Despite losing an hour this weekend with Daylight Savings Time, I refuse to be one of those people who says for the next six weeks (or months…) that I just can’t get motivated in the mornings because of that “lost hour.” If you plan ahead and get your body prepared for the time change and make a few tweaks for your daily habits, you can stay on track and not miss a beat.
One of the ways I like to stay on my A-Game is to start my day with a few energizing breakfast ideas and mix-ins that provide the energy and nutrients needed to get moving in the morning.
I know what you are thinking—but haven’t you said we should be practicing intermittent fasting to increase fat burning and boost our metabolic rate? Well, yes and no. There is a time and place for everything, and there certainly isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to meal planning.
For some, skipping breakfast can set you up for overeating later in the day. So, if you fall into this category, a healthy a.m. meal will provide energy, satisfy your appetite, and set the stage for smart decisions all day long.
The key to creating a healthy and satisfying breakfast is to aim for a breakfast that combines good carbs and fiber with protein.
Instead of whipping up your usual scrambled eggs, making a protein shake, or even just grabbing a cup of coffee on your way out the door, check out the following energizing breakfast recipes recipes made up of delicious foods that can easily be added to your breakfast protein count.
If you are like me, the thought of a mushy bowl of oatmeal isn’t always appealing. Don’t get me wrong; I do enjoy overnight oats, but how about changing things up with some oatmeal cakes? Oats contain beta-glucan, which is a type of fiber shown to help lower cholesterol when eaten regularly. Oats are also a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and potassium.
Steel-cut oats contain more fiber than rolled oats or instant varieties, but any oatmeal is a healthy choice. With these oatmeal cakes, you can add fruits, nuts, and seeds on top and make it an Instagram-worthy meal.
5 Energizing Breakfast Recipes
- 1 ½ cups old-fashioned oats, divided
- ½ cup chopped almonds
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
Whipped Ricotta Topping:
- 1 part skim ricotta cheese
- 1 part honey
- ⅛ cinnamon
- In a blender (or NutriBullet®), pulse 1 cup of oats until finely ground, resembling flour.
- In a mixing bowl, add oat flour, 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats, almonds, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt and stir to combine.
- In another bowl, combine yogurt, egg, coconut oil, and vanilla, and mix until well combined.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients.
- Fold in blueberries.
- Scoop batter onto preheated skillet/frying pan to make 5 large cakes.
- Use a spatula to gently flatten the mixture until it looks like patties.
- Cook for 3 – 4 minutes on each side.
- Top with whipped ricotta topping.
Chef Note: You can up the ante by dropping a few blueberries into the mix.
Chef Note: Optional toppings include nuts, seeds, and more berries.
Oatmeal Cakes Nutrition Facts:
- Calories: 360
- Total Fat: 21 g
- Total Carbohydrate: 32 g
- Fiber: 5 g
- Protein: 12 g
Grapefruit with Cottage Cheese (or Greek Yogurt)
Grapefruit is hydrating, filling, and packed with immunity-boosting antioxidants. For a well-rounded breakfast, pair it with protein such as Greek yogurt or cottage cheese. I am partial to Greek yogurt as this tangy, creamy yogurt is a good source of calcium and also provides plenty of protein. In fact, it provides nearly twice as much as regular yogurt—to keep you feeling full throughout the morning.
Chef Note: You can also top your Greek yogurt or cottage cheese with nuts, seeds, or berries.
Chef Note: If you are taking medication, please check with your physician or pharmacist as grapefruit and grapefruit juice can interfere with some prescription drugs.
Oatmeal and Cottage Cheese Nutrition Facts:
1 serving (1 grapefruit, 1 cup cottage cheese, 1 tablespoon almonds)
- Calories: 354
- Total Fat: 14 g
- Total Carbohydrate: 28 g
- Fiber: 4 g
- Protein: 32 g
Oatmeal and Greek Yogurt Nutrition Facts:
1 serving (1 grapefruit, 1 cup Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon almonds)
- Calories: 403
- Total Fat: 26 g
- Total Carbohydrate: 34 g
- Fiber: 4 g
- Protein: 13 g
Whole Wheat English Muffin with Peanut Butter and Banana
If you are over avocado toast and feel you need a little more oomph to your morning, you can look for ways to kick it up. For example, add some scrambled eggs topped with Everything Bagel Seasoning and red pepper flakes to your avocado toast.
Or, you could begin with whole wheat toast or an English muffin and add your favorite nut butter and sliced banana.
Bananas do a bang-up job keeping those mid-morning cravings at bay. When not quite ripe, they are also the best sources of resistant starch, a healthy carbohydrate that keeps you feeling fuller longer.
Almond butter is a good source of protein and monounsaturated fat (one of the good fats).
Combine the two on a whole-wheat English muffin, and you have yourself an energizing breakfast of champions.
Peanut Butter and Banana Whole Wheat Muffin Nutrition Facts:
- Calories: 325
- Total Fat: 9.4 g
- Total Carbohydrate: 52 g
- Fiber: 7 g
- Protein: 9.8 g
Baked French Toast
Fresh or frozen, blueberries are low in calories, sitting at roughly 80 calories a cup, and pack a major antioxidant punch. Studies suggest that consuming blueberries can help improve everything from memory and motor skills to blood pressure and metabolism.
Add them to a hearty whole wheat bread, some nuts and seeds, and a solid protein source and you have yourself a great breakfast that can be prepared well in advance.
- 1 loaf whole wheat bread
- 1 cup blueberries
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- ½ cup cottage cheese
- 2 cups eggs
- 2 ½ cups milk
- 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ¼ tsp almond extract
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Tear the bread into 1-inch cubes.
- Mix bread cubes, blueberries, and almond slices.
- Spread the mixture evenly in a prepared baking dish.
- Blend cottage cheese in a blender (or NutriBullet®).
- Add eggs, milk, sugar, and extracts to cottage cheese.
- Pour the liquid over the top of the bread.
- Cover French toast with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove the foil and then bake for another 20 minutes until the casserole is puffy and golden brown.
Chef Note: For best results, cover the casserole and let it sit for at least an hour in the refrigerator. I like to let it set up overnight. Then I can just pop it in the oven in the morning.
Baked French Toast Nutrition Facts:
- Calories: 392
- Total Fat: 14.5 g
- Total Carbohydrate: 46 g
- Fiber: 7.3 g
- Protein: 20 g
Sweet Potato Hash
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled
- 1 red pepper, finely diced
- 1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
- 4 chicken sausages, precooked
- 4 cups kale, deboned
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Place 1 Tbsp coconut oil in a nonstick skillet and heat over medium-high heat.
- Grate sweet potato into shreds, or cut into ½-inch cubes. (I prefer shredded.)
- Add sweet potato, onion, garlic, red pepper, and sliced chicken sausages to the skillet.
- Sauté for 5 – 7 minutes or until onions become translucent.
- Add kale and sauté until it has wilted and reached the desired texture.
- Add 2 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar.
- Gently stir and enjoy!
Sweet Potato Hash Nutrition Facts:
- Calories: 322
- Total Fat: 16 g
- Total Carbohydrate: 27 g
- Fiber: 4 g
- Protein: 21 g