If you are like most people with a day job, you probably don’t have a lot of time to make breakfast in the morning. So while a big plate of expertly made eggs, bacon, and kale sounds lovely, it simply can’t be a reality Monday through Friday.
But just because you are short on time, doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice the quality of your breakfast. Granola bars or Dunkin Donuts drive throughs are not your only options! There are plenty of creative options for you to choose from that fit right into my healthy breakfast framework that take mere minutes to throw together in the morning.
With a little planning, you can prepare nutritious, convenient, breakfast options that will keep in the fridge for days!
I put this one first because it should be obvious, but many people don’t think of it! If you aren’t already using leftovers for lunch, utilize them for breakfast! If you read my last post, you’ll know that I believe anything can be breakfast food! Whether it’s pork chops and brussels sprouts, salmon and asparagus, or whatever other protein and veggie packed dinner you made the night before, it is a great option to eat the next morning! The night you make it, pack a portion in a container that you can quickly grab and warm-up in the morning!
I LOVE this option. It’s like eating delicious scrambled eggs with all of your favorite add-ins, but in the convenient shape of a muffin! Pack them full of vegetables, seasonings, and your favorite high quality meats and you’ve got yourself a nutrient dense breakfast that is easy to eat on-the-go. Make a big batch one day and breakfast is ready for the whole week. If you need some carbohydrates to go along with your egg cups, bring along a piece of fruit or some already-made oven fries. Speaking of…
One of my favorite paleo writers and bloggers is Diane Sanfilippo. (If you haven’t read her book, Practical Paleo, you absolutely need to!) Anyway, she has an amazing recipe for oven fries that are the perfect way to add carbohydrates to your breakfast. I make them all the time. They are truly a stand-by in my kitchen. You can even adapt the recipe to make sweet potato fries! Make a big batch and eat them with your egg cups for an easy, well-rounded breakfast.
Protein Powder Options
While it would be great if we could always get all of the protein we need from the food we eat, sometimes it’s just too hard to plan all of that cooking into our busy schedules. When you can’t find the time to meal-prep the option above, try one of these breakfasts made with protein powder!
Side note: It is very important that you are using a high quality protein powder without artificial sweeteners, additives, and fillers. It can be tempting to pick up the first cheap powder you see at the grocery store, but I highly recommend you check out the protein powders from pureWOD and Vital Proteins. These companies both make protein powder sourced from either pasture raised, grass fed beef protein or whey and contain no gluten, soy, or other junky ingredients.
Protein shakes are convenient and delicious! I like to make mine with a high quality protein powder, kale or spinach, a source of healthy fat such as coconut oil, avocado, or almond butter, and a serving of fruit like banana or berries. This combo has everything you need: Protein, veggies, healthy fat, and healthy carbs.
Gluten free oats made with zucchini and protein powder is a delicious and quick way to get a balanced breakfast in the morning. It only takes 3 minutes to make them in the microwave! Top it with nuts, berries, or whatever you like!
Bars and Such
The two most popular foods that people turn to when looking for healthy, convenient foods for breakfast is granola bars and yogurt cups. The problem is, many of the options out there are packed with added sugar, sketchy processed ingredients, and very little actual nutrition. The options I’ve listed below are much better alternatives because they are made with high quality, real food ingredients. Just remember, a single bar or yogurt is probably not enough food to sustain you until lunch! Combine these options or use them to supplement your shake or leftovers to make up for nutrients that are lacking. But remember, bars and yogurt are missing your oh-so-important serving of vegetables. So just remember to make up for that by getting a bigger portion of greens later in the day.
I love larabars! They taste like a yummy treat (especially the kinds with chocolate!), but they are only made with dates, nuts, and dried fruit (and sometimes chocolate). They are definitely higher in carbohydrates than they are in protein and fat, but they are a great compliment to your egg cups or protein-packed leftovers!
These babies may be the best protein bar on the market. They are made with egg whites and nuts for the protein and are sweetened with dates and have no gluten, dairy, soy, or artificial additives. They have a very balanced nutrient profile, especially if you exercised that morning. Plus they come in so many amazing flavors!
When I first heard of Epic Bars, I was admittedly a little weirded out. But looking back, I don’t think it’s because of the actual concept, but that they were described to me as “granola bars made of meat.” What?? I think a more appealing description would be “Jerky bars.” Each Epic bar is made of grass fed meat and a little bit of dried fruit. These bars are a great source of high quality protein and fat from a real food source that comes in a super convenient, non-perishable form.
Yogurt is an incredibly popular breakfast food, especially with women who are trying to lose weight or make a healthy change to their diets. But despite industry efforts to advertise yogurt as an amazing health food that will make all of your problems go away, most of the yogurt on the shelves is not actually very healthy at all. Most of your favorite brands use conventional cow’s milk which is low in nutrients and potentially contains hormones and antibiotics. And to make that yogurt taste like key lime pie, companies add sugar, preservatives, and other artificial ingredients. Real yogurt – meaning fermented, full-fat, grass-fed dairy – however, is incredibly healthy. It contains calcium and vitamins D and K2 (K2 can only be found in grass-fed dairy), which are necessary for the absorption of calcium, and is an great source of protein and healthy fats without all of the harmful chemicals. The brands Wallaby and Stonyfield are my favorites for Greek yogurt options, but I highly encourage you check out your farmer’s market and health food stores for locally made yogurt! To be more price and environmentally conscious, by larger tubs of yogurt and pack it in small, reusable containers.
When trying to fit breakfast into a busy day, convenience is definitely key.
I hope that these ideas gave you some inspiration and motivation to change your current easy breakfast to a more nutritious one. Your body and your health will thank you!
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