If you’re anything like us, you most likely grew up on cold cereal and low-fat milk for breakfast. Maybe on some days you were tossed a Pop-Tart or granola bar out the door or on special occasions (like in our home), you could look forward to pancakes and bacon.
Growing up in the 90’s meant that many of us were a part of the generation of the low-fat movement, and low fat is often synonymous with high sugar. Tasty, yes. Healthy, not so much.
Now, here we are in the 21st century and these days, it’s all about the fat. Good fat that is.
And thank goodness, because eating enough healthy fat (think: coconut oil, olive oil, avocado, MCT oil, unrefined nut/seed oils, and grass-fed/raw butter) contributes to glowing skin, feeling satiated for longer (i.e. no afternoon crash or sugar cravings), and increased brain functionality. Curious to learn more about this? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Oils and Fats.
So, what is a mindful, health conscious person to do to best fuel their mind and body for the day ahead?
Here are our six favorite healthy breakfasts that will nourish your body, fuel your brain, and satiate your taste buds, guaranteed. Added benefit: we actually look forward to getting out of bed in the morning knowing these simple, delicious dishes await us.
Prep once and eat all week: Make a large frittata on Sunday and you’ll have a protein-packed meal you can heat up in an instant (or not, it’s delicious cold, too). Add loads of greens, some starches (like pumpkin or potato) for an extra boost of nutrients.
(Makes around 12 servings)
- 12 eggs
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- ¼ cup of milk of choice (I use coconut, but you can use your favorite)
- ½ large pumpkin (squash or sweet potato works great here as well)
- 2 bunches of asparagus
- 1 cup of kale leaves
- 1 cup of baby spinach
- 1 punnet of cherry tomatoes, diced
- Butter or coconut oil for greasing
- Preheat your oven to 400F.
- Dice pumpkin into small pieces, around 1/2 inch. Place on a lined baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, and cook for 40 minutes or until soft.
- While the pumpkin is cooking, prepare the rest of the ingredients: Break all 12 of the eggs into your mixing bowl. Add ¼ cup of milk and whisk until light and fluffy.
- Chop the kale leaves and baby spinach, add to the egg mixture.
- Chop the asparagus into small pieces. Fry until charred in a hot pan. Once slightly blacked, add to egg mixture.
- Once the pumpkin has roasted until slightly brown, add to the egg and veggie mixture. Stir to combine.
- Add the egg mixture into your baking tin. Bake until a fork comes out clean and slightly golden. (This is approximately 45 minutes.)
- Once cooked, take it out of the oven and let cool. Chop into 12 pieces and enjoy.
This one is especially great for those crazy mornings: Slather a coconut or veggie wrap with your favorite nut butter and then add some sliced banana. For an extra protein boost, sprinkle with one tablespoon of hemp seeds.
If you have a spare minute, you can pop it in the toaster oven for a warm, gooey breakfast that doesn’t compromise on quality.
Here is why this breakfast rocks: Nut butter, such as peanut, almond, and cashew, are a source of both protein and healthy fat. One tablespoon of almond butter offers up 8 grams of healthy, plant-based fat and 4 grams of protein. Pair that with the 4 grams of protein in just one tablespoon of hemp seeds and you’re setting yourself up for steady blood sugar and reduced cravings throughout the day.
Originating from the mint family, the chia seed is native to Mexico, and was purported have been widely used by the Aztecs. It remained pretty much exclusive to South America until it entered the mainstream in the early nineties. And the seed entered said mainstream for a very good reason: The now famed health benefits it boasts.
Chia seeds are a healthy source of omega-3 fats, fiber, calcium, manganese and phosphorus, and a great source of protein. According to the Cleveland Clinic, chia seeds have been shown to improve blood pressure in diabetics and may also increase healthy cholesterol.
The tiny little things also maintain healthy bones and teeth, and provide the fiber that is so essential for a healthy digestive system. Oh, and they are great anti-inflammatories, too. We truly could go on and on, but let’s get the the chia seed pudding recipe, shall we?
