Mums are usually right about most stuff, aren’t they? ;-)
Well, research shows us there’s certainly one thing mum got right, and that is just how important a good breakfast is each morning.
Eating a substantial, nutrient-filled breakfast is one of the best ways to ward off unhealthy food cravings, keep your weight under control, and also eliminate the fatigue we often experience in the middle of the day, as a result of our blood sugars falling too low.
Unfortunately, many of us are still inclined to grab a quick, unhealthy breakfast because of time constraints, or skip breakfast altogether.
So, to help you out, here are a few tips to make your breakfast a little better, and a little easier each morning.
1. Prepare Ahead Of Time
Time is a factor for most of us early in the morning. In our sleep-deprived society, we’re always trying to catch those extra few minutes rest before we have to start the day.
As a result, we often don’t have time to cook a proper, nutritious breakfast in the morning.
The solution is to either to get up earlier in the morning (not likely for most people). Or, prepare breakfast before going to bed, then all you need to do is reheat in the morning.
A smoothie is one suggestion. A frittata can be made the night before, and reheated in the microwave. I haven’t tried this, but it may be worth a go.
Alternatively, here’s a recipe for a healthy protein bar, which sounds pretty good.
Banana Carob Protein Bars
Adapted from Eating Bird Food
2 cups rolled oats
1/3 cup protein powder
1 tbsp chia seeds (optional)
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
3 egg whites
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (rice or cows milk is fine, too)
2 tbsp smooth natural peanut butter (or almond butter)
1 1/2 tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup carob chips (or chocolate chips)
- Preheat your oven to 350° F.
- In one bowl combine all of the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl combine all of the wet ingredients.
- Slowly stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until everything is well mixed. Then, gently stir in the carob chips.
- Pour the batter into a greased 8 x 8″ baking dish. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 15-20 minutes.**
- Cut into 8 squares, and wrap in plastic wrap. Then, store in a ziplock bag, or storage container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
** A cake tester may not come out completely clean because of the melted carob chips.
2. Aim For Extra Protein
Protein at breakfast is very important for stabilizing blood sugar levels, and reducing cravings for sugary, or high calorie food later in the day.
Higher protein foods take longer to digest, and this means you will feel full for longer. This can be a simple solution to help you avoid reaching for a candy bar, or another unhealthy snack mid-morning.
3. Switch To Green Tea
Green tea is thought to be a potent cancer fighter, which may also help to burn calories.
Studies show tea may speed up your metabolism, but only by 4 percent, so it’s pretty unlikely you’ll see a significant amount of weight loss, just from drinking tea.
That said, however, drinking green tea regularly is beneficial because it don’t lend itself to eating something sweet alongside, as coffee might, for example. So, you’re more likely to save calories, and make healthier food choices as a result.
4. Add Healthy Ingredients
If you typically eat cereal in the morning, and couldn’t stomach anything else, you can make your meal a little more nutritionally balanced by adding some extras on top.
You could try adding some flaxseed, chopped almonds, wheat germ or berries. And, these additions take almost no extra time, but they significantly improve the nutritional content of your meal.
5. Include Some Fruit
A fresh fruit salad is another way to get more nutrients packed into your morning meal.
You can make this your main breakfast along with a big dollop of natural yogurt, or make it an add-on to another dish.
This is also something you can prepare ahead of time, then eat for a few days in a row.
You may find frozen berries come in handy for breakfast, too — I love semi-defrosted fruits mixed with a little natural yogurt.
6. Add A Little Fiber
As you know, foods that contain significant amounts of fiber help you to feel fuller for longer. They may also help to reduce your cravings for sugary foods, and maintain stable blood sugar levels.
Why not try oatmeal, quinoa, barley, spelt, or brown rice for breakfast? For more options check out my article on alternative whole grain foods.
7. Spice Things Up
Adding a few natural herbs and spices, such as oregano, cayenne, basil, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, or even garlic can liven up an otherwise dull breakfast.
So, try experimenting to find out what works for you.
Eating a healthy breakfast doesn’t have to be difficult, or overly time-consuming.
It’s just a matter of getting organized, and perhaps allowing for a few extra minutes of preparation time.
The payoff is worth it — increased energy throughout the day, a faster metabolism, and fewer food cravings!
What are your favorite breakfast ideas?