When I first began eating healthy, figuring out what to eat for breakfast turned out to be surprisingly difficult. Unhealthy breakfast fare such as donuts and pastries were obviously out. Because I’d eliminated refined carbohydrates, I couldn’t eat foods like pancakes, waffles, bagels, and most cereals. Since I was avoiding sugar, most commercial brands of bacon, ham, and sausage weren’t an option- you'd be shocked at how many unlikely foods are actually loaded with the sugar. And since I was also avoiding fried foods, there went my hash browns. That left me with the standard eggs and oatmeal breakfast, and while I enjoyed it, I didn't want to eat it every day.
I’m happy to report that over the years, I’ve come up with some nutritious, delicious, and creative breakfast recipes, which I’m happy to share with you. Here are some healthy breakfast ideas that will help you get your morning started right:
• Celery and almond butter. Almond butter is a nutritional superfood that contains protein, calcium, fiber, magnesium, folic acid, potassium, and vitamin E. Pair that with a low-cal, low-carb vegetable like celery and you’ve got a fast, easy, and energy-boosting breakfast.
• Breakfast salad. Who says you can’t have salad for breakfast? Take a large bowl and fill it with lettuce or raw spinach, avocado, protein such as tuna or turkey, and toss it with olive oil and lemon juice. Salads are a versatile way to get the nutrition you need without weighing you down.
• Greek yogurt “ice cream.” Put plain Greek yogurt and frozen fruit such as blueberries into a small food processor and blend. The end result is a creamy concoction that is so delicious you’ll hardly believe you’re not eating ice cream! On top of being tasty, this dish is also a protein and fiber powerhouse.
• Make-your-own trail mix. Grab a bowl and mix a cup of your favorite yogurt with dry ingredients like soy nuts, raisins, and flax seed. The result is a balanced breakfast that’s perfect for those on-the-go mornings.
• Breakfast pizza. Take two rice cakes, cover in tomato sauce, add mozzarella cheese and perhaps canned mushrooms, and bake in oven until the cheese melts. It’s a perfect way to start out a cold morning on a warm note.
• Do-it-yourself shake. Throw milk, nutmeg, vanilla, frozen strawberries, and a natural sweetener like Stevia into a blender and mix well. In minutes, you’ve got a fabulous shake you take with you on the road (and it costs one-third of what they charge at juice shops).
Try some of these ideas or invent your own. The key to successful, healthy eating is to think outside of the norm, try new ideas, and have fun!
Shannon Hammer has been maintaining an over-100-pound weight loss since 2004 and is the author of The Positive Portions Food & Fitness Journal. To learn more, sign up for her newsletter at www.positiveportions.com or follow her on Facebook or Twitter at PositivePortion.