Breakfast is the most important meal of the day — we've all heard that saying so much that it's almost lost its meaning. But it's true; breakfast really is the most imperative meal of the day. It's the first meal you put in your body, and it's a conscious decision you're making that determines the body's ability to keep going throughout the day. This means that choosing the right things to eat is essential, but that's easier said than done. Mornings are notorious for being busy, and this coupled with a sluggish, tired brain usually means we reach for the easiest, quickest thing.
We consulted Kitty Broihier and Allison Stowell, certified nutritionists from Guiding Stars, in a joint email to help guide us in the decision-making process of choosing the best breakfast for your day.
Both experts point out that it's all about balance. "A breakfast with adequate protein as well as fiber and fruits or vegetables is ideal," both experts said. There are many options for those who work out in the morning and need something carb-focused or there are quick fixes for those of us scrambling in the morning. But if you fuel up the wrong way, "you may feel sluggish as you start your day; too much sugar and you will likely soon be hungry. There are numerous studies that support the need for a healthful, satiating breakfast. It improves metabolism and aids in reaching and maintaining an ideal weight," the nutritionists said. They had the following six easy suggestions for exactly what to eat when you wake up.
- Wraps. Sure, you can have another breakfast sandwich, but keep whole-grain tortillas on hand and you can wrap up your breakfast for a satisfying on-the-go option. Wraps offer carbs that energize you but also give you the leeway in choosing what you put inside the wrap.
- Smoothies. Combine your favorite ingredients in a blender along with proteins such as nut butters, whey powder, or silken tofu. Blend, pour, and you are out the door with a protein-rich, satisfying smoothie.
- Eggs. Protein-dense and simple, eggs are the perfect go-to when you need some quick protein. Try hard-boiled eggs or omelets to get your morning going.
- Power bowls. Tired of the same old breakfast? Try a power bowl. Packed with protein, power bowls combine wholesome grains with spices, fruit, or vegetables and more to create a convenient breakfast.
- Oatmeal. Steel-cut oats are an excellent canvas for building a delicious breakfast that is totally customized to what you want that day or whatever you have in your kitchen. Add your favorite toppings like nuts for protein, fruit for some carbs, or even dark chocolate when you need to safely satisfy that sweet tooth, and you instantly have a nutritional meal in mere minutes!
- Leftovers. Leftover hearty soup, quesadillas, stir-fry, or even casseroles are not your typical breakfast choices, but if your leftovers have a mix of protein and carbohydrates like brown rice or quinoa, they can be a great option for getting your day going.