I guess you can say we are breakfast people. Our favorite thing to do on Sundays is to go out to breakfast. We like to try local places that support family farms, like the Purple Finch in Bedford, NH.
My mom and I always have the debate over what is a healthy breakfast and what is not. If you ask my mom she will tell you that everyday after fitness class I tell her that she better throw away that box of cereal and go home and make some eggs. So because of the great breakfast debate between my mother and I, I thought it only fitting to write a blog on how to create a healthy breakfast, just in case my mom doesn’t feel like eating eggs every morning.
Eggs are a good source of protein and healthy fat. Two eggs consist of 160 calories, 10 grams of fat, and 14 grams of protein. Two slices of turkey bacon contains 70 calories, 6 grams of fat, and 6 grams of protein. Throw in some vegetables for good carbohydrates and vitamins and you have a great balanced meal thatcomes in around 300 calories. If you like to prep your food ahead of time the egg bake is a great option. If you choose the egg bake instead of scrambled eggs you should have 1-2 palm sized servings as a meal.
My absolute favorite protein pancake recipe does not include any protein powder at all, maybe that it why I love it so much! These pancakes are fluffy, packed with flavor, and take less than 20 minutes to make. You can check out the recipe here! This recipe makes 4-6 pancakes, about 2-3 per person and comes in at 250 calories, 12 grams of fat, 6 grams of carbs, 14 grams of protein, and 11 grams of fiber. If you can’t contain your excitement because of the deliciousness of these pancakes and eat the entire batch just double the macronutrient content.
The protein shake is one of my favorites for days that I am running a bit behind, don’t really feel like eating breakfast (which has happened a lot during this pregnancy), or when I am feeling creative. Here is an article I wrote awhile back about how to create healthy, delicious protein shakes that give you all the nutrients you need.
One cup of this delicious organic yogurt contains just 80 calories, 6 grams of sugar, 15 grams of protein,not to mention lots of other vitamins. Toss in a handful of blueberries or even granola (just be mindful of the sugar) and you have a tasty protein packed breakfast. Sometimes I will have two pieces of Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Bread with Peanut Butter for some extra calories if I only eat yogurt.
Oats contain beta-glucan, a type of fiber that’s been shown to help lower cholesterol when eaten regularly. They are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and potassium. Steel-cut oats contain more fiber than rolled oats or instant varieties. They also take just fifteen minutes to cook. One caution with oatmeal: avoid the flavored kinds, which are usually packed with sugar. If you are looking to sweeten your bowl try a bit of almond milk and a bit of honey. You can also top with fresh fruit and nuts. Here is a great recipe!
For those coffee drinkers out there doughnuts, muffins, and pastries sounds like a great option. These should be used as a special treat instead of the first meal of the day. The downfall with these options are that they are full of sugar, high in calories, and full of unhealthy fat. This is why they taste so delicious of course. Additionally, foods like this cannot keep you full until lunchtime because they do not have any protein to keep you full. Not to mention, eating a breakfast high in sugar consistently may cause your blood pressure to rise which could cause further problems down the road.
Cereals are quick, easy and convenient. Although this is very helpful on mornings where you are running behind this is not the best way to sustain your energy until lunch. Most cereals are full of sugar and do not have many other important nutrients. They may be appealing because of their convenience, colors, and taste but they do not offer much to your body. Most cereals are just empty calories and full of processed ingredients. Cereals do not set you up for success, but rather a mid-morning crash. If you must have cereal opt for one with a minimum of 3 grams of fiber and 6 grams or less of sugar in each serving.
Most bagels are loaded with 300-500 calories of starch. If you follow it up with a layer of cream cheese or butter you are just adding more saturated fat and calories. All of these refined carbohydrates have been shown to increases diseases such as cardiovascular disease and type two diabetes. Bagels keep you full ofstarch but do not offer any protein. Just like cereals, bagels are quick, easy, convenient, and full of empty calories. If you must reach for a bagel try a bagel that is 100% whole grain with a nut butter spread such as: peanut butter, almond butter, or cashew butter. I like to reach for an Ezekiel Sprouted Grain English Muffin topped with peanut butter and half a banana or apple chunks when I am craving a bagel.
Most breakfast bars are highly processed, loaded with sugar, and lack protein and fiber. If you must reach for a breakfast bar take a look at the ingredients before taking a bite. You want to find a breakfast bar that combines healthy fats, protein, and fiber. KIND bars are often a great option, most have less than 5 grams of sugar and at least 5 grams of protein.
Most fruit juices are loaded with sugar, made from concentrate, and high in calories. If you are going to opt for fruit juice you should choose orange juice. Orange juice that is fresh squeezed or a store bought brand that is fortified with Vitamin D. Vitamin D has been shown to lower the risk of osteoporosis, depression, and even some cancers. Keep the glass small to avoid a sugar overload and never replace whole fruit with fruit juice. Our best recommendations for breakfast beverages are: water, tea, coffee (without added sugars or sweeteners), or non-dairy milk such as almond or coconut milk.
Breakfast is an extremely important meal and should not be skipped. Breakfast provides your energy to start the day and can kick start your metabolism.
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