Begin with Breakfast
By Brittney Bearden, MEd, RD, LD
Beginning each day with a balanced breakfast ensures you are starting your day off with increased energy and focus to tackle whatever the day throws at you. While all meals are important, breakfast is the first opportunity to “break the fast” from the night before. If dinner was your last meal, your body hasn’t received any nutrition for 12-14 hours by the time breakfast rolls around the next morning.
A balanced breakfast includes quality carbohydrates for long-lasting energy and lean protein for muscle maintenance and growth. Quality carbohydrate options include oatmeal, cereal, whole-wheat toast, bagels, tortillas, English muffins, and fruit. Power up with protein by including eggs, lean meats like Canadian bacon or turkey sausage, or low-fat dairy sources like milk, cottage cheese, and Greek yogurt.
Time is precious in the mornings, which can leave little time to plan and prepare breakfast. Think ahead and plan out the night before what your breakfast will be for the following morning. If you have time that evening, make overnight oats or find a quick recipe for whole-wheat blueberry or banana muffins. Preparing breakfast ahead of time makes the breakfast hour easy and enjoyable. Whatever your timeframe is for preparing breakfast, there is a quick and healthy breakfast just for you:
10-Minute Breakfast: Mix up a batch of protein-packed cottage cheese pancakes. Top with your favorite berries and wash it down with a glass of low-fat milk.
5-Minute Breakfast: Smoothies can be a complete meal when made with the correct ingredients. Blend orange juice, frozen strawberries, a frozen banana, and vanilla Greek yogurt together for a tasty, drinkable breakfast.
1-Minute Breakfast: Make a quick breakfast taco by cracking and whisking 2-3 eggs in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 30-45 seconds or until eggs are set. Transfer cooked eggs onto a whole wheat tortilla. Add any desired toppings such as a lean meat, shredded cheese, sliced veggies, black beans, or salsa. Wrap taco in foil to take and eat on the go.
Running-Out-The-Door Breakfast: You overslept and have no time to even think about putting together a breakfast. Grab a protein bar and piece of fruit on your way out the door.