Back in high school, I would wait until the very last minute to roll out of bed before I had to rush off to school.
Eating breakfast was the least of my priorities. After sleep, my mind was focused on boys, hair, makeup, boys, the perfect outfit, the right shoes, boys, and maybe some homework. Things have changed since then; a day without breakfast makes for a sub-par day, with an unhappy me.
Through experience, I’ve learned that people weren’t lying when they said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Benefits of eating a healthy breakfast every morning include: improved performance in daily activities, lower cholesterol levels, better concentration and focus, and weight control. Which is why, when you get up and out of bed, you should most definitely “break the fast” and eat up!
Breakfast doesn’t have to limit itself to a boring bowl of cereal with milk. There’s so many yummy breakfast options, that make for a delicious start to any day. Whether you have a little extra time to sit and enjoy your morning meal, or if you have to run out the door – breakfast is possible, and it can taste good.
Cereal isn’t so bad though, if you jazz it up a bit. Grab a bowl, and throw some healthy cereal in there. (Choose one packed with fibre, low in calories, and with minimal amounts of sugar). Try decorating it with a sliced banana, a handful of almonds, or a 1/3 of a cup of dried fruit (raisins, craisins, chopped apricots, dates, etc.). You can add a bit of flavour by swapping your skim milk with some almond or soy milk.
Sometimes, I throw in a scoop of protein powder to change it up, and add an extra boost of energy.
I myself, am a huge oatmeal fan. (If I could eat oatmeal 3 times a day, I probably would). You can spruce up porridge with the suggestions above, but you can also try a little coconut, fresh/frozen berries, or chopped apples. Try to avoid the spoonfuls of sugar, and sweeten it up with some Stevia. (natural sweetener). And when you get sick of oatmeal, try quinoa for breakfast, with the same accompaniments.
Try switching out your toast, with 2 brown rice cakes topped with a tablespoon of natural peanut butter. (You can also be adventurous and try almond butter, sunflower seed butter, or pumpkin seed butter.) Pair your rice cakes with a freshly sliced orange or grapefruit.
If you need a protein kick – mix your peanut butter with a scoop of chocolate protein powder. (It sounds gross, but it’s so good).
Another favourite of mine is a bowl of 1% cottage cheese, with a handful of almonds and some fresh pineapple. If you’re not a cottage cheese fan, try a bowl of low-fat yogurt with granola or fresh fruit.
If you’ve got the time – whip up some scrambled egg whites, or an egg white frittata. Mix in some fresh veggies, or add some shredded turkey, chicken, or low-sodium ham. Give it some flavour by sorting through your spice cupboard, or throwing some hot sauce in the mix.
And if you’d rather eat your breakfast on the go, or take it with you to wherever you go – whip up a delicious smoothie. Fresh fruits, low fat yogurt, frozen berries, ground flax seeds, and protein powder are great ingredients. There are so many different possibilities when it comes to smoothie ideas; just search the endless recipes you can easily find on the internet. (Here’s some good ones: http://www.besthealthmag.ca/eat-well/cooking/6-healthy-fruit-smoothie-recipes)
These are just some of the breakfast options I’ve tried. Other healthy breakfast options include protein pancakes, healthy home-baked muffins, home-made breakfast burritos, and tropical, fresh fruit salads.
Start your days off right, and look forward to a better day because of breakfast! Find the foods that get you excited about waking up, then make them your own. There’s so many great recipes out there, to get you up and out of bed!