Do you believe in good health but still eat pastries, processed meats, or sugary cereals for breakfast? If so, you’re probably well-acquainted with the Sugar Rollercoaster (weeee!) or Saturated Fat Comaville (somebody say something..?).
But chances are you don’t enjoy feeling shaky and lethargic. You’re just a busy person with busy mornings, and you would in fact love to feel the very best you can, including:
- High energy all the time
- Stable blood sugar levels
- Steady weight or weight loss
How? Let me introduce you to Clean Eating breakfasts – even if you don’t have time for breakfast. If you’re already acquainted, read on for fresh inspiration.
Got Five Minutes?
Time is the biggest deterrent to healthy breakfasts, right? You might be surprised to learn that clean eating breakfasts take about five minutes or less of prep. Sure, as I said in my post about clean eating lunches, you can pull nutritious meals right out of the freezer or fridge with a little prep over the weekend (think homemade oatmeal and hardboiled eggs). But that is entirely optional.
High Energy All Day
Got afternoon crash? Dragging in the evening? Your secret weapon to big fluctuations in your energy level is combining protein and complex carbohydrates at every meal (such as a hardboiled egg and toast). Protein keeps you full longer and provides long-lasting energy.
With clean eating, you eat consistently throughout the day, either as “mini-meals” or as three main meals with small snacks. Consistent, healthy eating regulates your metabolism and eliminates that low blood sugar state that causes crazy gorging on any food you can get your hands on (we know about you guys eating birthday cake and doughnuts for breakfast!).
The following breakfast ideas combine both carbs and protein for great metabolism and energy benefits. To mix it up, substitute any complex carb or protein with another!
Tip: Just as with clean eating lunches and dinners, you can make foods ahead and pull them out of the freezer and fridge for quickie breakfasts (think pancakes, waffles, oatmeal, and eggs). Now you have no excuse to feel the very best you can!
Quick and Clean
- Oatmeal. The ways you can spruce up oatmeal are endless, and in doing so you can add protein. Steel-cut oats are more natural and nutritious than instant oatmeal. Try cooking oatmeal overnight and freezing it in individual-size portions. My favorite oatmeal combo is ground flax, chopped walnuts, and thawed blueberries. Or instead of adding nuts for protein, eat oatmeal with a couple of scrambled egg whites. For more ideas, check out these oatmeal recipes, and if you need to use instant, try a natural unsweetened brand.
- Hard boiled eggs, whole-grain toast with nut butter and fruit.
- Plain, fat-free Greek yogurt with chopped fruit, quinoa granola, and nuts. Greek yogurt has a very high protein content and again, the combinations are endless. I eat Greek yogurt with thawed blueberries and chopped walnuts every morning as my second mini meal of the day.
- High-fiber, whole grain cereal, low-fat milk, and sliced banana. (Personally, I can’t stomach skim milk – one percent fat is fine too!) My favorite cereal is plain Shredded Wheat with a banana on top. Also try Cream of Wheat.
- Whole-grain English muffin with a dab of light cream cheese, 1 scrambled egg, 1 apple sliced, and low-fat or skim milk.
- Whole-grain toast topped with 2 tbsp peanut butter, banana or mango slices, and 1 tbsp honey.
- Poached egg on whole-grain toast with fresh fruit.
When You Have More Time
- 3 egg-white omelette with low-fat cheese and sliced green pepper, whole-grain toast, canola-oil spread, jam, and orange juice
- Whole-gain pancakes and waffles (you can make them ahead and freeze).
- Garlic mushroom and spinach frittata
- High-protein pancakes
- Clean-eating Southwest breakfast muffins
You get the picture – clean eating breakfasts set the stage for the rest of your healthy-eating day. Don’t you think spending a few minutes on the rest of your day is worth it?