What is in a healthy breakfast?
We all heard the importance of eating breakfast. But what is considered a healthy breakfast for most people? I have been asked this question quite a few times, so I thought I share the information I often relay to my clients. To keep it simple, consider the 4 food groups that include your basic needed nutrients for a balanced healthy breakfast:
An Unsweetened Drink such as coffee, tea, herbal tea, broth or freshly made smoothie. Chocolate Milk is ok on special occasion. Use unsweetened cocoa powder to make your chocolate milk. Nothing wrong with a glass of water (optional: freshly squeeze citrus juice in it) as well.
A Lean Protein: Beans, lentils, home cooked turkey or chicken breast, fish, eggs, plain regular/low-fat Greek yogurt, lean cheese, nut butters or nuts (ex. almonds, walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, cashews or peanut).
Grains: Oatmeal, muesli, quinoa, porridge, millet, brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, cracked wheat such as bulgur, whole grain barley, whole wheat pasta, whole-grain cereals, whole wheat bread/bagel, buckwheat pancakes (careful with toppings, as it can add lots of calories).
Fruits/Vegetables: A seasonal fruit, cup of mixed fruits or chopped vegetables. Fruits can easily be added to cereals, mixed with yogurt or set as a side dish. Vegetables can be added to eggs, beans/lentils, cooked and slice chicken or turkey meats, fish or nut butters.
Here are some basic examples which you can easily adjust based on your personal nutritional needs.
1. Tea – 2 sunny side-up eggs – 1 slice pumpernickel bread - lettuce leaves and a few tomato slices- 1/2 cup watermelon.
2. Plain Coffee – 1/2 cup muesli with milk or plain yogurt – 2 Tbsp. sliced almonds – 1/2 cup raspberries.
3. Vegetable Broth – Omelet Provencal – 1 slice oat-nut bread – 1/2 cup blueberries.
4. 1 smoothie made from unsweetened juice, 1/2 banana, 2 Tbsp. oat, 1/2 cup mixed berries, 1 Tbsp. flaxseeds, 1/2 cup greens, 2 Tbsp. nuts and 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt.
5. Tea – 2 scrambled eggs or hard-boiled egg– 1 slice oat nut bread - 1/2 cup fresh mixed fruits.
6. Herbal Tea - Lentils and Vegetables Soup - 1 small apple.
7. Water with lemon – 1 cup cooked Porridge – 2 Tbsp. walnuts – 1 seasonal fruit portion.
8. Plain Coffee – 1 whole wheat bagel – 1 Tbsp. almond butter – 1 cup cherries.
9. Tea – 2 medium-sized buckwheat pancakes – 1 oz. Cottage Cheese – 1 Tbsp. maple syrup - 1/2 cup strawberries.
10. Plain Coffee – 1 regular sized bran muffin (not extra-large) - 1 plain yogurt – 2 apricots.
11. Tisane – 1/2 cup cooked quinoa mixed with 1/4 cup almond milk – 1/2 diced banana – 2 chopped dried apricots – 1 tsp. dried cranberries - 2 tsp. pistachios.
12. Tea – 2 oz. sliced chicken breast – 1 pumpernickel bread slice – 1 tsp. mustard – 1/4 cup spinach - 4 tomato slices – 2 small plums.
13. Coffee – 2 poached eggs served over 2 cups fresh spinach and 1 sliced tomato – 1 pear.
14. Tisane – 1 whole grain bagel - 2 oz. smoked salmon - 1 Tbsp. low-fat cream cheese – 1 mango.
15. Tea – 1/2 cup uncooked oatmeal or steel cut oats with cinnamon– 1 cup water or milk – 1 Tbsp. nuts – 1 tsp. dried cranberries -1/2 apple.
Want more ideas and some recipes, go to my recipes areas.