What is your breakfast routine? Do you eat a nutritious, balanced, meal? A meal that will give you energy, and provide your body with the fuel it needs, to sustain you? Or, do you grab a quick smoothie, or bowl of sugary cereal, before heading out to work?
What you may think of, as a “healthy” choice, may not really be good for your body. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It sets you up for your busy morning, and you can optimize your energy, and your health, by making sure you are getting the right nutrition.
A Bigger Breakfast
An optimal breakfast needs to contain at least about 500 calories of energy (NutritionDiva) and will keep you feeling fuller for longer, and give you more energy. Think of it as an actual meal, that you need to eat, not a quick snack, often eaten in a rush. Give yourself time, often a challenge in the mornings, to prepare and eat your breakfast.
Yes, that fat-free yogurt and whole grain toast that you normally have, are healthy choices, but, they are not enough to keep you from feeling hungry a few hours later. By 10 am your blood sugar levels will plummet and you will find yourself munching high-calorie snacks or craving sugary foods.
Your body needs protein to maintain your lean muscle mass and be healthy. Protein will also help keep you feeling fuller, for longer. Adding protein to your breakfast will also help to boost your metabolism. You can add protein to your breakfast very easily – add peanut butter to your toast, and, make your oatmeal with milk, instead of water.
Eggs are nutrient rich and help lower cholesterol, salmon has healthy omega oils, and you can add whey protein powders to your smoothies. Switch to Greek yogurt, instead of your regular brand, as it is more protein rich. Boost your breakfast by adding protein.
Limit High Sugar Breakfasts
Breakfasts, like pancakes and syrup, or, frosted cereal will spike your blood sugar, and it will fall, dramatically, later in the morning. These are very popular breakfasts, especially in the US, but they are not very nutritious.
Try to limit, or cut out sugar, from your breakfast. One way to do this is to make healthier swaps. Instead of fruit-flavored yogurt, for example, even low-calorie ones, you can add pieces of whole fruit, instead, to Greek yogurt. Rather eat oatmeal, than Coco Pops. It’s healthier to choose low GI carbohydrates.
They will give you more sustained energy, and keep you feeling fuller, for longer. Limit waffles to once a week, or add fruit, nuts, and sugar alternatives, instead of syrup. Add dates, maple syrup, and berries to your breakfast, but remember that too much fruit sugar is not healthy either.
Veggie Up Your Brekkie
Do you eat 5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day? Adding veggies to your breakfast is a clever way to get more nutrition into your day. Add slices of tomatoes to your egg and toast, or, try a vegetable smoothie instead of fruit. Boost your breakfast with nutrient-packed vegetables and you will enjoy wonderful health benefits! Note that vegetarian nutrition and fitness are compatible.
Try adding carrots to your orange juice, or making a frittata with last night’s leftover roasted vegetables. Green smoothies, with kale, spinach, apples, and mint can be very refreshing. Challenge yourself today! Veggie up your breakfast!
Fats are an important part of a healthy diet! Yes, your body needs fat, but, the healthy ones! Too often, we shy away from fat, as a part of our diet, believing that eating fats will make us fat, but, healthy fats – only – are the ones you should add to your breakfast. Healthy fats are good for your heart, help our nervous system, our skin, our eyes, and are a source of energy.
Add toasted nuts, and seeds, to your oatmeal, or, your smoothies. Try eating avocado on toast for breakfast, or, add it to a smoothie. Salmon is protein rich and packed with healthy omega oils, the perfect ally to build muscle! Bagels, scrambled egg with salmon, anyone? Delicious.
Fats will also help you feel full for longer, and boost your energy. Remember, these are fats like organic nut butter, seeds, and avocado – not butter, cream, and cheese! Adding healthy fats to your breakfast will help curb mid-morning snack cravings, and, give you sustained energy, for longer.
Egg and bacon, delicious, and nutritious, but, of course – not every day! Add low GI, whole grain, toast, and some vegetables, and you can enjoy a well-balanced, powerhouse, breakfast.