I’m a big fan of breakfast because it helps me be my best every morning. This energy lasts throughout the day. There are tons of reasons to be a fan of breakfast. Here are just a few:
- it kick-starts metabolism increasing weight loss success
- provides strong mental focus
- increases overall intake of essential nutrients
- makes energy levels become stable, which has a direct effect on mood and behavior throughout your day.
A balanced breakfast is especially important for kids!! According to the American Dietetic Association, children who eat breakfast perform better in the classroom and on the playground, with better concentration, problem-solving skills, and eye-hand coordination.
I was recently reminded of what can happen when I’m rushed in the morning and don’t make breakfast a priority. I ate sourdough toast with some amazing homemade apple butter that my mother-in-law made. It was a delicious breakfast – I felt full, but it was not balanced and provided mostly carbohydrates and very little fiber. I was working on a lot of new projects that day – my mental energy was erratic, I was bouncing from one project to another not really getting anywhere and increasingly feeling stressed. Around mid-morning, my energy crashed and I felt tired and hungry needing a snack. It was at that moment that I connected my mental state and my breakfast. I know from experience that if I had eaten a well balance breakfast, my morning would’ve been completely different. I would’ve felt more grounded and focused. I would’ve been able to push through the work that was hard and actually make progress.
My typical breakfast consists of oatmeal with almond milk, blueberries, walnuts, cinnamon and a drizzle of maple syrup or scrambled eggs on whole wheat toast and fresh fruit with pecans. Both of these examples are balanced because they provide lean protein, healthy fats and fiber. Eating this way makes me feel fuller, longer and my metabolism is stimulated giving me the energy I need to focus and have a great start to my day.
To create a balanced breakfast look closely at the foods you’re combining.
A balanced breakfast includes foods that are:
- low in added sugar
- a good source of complex carbohydrates/fiber (Oatmeal, Whole Wheat Toast, Bran Muffin, Brown Rice)
- a good source of lean protein (Greek yogurt, Eggs, chicken, beans)
- a good source of and healthy fats (Almond Butter, pecans, walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, avocado) – if you choose nuts, they can double as a good source of lean protein
- fresh - think of ways to add fresh fruits or vegetables
Here are a few ideas that combine these principles:
- Southwestern Breakfast Wrap with a Whole Wheat Tortilla, Scrambled eggs, Black Beans, Avocado, Fresh Tomato Salsa
- Whole Wheat Bran Muffin with Walnuts; Peaches & Blueberries w/ Plain Greek Yogurt & a drizzle of local honey
- Savory Brown Rice Breakfast Bowl w/ Shredded chicken, Sautéed ginger, onions, peppers and spinach in sesame oil and topped with toasted cashews
- Whole Wheat Bagel or English Muffin with Almond Butter & Banana Slices
- Green Smoothie with Kale, Apple, Banana, Lemon Juice, Almond Milk and a scoop of Peanut Butter
- Oatmeal with Fresh cut fruit (pears, apples, banana, strawberries…), Nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds)
- Spinach and Swiss Frittata with Chicken Sausage and Fresh Watermelon
Want to save time in the morning and prep your breakfast the night before? If so, try these ideas.
What are your favorite go to balanced breakfasts? Share in the comments.