This week’s tip: Make a good breakfast.
It can be challenging to prioritize breakfast. I’ve often made the mental argument: “If I skip breakfast, I can sleep for another 20 minutes!” For a long time, there was little to no debate — I love to sleep, so that proposition is always tempting. But every time I decide to sleep for another 20 minutes, I’m still just as tired when I get up, I find myself rushing around to make it out the door, and then I’m hungry and cranky when I get to work.
On the flip side, when I DO get up with enough time to make myself a delicious breakfast, I feel energized, calm, and satiated when I leave to start my day. Sure, those few minutes getting out of bed can be a little painful, but I’ve never gotten up and regretted it.
If you’re looking for something more than my anecdotal evidence as to why eating a healthy breakfast is good for you, you don’t have to look very far. Time and again studies have proven that eating a good breakfast can have health benefits ranging from boosting metabolism to increasing cognitive ability and memory. A good breakfast may lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease, some research also shows. Many studies even claim that eating a daily breakfast can help with weight loss, however, recent research is starting to question the truth of that claim.
For me, eating breakfast is definitely not about weight loss — if I was trying to lose weight, I’d be focusing on everything I was eating, not just breakfast! Instead, preparing a healthy breakfast gives structure to my morning, helps me start the day at a relaxing and pleasant pace, and provides me with important nutrients, fiber, and protein to boost my energy levels. It also gives me a time to remind me to take my pills — including a daily multivitamin and vitamin D supplement.
We all have a different pace and amount of free time in the morning, so eating breakfast like a king might not be possible for all of us every day. Here’s what I like to do for breakfast, depending on how much time I can afford!
- 20-30 minutes
If I have 20-30 minutes to focus on my breakfast, I definitely take my time. I’ll typically make a fried egg, whole wheat toast with butter, and sometimes a small side of sausage, bacon, or vegetarian sausage. I love to make fresh-squeezed orange juice (one medium naval orange makes about 4 oz with my juicer — the perfect amount!), and I’ll always drink a full glass of water (to kickstart my metabolism and hydrate). I also often prepare a tiny bowl of plain greek yogurt (FAGE Total is my favorite — no added sugar!), and I’ll mix in a few kinds of fresh berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, or sometimes strawberries). I’ll mash the berries up in the yogurt which gives it a great fruity flavor but ensures that the sugar you are getting is the best kind. Occasionally I’ll even keep the pulp from my orange juice and I’ll mix that into the yogurt too — why waste the fiber and the flavor? Eating a breakfast like this is my favorite thing. It even makes me feel positive about myself because I’m starting my day with a heaping dose of self-compassion!
- 10 minutes
If I have 10 minutes to focus on breakfast, I’ll usually flip between two breakfast options:
- Option 1 is a simpler version of the breakfast I mentioned above: the fried egg, wheat toast and glass of water. Then I’ll quickly pack up a single-serving cup of FAGE yogurt with a mix of berries in a ziplock bag, which comes with me to work for breakfast part 2 (while I go through my email inbox).
- Option 2 for a 10-minute breakfast is oatmeal. I’ll pop some plain oatmeal and almond milk into the microwave while I am getting dressed. Then I’ll add some cinnamon, applesauce, and/or berries to the mix and sit for a few minutes to stop and enjoy.
- 5 minutes or less
When I only have 5 minutes for breakfast, I am usually cutting it pretty close. I tend to toggle between three options:
- Breakfast sandwich to go: Whole wheat toast or an english muffin + a fried egg over hard (to avoid the runny yolk). Occasionally I’ll pop a vegetarian sausage into the microwave while making the egg (I really like Morning Star’s Original Sausage Patties.) It takes a few minutes to simultaneously prepare all of the elements, and then you can grab your sandwich and head out the door!
- Yogurt & berries to go: Like I mentioned above, it’s pretty easy to grab a single-serving cup of FAGE yogurt with a mix of berries in a ziplock bag to take with you to go if you’re heading to an office.
- Fruit & granola to go: If I’m in a BIG rush, I’ll grab an apple or an orange and a granola bar. It’s good to keep those things on hand in case of emergency!
I also like to enjoy a cup of coffee after my breakfast, but I usually wait until I’ve been at the office for a little while before making my cup of brew. Recent research shares that the best time to drink coffee is between 10am and noon or 2pm and 5pm, rather than first thing in the morning (to balance our cortisol levels throughout the day).
What are your breakfast habits? Share your breakfast suggestions in the comments and we can help each other eat like kings!