Written by Lina Nieto, nutrition communications intern for Triad to Wellness
Edited by Sarah Achleithner, nutrition communications coordinator for Triad to Wellness
In today’s fast-paced world, savoring our food can seem like more of a luxury than a necessity. While we run from school to work to meetings, it’s easy to get caught in the habit of wolfing our food down without paying attention to how much (or what) we are eating. However, eating slowly, being mindful, and savoring our food has many health benefits. It’s even been shown that chewing our food slowly helps with digestion and dental health, and ultimately leads to the consumption of smaller portions. Perhaps the meal where eating slowly makes the most meaningful impact is at breakfast time, when we are setting the tone for the rest of our day’s eating choices.
Although we all tend to think of breakfast as the most important meal of the day, it’s often the meal that is overlooked. Many people prefer to skip it, rather than carve out the time to create a balanced breakfast. Others tend to resort to convenient but unhealthy options (like drive thru’s and other fast food eateries) or to a coffee shop where they are likely to order sugary drinks, greasy breakfast sandwiches or baked goods. So, how then we address the problem of making time to cook and properly eat a nutritious morning meal in the midst of our busy schedules? Thankfully, there are many breakfast options that are incredibly nourishing and simple to make. Once you implement some of these recipes into your routine, you will see that eating a healthy breakfast does not have to take much of your time! Check out the following list for the top 3 go to breakfast ideas!
1. Avocado Toast: The first easy breakfast option is a trending food that keeps popping up all over NYC cafes and social media. It’s avocado toast, and making it is a no brainer. Take the whole grain bread of your choice (it can be multigrain, sprouted, whole wheat, etc.) and toast it in the oven. While it’s toasting, take half of a ripe avocado and mash it in a bowl with some sea salt, black pepper, and olive oil. You can leave the mixture as is or jazz it up with health-promoting herbs and spices of your choice like paprika or basil. Add veggies (such as tomatoes) if you wish, or low fat feta cheese for a slightly richer texture. Once you spread the avocado mixture on your toast, you may even wish to add a poached or hard-boiled egg on top depending on how hungry you are or how much time you have. If not, the avocado toast alone is an ideal mixture of plant-based fats and complex carbohydrates along with fiber, vitamin E, and potassium. This is by far a much more delicious and versatile option than your typical fast food breakfast sandwich!
2. Parfait: The second option is a yogurt parfait. Putting one together takes only about 5 minutes to make and another 5 minutes to eat. Take some low fat and plain yogurt and mix it with Daisy Cottage cheese for an extra protein and calcium boost. Sweeten it with a drizzle of raw organic honey. Once you’ve done this, you may add any assortment of chopped fruit and nuts you’d like. Some options include chopped banana and almonds, or chopped mango, pineapple, and cashews for a tropical feel. If you’d like a heartier meal, add some plain oats or sugar free granola for crunch and texture. You may wish to add extra fiber with flaxseeds or chia seeds for a final topping. This creamy concoction will feel indulgent, but it is very filling and healthy with a hefty dose of calcium, fiber, and antioxidants.
3. Frittata: A third easy option is a frittata. This can be made in advance to last a few days so that all you have to do in the morning is heat and serve. Take a few eggs and whisk them in a bowl with the seasonings of your choice. Heat some olive oil in a pan and lightly cook whatever vegetables you have on hand. Some great combinations include onion, tomato, and spinach or sweet potato, arugula, and garlic. Once the vegetables are cooked through, add the whisked egg mixture evenly to the vegetables and let cook through until you have reached the consistency of an omelette or frittata. As previously stated, this meal can be sliced and stored in the refrigerator to serve as a meal for future busy mornings. It’s packed with protein and healthy fats from the eggs as well as fiber from the vegetables to keep you satisfied until lunchtime.
As seen with these examples, having a healthy breakfast doesn’t have to be a huge ordeal. A balanced meal can be made in a matter of minutes with enough time to spare to chew properly and truly savor the flavor of your meal. This March make a commitment to making time to eat breakfast. Once you have this habit down, you will find it easier to extend the same habits into your lunch and dinner times. Enjoy and eat up!