I am a big breakfast fan. Even on weekdays, my boyfriend, puppy, and I usually make a big, hearty, delicious breakfast. It's a staple in our home. I know a lot of people skimp on breakfast for a coffee and banana, but I am an advocate for embracing the first meal of the day. Why? In my experience, breakfast sets the precedence for your day. If I swallow down a croissant while running for the bus, I'll be hungry and cranky by 11 am. If I eat a little Greek yogurt while getting ready, I'm equally hungry by 11 and feel like eating a lunch twice as big as I normally would.
So, what are the ingredients for that perfect breakfast that's going to keep you full and pleasant all day long?
1. Protein. The war on eggs is soooo 90s. It's time we embrace the egg! (and its yolk!) Eggs are packed with protein and their yolks are full of vitamins necessary for optimal health. Sure, the yolk has cholesterol, but if high cholesterol and heart disease are not a primary concern of yours, there's no problem with having a little yolk every day. Other protein sources I like in the morning are: prosciutto (if I'm feeling fancy Italian!) or Icelandic yogurt (my favorite is Siggis!). Because protein takes longer to digest and breakdown, it keeps you full longer than carbs would.
2. Healthy fats. Unsaturated fat helps promote high-density lipoproteins, which benefits your heart and blood. They also help the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins and keep energy level high without a crash like carbs do. My absolute favorite healthy fat source is avocado (which I mash up and spread over bread!), but others include olive oil, nuts, flaxseed or flaxseed oil, and safflower oil. To tell the difference between saturated and unsaturated fat, remember this: unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature. So, butter is not, thus it's saturated. Coconut oil is not, thus it's also saturated.
3. Carbs. Believe it or not, I'm recommending carbs in your breakfast. Carbs round out a healthy breakfast and provide a more immediate energy boost. If not overdoing it, carbs should promote energy to get you up and out the door in the morning, while the protein and fat maintain that energy later on. A slice of bread or some fruit are your best options for carbs in the morning, as bread is a complex carb and fruit has fiber and vitamins, so neither are processed sugars. Carbs to avoid in the morning are simple sugars (candy, etc) or anything processed (white bread). I love bread, so I usually have a little piece of a fresh baked loaf from our local bakery.
4. Vitamins and minerals. These come as a package deal with the other ingredients, but you should also be getting some from vegetables, fruit, or a supplement in the morning. I try to have at least one kind of vegetable in my breakfast, which is usually a tomato. Tomatoes have lycopene (prevents cancer) and vitamins. Other favorites in the morning of mine include: mushrooms (vitamin D!), onions, kale, and spinach. If I know I'll be skimping on the fruits and veggies that day, I have a vitamin supplement in the morning, along with my consistent vitamin D supplement!
So, all of these ingredients are necessary for a healthy breakfast. Some examples I make regularly include: toast with avocado, tomato, and egg or prosciutto; homemade crepes with whole fat homemade whipped cream, peanut butter, and fruit (all this made from scratch really only takes about 20 minutes, 15 if two people are cooking! Comment below if you want me to share a recipe!), & Icelandic yogurt with granola, almonds, honey, and an apple.
What are your favorite breakfast staples?