Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Dear Reader;

One of the toughest times of day to come up with a healthy meal is breakfast.  My clients ask me all the time for ideas of what to eat in the morning.  Traditional American diets consist of waffles, donuts or pastries, bacon and eggs or sugar laden yogurts and cereals.

And restaurants?  Forget it.  The choices for healthier alternatives are harder to find whenever you eat out.

Today I’m suggesting a few ideas for you to try, next time you find yourself bored.

The Power Bowl:

photo 1

What you’ll need:

1/2-3/4 cup of fresh organic blueberries

If I don’t have this on hand, I use frozen organic blueberries

2-tablespoons of organic raw walnut pieces

1-tablespoon organic ground flax seed

2-tablespoons of organic coconut flakes or shredded coconut

sometimes I use both

1/2 cup organic plain kefir

not sweetened or flavored – if you add sugar here, it defeats the purpose

If you’re concerned about saturated fat, omit the coconut.  Since I don’t consume much saturated fat in my diet, typically, I don’t worry too much about this (nor am I at high risk for cardiac event or have high cholesterol).

The jury is still out about the type of saturated fat in coconut and it’s effect on our LDL cholesterol levels.  Some experts think the saturated fat in a coconut is safer because it’s medium chain fatty acid instead of long chain fatty acids; medium chain fatty acids break down much quicker.  Either way, it is probably a concern only if you’re worried about cholesterol.  In my opinion, I think the benefits outweigh the risk, but if you’re not sure, simply omit the coconut.

Layer the ingredients in the bowl and pour the kefir over the top.  You can add as much kefir as you wish.

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I’ve substituted rice milk for the kefir (if you don’t like yogurt).  BUT the kefir’s probiotic benefit is one of the reasons I eat this.  You get healthy fats, low glycemic load blueberries and their antioxidant properties, plus probiotic, all in one bowl.  That’s why I call it the Power Bowl.

So, you’re looking at my breakfast choice several days a week:

photo 4

 Hard Boiled Eggs:

There are so many ways to prepare an egg.  One of my favorites is hard-boiled.  It’s so easy to just grab one if you’ve made them ahead; they store well and for 5 days in the fridge unpeeled.

hard boiled egg isolated on white

I’ve found that using my steamer works great; I put them in the steam tray and turn it on. Steam for 16-18 minutes (for harder boiled, 20-minutes).  When they are done, I put them in a bowl of ice water for 10-15 minutes before storing in the fridge.  Try this stove top steaming method if you don’t have a steamer:

Perfect Steamed Boiled Eggs – Serious Eats Blog

Green Smoothie

I am a HUGE fan of the green smoothie and not so much a fan of juicing.  If you want to know why, read my blog post about the subject: To Juice or To Blend.

Green smoothie is a perfect breakfast!  Especially if you plan to exercise soon after.  Since it’s almost liquid, you digest it much quicker than food and nutrients absorb much faster too.  You can add supplement powders (like your high quality organic unsweetened protein powder) to the green smoothie too.

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I have written several really great recipes to try in another blog post: Power Smoothies.

Once you’re comfortable blending though, you don’t really need a recipe.

Just follow a few guidelines:

Fill a blender with mostly leafy greens not packing it tightly, add in any other veggies or fruit that will fit and will compliment the flavors.

Add the juice of one lemon or lime.  Unless you think it will clash with flavors.  Other options to add are vanilla extract, almond extract, apple cider vinegar or a few tablespoons of yogurt.

Add two cups of liquid.  Or up to 4 cups if you like it less thick.  I use water.

Blend it for A VERY LONG TIME!  I blend for about 4 to 5-minutes.

Save any leftovers in airtight containers.  Mason jars work great!

The Portabella:

portabella mushroom with hard cooked egg

portabella mushroom with hard cooked egg

Honestly, it doesn’t get better than this.  This is a hearty breakfast and will fill you up for the whole morning, especially if it’s a large-sized mushroom.  Get it ready the night before and pop it into the oven while you shower.  OR save this one for a weekend morning since it does take the time to bake.

Find the recipe here: 3 Ways with Portabellas.

The Ham and Egg Cup:

IMG_3364

Can you say easy?

This is one of the most simple and delicious breakfast ideas.  I made those shown above with canadian bacon instead of ham.

The canadian bacon or ham that you use should be carefully checked for preservatives.  Nitrates should be avoided, so you’ll want to make sure you choose a brand that is nitrate free.

I used this brand of bacon in the cups pictured above:

IMG_3365

And I used organic pasture raised eggs.  Of course the healthier the chicken, the healthier the egg so make sure you use truly pasture raised eggs, if you can.

The original recipe came from fitsugar.

Texas Grapefruit:

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What is more convenient than a portable breakfast like the grapefruit?  You can grab it and go and peel it when you’re ready to eat it or you can prepare it like I explain in this blog post: Why You Should Eat Grapefruit.

P.S. this fruit has one of the lowest glycemic loads (6).

Standard GO TO:

Remember, breakfast doesn’t have to be a large meal.  Especially if you’re prone to a mid-morning snack.  Here are a few suggestions for a smaller breakfast.  Choose one of these for breakfast and one for mid morning snack.

You can’t beat these:

banana and a spoon of peanut butter (or even better: almond butter)

unsweetened plain 0% yogurt with sliced raw almonds and a drizzle of honey (watch out for the honey, only use a teaspoon)

handful of mixed nuts (use raw and whole): brazil, walnut, pecan, almond

one egg scrambled with fresh salsa on top

celery stalk with a tablespoon of peanut butter

half of an avocado with fresh salsa on top

Half of an apple with a string cheese or a slice of sharp cheddar

unsweetened plain 0% yogurt with a handful of berries or a tablespoon of nut butter mixed in

scramble an egg with chopped fresh green onion and a shake of garlic powder

roll up an organic corn tortilla with sliced avocado, chopped tomatoes and black beans (drained and rinsed if using canned)

Just remember that ingredients matter.  For instance, any of these items made with a peanut butter that has lots of other ingredients in it (hello JIF), is not healthy.  A good choice is to buy the fresh ground peanut butter at your store or buy it from your farmers market (as long as the ingredients are simply peanuts and salt).

Same goes for salsa.  Store bought salsas that are found in the refrigerator section are usually preservative free, but don’t assume!  CHECK THOSE LABELS.

Yogurt should not have added ingredients besides milk and cultures.  Especially no artificial sweeteners!

Ingredients going into a meal is what determine the outcome.

Quality over quantity is a great motto here.

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