What should I eat for breakfast?”
I’m sure everyone asks themselves this question Every.Single.Morning. There is a constant battle on trying to decide if to splurge and have that bagel with cream cheese or those pancakes with sausages or… dare I say it, try to be healthy!
I know what you’re thinking, healthy is boring, which means your choices are either oats or cereal of some sort, but this isn’t completely true. There are many healthy AND tasty options out there that you may have never even thought of before! As you may have noticed from my previous post on how to attack a buffet , (see link below in case you haven’t):
you would notice that I absolutely LOVE food. I am not one to sacrifice taste for my health, ever, my motto is everything in moderation. Therefore , I try to find a balance because although I love food, my health does come first . Here are some ideas for some pretty healthy breakfast options that also taste fantastic, I can attest to these because I have actually had all of them myself already =).
Fruit flavored yogurt – I know it’s so easy to convenient to pick one of these up in the grocery or from the fridge and go but they contain so much sugar that it realy isn’t that healthy.
Plain Greek Yogurt with fresh fruit e.g banana, strawberries, apples etc. you can even throw in additional items like raisins, granola, chia seeds , I could go on and on, the possibilities really are endless, if natural fruit is not sweet enough for you , you can add a bit of honey, although personally, the fruit provides enough sweetness for me. My personal favorite is plain greek yogurt with some fresh mango and some granola sprinkled on top! It’s soooooo good! seriously one of my favorite breakfast options ever! Greek Yogurt also packs a great punch of protein. A typical 6-ounce serving contains 15 to 20 grams of protein! Greek Yogurt is also very low in carbs , it has approximately half the carbs as regular yogurt.
Bagel with Cream Cheese – people seem to think that bagels are “healthy” , NO, they are not , bagels are an arsenal of carbs and cream cheese is pretty substantial serving of fat, and not the good kind!
Whole Grain bread with peanut butter and banana or for an even more satisfying option, whole grain bread (toasted is my preference) with chocolate peanut butter and banana. Simply toast the bread, spread with chocolate peanut butter and slice the bananas on top . This option is so quick and easy to make and tastes awesome, not to mention the added protein from the peanut butter and potassium from the banana which also makes it a great pre-gym snack!
Pancakes with Syrup – ah yes, the typical comfort breakfast food, so nice and warm….ok here’s your reality check, a typical serving of pancake syrup has a whopping 210 Calories, 32g of Sugar and 52g of Carbohydrates!
Banana pancakes – this one is super simple, basically you slice or mash bananas into your regular pancake batter then make as normal pancakes. The banana makes the pancakes sweet enough that you don’t need any syrup. I also like to add some cinnamon for some extra flavor! I have also replaced the bananas with sliced apple before and it also works very well, any kind of berry would work here as well. A nice twist to these is to add some nuts for texture or even chocolate chips!
*Banana pancakes image from http://www.crazyforcrust.com
Flavored Oats – these are over laden with sugar and high in calories and carbs , with an average of 13g of sugar ad 33g of carbohydrates per serving.
Overnight Oats – For people who don’t have alot of time in the morning, these are perfect for you , they are full of fibre and are a good source of healthy carbohydrates and fat. Here’s how to make them :
Get a mason jar (a regular container with a cover can work as well) and put the following into the jar :
4-5 tablespoons of raw quick oats
1/2 cup milk (I use almond milk)
Dash of cinnamon (optional)
1 tsp flaxseed (optional)
1 tsp honey wheat germ (optional)
1-2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons of granola
Close the jar and leave overnight in the fridge, the next morning, it’s ready to eat! The oats absorb the milk during the night and make them soft, all the other ingredients also “melt” together overnight and make a wonderful, healthy breakfast on the go! Oats are known to be full of fibre and so they should keep you full until lunchtime.
You would notice that most of the ingredients above are really optional and this is what makes Overnight Oats so convenient and easy. Overnight Oats are completely customisable to everyone’s person taste, I have made it with chocolate peanut butter before and it is delicious. Here are some other ingredients you can try adding to your overnight Oats: bananas, strawberries, chis seeds, mango, almonds, honey, peaches even coffee! you can literally put anything in these babies and it would taste great!
Chicken salad sandwich – Yes I know these are “oh so good” but the mayo used to make chicken salad has no nutritional value. In comparison, chicken has more calories , fat and cholesterol than turkey .
Turkey breast deli meat on whole grain bread with lettuce and tomatoes. Turkey is a much leaner meat than chicken as mentioned above , whole grain bread is much healthier than white bread and it’s pretty obvious why tomatoes and lettuce are a good choice. Whole grain bread provides a number of vitamins and a healthy dose of fiber, which makes it quite filling as well .For some extra flavor, try to resist the urge to spread mayo all over your sandwich and instead try sprinkling some dried parsley, garlic powder and dried cayenne pepper flakes (OK, a little mayo is permissible, I’m not that hardcore).
This list was meant to give you some simple , quick ideas for breakfast and hopefully it inspired you to try your own person twists on these to make them your own. I am not a chef nor a nutritionist , just someone sharing what works for me in my constant between my love for food and trying to be healthy.
Feel free to share your own fun and healthy (but tasty) breakfast options in the comments! =)