Healthier Breakfast Choices
It’s a new year and most people are making healthier choices to live a better life, if you’re not yet then here are some suggestions to start now! Whether you are just starting out on your health journey or getting back on track after the holidays it might seam overwhelming to know where to start, let me help!
Instead of changing everything about your diet all at once just make a few grocery swaps! The more often you do it the easier it will be. They say it takes 21 days to break or make a habit, and that is just want we want to do-is make healthier choices that lead to healthy habits!
*I am going to give you some options that are lower in calories.
Remember to build every meal around protein! Carbs and fats are not bad in fact they are very important and necessary to have in our diet but most people have too much of them and not enough protein. Carbs and fats are our fuel sources and if you are over eating them then your body store them as fat because if you are not burning as many calories as you are consuming in your carbs and fat your body will store it for energy.
Protein on the other hand isn’t a fuel source and your body has a very hard time storing it as fat! Also, eating more protein will keep you fuller for longer, you won’t crave sugary snacks and prioritizing it will help you stay on track because your not starving when cutting calories!
Let’s start with some breakfast ideas!
1. Swap bacon for turkey bacon!
In general a serving of turkey bacon will have the same amount of protein and carbs as regular bacon but HALF the amount of fat! We all need fat, but as with everything else all good things need to be in moderation! If you are trying to cut calories to drop a few pounds then cutting back on your fat is a great way to do so but not feel hungry! *Remember to always keep your protein the center of your meal even if especially if you want to cut calories you do not want to cut back on protein. Learn more about why protein is so important here.
I prefer Wegmans organic turkey bacon because there are No Nitrates or Nitrites Added. Not preserved. And no added sugar. *It is important to look at the ingredients of any product to make sure there are is nonsense in there, a lot of products have a lot of fillers- we just want real food!
2. Swap sausage for turkey sausage!
Same principles applies here. Compared to pork sausage, turkey sausage is significantly lower in calories and saturated fat while retaining the protein content.
This one is tricky because egg whites contains fewer calories and micronutrients, as well as less protein and fat, than a whole egg. It is also lower in protein, cholesterol, fat, vitamins, and minerals. That is because the yolk contains most of an egg’s good stuff, including the bulk of its iron, folate and vitamins.
If are solely looking for healthier options lower in calories and or fat then egg whites are the answer. If you are lacking in vitamins or minerals adding in a few whole eggs here and there would be a good make for a good balance but I wouldn’t have hole eggs every day.
I know a lot of people like to add cheese to their eggs but if we are making healthier choices then it is the best to skip that! Instead, try having half an avocado and some sea salt! Save the rest for lunch or the next day by leaving the seed in tack with some lemon or lime juice on top and in an air tight container.
4. Swap bagels, waffles, pancakes, pop tarts, muffins, pastries, any sugary treat with whole grain or gluten free toast!
Whole grain bread is a good option, Ezekiel bread (sprouted bread) is a better option. No toast is the best option, my issue with toast is who really just eats plain toast with nothing on it? Most likely not many of you, we tend to add jelly or jam, peanut or other nut butters, honey, butter, or avocado on top of our toast. I’m not saying you shouldn’t ever have those things but I wouldn’t recommend doing that every day if you are trying to lose some body fat and make healthier choices. That is because all of those foods are either high in sugar (carbs) or fats. You could add everything bagel seasoning to your toast for more flavor.
If you are looking for gluten free bread, you can read my review here.
Again we need both fats and crabs for a balanced diet but most American’s have too much of both and not enough protein.
Same thing goes for bagel, it is already high in processed carbs and most likely you would put a topping on top of it to make it higher in carbs.
As for waffles and pancakes, you would typically add syrup and or butter.
Pop tarts, muffins, danish or any other sweet bakery item, loaded with sugar and processed ingredients.
5. Swap yogurt for Greek yogurt!
Greek yogurt is filled with protein and probiotics, meaning it is typically produced with live bacterial cultures. These bacteria can help support the good bacteria that already live in your digestive system. Greek yogurt typically has double the amount of protein than other yogurts which will help keep you fuller longer. Also, Greek yogurt is generally lower in sugar!
If you are dairy free almond or cashew milk yogurt is a better option than coconut milk yogurt. Coconut milk yogurt is higher in sugar and doesn’t offer any protein. I prefer the brand Kite hill Greek style.
There are a lot of yogurt options out there, different favors and toppings with granola and candy- skip those. Instead, chose plain or unsweetened vanilla then add some real fresh fruit on top. All berries are a great option filled with antioxidants and bananas pair well with them too!
6. Potatoes; Swap oils, butter!
I love breakfast potatoes in the firing pan but this is not something we have often because it is time-consuming but also you need oil or butter to make them yummy! A healthier option would be to swap canola, vegetable, grape seed and olive oil for either avocado oil or coconut oil. Canola, olive and vegetable oils can be unsafe when cooked at a higher temperature. When greasing your pan instead of purring in oil or adding butter get an avocado or coconut oil in the spray can, that way you are only using a tiny amount and not over pouring adding in a lot of unwanted fat to your meal!
