Health: 5 Ways to Get Out of Your Breakfast Rut

August 21st, 2020

Eggs? Cereal? Smoothies? Why stick to just one?

Senior man eating breakfast in bed

A delicious, healthy breakfast will keep you feeling full, set your energy level for the day and bring you closer to your wellness and fitness goals. Steal some inspiration from the ideas below, designed for every breakfast dilemma.

1. If you love a carb-y breakfast …

Cereal, oats and other carb-loaded options can be healthy, and complex carbs can give you a steady energy boost. However, they tend to be low in protein, which helps fill you up and preserve muscle mass, says nutritionist Lauren Harris-Pincus, R.D.N., author of “The Protein-Packed Breakfast Club.”

Her suggestion: Whisk 3 tablespoons of whey or plant-based protein powder into milk, then top with cereal and fresh fruit.

2. If you’re training for a race …

If your mornings are all about training runs or you always start the day by crushing it at the gym, your breakfast goal should be to enhance rapid muscle recovery. With this in mind, aim for a mix of fast-digesting carbs and protein, suggests Molly Kimball, R.D., a nutritionist based in New Orleans.

She suggests blending frozen mango cubes, a carton of plain low-fat Greek yogurt and milk, along with a serving of beetroot powder and a dash of cayenne. The fruit and dairy help replenish electrolytes, which are critical for muscle function. The beetroot powder delivers nitrates. “Our body converts it to nitric oxide, which enhances blood vessel dilation and increases blood flow capacity. It can also help with recovery,” says Kimball. In addition to giving your taste buds a flavor kick, the cayenne has anti-inflammatory properties to help with muscle recovery.

3. If you’re not really a breakfast person …

Not into a big breakfast? Go ahead and have a little bite, instead. “Your body is low on energy, and your muscles are breaking down protein,” explains Kathy Siegel, R.D.N., a nutrition communication consultant in New Jersey.

Siegel suggests picking up half-cup servings of cottage cheese. Each contains 13 grams of protein to help keep you full and boost muscle synthesis and repair, she says. Top it off with hemp seeds, which deliver fiber, protein and minerals. Add sliced cherry tomatoes and basil if you want something even more savory.

4. If you’re looking to lose weight …

First, chug a big glass of H2O, says Ilana Muhlstein, R.D., a Los Angeles-based nutritionist. Then, go for a combo of fiber (for sustained energy) and protein (for satiety), which will help you stay on track toward your goals, she says.

Try an egg scramble made with two eggs and your veggies of choice. Then, serve it with a big handful of berries. Both raspberries and blackberries contain 8 grams of fiber per cup.

5. If you only have five minutes before running out the door …

A smoothie is the way to go. “You can pack tons of nutrients into an easily digestible breakfast,” says Keri Glassman, R.D., a dietitian and healthy-living expert. It takes about five minutes to throw together, but if you don’t have that time in the morning, blend it the night before, put it into a travel cup and you’ll be ready to hit the road.

Glassman suggests adding greens to your morning smoothie: try blending almond milk, almond butter, banana, dates, broccoli rabe, oats, hemp seeds and vanilla.

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