Breakfast is probably the meal that you give the least amount of thought to. You’re busy, running out the door, or being thrown straight into the workday. The last thing you want to do is spend time cooking a healthy breakfast.
You grab a protein bar, banana, or breakfast sandwich from the Starbucks drive-thru on your drive into the office. You eat it in a rush while checking your emails or during your standup.
I hate to break it to you but not only is this a bad way to start your day but it’s also an unhealthy way to treat your body. Despite intermittent fasting being the trendy thing to do, breakfast is still the most important meal of the day. It gives your brain and body the energy it needs to sustain itself throughout the day.
Research has shown that those who skip breakfast tend to have higher blood cholesterol levels than those that do eat it. Eating in the morning also helps your body better break down glucose, ensuring your blood sugar is stabilized throughout the day. When your blood sugar is out of whack and fluctuating throughout the day, it could contribute to weight gain.
Now, what you eat for breakfast is a large part of the benefits you may or may not experience throughout the day. Studies have shown that breakfasts high in protein improve satiety throughout the day, decrease evening stacking, and improve overall diet quality. This means having a healthy meal first thing in the morning leads to healthier habits throughout the rest of the day.
One study compared the effects of eating two eggs (high protein) for breakfast to eating oatmeal (high carbohydrate) for breakfast. It found that those who ate the eggs had decreased hunger throughout the day while those who ate the oatmeal had increased cortisol levels and hunger.
It’s time to stop going for the sugary bars which have more carbohydrates and sugar than protein. Prioritize high-quality protein sources in the mornings and you won’t experience that common afternoon crash.
Here are some easy breakfast ideas that take less than 15 minutes to make in the morning. Whether you eat at home or on-the-go, squeezing in some extra time to cook yourself up a nourishing meal will go a long way by the end of the day.
Avocado Toast w/ 2 Fried Eggs
This breakfast is full of healthy fats from the avocado, protein in the eggs, and some carbohydrates in the toast. I highly recommend sourdough bread because it’s less likely to upset your stomach if you don’t tolerate gluten well. Pop your bread in the toaster, slice some avocado, and fry up some eggs. This one is super easy to assemble and will leave you feeling full for hours.
Scrambled Eggs w/ 100% Grass-fed Sausage
This a breakfast for those that want lots of protein. Now, quality does matter here. Maple-flavored sausages from the grocery store are probably made with low-quality meat, natural flavors, and inflammatory oils. Make sure you’re buying ones that are 100% grass-fed and have no added ingredients. I like buying mine from Belcampo. Teton Water Ranch is also grass-fed and found in a lot of grocery chains in the frozen section.
Greek Yogurt w/ Blueberries
Yogurt with fruit is a great option for those pressed on time. Make sure you are buying a brand of yogurt with minimal added sugar and high in protein or fat. I’m not a fan of low-fat yogurts because they remove all of the satiating nutrients! My person favorite is Siggi’s; I like to get the plain one and add my own blueberries and a drizzle of honey.
This is perfect for those who like to “eat” their breakfast in the car or on the train. You can whip this up at home and bring it on-the-go with you. Again, quality matters. Protein powders are known to have a lot of filler ingredients. Choose one that has less than 5 ingredients and uses a high-quality source like whey or pea protein. Mix it with some fresh greens or a greens powder for added fiber. Don’t go too heavy on the fruit or it may spike your blood sugar. I like to add a small handful of frozen berries. Lastly, use coconut water or milk as a smoothie base for some healthy fat.
It might seem annoying or like too much of a hassle to actually cook breakfast for yourself in the mornings. Trust me, I’ve been there too. All I want to do is drink my coffee and listen to my podcast on the walk to work.
However, once you start doing it, you’ll be addicted to the way it makes you feel. You won’t feel tired in the afternoon. You won’t be moping around and dragging your feet from meeting to meeting. You won’t be tempted by the M&Ms in the snack room.
Feeling like our best selves is always worth the extra sacrifice. Your health will thank you in the short term and long term. The benefits only compound over time! So pick your breakfast of choice, grab the ingredients, and get cooking!