I have always loved breakfast. It’s delicious and makes me nostalgic – two really great things.
When we were little, breakfast was always really important in my family. During the week, it was what brought us all together before school and work took our family into different directions for the day, and on the weekends….ohhhh…the weekends….
On the weekends, it was when my daddy would stay in his PJ’s and spell our names out in pancake letters, or my mom would make us waffles the size of our heads – all drizzled in Vermont Maple Syrup my dad would lug home in gallon jugs on his hunting trips. It was when boxes of fresh Florida grapefruits and oranges sent to us by my grandparents (and great grandparents) would be sliced in half and made into fresh juices. My brothers and I would stay in our cozy clothes and watch cartoons while our parents concocted a feast. How insanely comforting it is to remember the smells and the feeling of all coming together as a family. Now that life has taken us in so many directions – California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Maine, and Heaven – it’s even more amazing to have these memories with me. I can’t wait to spell out my future children’s names in pancake letters.
Breakfast isn’t just important to me – it’s important to you, too. Statistics are everywhere about how eating this first meal of the day can improve brain function and creativity, aid in weight loss, and set the tone for a healthy day. Breakfast is also an amazing time to sit quietly and take care of yourself before your busy day begins.
I never, ever, ever miss breakfast. Regardless of where I am, I always make it a point to enjoy my first meal. I get asked quite frequently, so here’s an idea of what I eat:
If I’m home:
If I’m home, I always make one of two things. 1. two slices of toasted Ezekiel Bread ( a sprouted grain bread you can find at places like Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods) – one with sliced avocado, salt, and freshly cracked pepper, and one with almond or peanut butter.
2. A bowl of hot oatmeal (my absolute favorite is the blueberry flavor from Trader Joe’s!). I am OBSESSED with oatmeal. If I’m making it from scratch (super cost-effective), I use – oats, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and then top it with any variety of frozen fruit or sliced banana. Finished off with a few scrambled egg whites (or hard-boiled egg whites) on the side and I’m good to go! One loaf of bread or one box of oatmeal retails for less than $5.00 and will last the entire week. Bargain city!
If I’m away from home:
Being away from home isn’t always the easiest or most ideal way to have a healthy breakfast. Fast food restaurants can seem enticing, but resist the urge to go for the unhealthy stuff and veer towards one of these options instead:
McDonalds: McDonalds now has oatmeal that, as an oatmeal connoisseur, I find to be very delicious. I believe varieties vary by location, but I always ask for the cinnamon oatmeal, minus the apples, extra walnuts. The healthy fats give it staying power. The apples, I’m simply allergic to, so go crazy if you’re not! An alternative to the oatmeal is the Egg McMuffin. The English muffin and egg combo is actually not “bad” for you at all. Leave off the cheese and meat. You don’t need it, trust me.
Starbucks: Starbucks are evvvvverywhere these days, and they’re also offering some decent breakfast options. I either go for the spinach, egg white, and feta breakfast wrap (sooooooo good), or – big surprise – the classic oatmeal. It comes with packets of brown sugar, dried fruit, and nuts. You can literally add in all three, and still come out with a healthy, nutritional bargain of a breakfast.
Conveneince Store: I will first reach for a package of BelVita Breakfast Biscuits and an orange. (I am in no way affiliated or compensated by them – I just really like the blueberry ones, and I believe they offer a pretty good dose of nutrition, minimal sugar, and taste great when you eat them with coffee!) It’s a really good idea to have a box of these babies stowed in your car for when you’re in a pinch.
If you find yourself in any of these places, avoid grabbing these things that may seem like healthy choices:
Smoothies: Most in the gas station or convenience store are SUGAR BOMBS, negating any sort of nutritional benefit and setting you up for insta-hunger.
Bagels: Bagels aren’t the devil – there’s just better things you could eat. If you must, only eat half, and instead of the other half…have a piece of fruit.
Breakfast Bars: Again, most are highly processed and loaded with sugar.
***** Please note that I am NOT (yet) an expert or doctor. As always, please consult your doctor before beginning any new diet or exercise plan. *****
What are you guys eating for breakfast?!