I should probably tell you that I hate breakfast.
I know it’s one of the most important meals of the day – it helps give you energy and kick-starts your metabolism… But sometimes I’m just not hungry, and I don’t want any food. If I sleep in and don’t start my day until 9 or 10am, I can usually just skip the whole breakfast thing and start with lunch. Boom, problem solved.
Alas, real life and responsibilities for most people don’t allow this, and I also hate losing a chunk of my day to my pillow. So, I try to be up by 7:30am, and I force myself to eat breakfast.
Some people might say – “but why would I force myself to eat if I’m not hungry?” Or “it makes me feel sick to eat that early in the morning.”
I say, eat anyway. If you want to know why, see the beginning of this post. Sometimes I feel sick after I eat when I’m not hungry, but I really think it’s my brain saying that I’m not hungry because I’ve created the habit of not eating breakfast. A challenge for you no-breakfasters: try eating breakfast for a couple of weeks. I can almost guarantee that you will have more energy and your metabolism will quicken up. Eventually, you will wake up in the mornings with a growling stomach, and breakfast might just turn into your favorite meal of the day (no promises on that one, though. I still don’t love it).
Anyway, in my war against my brain and it’s hatred of this meal, I’ve had to come up with quick and easy ways to get a healthy breakfast in my belly so that I can’t make excuses for not eating it. Sometimes I make a crustless quiche for the week, and other days I make two soft boiled eggs with salt and pepper.
But that gets boring. So other times, I make scrambled eggs and bacon, or I just have some gluten free cereal with almond milk. But, most of these things you can’t really eat on the go, or at work. This doesn’t help those of us that have to fly out of the house in the morning to get to work/school/etc.
Well – hard boiled eggs always work. Make a giant batch (I use an egg cooker) and keep them in your fridge. They stay good for at least a week, if not longer, so you don’t need to worry about them spoiling.
For those of you who say, “but I don’t eat egg yolks. They have too much fat and cholesterol” – I say that you need to update your nutrition knowledge. Studies have been coming out for awhile now stating that fat is GOOD for you – you cannot function without it – and yes, even cholesterol is good for you. It’s eating unhealthy, processed and fried foods full of bad cholesterol that isn’t good, but eating food that naturally contains cholesterol is perfectly fine, especially as part of a balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables. Also, food labeled as “fat free” or “sugar free” ALWAYS have chemicals added to enhance flavor – which is way worse for you than just eating the full fat or full sugar version in the first place (unless you are on a medically advised low fat or low sugar diet, then please, defer to your doctor or nutritionist).
I clearly eat a lot of eggs, and not everyone likes eggs. They can also be smelly when they are hard-boiled, and you never want to be that person in the office with smelly food (I used to have a coworker that brought salmon for lunch… it was terrible). What to do, what to do?
When I used to have to be at work by 7am, I clearly did not eat breakfast before I left the house, because I was scrambling just to get dressed and out the door. So my go-to breakfast was usually a packet if instant oatmeal at work. I know now that not only are these packets processed, but they are full of sugar (or fake sugar), and sometimes even contain gluten. Gasp!
But they are SO EASY. I would just take a porcelain coffee mug from my house and make the oatmeal in it at work. Bam, breakfast. How could I give that up?
Well ladies and gentleman, I found that I don’t have to. I can make my own instant oatmeal packets, and you can too.
Here’s what you’ll need for one serving:
A Ziplock sandwich bag (the ones with a zipper, not the fold-over kind)
1/4 C Whole, rolled oats
1 tsp to 1 Tb natural sweetener – sucanat (basically a natural version of brown sugar), maple syrup, stevia, etc.
1-2 TB Extras for flavor (optional) – I like nut butters, almonds, cinnamon, and dried or fresh fruit, just to name a few
*Nut butters have a lot of calories, but if you eat breakfast after a morning workout or know you’ll be eating a late lunch, this is a perfect way to get the extra protein and carbohydrates you need to keep your energy up and keep you full.
Add all dry ingredients in the sandwich bag, close it up tight, and shake to combine. When you’re ready to cook it, dump the bag in a microwave safe dish or mug, add about 1/2 C water, and microwave on high for about 1-2 minutes, or until it’s the consistency you like.
If you want to add a nut butter or fresh fruit to your oatmeal, I’d suggest putting these ingredients into a separate container and adding them to the bowl or mug where you’ll be cooking the oatmeal. This prevents the dry ingredients from getting soggy or smushing all over in the oatmeal baggies.
You can make as many of these as you want and grab them on the go when you’re in a rush in the morning. Or, you can just make them from scratch when you feel like some oatmeal on a chilly winter day (like me, this morning – it was 18 degrees down here and I finally had to turn my heat on!)
Here are some of my favorite versions of this easy oatmeal (I always add at least 1 tsp of sweetener):
Peanut Butter Banana – add 1 Tb peanut butter and half a banana, sliced and quartered
Vanilla Raspberry – add a dash of vanilla extract and fresh raspberries, use milk instead of water
Healthy Fruit and Nut – add 1 Tb slivered almonds and 1 TB dried cranberries
Apple Cinnamon – add 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 apple, chopped into small pieces
I hope these recipes will save you a little time in the mornings, and get you into the healthy habit of are eating breakfast. Enjoy!