The morning is a difficult time. The alarm goes off, and it takes an army of effort just to peel yourself out of bed. Your mind is foggy, your limbs feel like Jell-O, and all you want to do is crawl back into bed. Who has time to think about breakfast?
What if we told you that breakfast can actually make all of those feelings of tiredness go away? It’s true: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Of course, that also depends on what you’re eating. With so little time in the morning, how do you get a nutritious breakfast that is also quick to pull together? Here are six ways to get that quick, nutritious boost of energy in the morning.
1. Protein will keep you full all day.
Protein takes longer for the body to break down, so it keeps you full longer. It will also keep you energized throughout the day. Prepare some hard-boiled eggs at the beginning of the week that you can have every morning. Have a bowl of yogurt in the morning before work. Any type of high-protein breakfast will keep your energy levels up and stop you from reaching for that bag of chips later in the day.
2. Avoid the bad sugar.
Before you reach for that Pop-Tart, think about whether it’s really helping or hurting you. Processed sugars can give you a quick jolt of energy, but they often lead to sugar crashes and do nothing for the overall health of your body. If you are looking for that blast of sugar energy, try a more natural and healthy sugar substitute. Bananas are an excellent way to get a boost of healthful energy. Add some natural honey to your toast. Any kind of fruit is a good way to start the day with a nutritious kick of energy.
3. Fiber will fill you up and help cut the fat.
Fiber is known not only for its health benefits, such as helping with digestion, but also for its ability to increase energy and keep you full. Starting the day with a high-fiber breakfast can have lasting effects throughout the day. Keep a box of oatmeal in your desk drawer so you can make it in the office. Carry fresh fruit, such as apples and pears, with you to work, or grab a banana on your way out the door. Eat whole-grain toast instead of white bread. Just remember to drink plenty of water, which fiber needs to function in your body.
4. Avoid the breakfast bars.
Most of those energy or breakfast bars are not as healthful as you might think. While some actually do have some health benefits, they can also be high in fat and sugar. So read the nutritional labels carefully and eat only in moderation. They are no substitute for a bowl of cereal.
5. Start your morning with a smoothie.
Smoothies are easy to make and have loads of health benefits, depending on what you add to them. If you don’t have the time to buy and cut up fresh fruit for your smoothie, you can use frozen fruits, which work just as well and sometimes contain more vitamins because they are frozen at their peak. Try to use plain yogurt, since the fruit you add will sweeten the smoothie for you. And be sure to add extras like protein powder and flaxseed oil to get the full benefits of each smoothie. And of course, alter your ingredients to make the smoothie that tastes good to you!
6. Sweeten up your boring breakfast.
Let’s face it, a healthful breakfast every morning can get boring. If the same old fiber cereal is getting boring, add a cut-up banana to the bowl. Don’t like the taste of plain yogurt? Add some blueberries. Pour some cinnamon on your oatmeal, or spread some natural honey on your toast. There are plenty of naturally sweet ways for you to add some flavor to your boring breakfast. Just make sure that what you are adding is naturally sweet, such as fruit or honey.
You don’t need to eat a full meal to get yourself charged for the day. You just need to be aware of what you are putting in your body. Anything processed or full of sugar is going to make you crash halfway into your morning. Foods that are high in protein and fiber will help energize you all day. Remember, making better choices in the morning will help facilitate better choices throughout the day.