Most of us have learned by now that eating the right (or wrong) breakfast can easily set the tone for the entire day. At worst, it might mean suffering through a caffeine-and-sugar-induced roller coaster that leaves us wishing for a noontime nap; at best, however, breakfast can deliver abundant and consistent energy that lasts—especially when it’s made up of a balance of nutrients that are sourced from real foods.
To make this happen, we need to include proteins, fats, fibers, and the appropriate carbohydrate choices—all from the least-processed foods we have access to. For better nutrition and energy–as well as for those who have found success with the low-GI lifestyle–it’s time to think outside the (cereal) box.
Here are a few creative, non-traditional breakfast ideas worth trying:
Soup– if you prefer a hot breakfast but have had enough of bacon and eggs, homemade soup is a quick and easy alternative—especially if you make enough for leftovers. Veggies and beans contribute both flavor and fiber, and including a whole protein source like chicken, tofu or beef will add needed nutrients and energy. Add a little finesse with your favorite spices and you’ve got a simple, heartwarming meal that can be enjoyed anytime!
Salad– The cool crunch of fresh greens and vegetables first thing in the morning may seem a bit odd, but a filling salad can be prepared quickly and provides a filling host of fiber sources that keep your tummy from growling for hours—a few fresh berries can help with the transition, and make it seem more like breakfast. Add a protein of your choice, along with nuts and seeds, for a breakfast that fills you up with slow-digesting, clean-burning fuel.
Chili– a warm bowl of chili delivers a much better “Stick to Your Ribs” fullness than a cold bowl of cereal, and there’s something to be said for starting the day on a spicy note. Since this one typically takes a little while it’s best prepared ahead of time (such as for dinner the night before?), but this meat-and-bean combination provides plenty of protein and fiber, along with slow-digesting carbohydrates that will fuel your brain for hours before hunger strikes again.
Stir-fry– if you don’t happen to have a wok, use your favorite egg pan to melt some coconut butter and sesame oil and put the heat on some chopped broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and onions. Add chicken, beef or pork to the mix, and jazz it up with a handful of cashews, red pepper flakes, ginger, garlic, and a shot of soy sauce for a refreshing start to your morning.
Breakfast Cheesecake– While it’s not quite the Italian tradition, this dessert-lover’s breakfast is simple, sweet and satisfying. Begin by mixing 1 cup of cottage cheese with 1-2 scoops of vanilla-flavored whey protein powder. Add a handful of your favorite berries, a few tablespoons of granola and finish with a dash of cinnamon. Behind all the great taste is nutrition that lasts!
Breakfast, more than any other meal, should promote a rise in energy, satisfaction, and readiness to tackle the day’s tasks. If some of these suggestions seem odd, bear in mind: breakfast is nothing more than the first meal of the day, and it doesn’t have to be limited to what you may have grown up with. Give some of these Dinner-for-Breakfast ideas a try the next time you get bored—you’ll be glad you did.