Are you tired of the same old breakfast? Do you have a short list of “go-to” recipes? Do you need a bit of inspiration to shake up your morning nutrition?
Including protein at each meal can help to regulate blood sugar, increase metabolism and even lose weight. Call it the ‘satiety effect’, protein takes longer to digest so it keeps you feeling fuller longer. And because it takes longer for your body to process it, it ‘costs’ approximately 25-30 calories to digest and metabolize 100 calories from protein. Meaning your body will burn 20-30 calories just to process 100 calories of protein. This is called the Thermic Effect of Food. (Carbohydates use 5-10 calories per 100, and fat? a measly 3 calories).
Read on for how to incorporate protein, as well as some veggies and healthy fats into your soon-to-be favorite new “go-to” breakfasts.
Breakfast Food #1: Eggs ( Yup, the “incredible – edible egg’)
Yes, eggs have earned the distinction of being the “quintessential” breakfast food. And for good reason!
And I’m not referring to those processed egg whites in a carton. I mean actual whole “eggs”.
Egg whites are mostly protein but the yolks are where the real magic is. Yolks are nutritional powerhouses, they contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fats.
Eggs have been shown to help fill you up, keep you feeling fuller longer, and help to stabilize blood sugar and insulin.
And eggs are awesome for those days you are on the run. Keep a bunch of hard-boiled eggs on hand for the ultimate grab and go breakfast on days when you’re short on time.
And… the ‘wisdom’ from years ago about egg’s contribution to heart disease has been debunked. In fact, it is saturated fat and trans fat that increases LDL cholesterol. 1 large egg adds only 1.6 grams of saturated fat and no trans fat.
Breakfast Food #2: Nuts and/or Seeds
Nuts and seeds can contribute protein as well as being a great source of healthy fats, vitamin, minerals, and fiber to your first meal of the day.
(You do know I’m referring to the unsweetened variety here, right? Don’t mistake sugar laden ‘ glazed nuts’ for a good choice. The added sugar throws the nutritional profile it into something that more closely resembles junk food. )
For a light breakfast that takes almost no time to prepare, top fruit such as berries, bananas, peaches etc. with unsweetened Greek Yogurt and sprinkle with 1-2 TBSP of sunflower seeds, sliced almonds, and or pumpkin seeds.
For those mornings you’re running late, grab a small handful of almond, walnuts or pumpkin seeds on the way out the door to munch on during your commute, just keep it to a small portion, it is easy to get a ton of calories in a quick minute when eating nuts.
You can also add a TBSP of nut/seed butter into your morning breakfast smoothie for a bit of healthy fat. Again just don’t go overboard.
Hint: If you like a creamy latte in the mornings try making one with nut or seed butter. Just add a tablespoon or two of a creamy nut or seed butter to your regular hot tea and use an immersion blender to make it frothy.
Breakfast Food #3: Veggies
Yes, you already know the benefits of including protein in every meal including breakfast; and this goes for veggies too. Vegetables are loaded with the good stuff that makes us strong and powerful; things like vitamins, and minerals, phytochemicals, and antioxidants, and fiber. These powerhouses are what keep our engines ( body’s) running in top form.
Getting all these necessary nutrients can help to reduce cravings too, In fact, you really cannot go wrong adding them to every meal. Even breakfast.
Try cooking extra vegetables when making dinner, then in the morning, reheat and top with a fried egg or two. You can even have a salad for breakfast if you want to. There is no rule that says otherwise…
Here’s an easy breakfast omelet you can try; then experiment with different vegetable pairings. Your choices are endless.
Recipe: Veggie Omelet
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil or no stick spray
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup mixed veggies ( try onions, peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, spinach, Tomatoes, asparagus, grated zucchini ) mix and match to your heart’s delight
- dash salt, pepper and/or turmeric
Spray pan with nonstick spray or add coconut oil to a frying pan and melt on low-medium heat.
In a medium bowl, beat the egg(s) then add your vegetables of choice and the spices.
Tilt pan to ensure the bottom is covered with the melted oil. Pour egg mixture into the 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: After flipping omelet sprinkle with 1 tbsp grated cheese such as Swiss, cheddar, feta etc, and cook until cheese melts
And here’s a recipe for crustless quiche you can make on the weekend and enjoy a ready-made breakfast all week.
There you have it. Ditch the sugary breakfast and power up your day with a breakfast that includes Protein, vegetable and a bit of healthy fat.