Both regular potatoes and sweet potatoes are high in carbs, but sweet potatoes do contain more antioxidants and fiber than regular potatoes and are just a little lower on the calories.
Easy tip, if you make any kind of potatoes for dinner, save the left overs for breakfast the next day, mix them in with your egg whites, onions and peppers too! Really any left over veggies is good with eggs and potatoes!
7. Swap cereal for rolled or steel cut oats!
Most cereal is loaded with sugar, you should know by now we don’t want extra sugar!! Oatmeal is fast and easy but I wouldn’t recommend that either. When possible avoid foods that need microwaved! (we will save that for another day.) So if you are going to boil your water on the stove then ok-have your oat meal.
Steel-cut oats are a better option as they contain a high amount of fiber. The fiber content in them can keep you fuller for a longer time and control cravings for unhealthy food items. Eating fiber-rich food also improves the count of healthy gut bacteria!
8. Swap smoothies for protein shakes!
There are a few things to note here;
-If using milk replace it with water.
-if using peanut butter replace with powdered nut butter. (a lot of peanut butters have soy and sugar in them) I prefer no added sugar sun butter or almond or cashew butters to peanut.
-if using pre made smoothie packets replace with 1 cup frozen fruit-any kind you like. (you don’t need the additives in packets)
-don’t use banana if you want to eat one later in the day and same with avocado. (1 day is good)
-if adding veggies some good choices are; spinach, kale, celery, frozen riced cauliflower(you can’t taste it).
-*add a scoop of protein powder! protein is what keeps us feeling full!
Here are my favorites: whey or vegan(dairy free.) *not all protein powder is created equal, I have tried ALOT and researched ALOT! You don’t want added sugars or fillers, or any ingredients you can’t pronounce! I good quality powder will not make you bloated!
9. Swap Juice for water!
Juice is filled with sugar and most of the time is not 100% anyway so just skip it.
If you are a juice person stick with orange juice to get some good quality Vitamin C but remember this is added calories.
– 8 oz. of water with 1 tbsp of baking soda. This kind: not just any brand, this is a DIY method to improve pH balance in the body, which could prevent several illnesses. If the taste is unbearable, add half a teaspoon and drink it twice.
-Lemon water: Drinking lemon warm water before meals may help promote and improve digestion. Lemons are known to help you lose weight; thanks to the presence of vitamin C and antioxidants that promote good digestion. They help in detoxifying the body, thereby helping to burn fat because the boost the body’s metabolism to a great extent.
10. Swap the fancy frappe for regular or protein coffee
I don’t drink coffee and there is nothing wrong with is but remember to keep it simple! The more flavors, sugars, syrups and whip cream you add to it the more calories you are consuming without even realizing it! If you ask me I rather eat my calories than drink them!
A great sugar swap would be switching to stevia or coconut sugar.
*Also I here protein coffee is an amazing way to add in some flavor! Again I don’t do coffee but I have seen a lot of positive feed back of adding Level-1 protein powder to your coffee to start your day without having to make a full meal.
After a month or so of eating a certain way it won’t be something you have to think about, you will just do it out of habit!
11. Not a swap but something you might not think of.
Breakfast doesn’t have to be the traditional foods you think of all the time, it can be anything you want it to be! It is the 1st thing you eat to break your fast(the reason it is called breakfast,) and shouldn’t be skipped. By eating in the morning it gives your metabolism a jump start for the day! Eating a high protein breakfast has been shown to benefit muscle health and to support weight loss by increasing muscle mass, energy expenditure (calories burned), satiety hormones, glucose regulation and by decreasing the desire to snack.
I had mentioned adding in some left over potatoes or veggies but you don’t have to limit it to just those things. I love quinoa and it is something you can make a lot of ahead of time and can have it in the morning with some avocado and turkey bacon! Mashed sweet potatoes with some cinnamon sprinkled on top is a savory flavor I like in the morning too! Throw in some broccoli and mushrooms with your eggs. Fruit is a great addition to your turkey bacon and yogurt!
What if you don’t have time to cook?
I know a lot of people resort to granola bars often as they are rushing out the door, and bars have their time and place but breakfast is not them. It really is best to start the day off with a high protein meal balanced out with healthy carbs and fats that come from real food sources to keep you feeling great as the day goes on!
If you don’t have time to cook then the best option would be a protein smoothie or protein coffee, either or literally will take less than 5 minutes to mix up! Please try to avoid drive threw or gas station breakfast options! Make good choices, your body will thank you!
You can add a high quality protein powder to just about anything, coffee, shakes/smoothies, oats/oatmeal, yogurt, you could even make protein waffles or pancakes! (remember the extra calories in the butter and syrup which makes it the good stuff.)
I hope this was helpful for you!
As always feel free to leave questions, comments or concerns!