You know the benefits of eating a healthy breakfast: increased concentration and focus, a revved metabolism, and a happy, full stomach that will prevent you from overeating later in the day.
So, why do only a mere 34% of American adults actually eat the morning meal every day? Well, because we’re busy. But just as you wouldn’t dream of walking out the door in the morning without brushing your teeth, putting on mascara, or selecting the right belt for your outfit, why would you start your day so unequipped for the coming day’s challenges?
When it comes down to it, you’re really too busy not to eat breakfast. And if you have the right food at your fingertips, throwing one together can take next to no time. Read on for quick, healthful breakfast ideas to enjoy whether you’re sipping your coffee, sprinting out the door, or sitting in traffic.
For a fast (and gourmet!) breakfast, there’s nothing better than an egg. And before you balk at the fat content of the yolk, know that it contains many trace minerals not found in other foods, it’s loaded with healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and it aids in burning body fat.
Line a ramekin with a small corn tortilla and toss some leftover vegetables, herbs, grated cheese, and black beans or lean turkey inside. Then, crack an egg on top and toss into the microwave for about a minute. Add salsa and fresh avocado for amazing garnishes on this simple meal.
2. Protein-Packed Waffle “Taco”
Keep your freezer stocked with whole grain toaster waffles. For a quick meal, toast one and add a tablespoon or two of all-natural peanut or almond butter. Boost your fiber intake by tossing on raisins, sesame seeds, or more nuts (try crushed nuts—your body will process the nutrients better). Or, make a savory waffle by adding grated cheese and lean protein. Fold in half and you’re off!
Need to make your meal mobile? Fill a whole grain, brown rice, or corn tortilla with your favorite savory or sweet ingredients. One of the most portable proteins is a hard-boiled egg: Slice it up and wrap it with lean turkey or black beans and low fat cheese to add fiber and carbohydrates to your meal, and top with salsa for a blast of vitamin C. A sweeter wrap could include a spread of your favorite nut butter and honey, or sugar-free preserves with chopped apples or bananas. The options are endless!
4. Shake It Up
Grab a reusable sports bottle or cocktail shaker and combine sugar-free protein powder and cocoa with low-fat yogurt or almond milk, ice, and your favorite nut butter. In no time, you’ll have a creamy chocolate peanut butter cup in a glass. If you have a blender and a little more time, add strawberries or a frozen banana for extra fiber. This combo will give you calcium, a serving of fruit, and some healthy fat—all in one glass.
During my busy week, I rarely eat traditional breakfast foods. I prefer savory to sweet—and I find a leftover piece of whole grain veggie pizza far more appetizing than a pastry. If you’re like me, try this less conventional morning meal: Wrap cooked or raw veggies from the fridge in sliced turkey, and dip them in salsa or mustard mixed with a little bit of honey. It’s important to get five servings of fruit and vegetables each day, and building them into breakfast gets you an early start.
6. Perfect Parfait
A bowl of fiber-rich bran flakes with low-fat milk is a great choice for breakfast—but it’s not so easy to eat on the go. So swap low-fat organic yogurt (without high-fructose corn syrup) for the milk and mix it in a container to go. You can add a small handful of berries or nuts for extra protein, vitamins, and fiber.
Sometimes it’s hard to stomach a full meal first thing in the morning. No problem—just have a small one! A piece of fruit and handful of nuts or a spoon of peanut butter is all you need to create a balanced, easy, make-ahead meal to jump-start your metabolism. Grab an apple and a low fat cheese stick and toss a quarter cup of walnuts into a baggie and go!
No matter what you like to eat (or how little time you have), there’s a healthy breakfast that will get your morning off to the right start. Pick your favorites, stock the ingredients in your kitchen every week, and you’ll never be too busy for breakfast again.
What are your go-to recipes for a quick, healthy breakfast?
Photos courtesy of Katrin Morenz and PALETA.