What's for breakfast?
Too often I find that friends/family and clients who come to me for nutrition advice are skipping their first chance for nourishment in a day... breakfast! I've heard all the excuses - I'm too rushed, it takes too long to prepare, I'm too busy making the kids food, I'm not hungry - the list goes on and on. By skipping breakfast, we're missing an opportunity to fuel our metabolism when it's most active at the beginning of the day. It sets us up for all the upcoming tasks and activities we need to tackle and - let's face it - some days we need all the help we can get! The truth is, breakfast is one of the easiest and quickest meals to prep, you just have to plan ahead a little.
Some of my go-to quick and healthy breakfasts involve little more than throwing a few ingredients in a jar or container. Overnight oats require adding the ingredients to a jar the night before and popping them into the fridge. In the morning just heat (or not) and it's ready to eat (or to go). No time to pan fry an egg, no problem! Just crack, scramble and microwave for about 45 seconds in a small ramekin dish and it's ready to pop on a whole grain English muffin or toast with avocado or hummus for a grab-and-go breakfast sandwich. Of course if you're really pressed for time (and ingredients), a granola bar, piece of fruit with Greek yogurt or handful of dry cereal with raisins/nuts is always better than no breakfast at all!
Probably my favorite quick breakfast (or lunch or snack for that matter) is a smoothie. I've been making them more frequently lately since my toddler has started to request them and since our family schedule has become a bit more busy. Simply add fresh or frozen fruit/veggies, milk and yogurt to a blender and in 20 seconds breakfast is ready. I recommend Greek yogurt to maximize protein and satiety. Also, consider adding peanut butter, chia/flax seeds (high in omega-3) or oats for added protein, fiber and bulk. Smoothies are so versatile that it's easy to switch up the recipes and ingredients on a daily basis. Plus they travel well if you're always on the go!
In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I whipped up a quick green "shamrock smoothie" recipe (which my toddler has tested and approved). You definitely don't need to be Irish to enjoy this tasty treat. I hope this inspires you to give breakfast a try and, if you're already a die-hard breakfast fan (good for you!), maybe this will give you some new ideas to add to your morning menu.
Shamrock Smoothie Recipe
1/3 cup fresh or frozen spinach
1/2 cup frozen mango
1/2 cup frozen peach
6oz Greek Yogurt (plain or flavored)
1/4 cup milk of choice
2 Tsp chia seeds
1 tsp honey or agave nectar (optional for added sweetness)
Add all the ingredients to a blender, blend until smooth and enjoy!