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How to Build a Satisfying Breakfast

Thank you to my friends at Kura Nutrition – my fave protein powder – for sponsoring this post!
We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and in some ways it is – it’s your chance to provide yourself energy to power through the morning. I have a lot of great breakfast recipes here on the blog, but I also want to walk you through what makes those breakfast recipes satisfying – and how to build your own quality breakfast any day of the week!
The biggest mistake that I see new AnneTheRD nutrition counseling clients making is either skipping breakfast entirely or filling up on refined carbohydrate-heavy breakfasts. They then find themselves starving an hour later, and not sure why. This also sets them up to be unsatisfied for most of the day, potentially leading to overdoing it later because they get too hungry, which makes it harder to eat slowly and mindfully.
 
A simple fix? Add fat and protein to breakfast. You’ll skip the mid-morning sugar crash and start your day feeling full and energized. (Pictured below: savory oatmeal)
how to make oatmeal filling
 
Let’s break it down:
 
  • Protein-packed breakfasts provide you with more staying power than those that are just carbs. It’s key to keeping you full and preventing that mid-morning crash.
  • Fiber helps keep you full longer than refined carbohydrates will. You’ll find fiber in fruits, veggies, and minimally processed whole grains.
  • Fat is important in providing balance and satiety, giving your breakfast much more staying power. Aim for mostly plant-based fats at breakfast, like nuts, seeds, and avocado, and you’ll get a bonus of some protein and fiber in the mix with those, too!  (Pictured below: almond butter banana breakfast bars)
almond butter banana bars
Now that we know what goes into a balanced and satisfying breakfast, let’s see what that looks like in terms of food – the fun part!
 
Putting protein, fiber, and fat together gives you a lot of options to play with so that you don’t have to repeat the same breakfast day after day. Here are a few ideas for balanced breakfast combinations that will work even if you’re in a rush!

Toast, Rice, or Potato with Avocado and Egg
Toast (aim for one with a real food ingredient list), rice, and potatoes are all great high fiber base options for healthy fat and protein-filled toppings. (Tip: make extra rice or potatoes at dinner the night before so you have leftovers for breakfast!) Mashed avocado provides heart-healthy unsaturated fat and richness, and an egg or two adds protein. Cook your egg however you like (I’m partial to over easy), but make sure to eat the whole thing for maximum nutrients – not just the white! (See also: 7 Common Nutrition Myths that you should stop believing.) Bonus: add some wilted spinach and sauerkraut to the mix for even more fiber and some healthy probiotics.
 
balanced breakfast

Yogurt or Cottage Cheese with Fruit and Nuts
Plain, whole milk yogurt or cottage cheese packs a ton of protein, while fresh fruit adds sweetness along with fiber and antioxidants (I especially love berries or chopped apples and cinnamon). Top it off with some chopped nuts or seeds for a satisfying crunch and healthy fats! I also like adding raw rolled oats or leftover cooked quinoa to yogurt bowls – adds some nice chew and additional fiber.
 
Oatmeal with Milk, Nut Butter, and Fruit
Fiber-packed oatmeal becomes even more satisfying when its made with milk, which adds protein, rather than water. Swirling in nut butter adds flavor and healthy fat, and topping with fresh fruit brings in sweetness without needing to add sugar. (Pictured below: perfect microwave banana oatmeal)
microwave banana oatmeal

Smoothie
Making your own smoothie is a great way to pack in a lot of nutrition without a lot of effort – and to enjoy a portable meal – but the key is to make sure that you’re getting that balance of fiber, protein, and fat – not just carbs! Try blending fruit, almond milk or coconut water, a big spoonful of nut butter (or some seeds, like flaxseed or chia seeds, or avocado – great in smoothies), and a scoop of protein powder for a filling smoothie. Spinach is great in smoothies, too, for an added fiber/nutrient boost you can’t taste!
 
My favorite protein powder is made by Kura – I think it tastes better than any of the others on the market (not chalky and mixes really well), and it provides plenty of protein, vitamins, minerals, and probiotics. Their grass-fed dairy protein powder also doesn’t have any added sugar (just that naturally occurring in the milk lactose), is stevia-free (blech, hate the taste), and contains no other artificial sweeteners, flavors, preservatives, or colors. Kura is available for purchase on Amazon, or use the promo code KURAANNE for 30% off on the Kura website!
 
