Upgrade Your Breakfast

by Natalie on February 6, 2014

Healthy Choice Breakfast

Have you ever wondered how to make your breakfast more healthy without sacrificing the taste you love?

Some people are egg people, while others don’t feel complete without a warm bowl of oatmeal. I myself am a smoothie person. The creamy, fruity concoction makes me feel ready to start my day.

The bottom line: eat food that makes you feel good. This can differ for everyone. But one thing is the same, we can all make better choices about how we go about preparing it.

Here are some ideas to upgrade your breakfast:

If you eat oatmeal ~

  • Buy old fashioned, unsweetened oats and make it yourself. Those little flavored packets from Quaker sure do taste good but they’re loaded with sugar and whoa! even trans fats. Good ol’ regular oats take minutes to prepare and are a blank slate for any flavor you may be craving.
  • Add a Tablespoon of hemp, chia, or ground flax seed. This will add a nice dose of beneficial fatty acids, fiber, and protein.
  • Instead of honey or maple syrup, add fruit. Fresh apple chunks, apple sauce, chopped banana, and berries go great in oatmeal.
  • Add a few chopped nuts or a Tablespoon of nut butter. Like the seeds, this adds additional protein and healthy fats. When I suggest that women add some nuts and seeds to their oatmeal, I often hear, “but that’s so many calories”.  Well if you eat oatmeal by itself, you will be hungry again in no time. Adding nuts and seeds makes oatmeal more fulfilling and decreases the urge to eat aimlessly.

If you eat cold cereal ~

  • Look for a cereal with less than 5 grams of sugar per serving. It should also be 100% whole grain. Kudos if you find one with no added sugar!
  • Use milk from organic, grass-fed cows or almond milk without carrageenan. Grass-milk or Tradespoint Creamery are two brands for cow’s milk. For almond milk, I like Silk unsweetened or Whole Foods 365 unsweetened. Carrageenan is an additive found in non-dairy milks, used to create a more silky mouth feel. Recently it has been discovered that it can contribute to harmful inflammation in the body. Milk from grass-fed cows provides healthier fats (omega-3’s and CLA), than regular milk.
  • Sprinkle on a Tablespoon of chia, hemp, or flax seed. This adds beneficial fats, protein and antioxidants.

If you eat eggs ~

  • Buy eggs that are at least organic, and pastured raised if possible. Pasture raised chickens have a healthier diet and produce healthier eggs.
  • Cook them in olive oil, coconut oil, or butter from grass-fed cows.
  • Pair them with a healthy carbohydrate such as 1/2 cup black beans, 1 slice of Ezekiel bread, or a cup of fruit.
  • Try adding some veggies. Bell peppers, chopped broccoli, and spinach go great with eggs. You don’t even have to be fancy and create an omelet. Just saute them a bit, then add eggs to the pan and scramble away.

If you eat a smoothie ~

  • Use water or unsweetened almond milk instead of juice.
  • Add a pinch of greens such a spinach. This is a great way to sneak in some veggies at the beginning of your day.
  • Add a protein source such as unsweetened organic whey protein powder or hemp protein powder (vegetarian) or organic unsweetened greek yogurt. Protein in your smoothie will help keep you feeling fulfilled until lunch time.
  • Avoid adding any honey or other sweeteners. By introducing too much sugar in the morning, you are setting yourself up for unsteady blood sugar throughout the day. This causes drained energy and increased cravings.
  • If you are a choco-holic like me, try stirring in a Tablespoon of raw cacao nibs for a chocolaty crunch. Nibs are unsweetened and very bitter. Not great if you don’t like dark chocolate.

More resources for a healthy breakfast ~

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photo by tuchodi on Flickr

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