I used to not put a lot of effort or time into making my breakfasts. I’d usually go for white bread with some sort of peanut butter and jelly/nutella, two pop tarts, a [big] bowl of captain crunch/lucky charms/koko krunch with milk, or pancakes. I didn’t really mind because I didn’t treat breakfast as “vital” or “needing to be nutritious”. I usually just went for the sugary, easy-to-make stuff.
But this year, all of that has changed. I make breakfast the most important meal of the day, the most fun, and it doesn’t require a lot of time! I like having something sweet and somewhat savoury in the morning, so my breakfasts are pretty big. It’s important to have all three macronutrients in your first meal (actually all of them); a good balance between carbohydrates, fats, and protein.
Reason being: it fuels you for the rest of the day, for your morning classes/workout, and it actually makes you eat less for the rest of the day (simply because you don’t feel that hungry). I find that if I don’t eat a big, nutritious breakfast, I end up snacking more throughout the day. No matter what, I make sure I eat quite a hefty breakfast — even after I had a night out or a buffet dinner the night before. I’ll explain more in another post, but it is critical that you don’t let yourself starve or skip meals after you “sort-of-over-indulged” the previous night. Just try to let go of it, and move on (trust me, I’ve been there a couple times).
You will mostly see a reoccurring pattern of a couple ingredients in my breakfasts:
- avocado: source of healthy fats
- natural peanut/almond butter (basically just peanuts as its ingredient): source of protein and some fats
- eggs: great source of protein
- almonds/walnuts (not always, mostly as toppings to an acai/smoothie bowl or oatmeal): source of food fats and protein
- whole wheat bread: source of carbohydrates which serves as energy
- old fashioned oats: also another source of carbohydrates
- fruits (always — especially bananas): enables you to naturally satisfy your sweet tooth, source of carbohydrates, vitamins, and some antioxidants
I don’t eat all of them for breakfast every morning, but I play around with the ingredients. For example: I like making banana oat pancakes with cinnamon, a bowl of oats with protein powder and berries, toast with peanut butter and sliced bananas, or toast with avocado mash and a boiled/poached/sunny side up egg with paprika. Sometimes I even toss in greens into scrambled eggs if I feel like it. *side note: I used to HATE oatmeal, and now I absolutely love it!
I make sure to incorporate fruits as a component because I LOVE them! In Canada, I would have greek yoghurt with strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries. Sadly, fresh berries in the Philippines are kinda pricey (since it’s mostly imported), and the local groceries where I live don’t sell greek yoghurt or plain yoghurt, so I don’t have it anymore. However, greek yoghurt is a GREAT source of protein, so I urge you to try it if you can buy it.
I don’t really like flavoured yoghurt since there’s a lot of added sugar and some artificial flavourings in them — and sugar has been one ingredient that I have MASSIVELY cut down on. Simply by not buying foods with added sugar, drinking mostly water, green tea, and occasionally black coffee, and mostly relying on natural, whole foods (such as veggies and fruits) to satisfy my hunger and cravings. However, this does NOT mean I don’t eat cakes/ice cream/doughnuts anymore.
Lastly, make sure to drink at least a glass of water during breakfast! We greatly neglect water and its importance in our lives, but I like to drink at least two glasses of water before eating breakfast, and another one after.
When you surround yourself and stuff your kitchen with good, nutritious, food, you won’t feel tempted to eat the unhealthy foods you crave (and actually give into them). Instead, you’ll reach for foods/snacks that will make you feel full AND give your body the right kind of energy.
I’ll post some of my favourite breakfast recipes soon, so stay tuned for that!