Build a Better You with a Balanced Breakfast
The nutrition world is fraught with unproven advice, pseudoscience, and just plain lies. Everyone is competing to find the easiest, fastest, newest way to live forever on cronuts and crème brulee while looking like they spent all day in the gym. Lucky for us, there are some pieces of sage advice that everyone seems to agree on. For example: breakfast.
You should eat breakfast. I haven’t seen anything proving exactly what it is about breakfast that reduces health risks and controls weight, but a recent article at Forbes outlined the ill health effects—everything from higher blood pressure, extra weight, and unhealthy blood fats—if you skip breakfast.
We believe that it is the timing of how breakfast ‘breaks fast’ in the morning that provides the protection against heart attack that we observed,” says Cahill. “Our bodies need to be fed food regularly in order to maintain healthy levels of blood lipids such as cholesterol, hormones such as insulin, and normal blood pressure.” Perhaps eating earlier reduces the strain on the body that comes of fasting, and/or resets the metabolism.
You know you should eat breakfast, but now what? Just make a commitment to get up five minutes sooner than you would otherwise, put a few staples on your grocery list, and you’ll be eating a satisfying breakfast in no time! I’ll get my fellow Career Girls started with a few suggestions and variations based on what I’ve found to be quick, healthy, and delicious, so that you can start your day on the right foot and keep your energy levels up for a full day of whatever is ahead!
Egg-xactly What the Body Needs
I seriously love eggs. I eat one every day. Feel free to do two egg whites instead of a whole egg if you want, but don’t skip the fruits, veggies, and flavor you get from the other ingredients!
- Make an egg however you want. Throw one slice of whole wheat toast into the toaster. I prefer Koepplinger’s Healthy Whole Grains bread. It’s usually inexpensive, and I am okay with the ingredients list.
- Put something yummy on your toast. You can do a quarter of an avocado with fresh pepper (80 calories), a schmear of Chevrie original goat cheese (only 50 calories!) with fresh basil or your favorite dried herbs, or some sliced up veggies with a condiment of your choice (watch sodium content; some condiments have a ton of sodium).
- Then sit with a cup of your preferred beverage and enjoy your hot breakfast. It only takes a couple minutes, and it gives you a reason to sit at the table and enjoy a hot dish of protein with whole grains that will keep you full.
Greek yogurt has become a really popular food item in the US lately. When shopping, check the ingredients. Some of them are just regular yogurt with extra thickeners, fat, and sugar. Find a brand without any ingredients that you find questionable. Then enjoy 6 ounces with one of these toppings for another light and protein-packed breakfast that takes almost no time to prepare.
- Blueberries, strawberries, or another fruit of your choice. I prefer the plain yogurt with my own fruit over the flavored kind. The fruit in the cup usually has added sugar. Frozen berries are a good option, too.
- Granola. My absolute favorite is the Bear Naked Maple Pecan! I know it has added sugar because of the mapley-delicious flavor, and the nuts increase calories, but it’s SO good. A 6 ounce cup of Greek non-fat yogurt is around 100 calories, and a quarter cup of that granola is about 130, so this is still a balanced breakfast for 230 calories. For that few calories, you can add a piece of fruit or slice of toast on the side.
- Add cinnamon to your yogurt and eat it as a dip with apple slices. You could throw in a little brown sugar, but it’s not necessary (especially with a sweeter apple). Again, this is about 200–250 calories.
Oatmeal is another favorite. It’s easy to make, great for your heart, and is a yummy warm breakfast that will keep you full and energized. Try some of these ideas to shake things up.
- Try a bowl of oatmeal with a tablespoon of natural peanut butter. Peanut butter is high in calories because of the fat in peanuts, but it also has a good serving of protein and is super tasty! This bowl will keep you full all morning for about 250 calories.
- Of course you can do a handful of any fruit that you like: berries, peaches, apples and cinnamon. Those are lower in calories than something like maple and pecans, but mmmmm.
- If you opt for instant packets, look out for added sugar and sodium.
Feel free to add your favorites in the comments below!