Wondering what it means to eat a Balanced Breakfast? These 5 Essential tips will help you build a healthy breakfast that will start your day off on the right foot!
Be sure to check out all my Breakfast Recipes for more breakfast inspiration.
Are you a morning person?
Me, well, let’s just say I have been forced to become one. But even though I am used to rising by 5:30 AM each day, I am still not at my sharpest in the morning.
One thing that is crucial to my morning is a good breakfast. If I skip breakfast or do not eat a well-rounded meal, TROUBLE. I am grouchy, my blood sugar fluctuates, I crave junk food, and it seems my whole day falls apart.
We have all been told breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But sadly, most Americans do skip breakfast or grab something from a greasy drive-thru or a packaged bar full of sugar. And we wonder why we run into so many people who seem a bit moody? You do NOT want to come into my path if my blood sugar is dropping. Moody is an understatement.
So how do we ensure that we don’t skip a healthy breakfast in the morning? I have some easy breakfast hacks to share with you to get your days off to the right start.
Tips for a Balanced Breakfast
These are 5 keys that will help you to build a Balanced Breakfast.
Breakfast Essential #1: Protein
Protein is what keeps you full and staves off hunger all morning long. It also helps your brain to function better and your blood sugar stay stable. It is the MOST essential part of building a wholesome breakfast that will power you through your day.
Sources of Protein for Breakfast:
- Eggs: 6 grams of protein per egg
- Greek yogurt: 15 grams of protein in 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- Milk: 8 grams of protein in 8 ounces
- Almond Milk: 8 grams of protein in 8 ounces
- Peanut Butter: 8 grams of protein in 2 tablespoons
- Oatmeal: 6 grams of protein per 1/2 cup oats
Let’s say you were to make a bowl of oatmeal with 1 cup milk and 2 tablespoons peanut butter. That would leave you with a breakfast that has 22 grams of protein, which is a great amount of protein to start the day with.
My favorite High Protein Breakfast Recipes:
- Banana Nut Quinoa Porridge: 26 grams of protein
- High Protein Gluten Free Pancakes: 14 grams of protein per serving
- Sweet Potato Hash: 13 grams or protein per serving
Breakfast Essential #2: Whole Grains
Whole grains are a great source of fiber. Fiber keeps your digestive system working properly and keeps you full as well. Whole grains also help to balance blood sugar. When paired with protein and healthy fats, your body will work to break down whole grains slowly and efficiently.
Sources of Whole Grains for Breakfast:
- Oats: I love oatmeal for breakfast, but think beyond just a bowl of oatmeal and use oats for Granola, or Oat Pancakes.
- Quinoa: Quinoa may sound like an odd choice for breakfast, but it can be served just as you would serve oatmeal.
- Whole Wheat Toast: Toast up whole wheat bread , whole wheat cinnamon raisin bread, or a whole wheat bagel for a serving of whole grains–just be sure to use 100% whole wheat bread or bagels!
- Whole Grain Muffins: I love baking muffins using 100% whole wheat flour. You can check out all my muffin and quick bread recipes for a variety of whole grain muffins. A personal favorite happens to be Pumpkin Muffins!
- Pancakes/Waffles: Pancakes may get a rap of being full of sugar and refined flour, but you can make Whole Wheat Pancakes or Whole Wheat Waffles and serve with nut butter and fruit for a very balanced breakfast option.
Breakfast Essential #3: Healthy Fats
Yet another crucial ingredient to keeping you full. Healthy fats, from avocados, nuts, olive oil, etc, also help the condition of your skin and hair and your brain functioning at optimal levels–needed for those business meetings or school tests!
Sources of Healthy Fats for Breakfast:
- Nuts/Nut Butter
- Avocados: Use avocados on avocado toast, or as a drizzle on eggs, like in my Sweet Potato Hash.
- Flax Seed: Try adding 1 tablespoon flax seed to smoothies and oatmeal.
- Milk: Coconut milk, almond milk, or regular milk
Breakfast Essential #4: Fruits/Veggies
Don’t forget to include AT LEAST one serving of fruits and vegetables in your breakfast–otherwise, you will find it hard to get your optimal daily intake. Not to mention the all the array of nutrients and vitamins fruits and veggies provide.
Ways to add Fruits and Vegetables to Breakfast:
- Make smoothies with both fruits and vegetables. I love my Kale Berry Smoothie, Sweet Potato Pie Smoothie and Blueberry Pie Smoothie, all which use both fruits and vegetables.
- Add bananas to oatmeal and make Banana Pie Oatmeal. Or add apples and make Apple Pie Overnight Oatmeal.
- Add carrots and raisins to oatmeal to make Baked Carrot Cake Oatmeal.
- A hash, like Sweet Potato Hash, is a great way to use up vegetables for a hearty breakfast.
- Leftover roasted vegetables are always delicious in a Vegetable Fritatta.
- Add spinach to baked eggs, for Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast Sandwiches.
- Or really make breakfast fun with Zucchini Bread Pancakes.
Breakfast Essential #5: Prep the Night Before
Without packing lunches, putting clothes out, packing book bags, and planning what we are going to eat for breakfast in the evening, my next morning quickly turns from not my favorite part of the day, to the WORST part of the day! It only takes a few minutes and ensures that your morning will go 1,000 times better than if you opted out of prepping.
Not only does prepping lunches the night before make my mornings easier, but making breakfast the night before helps tremendously.
My top Make-Ahead Breakfast Recipes:
- Overnight Steel Cut Strawberries and Cream Oatmeal
- Slow Cooker Oatmeal
- Freezer Friendly Egg Sandwiches
- Overnight Oats
I hope that all these ideas and tips inspired YOU to eat a healthier breakfast and start your day strong!