Let's talk savory, healthy, and protein-packed breakfast options!
Breakfast is hugely important. Starting off the day with a nutritious protein-packed breakfast will help you perform better during the day, ensures you won't reach for sugary snacks before lunch, and helps keep your nutrition and health at tip-top shape.
Contrary to what many think, Americans generally don't eat enough protein for breakfast. The average breakfast is usually rich in carbohydrates and includes a bagel, muffin or cereal, which on average weighs in at about 10 grams (or less) of protein. Protein helps keep us feeling satisfied longer and our blood sugar more stable – so that we’re not hungry soon after breakfast with no ability to concentrate. The goal should be about 20 grams of protein for each meal, including breakfast.
Here are five ways to think about breakfast that will keep you satisfied and interested!
Love to start the day with a big meal? How much is enough… or too much? An omelet loaded with veggies and a pinch of cheese plus whole-wheat toast or a sweet potato is a good choice. Nitrate free breakfast sausage, roasted veggies and a scrambled egg might also do the trick. Love pancakes? Try using whole grain mixes, i.e. from buckwheat and using almond butter, cinnamon and a spot of maple syrup to sweeten. Big breakfast eaters should carve out at least 30 minutes to sit and eat breakfast. The more time you have to eat, the more time you have to notice when you are actually full – being mindful helps prevent overeating.
Fresh fruit is a great option because it's full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber… but fruit doesn’t have much protein. Adding a nut butter or dairy like cottage cheese or plain yogurt gives fruit more staying power. Also making a smoothie with fruit some veggies and plain yogurt will please the palate and give you longer-lasting energy.
Light, “Healthy” Breakfast
You might be tempted to skip breakfast – but as we know skipping breakfast and healthy do not belong in the same sentence! Many of us are familiar with what happens when we haven’t eaten for hours… bad choices! If you prefer to eat light or not at all in the morning try to get in at least a little protein. A hard-boiled egg and a piece of fruit, a scoop of cottage cheese or plain yogurt and some fresh berries, string cheese and an apple or whole grain crackers. A small smoothie or some protein powder would also do the trick.
Vegetarian can be tricky for protein, but here are some great ways to get what you need to start the day. Oatmeal with almond butter, flax or chia seeds plus berries, raisins or half a banana should be filling and satisfying. Looking for something different? Try a black bean burrito with plenty of guacamole, salsa and if you eat eggs, some scrambled eggs inside. A truly satisfying protein powerhouse.
Consider a grilled-cheese sandwich on a whole wheat (or sprouted grain) english muffin with a few thin slices of tomato or an apple. Still hungry? Add a cup of fresh berries or a mug of veggie chicken soup. Last nights leftovers are also a great option and can be heated up in a minute. Even better, portion out leftovers into individual servings, so they are easy to grab and reheat – or even take for lunch!