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)
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)
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.
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)
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!
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.)
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!
Want more breakfast recipe ideas? Try these:
- Scrambled Egg Muffins (have some nuts + fruit on the side)
- Simple Baked Oatmeal
- Gluten Free High Protein Pancake
- Banana Spinach Smoothie (boost with Kura Protein Powder & a handful of nuts or seeds!)
- High Protein Oatmeal
- Red Lentil Granola Bars (vegan but packed with protein thanks to the lentils!)
What’s your favorite thing to make for breakfast?