How To Build A Balanced Breakfast
Posted on August 30, 2016 by Amy Krasner
If you are looking to improve your energy, reduce your sugar cravings, prevent night-time eating, or lose weight, breakfast is an area that you will want to start paying more attention to.
We have been told for years that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. That is not recent news. But what I want to talk about today is the QUALITY of your breakfast foods.
Let me explain…
What I have found is it that most people either skip breakfast or eat high-carbohydrate, dessert-like foods for breakfast. Just think about it, when you start your day with muffins, pastries, cereal, bagels, pancakes, or yogurt with granola, you are getting your day started with sugar and refined carbohydrates which is not going to set your day up for success.
Building a balanced breakfast starts with focusing on high quality ingredients. You’ll want to make sure that you have some protein and healthy fats in your morning meal to create the best start to your day and lasting energy and brain function throughout the day. You can always add some greens in whenever possible to give you an extra energy booster, and there are also benefits to adding in a complex carbohydrate for breakfast as well.
Here are examples of ingredients that you can and should be incorporating into your breakfast:
Protein: Eggs, Wild smoked salmon, turkey patties, leftover chicken or ground turkey, plain organic Greek yogurt*, and high quality protein powders.
Healthy Fats: Avocado, natural almond butter, natural peanut butter, hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, coconut oil, coconut butter, olive oil, avocado oil, pesto*, grass-fed butter*, goat cheese*, feta cheese*
Green vegetables: spinach, Swiss chard, arugula, zucchini, asparagus, broccoli. These are just a few of my favorite breakfast greens. You can add any vegetables that you would like!
Complex carbohydrates: black beans, chickpeas, quinoa, brown rice, sweet potato, Steel cut oatmeal or Purely Elizabeth oatmeal. You can also occasionally add a piece of sprouted Ezekiel bread or an Ezekiel tortilla- these are not considered complex carbohydrates but they have higher quality ingredients than other types of bread or wraps.
*only if you tolerate dairy
I have provided some of my favorite breakfast options below for you to try at home. Keep in mind that these recipes are just examples- if you are interested in finding out more about specific portion sizes and food suggestions for your personal health goals, I invite you to apply for a Clarity Call so that we can chat about what type of meal plan would work best for you.
Let’s get cooking…
Smoothies– quick, easy, filling, and tasty! I am not talking about a fruit-loaded smoothie here. Focus on around 1/2 cup-1 cup of fruit total with an emphasis on lower sugar fruits like berries or apples.
One of my favorite smoothie recipes:
- 1 cup water, unsweetened almond milk or unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 scoop protein powder
- 1 handful spinach, kale and/or chard
- 1/2 cup fruit (berries, apple, peaches, 1/2 banana)
- 1 Tablespoon natural almond butter or coconut butter
- 2-3 ice cubes
- 1/2 packet stevia (optional if desired for extra sweetness)
Egg Breakfast- don’t forget the yolk! There are so many amazing nutrients in egg yolks including Choline which is important for brain health. Make sure to buy Organic pasture-raised eggs, and if you can’t find pasture-raised then free-range would be the second best option but ideally try to source pasture-raised.
- 2-4 whole eggs (cooked any way you like in 1 teaspoon of coconut oil or grass-fed butter)
- 1 cup fresh or sauteed greens (chard, spinach, zucchini, arugula, etc.)
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 piece of sprouted Ezekiel toast
Don’t have time to make eggs during the week? I suggest to cook 6-12 hardboiled eggs on the weekend to have them prepped ahead of time. Or, save this for a weekend option when you have a little more time.
Oatmeal Breakfast– this is a nice hearty breakfast option that might work best in the winter time.
- 1/2 cup – 1 cup cooked Purely Elizabeth Oatmeal or Steel Cut Oatmeal
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1-2 scoops of vanilla protein powder* (I like collagen protein best for oatmeal)
- 1 Tablespoon chopped almonds or walnuts
- 1/2 packet of stevia or 1/2 teaspoon of coconut palm sugar if desired for sweetness
*mix the protein powder with 1/4 cup water or unsweetened almond milk then add to the oatmeal. This will help to prevent it from getting too thick or chunky.
Leftovers– this may sound weird but having leftovers for breakfast can be a great option. In the U.S. we don’t usually think of soup or stir fry as breakfast options but in many cultures around the world these are typical breakfast feasts. If you are in a rush and you don’t have time to prepare anything, you can always heat up leftovers from dinner.
Weekends are a good time to try a protein pancake recipe or to enjoy a meal out with some friends. I personally love a good breakfast or brunch outing! ☺ Hopefully these breakfast ideas get your wheels turning and help you to see there are quick, easy and HEALTHY breakfast options that will get your day started right.
Do you have any other balanced breakfast ideas to share with the Nourished Balance community? Please comment below, we would love to hear from you!