To be honest, I am not a morning person. If it weren’t for my daughter waking up at 6:30 every day, I would easily sleep until 8:00 before making myself get up. However, I have definitely noticed the benefit of waking up so much earlier in the morning. I have time to get a lot of stuff done. One thing I’ve been conscious about is making sure my family gets a good breakfast. I have a belief that how much you eat should correlate with how many hours you have left in your day. So by that logic, breakfast should be a big, nutritious (but healthy!) meal. Plus, if you think anything like I do, you know breakfast foods are the best foods.
I’ve definitely noticed that, for my family, the more balanced our breakfast is, the better our morning goes. We’re less cranky, more energized, and all-around happier. Of course, we’re all different people, though, so my ideal breakfast isn’t the same as my husband’s, and our one-year-old has preferences of her own. Here’s what we each eat: 3 balanced breakfast ideas that you can adapt to your own needs (and that don’t take more than 15 minutes to make, by the way).
Veggie Omelette with Fresh Fruit and Whole Grain Toast
First up is my favorite breakfast – and honestly maybe even my favorite meal ever. I start with two eggs (I recommend pasture raised from an ethics standpoint), cut up veggies (whatever we have), spinach, and freshly grated organic white cheddar cheese.
To make the omelette, I whisk the eggs with about a quarter cup of unsweetened almond milk, salt, and pepper. Then I put a teaspoon of coconut oil into a small frying pan, heat it until it melts, and dump in the egg mixture. I let that cook for 3 minutes and then flip it over. While it cooks, I grate the cheese and dice the vegetables. Then I put the cheese on one half and the vegetables on top of that and let it cook for another 2 minutes or until the cheese melts. Finally, I fold the other half over and slide it onto a plate, finishing it off with a spoonful of organic salsa on top.
A balanced meal should be about 50% fruits and veggies, 25% protein, and 25% whole grain – plus a glass of water and a small amount of healthy fats. Here’s a great graphic from Harvard explaining that in more detail.
The omelette I make takes care of all the veggies and protein I need. I add a handful of fresh fruit on the side, whether that’s a banana, apple, berries, grapes, or melon, and a slice of whole grain toast with a little bit of vegan butter. Top it off with a glass of water, and I’m set to tackle the day. But actually, I ate this for lunch today and was full for 7 hours – never uncomfortably, just a steady “I’m not hungry” feeling. It was awesome. Feel free to make variations, as long as it still fills the 50/25/25 rule.
Peanut Butter Toast with a Smoothie
This is my husband Cyle’s go-to breakfast. He literally could eat toast 24/7. So for breakfast, he makes a couple slices and slathers them with all-natural peanut butter. Don’t use that super processed stuff (read: anything with more than peanuts on the ingredient list) because it’s not real and, therefore, not filling. We recently found a natural grocery store near us that has nut butter grinders so you can grind your own peanut butter. Life. Changing. But I digress.
Next he makes a fruit and veggie smoothie, with a banana, a handful of berries, a handful of spinach, and a spoonful of chia seeds. (Hemp or flax seeds also work well.) That all goes in our Magic Bullet until it puts the smooth in smoothie (stop looking at me like that); he pours it in a cup and is good to go!
My husband honestly has the metabolism of a woman pregnant with triplets, but this keeps him full for about 4 hours. You can see 50% of his meal is fruits and veggies, via the smoothie, and protein and whole grains make up about 25% each. To modify this to your taste, use your preferred nut butter on the toast (or even put an egg on it instead) and change up the fruits, veggies, and seeds in the smoothie. I do recommend keeping the banana as a base, or otherwise it tends to get runny. And I promise, even if you don’t like spinach, you can’t taste it when it’s blended up.
Milk, Fruit, and Toast
Lastly, my one-year-old’s breakfast. She still nurses, so the majority of her morning nutrition comes from that. However, if you’re interested in liquid protein for yourself or your older kids, consider a fortified breakfast shake (watch out for sugar, though, as they’re usually loaded with it and will make you crash) or even high-protein milk. Ripple is a tasty high-protein, non-dairy milk made with pea protein. After her milk, she chows down a banana, some blueberries, and pieces of our toast. We used to make her her own slice of toast, but now she throws it if it didn’t come off our plate. (Kids, amiright?)
Her breakfast also fits well into the 50/25/25 rule: 50% banana and blueberries (though it’s notably lacking in veggies – we’re working on it), 25% milk protein, 25% whole grain toast. For a growing, constantly moving baby, this keeps her full for several hours until her pre-naptime snack.
Do you have goals for your morning?
I’m sure you do. That’s why I’m saying, invest the 15 minutes in making yourself a quality breakfast, and you’ll easily make it up with how much more productive you are, and how much less time you spend scavenging for something to quiet your growling stomach. Breakfast is an important meal, friend. Give your body the nourishment it craves.
Check out this post on How to Enjoy a Greener, More Sustainable Diet for tips on eating balanced meals throughout the day.