When it comes to start the day, we are often looking for something quick and easy. While the ol’ cliche rings true, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, having a plan for this influential meal makes the morning (and quite frankly the day) run just a little bit smoother. Here are a few rules to getting breakfast right every time and breakfast ideas to get you started.
Rule #1 – You must eat breakfast
Since breakfast is breaking the fast of the night, it is a vital way to start the day. Numerous studies have linked skipping breakfast to developing obesity, as it greatly impacts your metabolism. In fact, according to the National Weight Control Registry, a volunteer based study of successful long term weight loss, 78% of people who have lost weight and been able to keep it off eat breakfast every day. In adults and kids alike, eating breakfast is also linked to improved cognition, memory, and motor function. So really, wheather you eat breakfast or not is non-negotiable.
Rule #2 – Eat breakfast shortly after waking
Not only is eating breakfast uber important, the timing of when you eat also plays a role. Chrono nutrition is the study of your circadian rhythm and metabolism – how time and nutrition play a role in your organs that affect metabolism, your liver, pancreas, fatty tissue, and muscles. While these studies are new, it’s suggested that eating within one hour of waking is the ideal time to have your first bites of the day.
Rule #3 – Balance your breakfast
As with all meals, having a balanced breakfast is critical if you want to obtain the benefits of eating breakfast. A balanced breakfast consists of appropriate amounts of protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates, specifically fiber. While it may take a little planning at first, these can be planned to become second nature when you reach for something in the morning.
Do you want to stop snacking in the evening? Eat a balanced breakfast.
Want to stop cravings in the afternoon? Eat a balanced breakfast.
Want to lose weight? Start with a balanced breakfast.
Considering items as biscuits, cereal with milk, pancakes, and muffins, traditional breakfast fare is not exactly balanced and resembles desserts rather than a crucial meal to kickstart your day. This means that to build a balanced breakfast you may have to think outside of the box, allowing for some foods that are generally considered more appropriate for lunch or supper.
Remember, a balanced breakfast has 3 components – protein, healthy fat, and fiber.
- Pastured, organic eggs – fried, scrambled, poached, boiled
- Homemade chicken, turkey, or pork sausage (see recipe)
- Leftover meats, whole or ground – chicken, beef, pork
- Salmon or other fish
- Full fat cottage cheese
- Full fat Greek yogurt
Healthy breakfast fats
- Butter, preferably grass fed
- Coconut or coconut oil
- Avocado or avocado oil
- Olive oil
- Nuts & seeds or nut butters such as almond butter or sunflower seed butter
- Full fat cheese
- Greens (spinach, collard greens, kale, Swiss chard, etc) or other vegetables
- Root veggies like potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, or squash
- Chia & flax seeds
- Berries and other fruit in moderation (limit them to about 1/2 – 3/4 cup at a time
- Steel cut oats
Breakfast Ideas to Get you Started
- Frittatas or omelet made with leftover vegetables
- Quiche that can be made ahead and enjoyed all week
- Breakfast burrito bowl-sautéed ground meat or eggs, salsa, sautéed veggies, guacamole
- Ezekiel bread with sliced avocado & sea salt with a homemade sausage patty
- Ground meat (turkey, chicken, beef) & veggie scramble
- Savory oats cooked with bone broth, sautéed or roasted veggies, spices such as turmeric or parsley
- Breakfast smoothies (limit to 1 fruit per person)
- Winter stew
- Homemade sausage patty with banana & avocado
- Salmon patties pan-fried in avocado oil with a side of greens or fruit
- Plantains fried in coconut oil with boiled egg
- Leftover meat (chicken, beef, pork) with sweet potato niblets
- Energy bar or cashew cookie bar with boiled eggs
- Chia seed pudding
- Plain yogurt with berries and slivered almonds OR Fruit & Seed Granola
- Cottage cheese with sundried tomatoes and fresh basil
The possibilities for breakfast are endless once you break free from the idea that breakfast must be traditional. The only limitation is your imagination.
Do you have breakfast ideas you would like to share?