I’ll admit that today, I really didn’t know what I was going to write about. But after a little soul searching (i.e. searching the web), I finally found something I haven’t talked about in ages: breakfast.
I don’t know about you, but for me it always seems like breakfast is a mad dash to the door. Between getting ready to work out, doing some last minute chores around the house, even healthy eaters like me have a hard time working this important meal into a hectic day. The good news is, there are a ton of healthy breakfast recipes out there that don’t require a lot of prep or fancy ingredients. All it takes is a little thought when you go grocery shopping so that you have a bunch of items you can mix and match for dozens of healthy breakfast recipes.
What Should Be In Your Fridge?
Regardless of the diet you follow, there are some staples that should be in your fridge at all times for a nutritious and simple breakfast. Obviously use your best judgement, adding and subtracting foods as they seem fit and taking into consideration what works with your personal healthy eating plan. If a food doesn’t work for you, omit it!
- Cage Free Organic Eggs—This food is a nutritional powerhouse and staple to my breakfasts. Although I love having a green smoothie in the mornings, sometimes this is just too much fiber for me and can upset my stomach. Eggs are a great alternative and way to start my day. Full of protein and healthy Omega 3 fat, starting your day with protein can help you burn fat, stay mentally focused, and have more energy throughout your day. Better yet, you can make about a million healthy breakfast recipes with them! Today’s recipe will show you a simple, fast, and delicious recipe that takes minutes to make.
- Organic Milk or Milk Substitutes—I know there’s a ton of controversy about dairy, but here’s my take on it. If it works for you, by all means incorporate it into your healthy diet. Just make sure you go organic if possible. Conventional milks are full or so many additives, preservatives, hormones, I could go on. Organic milk (or even raw milk if you can get your hands on it) is a much better alternative. If cow’s milk isn’t an option for you, there are plenty of dairy substitutes out there like almond, coconut, hemp, etc. Just make sure you watch out for carrageenan, a carcinogen that’s legally allowed in many organic dairy and dairy substitute products.
- Organic Greek Yogurt/Cottage Cheese—Again, if you consume dairy, try incorporating high protein sources of it into your healthy breakfast recipes. These foods will, gram for gram, keep you fuller and more satiated compared to a breakfast that’s predominantly carbohydrate. Greek yogurt in particular is a great source of probiotics which can help with digestive health and overall immunity. You can easily spread some cottage cheese and fruit on toast in the morning or make a smoothie with Greek yogurt and fruit that takes only a few minutes to make.
- Fresh or Frozen Produce—Most people strive to get carbohydrate or protein in a meal, but what about the fruits and veggies? If you’re striving to get 5-7 (or more!) servings of fruits and veggies a day, you need to include some produce into your healthy breakfast recipes. Whether it’s fruit salad, veggies folded into some scrambled eggs, or a smoothie, find a way to work more fruits and vegetables into your breakfast.
What Should Be In Your Pantry?
If you don’t plan out your meals properly or shop strategically, your pantry can easily be a hidden grenade of unhealthy food and ultimately desserts that are marketed as breakfast items. If you haven’t read Michael Moss’s Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us, get a copy of it ASAP. Moss explains how the use of sugar in breakfast cereals and other food products has had an incredible influence on obesity rates in the United States. Read nutrition labels and ingredients lists carefully, following these guidelines:
- Whole Grain/Gluten-Free Cereals With Less Than 9 Grams of Sugar—It might be marketed as cereal, but in actuality most of the conventional cereals you see have more sugar than cookies or candy bars. A sugary breakfast is a surefire way to elevate your insulin levels, making you hungry within an hour and running back for, you guessed it, MORE SUGAR. Scrutinize nutritional labels carefully and be weary of secret names for sugar. If you follow a gluten-free diet, the same rules apply. Just because a product is gluten-free, doesn’t mean it’s healthy!
- Whole Grain/Sprouted Grain/Gluten Free Breads—Yes, you CAN start your day with bread! I realize that some of you love your breakfast muffins and I’m not here to take that away from you. Simply being a little more mindful about the kinds of breads and muffins you indulge in can make all the difference. Look for low-sugar brands that pack at least 3-4 grams of fiber per serving. If you’re having a hard time finding muffins or other baked goods, try making your own! There are a ton of recipes out there that are grain-free, paleo, vegan, whatever floats your boat!
- Raw Nuts, Seeds, and Nut Butters—If you’re scared of eating fat with breakfast, don’t be! It’s time to get this outdated diet/nutrition theory out of your head. Fat simply doesn’t make you fat, especially when eating high quality fats like those found in nuts and seeds. Raw nuts, seeds, and nut butters are some of the best choices you can make in the morning. They’re full of omega 3’s that keep you full, boost brain health, and make your skin glow. Buy raw nuts and nut butters over roasted to avoid added salt and other processes that suck nutrients out of these foods. Some of my favorites are raw almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, and raw almond and cashew butters. Also don’t forget about seeds like flax, chia, and hemp.
- Stevia, Raw Honey, and Maple Syrup—I understand that if you’re trying to cut sugar from your diet, you might be feeling a little deprived. Sweeteners like stevia are perfect for your breakfast coffee, tea, and other items. Stevia has no calories and is diabetic-friendly. Raw honey (which is loaded with B vitamins and naturally antimicrobial) and maple syrup can also be used in moderation as these sweeteners do rise insulin levels. However, I do realize that we’re all human or that sometimes a recipe calls for sugar. Be mindful and measure out how much you use to avoid a sugar spike later in the day!
With these items, you can literally create dozens of healthy breakfast recipes that are fast, easy, and nutritious. You can easily go from fruit salad with gluten-free toast and cottage cheese to a 3 egg omelet with mushrooms, tomatoes, cilantro and a side of frozen mixed berries. Today’s recipe follows all of these rules I’ve outlined for breakfast. You’ll love this savory mix of cage-free organic eggs with tomatoes and cilantro that are fresh from my garden!