There's Just Something About Breakfast...
The creamy oatmeal, the fluffy scrambled eggs, the buttery pancakes… so. much. YUM!!
I love breakfast. I would even go as far as saying that it’s my favorite meal of the day. In fact, I am cooking up some steel cut oatmeal with apples as I type this.
For me, breakfast feels like a new start. It is an opportunity to set the tone and to begin each day with intention. I always make sure I wake up early enough so that I can have a proper breakfast.
Usually, breakfast is the first opportunity you have to fuel your body for the day ahead. Though, if you are like many people, breakfast may not necessarily be at the top your priorities in the morning. But it should be!
Starting your day with a balanced breakfast is one of the better habits you can adopt in order to improve your overall health. Breakfast has been shown to help improve memory and focus. It may also potentially help you to maintain or even lose weight. And who wouldn’t want all of that?
So, What Exactly is a Balanced Breakfast?
A balanced breakfast is simply one that combines the satiating powers of healthy, lean protein with fiber-rich, unrefined carbohydrates. It is also a good idea to incorporate a source of healthy fat and a serving or two of fruits and veggies for a truly satisfying breakfast. By bringing together each of these components, you create a breakfast that will keep your blood sugar stable. This will help you to feel energized throughout the morning. In other words, unlike a donut or a croissant, a balanced breakfast won’t cause a huge spike in blood sugar that can leave you feeling sluggish before lunchtime.
Balanced Breakfast Idea to Get You Started:
- Hard-boiled eggs (protein) and avocado (healthy fat) on whole grain toast (fiber – my favorite is Ezekiel Bread)
- Vegetarian breakfast sandwich: scrambled tofu (protein) with veggies (fiber + vitamins/minerals) sautéed in olive oil (healthy fat) served on a whole grain English muffin (fiber)
- Steel-cut oatmeal (fiber) with peanut butter (protein + healthy fat) and berries (antioxidants, bonus!)
- Whole Wheat Veggie Muffin (fiber + healthy fats) with almond butter (protein + healthy fat)
- Low-fat plain Greek or soy yogurt (protein) with homemade granola (healthy fats + fiber) and unsweetened dried fruit
- Whole grain waffles (fiber) drizzled with peanut butter (healthy fat + protein) and a glass of low-fat cow or soy milk (protein)
Avoiding the Morning Time-Crunch
Like many of you, I don’t often have time for a very involved breakfast. Between work, family responsibilities, social obligations, and everything else life throws our way, it’s no surprise that many people skip breakfast altogether.
I will admit, I was also a breakfast skipper at one time. I didn’t consider myself a morning person. So, I would hit the snooze button repeatedly until I was running out the door to get where I needed to be, breakfast not a thought in my mind. This would ultimately leave me feeling groggy and unable to take on the day to the best of my ability.
In order for me to break the habit and to make breakfast a part of my daily routine, I needed to learn to plan ahead and set myself up for success.
Easy Ways to Prepare for a Busy Morning:
- Plan out your breakfast for the week before you go to the grocery store. Make a list and stick to it.
- Variety is key! Don’t plan to eat the same thing every day if you get bored easily. Buy a few of your favorite breakfast foods each week to keep things interesting.
- Prepare foods in bulk. Make a few extra hard-boiled eggs over the weekend to have throughout the week or throw together a couple jars of overnight oatmeal.
- Have healthy grab-and-go items on hand such as fresh fruit, nuts, low-fat cheese sticks, yogurt, or homemade whole grain muffins (hint, hint!)
- Try setting your alarm clock just 15 minutes earlier. This will give you just a bit of extra time in the morning, which can help you avoid feeling rushed and will give you the few minutes you need in order to eat a stress-free breakfast.
These Whole Wheat Veggie Muffins Help You Eat Breakfast On-the-Go
These whole wheat veggie muffins are the perfect homemade grab-and-go breakfast that can get you started on your new breakfast routine. Warmly spiced and lightly sweetened, these muffins are packed with carrots and zucchini so you can feel good knowing that you’re having vegetables for breakfast. And the best part? They’re freezer-friendly! So make sure you whip up an extra batch to stash away for that extra busy week you didn’t have time to prepare for.
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Whole Wheat Veggie Muffins
- Muffin Tin
- 4 tablespoons flaxseed ground
- 10 tablespoons water
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ginger ground
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups carrots peeled and grated
- 1 ½ cups zucchini grated
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ⅓ cup applesauce unsweetened
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ cup dairy-free milk unsweetened
- 2 tablespoons raw, shelled pepitas (pumpkin seeds) optional
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
- In a small bowl, stir together the ground flaxseed with the water and set aside for 5 minutes to make a "flax egg."
- Meanwhile, combine flour, brown sugar, baking soda, spices, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add grated carrots and zucchini to the dry ingredients and toss to coat the veggies.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, applesauce, vanilla extract, milk, and flax egg. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and fold gently to combine, being careful not to over mix.
- Divide the batter evenly amongst the muffin tin wells (they will be filled to the top), sprinkle with pepitas, if desired, and bake for 25-28 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let rest for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.