There's a lot of debate on whether or not eating breakfast early in the morning helps or hinders health. Personally, I don't think the timing of breakfast matters much. Unless you have a metabolic concern, like diabetes, eating your first meal of the day should be at your own pace. The most important thing is not when you eat, it's what you eat. We make waaaaaaaaay too big of a deal about not walking out the door without breakfast in our tummies. Don't get me wrong, with 3 school-age kids, I definitely think children need to eat something healthy before they leave for school, but we full-grown adults have a different metabolism and can pace ourselves differently. That said, if you're in search of healthy, easy breakfast ideas, I've got you covered.
Easy & Healthy Breakfast Ideas
To be healthy, to control your weight or even lose weight, you don't need to eat breakfast at 7 am. (You can read more about Intermittent Fasting here.) The word breakfast doesn't directly translate to a high sugar cereal and milk with a glass of orange juice. Rather, breakfast simply means breaking a fast from the last time that you ate - typically the night before. That's really it.
But what you eat for your first meal of the day - whether at the crack of dawn or closer to lunch, really sets the stage for how you will feel for the rest of the day. Most of the time, when I start working with a new client who needs to clean up their health and lose weight, they have no idea how good they could feel if they only ate healthier. Breakfast is a great opportunity to put your body on the right track.
Blood sugar levels, overall energy, moods, stress levels and productivity are all greatly affected by the first food choices you make in your day. I know a lot of people start their day off with coffee drinks, baked goods and processed foods that go from freezer to toaster, but there are a lot of other great options for those of us who want to eat a little healthier.
Here is a quick list of ten of my favorite easy breakfast ideas
- Sprouted Grain Toast + 1/2 Avocado + Sea Salt
- 1/2 C Oatmeal + 1 C Non-Dairy Milk + 1/2 C Berries + 1 Tbsp Nut Butter
- 1 C Non-Dairy Milk + 3 Tbsp Chia Seeds + 1 C Berries + Cinnamon (refrigerate overnight or for at least 8 hours)
- Mix 1/2 Avocado + 1 1/2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder + 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup +1/4 C Berries (chill and enjoy)
- 2 Hard-Boiled Eggs + Sliced Tomato + Sea Salt
- Sliced Apple + Nut Butter + Cinnamon
- Whole Grain Tortilla + Refried Beans + Sliced Tomatoes + Sea Salt
- 1 C Cooked Quinoa + 1/4 C Slivered Almonds + 1/2 C Non-Dairy Milk + 1 Tbsp Maple Syrup (soak overnight)
- 2 Scoops Protein Powder* + 1/4 Avocado + 1/2 C Berries + 1 C Non-Dairy Milk + Ice Cubes (blend and enjoy)
- 1 1/2 C Frozen Vegetables, sautéed + 1 Tbsp Olive Oil + 2 Scrambled Eggs + Sea Salt
You'll see that I don't include dairy on the list above. Dairy tends to be really inflammatory for a lot of people. When we have inflammation, it's difficult to get healthy, let alone lose weight. Usually, people who react to dairy have no idea it's inflammatory until they eliminate it for a week (or more). This means cutting out cream in coffee, little bits of cheese on a salad and reading ingredient labels.
If you know that dairy is not inflammatory for you, then feel free to substitute regular milk for the non-dairy milk listed above.
The key to a healthy, easy breakfast
As I mentioned above, it's not when you eat, it's what you eat. I see so many people wasting their time counting macronutrients, calories or grams of fat - but spending no time reading the ingredient labels on the back of what they're eating. By the time I work with someone, they're usually frustrated they can't lose weight, lack energy and have bee-bopped around on more than a dozen diets in as many years.
It's frustrating. I've been there. It took me 20 years to figure out that dieting doesn't work.
The only criteria you really need to follow when it comes to eating a healthy breakfast is that it's unprocessed, has a reasonable amount of fiber (if it contains a fruit or vegetable, it does) and has a little bit of fat in it.
If you have an easy breakfast idea, leave a comment below! My list of ten is a good start, but I'd love to hear your healthy suggestions, too!