Not satisfied by liquid alone? Have a snack bar or toast with nut butter on the side! (Pictured below: Lemon Ginger Berry Smoothie – add some avocado to it to make it a meal.)

how to make a satisfying smoothie

Veggie and Cheese or Avocado Omelette with Toast or Fruit
Eggs are a filling, protein packed way to start your day. Adding veggies gives your omelette color and also adds lots of nutrients! Chop up a mix of veggies like peppers, mushrooms, onions, spinach, and tomatoes over the weekend so you can toss them into eggs without extra effort in the morning. Adding cheese to your eggs makes them all the more satisfying and delicious, as does avocado – your choice! Round out the meal with some fiber – either fruit (sliced banana and berries are great here), potatoes, or toast!
 
Hard Boiled Eggs with Nuts and Fruit
This is a great on-the-go option for when you are running out the door – again, you’ve got your eggs (protein), nuts (healthy fat), and fruit (fiber)! Add a latte with whole milk on the side for even more protein. :)
 
Quinoa Porridge with Nuts/Seeds and Fruit
For my vegan friends, quinoa mixed with some nuts and seeds is a great protein-packed breakfast option. Try my Coconut Breakfast Quinoa (pictured below) – and throw some nuts/seeds and fruit on top to amp up the staying power!
 
coconut breakfast quinoa

Want more breakfast recipe ideas? Try these:

MY OTHER RECIPES
 
What’s your favorite thing to make for breakfast?

Comments

  1. 1

    Yes! One of the biggest mistakes I see my clients making is eating instant oatmeal in the morning because they think it’s “healthy for you” without the protein and fat it’s just a sugar spike!

  2. 3

    Great ideas, Anne, but I think my husband (who works in the restaurant industry) might kill me if I make myself a smoothie for breakfast at 6AM LOL

  3. 5

    Love this post!! My husband, Matt is so creative and has helped me to really broaden my own creativity with breakfast. :) I love savory and sweet + savory combos so much. Your high protein pancake was a hit with us both this morning!

  4. 7

    What great tips. I didn’t think about adding peanut butter to my oatmeal on the weekends. What a delicious addition to the apples I already put in it. Can it be the natural kind (oil separation where you have to mix it) or will that separate so it needs to be the processed kind?

    • 8

      I always recommend the natural kind! The ingredients list should just be peanuts (and maybe salt!). Just stir it first. :)

      • 9

        Perfect as that is my preferred kind as well. I only buy processed when doing heavy baking because the natural doesn’t behave very well in baked goods.

  5. 10

    Hi, Anne! From reading your blog, it seems like you are not a huge fan of supplements and powders and such. I’ve been thinking about adding collagen peptides to my diet as an added source of protein. Do you have any thoughts on those?

    • 11

      Hi Lynn! I’m actually a fan of collagen — my doctor recommended I start taking some of it back when I was marathon training. I usually mix a spoonful or two into my morning tea on days I remember — you can’t taste it!

  6. 14

    The reviews for this protein powder are awesome! I also hate stevia-I can taste even the smallest amount. Can you tell me what the difference is between whey and other protein powders? I’m always so confused by it. I thought whey was for bulking up, but if you like this brand and it’s whey, I’m curious! If you’ve written about that already, my apologies. Enjoy your tips so much! Thanks for writing for us!

    • 15

      Thanks India! It just depends what you are looking for ingredient-wise — certain types of protein won’t bulk you up or anything like that. I like the grass-fed whey (from dairy cows) in Kura because it’s good quality (grass fed dairy is proven to have higher levels of omega-3s than grain-fed dairy protein), their protein powder has a great ingredient list, and it tastes good and mixes well (not chalky), but if you’re vegan or not into dairy then you can look into brands that make hemp or pea protein based powders. I hope this helps!

  7. 16

    Totally agree! What you start the day with is a total game changer. I’m especially partial to a veggie and cheese omelet ;-)

  8. 18

    Great ideas! I love a sweet potato, eggs, and sautéed greens for breakfast! I like to add some goat cheese or avocado as well!

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