Let’s get real: mornings can be hectic. Between taking a shower, getting the kids out the door and hopefully eating a little breakfast, most of us don’t have an extra hour—or even 20 minutes—to spare. But as you age, it becomes more important than ever to prioritize your health, both mentally and physically. Taking a few minutes in the morning to care for yourself before doing anything else can make your entire day flow more seamlessly.
Providing energy is the primary benefit of eating breakfast, and as a result there are many secondary benefits that follow. Research in humans has shown that people who eat breakfast report better concentration and mood, and students who eat breakfast regularly perform better in school. Studies have also shown that eating breakfast does not lead to higher calorie intake for the rest of the day, and can actually prevent us from overeating at later meals. There are several theories as to why this happens, but the main takeaway message is that there are numerous benefits for eating a meal shortly after waking up.
There are lots of options, but the important components to include are complex carbohydrates, fibre and protein to help keep you feeling full until your next meal. These days, many “breakfast foods” are actually just disguised desserts with many artificial ingredients, added sugar, and little to no nutritional value (think breakfast pastries, energy bars, sugary cereals). While eating something can be better than eating nothing, this is a case where the quality of your meal prevails over the quantity of the food you eat.
Oats add fibre and staying power to this oatmeal smoothie, so you won’t feel the urge to hit the snack cupboard before lunch!
1/4 cup oats
1/2 cup milk of choice, I prefer Almond milk
1/3 cup Greek yogurt or light regular yogurt
1 cup fruit of your choice
Optional spices: Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, vanilla extract
other add-ins: flax seeds, chia seeds, PB2, nut butter, unsweetened cocoa powder
Make it extra healthy: 1 cup greens
CHEESY EGG WHITE MUFFINS
These Cheesy Egg White Veggie Breakfast Muffins are perfect for on-the-go mornings. Grab a few to top a toasted English muffin.
2 1/2 cups egg whites
3/4 cup reduced fat shredded cheese of choice
2 tablespoons of skim milk or plain Greek yogurt
salt and pepper
Veggies and herbs of choice (mushrooms, peppers, onions, tomatoes, carrots, etc.)
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Spray 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray, you can also line with muffin tins, just make sure you spray the inside of the muffin tins.
Fill each muffin tin 1/4-1/3 full with veggies and herbs of choice. Add in 1 tablespoon of cheese to each muffin tin.
In medium bowl whisk together egg whites, eggs, and milk/yogurt. Fill each muffin to the top with egg mixture, pouring over the veggies already in each tin. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until risen and slightly golden on top.
Let cool for a few minutes, then remove from tin.
OVERNIGHT OATS: PEANUT BUTTER, AND HONEY, CHIA SEEDS
1/4 cup oats
1 tbsp. chia seeds
1 cup light vanilla almond milk
2 tbsp. Peanut Butter (divided)
1/2 tbsp. honey
Optional: 1/2 sliced banana, 1/2 cup blueberries, 1/2 cup apples
Mix together the oats, chia seeds, almond milk, and 1 tbsp. peanut butter. Mix in any fruit you are using as well.
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, ideally overnight. Top with remaining prepared peanut butter or almond butter and honey.
And remember that there’s no hard-set rule that you must have traditional breakfast foods for breakfast. For simplicity, you could eat leftovers from your meal the night before, or munch on raw veggies and hummus on your drive to work. Your goal is to provide the fuel your body needs to get ready for the day ahead.