If you’re still starting your day off with honey nut cheerios, this blog post is for you. Breakfast is arguably the most important meal of the day, and a good quality meal could be the difference between success and distress. Here are my favorite recommendations for a nutrient dense break from the fast!
Steel cut oats
Steel cut oats are the MVP of breakfast foods. They’re packed with soluble fibre that keep you feeling fuller longer, making you less likely to grab that mid-morning donut. Oatmeal is well known for its ability to support the cardiovascular system, digestive system, blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, and hormone excretion. So, what’s holding you back?
If your answer was flavor, keep reading.
After you’ve cooked your oats, the additions are endless. I like to start with a good base of antioxidant-rich fresh or frozen berries…. and because variety is the spice of life, I add almost all of the following:
-Extra protein: walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, hemp hearts, nut butters, coconut/Greek yogurt
-Flava flav: cinnamon, shredded coconut, dried fruit, maple syrup/honey, granola
-Friendly fibre: ground flax, chia seed
-Gut bud: glutamine
*Tip: Pre-soak your steel cut oats overnight. This will decrease your cooking time in the morning (steel cut oats take longer to cook than rolled oats).
*Tip: If you’re celiac or gluten free, make sure to choose a brand that is guaranteed gluten free. (Eg: Bob’s Red Mill).
This is quick and dirty oatmeal at its finest. If you like to roll out of bed 12 minutes before you need to be out the door, this is what you grab. Thankfully, it takes 2 seconds to grab overnight oats out of the fridge, so you have approximately 11.58 minutes to organize yourself for the day.
Overnight oats prep starts the night before. You’ll need something easily transported like a jar, Tupperware, or protein shaker. Add approximately ½ cup of rolled or quick cook oats to the jar, then mix in approximately ¾ cup of your milk of choice (coconut, almond, pea, soy, rice etc.). These ratios will vary depending on the consistency you like your oatmeal/the amount of other ingredients you add.
-Add anything from “steel cut oats” list. Stir it up and refrigerate overnight, and enjoy in the morning!
-The oats will soak up the milk & “cook” them, so no further work is required.
-Steel cut oats do not work as well for overnight oats. They end up being quite chewy, but can still be enjoyed mixed in with the other oats.
Smoothies are tasty, and easy to digest. The goal with smoothies is to make them nutrient dense.
Here’s a start:
-Fresh or frozen fruit. I prefer blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and cherries.
-Greens (kale/spinach/romaine etc.). If you struggle to get your greens in during the day, this is a great way to hide them.
-Protein source: tbsp. of nut butter (almond/tahini/sunflower etc.), 1-2 tbsp. of yogurt (Greek or coconut), protein powder.
-Liquid: water, coconut water, or some form of milk. Skip the sugary juices.
Here are your game changers:
-Avocado: add 1/2 an avocado to your smoothie if you’re looking for a whipped and creamy texture. Add cocoa powder if you want to indulge in “chocolate pudding”.
-Frozen banana: provides an additional creaminess with a natural sweetness.
-Grated ginger: anti-inflammatory and good for digestion.
-Cinnamon: blood sugar balance and flavor.
-Ground flax: a hormone balancing fibre.
-Glutamine: a gut healer.
-Oats: additional fibre and satiating.
-Dates: if you need a punch of sweetness.
Play around! You can add almost anything to a smoothie.
Muffin tin eggs/frittata
You can get creative with eggs in many ways, but muffin tin frittatas are a great way to add in some vegetables and create a simple, convenient, and delicous meal that can be frozen and grabbed on the go!
There are many recipes online, but essentially you’re mixing eggs + veggies and pouring them into a muffin tin to bake. The muffin tin can be lined with a slice of meat to add in some additional protein.
Can’t eat eggs? Staying away from gluten? Need extra protein? Pancake recipes can be modified to drop what you can’t have and add in what you need. The internet is full of great recipes for modified healthy pancake recipes.
Yogurt parfait (Coconut/Greek)
Think steel cut oats without the oats. Add what you need. Add it all. The aim is to increase the nutritional content of this treat by adding things like nuts, seeds, and berries, so that you're not hungry mid-morning.
Smashed avocado toast
There’s just something about toast for breakfast. It’s simple and it’s tasty, but make it more nutrient dense by topping it with avocado. Get creative and add meat, eggs, veggies, ground flax, pumpkin seeds, lime, red pepper flakes! It’s all about the flavor.
Dr. Michelle Hislop ND