Are you a breakfast person?
I find this answer can vary for each person. Usually, you either are and you can’t imagine not having breakfast OR you haven't had breakfast for so long and are used to not eating anything.
We often hear people say that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. While I think breakfast is important, I actually think every meal we eat is important.
There are definitely benefits to having a breakfast. According to the American Heart Association, research shows that those who SKIP breakfast are more likely to:
Have diabetes, heart disease, and high cholesterol
Not exercise regularly
Not get the recommended amounts of important nutrients
Eat more calories and added sugars the rest of the day
I have found over the last decade that many of this is true with those that I work with as well.
Skipping breakfast can often lead to being overly hungry later in the day (which can lead to less healthy choices or overeating later on). Where as those that have breakfast (and sometimes have more of their food for the day at breakfast) tend to have the energy they need for the day, get less hungry later on, and often see more progress towards their goals, especially weight loss if that is one of them.
So having a breakfast can be important. But what we choose to eat for breakfast is just as important.
Getting some naturally high fiber foods and some protein at each meal can help with blood sugar management, metabolism and weight loss. This is because the fiber and protein helps you feel fuller longer and uses up a bunch of calories to absorb and metabolize it.
While we want to have that fiber and protein, we DON’T want to have lots of added sugars, refined grains, lots of saturated fats (or any trans fats for that matter), or highly processed foods.
Take a moment and think about your go-to breakfast choices.... do you love your breakfast? How nutritious is it? Does it have that fiber and protein in it? Does it have added sweeteners? Is it something highly processed?
No matter what your breakfast looks like right now, I am going to give you 3 breakfast foods that can help you get that fiber and protein in the morning!
And hey, if you aren’t eating breakfast right now, maybe this can give you a bit of inspiration to start eating some breakfast again!
Here are are those 3 Breakfast Foods that do NOT come in a box and can be a nutritious way to start off the day.
Breakfast Food #1: Eggs
Yes, eggs can be a wonderful way to start off the day.
No, I'm not talking about processed egg whites in a carton. I mean actual whole “eggs”.
Egg whites are mostly protein while the yolks are the real nutritional powerhouses. Those yolks contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fats.
Eggs have been shown to help you feel full, keep you feeling fuller longer, and help to stabilize blood sugar and insulin.
Not to mention how easy it is to boil a bunch of eggs and keep them in the fridge for a “grab and go” breakfast when you're running short on time.
And yes... while there is the never ending debate on eggs and cholesterol, in 2015 the dietary guidelines for Americans actually removed cholesterol from the nutrient of concern. The American Heart Association now states that having an egg a day can fit into a healthy lifestyle. However, it’s good to still focus on having more whole minimally processed plant-foods during the day, thinking animal products as a side instead of most of the meal.
Another thing to consider is to try to prevent cooking the yolks at too high of a temperature because that can cause some of the cholesterol to become oxidized. It's the oxidized cholesterol that's heart unhealthy.
Breakfast Food #2: Nuts and/or Seeds
Nuts and seeds contain protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Nuts and/or seeds would make a great contribution to breakfast.
Don’t be fooled by “candied” nuts, sweetened nut/seed butters, or chia “cereals” with added sugars – I'm talking about the real, whole, unsweetened food here.
Nuts and seeds are also the ultimate fast food if you're running late in the mornings. Grab a small handful of almonds, walnuts, or pumpkin seeds as you're running out the door; you can nosh on them while you're commuting.
Not to mention how easy it is to add a spoonful of unsweetened nut/seed butter into your morning breakfast smoothie.
Hint: If you like a creamy latte in the mornings try making one with nut or seed butter. Just add your regular hot tea and a tablespoon or two of a creamy nut or seed butter into your blender & blend until frothy.
Breakfast Food #3: Veggies
Veggies are powerhouses of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, fiber, and water. You can't go wrong adding them into every single meal of the day (and actually aiming to have ½ of your plate come from non-starchy veggies) so if you don't already you should definitely try them for breakfast!
And no, you don't need to have a salad or roasted veggies for breakfast if you don't want to but you totally can! You wouldn't be
breaking any “official” breakfast rules or anything like that.
Adding some protein to leftover veggies is a great combination for any meal. Including breakfast.
I've included a delicious recipe below for you to try (and customize) for your next breakfast.
Recipe (Eggs & Veggies): Veggie Omelet
1 teaspoon avocado oil or coconut oil
1 or 2 eggs (depending on how hungry you are and how often you eat eggs)
¼ cup veggies (grated zucchini and/or sliced mushrooms and/or diced peppers and/or diced onions)
dash salt, pepper, crushed garlic and/or turmeric
Add the oil to a frying pan and melt on low-medium heat (cast-iron pans are preferred).
In the meantime grab a bowl and beat the egg(s) with your vegetables of choice and the spices.
Tilt pan to ensure the bottom is covered with the melted oil. Pour egg mixture into pan and lightly fry the eggs without stirring.
When the bottom is lightly done flip over in one side and cook until white is no longer runny.
Serve & Enjoy!
Tip: Substitute grated, sliced, or diced portion of your favorite vegetable. Try grated carrots, chopped broccoli or diced tomato.