Breakfast - I’ve written several posts on this topic because when advising clients on meal make-overs, it’s the meal of choice to start the process. Often breakfast is the easiest meal, the most missed meal, but it’s also the most important one in starting your day with energy. Plus another way to sneak in those vital extra nutrients or even veggies. Below I provide breakfast alternatives that take into account a range of factors affecting why you may not eat breakfast such as time available, dietary concerns, energy needs, and boredom with options. Now it can’t be entertaining and have a “wow” effect every morning, but an alternative breakfast at least twice a week and one weekend day will not only refresh your taste buds and stomach, but also provide a mental break. Variety decreases boredom with food, which decreases the mindless snacking, hunt for “fun”, processed, sugary food or over indulging elsewhere, while simultaneously increasing nutrient satisfaction with the added variety.
So what’s stopping you from eating breakfast? Time? Bored? Nothing interesting? Don’t like reheated leftovers? No options? Time and no options at work is usually the most common answer. Think of breakfast of the quickest, nutrient packed meal. Savory or sweet this can allow for variety and sustenance. Need to increase vegetable intake throughout the day – throw some spinach into the scrambled egg. Slice some tomatoes and cucumbers with hummus.
Even if breakfast can’t be your biggest meal, it can be the most calorie rich and sustaining one.
Another reason people avoid breakfast is to save calories. Do you say to yourself – “I won’t be able to hold back on the other meals, so I better skip the one I can – breakfast?” We all fall into that habit. Even I have. What happens? Overeating later. Not eating breakfast sets your blood sugar up for a crash and burn reaction. Challenge yourself. Conduct a test. One day eat a bigger, diverse breakfast and listen to your body’s need at lunch and dinner. You may not end up wanting the larger dinner. You may go longer before diving into lunch. Also, your blood sugar will remain level so you aren’t tempted to make the tough choices of a side of fries over barley salad during a blood sugar crash.
So if you want to take the challenge of adding a more nutrient dense, interesting breakfast to your wellness regime then check out some of these ideas for spicing up your breakfast.
Veggie Frittatas – Looking to save time? These are great for those willing to cook on a Sunday and eat “leftovers”. So many options and combinations – asparagus, mushrooms, tomatoes, chives, greens…full fat cheeses, pancetta, diced chicken….you name it. Slice and either heat on the stove top for immediate consumption or pack and go – 5 minutes or less breakfast prep!
Fried egg over ??? – This is one of my all-time favorites and stand by. Unsure when I started, but it was supported and encouraged by my husband who doesn’t eat the typical American breakfast. He is used to a more savory and vegetable filled start to his day. So I’ll top a fried egg (in coconut oil) over hummus and arugula, leftover roasted root vegetables from the night before, oatmeal with either sweet – cinnamon or savory –pesto, sauces, tomato and cheese. Lentil fritters from dinner, or zucchini/carrot fritters topped with an egg - voila one serving of vegetables is done! Top even lentil soup with it. Put an egg on anything in the morning and it’s officially “breakfast”!
Revitalized scrambled eggs – Love scrambled eggs? Need to add some variety or maybe a few more healthy calories. Adding vegetables to scrambled eggs is the best way to increase your daily intake of vegetable. Anything added to your salad and can be added to scrambled eggs- peppers, spinach, leeks, mushrooms, cheeses, onions, even broccoli and eggplants! Want to be adventurous and need something heartier after an intense workout or before a long day? Try adding some cooked oatmeal or even grass fed ground beef repurposed from last night.
Dinner for breakfast – Just as breakfast for dinner can be fun, try reversing it with dinner for breakfast. Top that black bean chili with a fried egg. Maybe have a cup of that lentil soup warmed up with some crème fraiche. It depends on what you can stomach in the morning, but this option adds variety and nutrients to your breakfast.
Oatmeal with chia seeds – Of course there is the ever filling and hearty oatmeal for breakfast with numerous options such as adding nuts, almond milks, seeds, dried fruit, cheese even and chia seeds. Even top an oatmeal with a fried egg! Oatmeal is a wondrous comfort food perfect for long days or hikes. Need a boost of energy? Try Chia Seed Oatmeal for a natural mental energy boost. Great to make in advance, in batches and for those with little prep time in the morning.
Brunch fun – Some of the following suggestions ways to again add vegetables and variety to your brunch since they require a little more time and may take restraint to not eat in one sitting. Brussel sprouts for breakfast? YES!! Here are two very delicious savory dishes using eggs, vegetables and additional animal protein. Egg with Bacon Brussel sprout hash, and Brussel Sprout, chicken sausage hash . Fun hosting splurge – try Easy Baked Ham Tortillas topped with guacamole or bring some Mini bacon egg tartsto your next brunch potluck!