Greek Yogurt Parfait
It’s quick, easy, and healthy to make your own parfaits at home. Choose Greek yogurt rather than regular—the extra protein will kick-start your body and get you ready for the day ahead. Some kinds of Greek yogurt contain saturated fat, which in moderation is necessary for your body, but harmful when over-consumed. If you’re trying to cut down on your saturated fat intake, choose one of the many brands of fat-free or low-fat Greek yogurt instead.
Now that you have the base of your parfait, it’s time to get creative! For a grain element, add in some oats or granola (try to choose a type that’s low in sugar). Finally, top it off with fresh fruit such as strawberries or blueberries. All things together, this is a healthy breakfast idea that tastes so good you won’t believe you’re not eating dessert.
Whole Grain Toast and Scrambled Eggs
If you’ve traditionally been more of a white bread fan in the past, one of the best changes you can make is to make the switch to whole grain. While white bread is a simple carbohydrate and digests the same way as sugar (hitting the bloodstream right away), whole grain bread digests more slowly, steadily releasing the complex-carbohydrate energy you’ll need to feel alert and refreshed until lunch time. Pair your toast with some butter or fruit preserves for flavor.
Don’t skip the eggs, because incorporating protein into your breakfast has been proven to raise brain functioning levels and help you stay satiated for longer. One or two eggs should be enough to see these benefits. And, of course, you don’t have to scramble them—if you prefer sunny side up, nobody’s stopping you!
Oatmeal is a perfect breakfast idea for providing both slow-release energy and a punch of protein. If you’re crunched for time, buy quick-cooking oats, which cook in about a minute, but if you have a few minutes to spare, opt for rolled oats, which cook in about five minutes and are less processed. Rolled oats contain reasonably high amounts of fiber and protein, optimizing digestion and energy levels.
To make oatmeal for two, boil 1 and ½ cups of water in a saucepan, then stir in a cup of rolled oats. You can also add flaxseed, oat bran, raisins, or blueberries to make things a little more interesting! Then simmer, uncovered, for about five minutes. After five minutes, remove the oatmeal from the burner and allow it to sit for an additional two minutes so it can absorb the extra liquid. Lastly, pump up nutrients and flavor by adding nuts, cinnamon, coconut, or dried fruit. If you’d like a touch of sweetness, drizzle on some honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar prior to serving.
Pancakes are pretty standard, but recently some new alternatives to the traditional flapjack have been emerging, not the least of which is the protein pancake. Whereas normal pancakes are mostly carbs, the protein pancake is a great breakfast idea that incorporates all the most important nutrients to begin the day.
Making these pancakes isn’t too hard. They require oats, cottage cheese, egg whites, protein powder, and cooking spray. It’s best to use a blender to make sure the protein powder is mixed completely, rather than trying to do it by hand. Once the batter is made, just cook it like a normal pancake! Blueberries make a great, healthy addition to this breakfast idea, and maple syrup adds a pleasant moisture and flavor.
So, to recap: the two main components of a healthy breakfast are protein and complex carbohydrates. Try these recipes and stay away from that latte and chocolate chip muffin—we guarantee you’ll notice the difference!