COCONUT CHIA SEED PUDDING RECIPE
- 2 cups of coconut milk
- 1 tbsp. of maple syrup (or raw honey)
- ½ tsp of vanilla extract
- ¼ cup of chia seeds
- 1 cup of berries
- 1 tsp of cinnamon
- Blend together all the ingredients with the exception of the chia seeds.
- Slowly stir in the chia seeds ensuring that they are well mixed in and not clumpy. As the chia seeds expand, it is important to stir every few minutes for about 10 minutes.
- Add fruit and berries of choice to the top of the pudding.
- You need to then pop into the refrigerator to thicken which can take between 3 – 6 hours. I always make mine ahead of time and leave to set overnight.
There’s no doubt you’ve heard about the many benefits of collagen, but while you may know it’s good for you, how to actually use it in your daily diet may not be so clear.
Here’s the deal: Collagen makes up about 30% of the total protein in your body; it provides structural support, strength, and elasticity to the bones and connective tissue, and it serves as the most helpful kind of “glue” in the human body. Our bodies’ production of collagen, however, begins to naturally decline with age, usually starting in our twenties (!) and leading, in turn, to dry skin, brittle bones, wrinkles, frown lines and the weakening of cartilage in joints. (Good times, right?)
Now, collagen, like all protein, is made up of amino acids — nine of which are essential, and must be acquired through diet, as they cannot be synthesized by the body. Meaning that eating collagen will give you the most bang for your buck. Thankfully, there are powdered collagen protein products that can be added to said diet for a nutritional boost (we like Vital Proteins) and, even more thankfully, these powdered collagen proteins are usually tasteless and odorless.
Smoothies and smoothie bowls are our very favorite way to include this game changing protein into our daily diet…and in the tastiest way possible.
RISE + SHINE SMOOTHIE BOWL
- 1/2 cup frozen cauliflower
- 1 cup of berries, banana, mango or peaches (low-acid fruits)
- 1 scoop Vital Proteins collagen
- 1-2 cups coconut water, filtered water or hemp/almond milk
- 1 tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 tsp chia or flax seeds
- Add spices or one drop of essential oil: Cardamom, ginger, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, peppermint, basil, turmeric. (Very soothing and healing for the body.)
- Add desired toppings, but keep light and to a minimum: Bee pollen, cacoa nibs, coconut shreds, goji berries, crushed almonds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, mulberries.
Combine all ingredients in a high powered blender and top with the suggestions above to your heart’s delight. Protein-rich, flavor-full, and nourishing for the entire body.
Bread is a staple of the Standard American (/Australian/ English/ Almost Everywhere) diet, and it’s hard to imagine what breakfast can look like when you remove the crusty loaf from your diet. Enter sweet potato toast (i.e. toasted slices of, yep, sweet potato). This is a #trending food, one currently burning up Instagram, and for good reason: It’s quick, versatile and downright delicious. It can be eaten topped with your favorite spreads, like a cracker. It can act as the perfect base for your poached eggs.
Avocado and sweet potato are a match made in heaven. The healthy fats combined with the starches keep you full, and regulate your blood sugar.
AVOCADO SWEET POTATO TOAST
- One medium sized sweet potato
- 1/2 avocado
- Everything Bagel spice
- Option: poached/fried egg
- Chop your sweet potato into 3-centimeter thick rounds
- Place in toaster and cook until soft (around 5 minutes)
- Mash half an avocado with a teaspoon of fresh lime juice. Spread on top of toasted sweet potato, add a sprinkle of salt or Everything Bagel spice and enjoy.
Perhaps the quickest and easiest of them all, make yourself “lunch” for breakfast. Or even dinner! We’ve been raised to think of certain foods as being breakfast foods, but why limit salads, stir fry or other healthy meals to later in the day? You might find that treating your breakfast like lunch or dinner leads to being less hungry and more energized through the day.
If might feel funny at first, but there are people who swear by treating breakfast as any other meal. Try a salad, or make extra when preparing dinner each evening and enjoy leftovers the next morning. If you’re struggling with a meal template or what a typical real food meal should consist of, I really like the Whole30’s meal-planning template as a guide to how I should fill my plate. (Find that here.)
There you have it: No muffins, no donuts, but instead a lot of nutrient-dense goodness. Salad, anyone?
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