We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day but with our busy demanding lives we often find ourselves scratching our heads to think of quick and easy healthy breakfast ideas.
Breakfast provides us with our first ‘fuel’ for the day and is the time of the day our bodies require nutrients the most (it has been fasting all night after all). Choosing wisely is paramount to set you up for the day ahead. An optimal breakfast provides you with a sustained release of energy (think low GI carbs), protein to keep you full and happy till your next meal, good fats to help with satiety and hormone production and low in sugar to support balanced blood glucose levels. Starting the day with a healthy balanced breakfast will set you up for the day minimising unhealthy snacking and overeating throughout the day.
Start with veggies. Current guidelines suggest 5-7 serves of vegetables per day so it makes sense to start with them at breakfast to ensure that you are getting enough into your day. Vegetables support our mineral and fibre requirements and are alkalizing for the body. Add vegetables to your omelette – sautéed mushrooms, onion, capsicum and baby spinach. Pop some avocado, kale and fresh mint to your morning smoothie or add a cold-pressed (low sugar) juice to go with your bowl of porridge.
Don’t forget your protein. Protein provides amino acids (our building blocks) for the body – especially important for brainpower, concentration and mental focus. Classic breakfast protein starters include eggs (anyway anyhow – include the yolk as it’s nutrient rich but ditch cream or two much oil when you cook them). Good quality sugar-free yoghurts (with muesli, seasonal fresh fruit, nuts and seeds), muesli with nuts and seeds and pea or brown rice protein added to smoothies as a vegan option.
Good fats in moderation. Healthy fats help to keep us feeling full as they are last to leave the stomach and provide slow-releasing energy. Add in your healthy fats such as old favourite avocado on toast with eggs, full fat plain or Greek yoghurt with muesli or porridge, adding coconut milk and chia seeds to a smoothie or making up a chia pudding.
Good quality carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred source of energy so including them at every meal (especially the most important meal of the day) is paramount! While traditionally carbohydrates have been the macronutrient cornerstone of breakfast it doesn’t need to be so. If you are working out in the morning increasing your carbohydrates can help restore energy levels, for everyone else going into sit at a desk choose wisely. Great options include good quality sourdough or sprouted toast with avocado, eggs and sautéed vegetables an omelette with starchy vegetables including sweet potato and pumpkin, quinoa porridge with yogurt and berries and good quality muesli with, almond milk nuts and seeds and a green juice to boot.