Commonly touted as the most important meal of the day, breakfast often becomes the step-child of the day’s meals by virtue of its timing. First thing in the morning is not when most people want to take the time to plan and prepare a strategically focused meal.
Many will choose the “breakfast in a box,” pre-packaged, or pastry option, while others will simply forgo the hassle altogether and eat when it’s more convenient. This leaves purposeful nutrition at a bit of a handicap. So, the question that I’d like to provide some insight into is this: “Breakfast, is it really that important?”
The short answer is YES, and for both purpose and quality! Why? It is this first meal that will set the stage for the energy balance of your entire day. Your breakfast choice will also make the difference between performing well in demanding mental/physical tasks and falling short.
By making a quality breakfast a daily priority, you will:
- Improve energy balance and physical performance
- Enhance mental clarity and cognitive function
- Normalize food cravings (which can prevent binge eating)
- Better regulate blood sugar levels for those with insulin sensitivities.
Below is a list of ideas for healthy, tasty, and creative breakfast options (and many can be prepared ahead of time to increase convenience):
- Mixed fresh melon (watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, etc.) and broiled lean pork chop
- Fresh mixed berries with steak scramble (eggs with onions, peppers, garlic, & lean steak)
- Diced peach & nectarine with lime juice roasted chicken or turkey breast chunks
- Sliced banana, almonds, blueberries, and strawberries
- Diced mixed melon with roasted salmon steak
- Oats with frozen mixed berries (thawed) and grilled lean turkey sausage
- Fresh grapefruit with sausage/egg scramble (lean turkey or venison sausage)
- Oats with dried cranberries and walnuts with spinach and diced pork loin scramble (eggs, spinach, diced lean roasted pork loin, garlic, and basil)
- Grilled lean pork breakfast chop with grilled fresh pineapple slices
- Southwestern scramble (eggs scrambled with all-natural chunky salsa) with fresh mixed berries
- Hard boiled eggs with cantaloupe and honeydew slices
- Apple slices and roasted almonds or all-natural peanut butter
- All natural/low sugar granola with chopped walnuts, dried berries, and almond milk
The most important things to keep in mind when choosing your breakfast options are:
- Make every effort to avoid simple sugars (as this causes energy crashes)
- Seek options that provide an equal balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fats
- Keep calories modest (400-600 is an ideal range)
- Avoid processed foods (they are difficult to digest and nutrient deficient)
Finally, many breakfast food options can be prepped well ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for that quick “grab-n-go” convenience that we have all come to enjoy!
What is your preferred breakfast choice? Have you noticed how your energy level throughout the day changes based on your breakfast? Do you put some thinking into preparing a healthy breakfast, or do you avoid this meal altogether?
Let’s Have a Conversation!