6 Best Breakfast Ideas
You’ve eaten the same two things for breakfast your entire life when you’ve eaten breakfast at all: Toast or cereal. Fast and easy. But are those the best choices? Frankly, no. Breakfast doesn’t have to be large, but to be a good breakfast it should contain certain components. Namely, your breakfast should contain protein and fruit or vegetables, preferably along with whole grains or another starch, and healthy fats. Here are the top breakfast choices that give you everything you need to start your day right, pump up your metabolism and get the nutrition to carry you to your next meal without an energy crash.
1. Oatmeal with milk, nuts and berries
Oats offer soluble fiber, which helps fill you up and keeps you feeling satisfied. It also helps lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, and helps greatly with elimination. Oatmeal also contains more protein than most grains. When you eat oats with milk and nuts, you receive a substantial amount of complete protein. The nuts also give you healthy fats. Add berries for antioxidant, phytonutrient power, which provide your body with all the ammunition your immune system needs to keep you healthy while looking and feeling your best.
2. Eggs, whole grain toast with nut butter and sliced apple
Eggs are considered as a powerhouse food. They’re a low-calorie (and low-cost) protein source, with loads of B vitamins along with vitamins D and E, minerals and omega 3 fatty acids, though the quantity of all these nutrients depends to a great degree on what the hen eats. Pasture-raised chickens produce the best eggs, especially if their diets are enriched with omega 3-containing foods. If you have cholesterol concerns, then you should limit the number of whole eggs you eat, but you can eat as many egg whites as you like.
The egg whites, unfortunately, do not contain many of the nutrients offered by whole eggs. A great solution is to eat one egg plus two egg whites. The nut butter you add to your toast should be natural, with no added sugars and no hydrogenation. Peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter – any of these are fine choices. The toast gives you whole grains and the apple gives you soluble fiber and phytonutrients, and also aids in your digestion.
3. Protein smoothie with yogurt and fruit
Take a blender, add a big scoop of probiotic yogurt or, even better, kefir (a yogurt-like product with superior benefits because it improves your digestion), a scoop of protein powder, milk and fruit. You can be extremely creative with smoothies. How about a pumpkin pie smoothie? Use vanilla protein powder with yogurt, add a scoop of canned pumpkin along with a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg. Or use chocolate protein powder and add a ripe banana for a dessert-like chocolate-banana smoothie. The variations are as endless as your imagination. Be sure to add some flax oil, flax seeds or chia seeds for your healthy fats.
4. Sauteed vegetable omelet with whole-grain toast
In olive oil, saute some onions, garlic, chopped red and green peppers, mushrooms and any other vegetables you desire. Set aside, make an omelet, set the vegetables on top of one half and fold the omelet over. If you can afford the calories and a little extra saturated fat, you can add some cheese to the omelet – a hard cheese such as cheddar or a soft goat cheese work well. You will get tons of phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals from the vegetables along with protein, minerals and fat-soluble vitamins from the eggs and healthy fat from the olive oil. Eat a slice or two of whole grain bread for grains.
Who says you can’t have leftover Thai chicken curry with rice for breakfast? Or pot roast with mashed potatoes and vegetables? Just because you’ve been brought up thinking only certain foods can be chosen in the morning doesn’t make it so. The biggest reason people skip breakfast is that they feel they don’t have time to make it. Nothing can be quicker than scooping last night’s leftovers onto a plate and heating it in the microwave. Just make sure to include a protein, a fruit or vegetable and preferably a starch and a healthy fat.
6. Culturally diverse choices
Throughout northern Europe, smoked fish is a traditional breakfast food. In India, depending on your location and religion, it is likely to be a dry curry served with fried flatbread. In Japan, a traditional breakfast includes rice, miso soup, fish and various side dishes. Why limit yourself? You can look into your own cultural background or try someone else’s. There is a whole world of food waiting for you.
It’s no wonder so many people skip breakfast when their choices are so boring. But breakfast can be much more exciting than coffee and a bagel. Experiment with flavors. Try different kinds of protein with different fruits and vegetables. Anything you can prepare ahead of time will make it much easier to take the time for breakfast in the morning. For the sake of your health and your weight, it’s worth getting up a few minutes earlier to have a good breakfast.