There is a reason that the phrase, “Breakfast like a King, Lunch like a Prince, and Dinner like a Pauper” exists. The word breakfast was created to describe exactly and truly the purpose of the meal, which is to break the fast that sleeping overnight causes. We need to revitalize our body and brain after basically emptying them overnight, and breakfast provides the much needed fuel.
Why is Breakfast Such an Important Part of My Daily Routine?
Important Nutrient Intake
Not only does breakfast give us a boost of energy in the mornings, but what we choose to put in our bodies soon after we wake also sets us up for the rest of the day. Breakfast foods are an important source of fiber, protein, calcium, iron, and B-vitamins. Research shows that the first few hours after waking is the optimum time to get these vitamins, as they are less prominent in the types of food we eat later in the day.
Boosting Brain Function
You hear people saying that they cannot function in the morning without coffee? Well, chances are what they actually need is to restore their glucose levels. Glucose is a fundamental carbohydrate that gets our brains firing on all cylinders. Not only can having a healthy and nutritious breakfast improve your concentration and memory skills, but it can also affect our stress levels and our moods. This is because our stomachs are filled with neurotransmitters that send signals to our brain. A happy stomach makes for a happy brain!
It is also vitally important to make sure our children receive a filling and healthy breakfast each day. Many studies demonstrate that children who regularly eat breakfast before going to school are more attentive and better behaved, which allows them to be more effective learners.
Some research shows that people who take the time to eat breakfast in the morning are less likely to be overweight than people who don’t. Skipping breakfast often leads to a mid-morning sugar crash that will leaves them craving fatty or sugary snacks.
What Sorts of Foods Constitute a Healthy and Nutritious Breakfast?
A massive range of produce is available to help you eat a natural and nutrition-packed breakfast each day, and there are also dozens of ways to eat them. This means that there is a breakfast, from fully-plated to on-the-run, for every occasion.
Berries are packed with plenty of natural sugars giving you that energy kick you need in the morning. They are also high in antioxidants that may help you fight disease, as well as all the usual good vitamins and minerals. Berries are an ideal addition to yogurt, granola, other high fiber cereals, or mixed with skimmed organic milk for a delicious smoothie.
While there are plenty of unhealthy cereals on the shelves, there are also healthy options. Choose cereals that are made with whole grains, have at least 3 grams of fiber, and a maximum of 6 grams of sugar per serving.
- Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is very often overlooked as a breakfast food item. It is full of calcium and protein, and if you choose low-fat varieties, you will reduce your saturated fat for the day. Cottage cheese makes a great whole-wheat toast topping.
If you are looking for something to keep you feeling fuller for longer then look no further than eggs. Packed with protein and supplying more than a dozen essential nutrients, a couple of scrambled eggs on whole-wheat toast will set you up for the day ahead.
You can’t beat old-fashioned oatmeal for a high-fiber wake up call. Avoid quick-mix versions, as they are likely to be high in sugar. Use low-fat milk or water to make them extra-healthy. You can also make oatmeal squares, which are ideal for a portable breakfast!
Smoothies have enjoyed a huge surge in popularity in the past decade. Fruits and vegetables can be blended to provide nutritious and tasty beverages that will fill you up and keep you energized. They are an easy way to meet your 5-a-day target, too.
- Whole-grain Breads
If there is one change you need to make to your diet, it is switching from white bread to whole-grain varieties. They are higher in fiber and will help keep your digestive system moving. Research shows that whole-grains can help lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease, among many other benefits.
My mornings almost always start with yogurt. Stick with plain yogurt if you can, and add your own topping in the form of a few teaspoons of honey or a handful of berries. My favorite is mixing plain yogurt with a medley of red berries.
Healthy Breakfast Recipes
Fruit and Yogurt Smoothie
- 1 cup Greek Yogurt
- ½ cup water or skimmed milk
- 1 cup fruit of your choice (banana and berries are a great combination)
- Put all the ingredients in your blender and blend well.
- Serve immediately over ice.
- This mix can also be frozen in popsicle molds for a healthy frozen treat.
- 1 ¾ cups almond milk or water
- ½ cup canned pumpkin puree
- ½ cup uncooked quick oats
- ½ tsp. pumpkin spice
- A pinch of sea salt
- Nuts and coconut flakes to garnish
- Bring the almond milk or water to a boil in a saucepan. Then stir in the oats, canned pumpkin, and pumpkin spice.
- Immediately reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer for a few minutes, stirring until all the oats are cooked.
- Serve with a garnish of nuts or coconut flakes.
Paleo Sausage Egg Breakfast Sandwiches
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ lb. bulk raw pork breakfast sausage or bacon
- 2 tbsp. ghee (plus extra for greasing biscuit cutters)
- ¼ cup water
- freshly ground Black Pepper
- kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon of guacamole (optional)
(Makes one sandwich)
- Grease the inside of 2 x 3 ½ inch biscuit cutters using melted ghee.
- Place one cutter on a plate and fill with sausage or bacon. Press down to form a patty.
- Heat a skillet over a medium heat and add a tablespoon of ghee. When the fat starts to shimmer, put the patty in the pan. To get a perfectly uniform shape, keep the mold on until the patty shrinks away from the sides. Then wash and re-grease the mold; you will need it again.
- Fry the patty for 2-3 minutes per side or until cooked through.
- Grab two small bowls and crack one egg into each.
- Pierce the yolks.
- Heat a skillet that has a tight-fitting lid over a medium high heat, adding the remaining tablespoon of ghee.
- Place the two greased biscuit cutters into the pan and pour an egg into each mold. Add seasoning now if desired.
- Add ¼ cup water to the skillet outside of the egg molds.
- Immediately turn the heat down and cover the pan, cooking for around 3 minutes or until eggs are thoroughly cooked.
- Transfer the eggs to a paper-towel lined plate, sliding a spatula under the mold to remove it.
- Assemble your sandwich by placing the sausage patty between the eggs. You can add guacamole or a sauce if desired.
Gluten & Dairy Free Banana Pancakes
- 2 large ripe bananas
- 4 eggs
- ¼ tsp. baking powder (optional)
- Combine all the ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Mix well using a whisk or hand-held blender.
- Spray a griddle with non-stick spray, and heat over a medium to high heat.
- Spoon a ladle-full of mix onto the griddle and cook until the batter begins to hold its shape.
- Flip and cook on the other side.
- Serve with fresh fruit or honey.
Paleo Banana Carrot Breakfast Muffins
- 1 ¼ cup almond flour
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. allspice
- 3 eggs, whisked
- 2 bananas, mashed
- 1/2 cup almond butter
- 1/3 cup raw honey
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup grated carrot
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, pecans, or raisins
(Makes 12-14 muffins)
- Preheat your oven to 350º F. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients, not including the nuts.
- In a separate medium bowl, mix together all wet ingredients, not including the grated carrot.
- Tip the ingredients from the medium bowl into the large bowl and mix well.
- Next, fold the grated carrots and chopped nuts or raisins into the mixture.
- Pour the batter into lined muffin tin molds lined with paper or silicone cups. Fill each cup about two-thirds full.
- Bake for 22-25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Leave to cool on a wire rack.