BY LISA S.T. DOSS
Expressions are truthful! Take the phrase, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” In the moment of wakefulness, absent from food and water for six to eight hours, the body immediately needs vitamins and nutrients to replenish energy to focus and accomplish tasks. Beyond performance, studies link the morning meal to the body’s internal functions, such as lowering cholesterol, reducing the risk for diabetes and maintaining a healthy weight. In the fast-paced rhythm of most mornings, the body responds without nutrition. In a need to eat, is the first choice a pre-packaged, high-fat and sugared food? Still hungry? Yes! Are you ready to feel satisfied and full and nibble less?
Chia Berry Parfait: The small seeds pack a punch for wellness. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, chia provides fiber, iron and calcium. The only downfall to chia is that the seeds must soak in water and refrigerate overnight. Other ingredients include almond milk, raw honey, granola and berries. (Multiple recipes are available online.)
Blueberry Almond, Quinoa Smoothie: Described as a “superfood” for its protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, quinoa (pronounced “Ke-No-Ah”) is a seed with a slightly nutty taste.
Recipe: Add one cup of uncooked quinoa and two cups of almond milk to a pot. Cook until boiling; then, lower heat and cover until all liquid evaporates. Fluff and wait until cooled to room temperature. Set aside.
In a blender, pour two cups of almond milk and add four cups of frozen berries. Turn off when contents appear creamy. Transition rich-blue contents to two small bowls, add quinoa and drizzle with honey and toasted almonds!
Greek Yogurt Parfait: Choose protein and probiotic-enriched Greek yogurt over brands which contain high fructose corn syrup.
Recipe: Combine one cup of your favorite flavors, which may be strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, kiwi and mangoes. Add a half-cup of frozen blueberries, two teaspoons of sugar and five or six thinly sliced mint leaves. Mix with eight ounces of Greek yogurt. If desiring a crunch, consider mixing in a cup of granola. (Read labels to choose a brand containing whole ingredients, such as raisins, seeds and nuts!) An alternative option is a whole grain, low-sugar cereal.
Outside the Box
Breakfast Pizza: Tomatoes have a wealth of calcium, potassium and phosphorus. Ricotta cheese offers protein and calcium, which strengthens bones.
Recipe: Begin with a slice of whole grain toast, spread part skim ricotta cheese and top with sliced tomatoes.
Avocado Toast: As a good source of dietary fiber, avocados contain vitamins A, B, C, E and K. To improve the trendy, powerhouse breakfast, add one tablespoon of chia seeds to the mashed avocado and consider sprinkling crumbled goat cheese. To aid heart health, add a pinch of red pepper flakes!
Overnight Oats: Before bed, add equal measurements (½ cup) oats and a favorite type of milk to a Mason jar. Stir in two tablespoons of powdered peanut butter, a half-mashed, extra-ripe banana. Mix well, cover and place in the refrigerator. By morning, you’ll have breakfast waiting for you!
Coffee Cup Scramble: Grab your favorite microwave-safe mug. Apply cooking spray; then, add two eggs, two tablespoons of milk and shredded spinach. Need fiber? Sprinkle one tablespoon of flax seeds. Whisk together, and microwave for 1 ½ minutes until the eggs are firm. Add your favorite cheese and enjoy!
Poached Eggs with Broccoli and Tomatoes: You could add any number of vegetables to your eggs; however, try a combination of preparing cooked broccoli (under five minutes) and whole cherry tomatoes (30 seconds in a rolling boil) alongside a poached egg. Protein can also come from a tablespoon of sunflower, pumpkin or sesame seeds. You can consider adding a slice of flatbread or ham!
Protein-enriched breakfasts can take your favorite flavors to a new level. The trick is to learn more about flavorful additives. Kale, for instance, contains powerful antioxidants and is an excellent source of vitamin C. Goat cheese, on the other hand, is essential for healthy bones and includes a combination of calcium, phosphorus and copper. Start researching! Breakfast could become inspirational!