Breakfast is a very personal matter. Many have their go-to food items. Others skip it all together. Some may have a specific time or follow a ritual.
I believe that breakfast is quite the unique meal. There's something about it that lunch and dinner can't fulfill. It symbolizes a fresh start, a new beginning.
But, let me ask you, what's in your breakfast?
Like many of you, I grew up watching commercials for chocolate spreads, marshmallow-filled cereals, and sweet beverages that claimed to be part of a complete and "nutritious" breakfast. Might as well consume a bag of sugar.
Unfortunately, throughout my childhood, my morning meals were mostly Honey Comb cereal and Corn Pops, Nutella sandwiches on white bread, or simply buttered toast with jam. And, by the first recess of the day, stomach rumbling, I was already ready for lunch. It wasn't my parents' fault. They were running a business and had 2 growing boys who also required transportation to school. Time was a hot commodity (still is today). These products were easily affordable and quick to prepare; very minimal effort required.
In today's fast-paced world, we tend to gravitate towards the quick hit items, like muffins, bagels, and fast-food breakfast sandwiches, missing out on the important nutrients our bodies require to function optimally.
Think Protein, Fats, and Fibre (a complex carbohydrate) when prepping your next breakfast.
Here a few good reasons:
Protein helps with muscular growth.
Protein and fibre together help you feel full for longer.
[Healthy] fats, like nuts, avocado, and certain seeds, provide a sustained level of energy.
[Healthy] fats support cognitive functions that help keep your mind sharp.
A great source of protein can be eggs (any style), Greek yogurt (a single serving can be protein-packed), meat, or fish. Why not try a cold smoked salmon or trout file?
Look at oatmeal, fresh fruit, and raw veggies for some fibre. In their raw forms, fruits and vegetables hold a lot of micronutrients our bodies require to thrive. Throw in some fresh berries, like strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries.
When it comes to fats, I'd like to highlight healthy fats. There are certain "unhealthy" fats that can pose long-term health concerns, if consumed regularly. Examples of healthy fats include avocados, nuts, seeds, and fish. And, what's interesting about these healthy fats is that they often include one of the other macronutrients, protein, and fibre. Keep in mind, however, although they are healthy, healthy fats pack a lot of calories. This is something to keep in mind if you're following a weight-loss program and need to maintain a calorie deficit.
This dish has become increasingly popular over the years because it can be tasty and so easy to prepare.
On 2 slices of a whole grain bread from a local bakery, mash up half of a large, ripe avocado. If it's small, you can go with the whole fruit. Add some cracked black pepper to taste. Then, top each toast with a fried egg or sliced hard-boiled egg. Any style works, honestly. Finally, put a few berries on the plate for a little variety of flavours.
Greek Yogurt Oatmeal Parfait
Back in the desk jockey life, this used to be my go-to. This easy-to-make yogurt oatmeal parfait can be kept in the fridge for a couple of days, ready to go. It's packed witch fibre, protein, and healthy fats that will give you that awesome kick-start to the day.
What you'll need:
- 1 serving of oatmeal (my personal favourite Bob's Redmill 5-Grain Hot Cereal)
- 3-4 heaping teaspoons or 1 single-serving container of organic Greek yogurt (any flavour)
- 1 small portion of mixed nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds) or a nutty granola.
- 1 handful of organic berries
- 1 small sprinkle of organic maple syrup
Prep the oatmeal the night before and let it cool in the fridge overnight in a mason jar or glass container. If you're eating at home, then a regular bowl works. When cooking the oatmeal, make sure the consistency is closer to a more gelatinous texture as it will be the base of the parfait.
In the morning, add the yogurt, then the remainder of your topping. Sometimes, in lieu of the berries, I'd add some slices of a nectarine or peach, if in season. You can also add a couple of sliced Medjool dates into the mix - a personal favourite.
Play around with the ingredients but keep the portions reasonable. Not to worry, not everything has to be organic. It's just a preference.
If you're like me, breakfast is a must in order to set the tone for the day. By ensuring you have a good mix of protein, healthy fats, and fibre in your dish, you'll see that a healthy breakfast can also be delicious breakfast.