How I Fuel My Morning
Updated: Jan 18, 2019
I often get asked to share my breakfast routine, so I thought I'd share five of my favorite meals to start off a great day.
Though there's some argument over which is the most important meal of the day, I can say with confidence that breakfast is the easiest to master. Just a few simple steps, and you can enjoy some seriously delicious food that'll start your day off on the right foot.
Open-Faced Spinach and Mushroom "omelette"
This might sounds like too much for a busy morning, but trust me, it's super fast. I put omelet in quotes here because it doesn't always look like an omelette. In fact, it frequently turns into a scramble. But regardless of the appearance, it's always easy and yummy.
1 Tbsp milk (unsweetened almond milk or 2%)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 to 1 cup baby spinach leaves, chopped (to taste)
4 large mushrooms, washed, dried and chopped
Sprinkle of aged cheddar (omit if you do not prefer cheese)
Hot sauce (I prefer cholula)
Beat eggs until fully mixed, then add milk, salt and pepper. In a non-stick pan, heat a teaspoon of olive oil and saute mushrooms until just softened.
While mushrooms cook, toast a piece of whole wheat or gluten-free bread.
Add spinach to cooking mushrooms and stir just to wilt. Add eggs and cook until eggs gently peel away from the pan, about 3 to 4 minutes. Slide a spatula under the eggs and, in one quick move, flip eggs over. Cook until firm. Slide eggs onto bread and top with shredded cheese. Add a dash of hot sauce, if desired.
Oatmeal with Almond Milk, Fresh Berries and Almonds
When you think of oatmeal, does an image of "slop" come to mind? If so, you're missing out on one of life's greatest comfort foods. Nutty, hearty, warm, and comforting, oatmeal satisfies while packing a serious nutritional punch (think: fiber, iron, protein).
1 cup steel-cut oats*
2 1/2 - 3 cups water or almond milk
A solid dash of kosher salt
1/4 cup blueberries, rinsed
1/4 cup strawberries, sliced thinly
2 tbsp dried berries (i like Trader Joe's Golden Berry Blend!)
2 tbsp slivered almonds
Almond milk, to taste
Cook the oats according to package directions (using milk or water) - usually takes about 20 min.
Add to a bowl and top with the fresh and dried fruit. Since the berries have a little sugar, there's no need for additional sugar at all, and too much sugar overwhelms the nutty taste of the oats. Depending on the consistency, add almond milk at the end (to taste). Enjoy.
*Note: You may wonder - are steel cut oats the same as rolled oats? The answer is no.
-Steel cut oats - these oats are left whole (think: minimal processing) and cut with a steel blade. They retain their texture and nutritional value the most. They take the longest to cook.
-Rolled oats - these oats have been pressed and steamed flat, and take less time to cook than steel-cut oats. Still tasty and can be great if breakfast is rushed.
-Instant oats - these are rolled oats that have been cut into smaller pieces so they cook faster. These tend to get mushy and have the least taste.
Chia Pudding with Peanut Butter and berries
Chia pudding is currently the "it" food, and with good reason. Chia seeds are mini powerhouses, packed with tons of omega-3 fatty acids (which promote brain health). This recipe adds a boost of protein, great texture, and a touch of sweetness (modified from the Creamy Coconut Chia Pudding by RachelsGoodEats.com with some added flair from my friend @acfrankk!) .
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup chia seeds
2 tbsp ground hemp seeds
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp all-natural nut butter (i like peanut butter best!)
1/4 cup blueberries (or berries of choice - depending on the season!)
1 tsp #manuka honey (or your favorite, local honey)
Combine the first 5 ingredients in a jar with a lid. Allow to sit at least 15 minutes or in the refrigerator overnight. When ready to enjoy, layer the berries in a bowl, scoop on desired about of chia pudding, and add a dollop of nut butter and a drizzle of honey. Indulge.
# Note: Manuka honey has been found to have medicinal and anti-inflammatory properties, which adds to the health punch of this meal!
Nothing says "quick breakfast" like a smoothie. When you don't even have enough time to use a fork, this recipe will ensure you only skip the table, not the nutrients.
~1 cup frozen blueberries (you'll need to add ice if you use fresh)
1 large handful of baby spinach
1 cup coconut water
squeeze of half a lemon (optional)
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy.
And for those of you who believe they have NO additional time in the day to enjoy a healthy breakfast, I have one last suggestion...
Deconstructed "PB & J"
With kids in my life, the struggle against traditionally peanut butter and jelly sandwiches is real. Jelly, and now even peanut butter, is frequently loaded with sugar or sugar substitutes; in my mind, this is unnecessary. Paired with fresh cucumber slices (who says these are only for lunch?!), this epitomizes "on the go" while still staying healthy and balanced.
2 tbsp all-natural peanut butter (peanuts only, no added anything)
Toasted gluten-free or whole wheat bread
1 small cucumber
Assemble into an open-faced sandwich and enjoy in the fact that this took 35 seconds to prepare!