In 2011, an organization conducted a survey regarding breakfast eating habits. The results showed that 31 million Americans (that was 10% of the population at the time) skipped breakfast. That same organization conducted another study several years later and found that more Americans were eating breakfast. In fact, the consumption of breakfast is expected to increase by 5% through 2019. That’s great news! Here’s what’s not so great, most of those new breakfast eaters are picking it up at drive-thrus or convenience stores. Oh boy.
As the holidays officially start, I’ve been thinking about how I can finish this year strong. You know how it is during the holidays…schedules get busier, healthy habits become more flexible, and what’s convenient becomes a necessity. I recently received a request to speak to a group of women about how to establish a healthier lifestyle including developing healthy eating and exercise habits. That got me to thinking–as I looked at my own life, I started wondering what I needed to do personally. I have areas in life where I’m starting to slack off. How can I become more disciplined? One of these areas is in my food choices, specifically healthy breakfast options.
Why is a healthy breakfast important?
Have you always heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? I know I have. As it turns out, this may be more of a saying than reality (based on what’s been recently proven by science). There’s a lot of research supporting both sides of the coin–skipping breakfast via fasting and eating breakfast every day. Fasting is not for everyone, and if you find that you’re hungry in the morning, I think you should eat breakfast.
If you’re a breakfast eater like me, it’s important that you choose to eat a healthy breakfast, not junk food. Your body has just spent all night recovering, resting, and recharging. When you get up in the morning, your body needs fuel (i.e., food) to restart and to function. It’s the energy that you need to get going and will keep you going throughout the day. The basic components of a healthy breakfast include whole grains, lean protein, low-fat dairy, fruits, and vegetables.
Having a healthy breakfast does not need to be complicated, time-consuming, or expensive. In fact, I’ve got two healthy breakfast ideas to share with you. The first is one that you can prepare the night before. The second one is super fast, and can be prepared in the morning in your microwave!
Healthy breakfast idea #1: Yogurt Parfait
A few weeks ago I went to a phenomenal foodie conference. It was like having an all-access pass to my favorite grocery store or farmers’ market! I say that because I had access to all kinds of fresh produce and other foods that I don’t typically have in my house (like persimmons, blackberries, figs, etc.). On top of that, I could create WHATEVER I wanted. It was straight up heavenly!
After getting over the shock and awe of all the food, this parfait was the first thing I created. I made it based on what I’d love to eat for breakfast (which is my absolute favorite meal of the day). My only regret is that the parfait didn’t stay around long enough. You see, I shot four pics of it then I ate it! It was absolutely yummy, but here’s what I learned–don’t shoot foodie pics on an empty stomach!
If you’re looking for a healthy, quick, and filling breakfast idea, this parfait is super simple! Here’s what you need to create it at home:
Start with your yogurt and then just layer each ingredient until you get to the top. Enjoy!
Healthy breakfast idea #2: Oatmeal with Berries
I’ve been talking a lot about my love affair with oats lately. Just check out my post about these Cacao Energy Balls, which contain oats. I adore oats and I eat some every day in some way, shape, or form. They are a favorite of mine because they’re a fabulous source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and protein. Oats are known to help with weight loss and decreasing cholesterol. In addition, they are cheap especially if you buy them in bulk as I normally do.
A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to try out these organic oatmeal cups by Bob’s Red Mill. Their oatmeal cups are super simple to use…just add hot water, stir, cover, and let it stand for 3 minutes. As an alternative, you can add cold water, stir, and pop it into the microwave for 1 minute. I used the pineapple coconut flavor which was a nice twist since I usually use plain oats. Because there are flax and chia seeds in the cup, you get an extra boost of fiber. For my oatmeal bowl, I kicked up the nutritional value even more by adding bananas (potassium), and blackberries (an antioxidant, and fiber source), chia seeds (more fiber), and pomegranate arils. One more add–a sprinkle of Lovegrown Pumpkin Cashew granola. There’s a dash of honey on top, but that is completely optional.
To recap, here’s what you need for this oatmeal bowl:
✔︎Oatmeal (I used Bob’s Red Mill Oatmeal Cup, Pineapple Coconut flavor)
✔︎Honey (optional; I used Nature Nate’s)
So there you have it–two healthy breakfast ideas that can help simplify your life while giving you valuable vitamins, minerals, and a multitude of other health benefits. I know that eating breakfast may not be everyone…some choose to fast instead. However, if you are a fellow breakfast eater, I encourage you to eat a healthy breakfast filled with healthy components such as whole grains, lean protein, low-fat dairy, fruits, and vegetables. Breakfast does not have to be complicated, time-consuming, or expensive. But if you are going to eat it, make sure that it is good for you.
Have a good one!
Mrs. Traylor is a Fitness Instructor, NASM Certified Personal Trainer & Nutrition Coach, AFPA Certified Prenatal and Postnatal Fitness Specialist, wife, and momma who provides actionable advice for positive lifestyle changes with fitness, nutrition, and wellness. Read about Wendy’s inspiring entrepreneurial journey, and subscribe to Wendy’s newsletter here!