurt, ice and 8 oz of your choice of water, unsweetened coconut or almond milk.
Coconut Banana Overnight Oats
Mix ½ scoop of vanilla whey protein or plant based protein with 1/3 cup of oatmeal, ½ tsp chia seeds and ½ cup of unsweetened coconut or almond milk. Add a dash of cinnamon, 1 tbsp of shredded unsweetened roasted coconut and ½ oz chopped roasted almonds. Let it sit overnight in the fridge. Serve with ½ chopped banana, a few blueberries and some toasted coconut on top!
Berry Chia Seed Pudding
Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of chia seeds to ½ cup of unsweetened almond or coconut milk. Mix in some fresh raspberries and unsweetened cocoa powder, then refrigerate for an hour. If it’s not sweet enough, you can sweeten it by adding honey or agave. Top with more berries and a some toasted chopped almonds or hazelnuts.
Until Next Time,
Be Fierce & Rule the World,