By Yajen Tan
I love breakfast. Whether it’s out to the local breakfast diner for pancakes and sausage, or at home with my usual smoothie or oats, I think breakfast is a huge opportunity to both enjoy a delicious meal and set yourself up for an effective day. I’ve experimented with dozens of breakfast options and how well they hold up to various activities to see which ones really work the best. So here are a couple breakfast options that can make or break your day.
Make it: Oatmeal
This is one of my favorite meals. A well-designed bowl of oats can really help stabilize your energy levels throughout the day. Thanks to the high-fiber content, oatmeal helps me avoid crashing by midday or late afternoon. The best part of oatmeal is that there is so much flexibility in how you can prepare it, you can almost add in whatever ingredients that you enjoy the most. Whenever I get tired of my usual recipe, I’ll mix it up a little and make my Reese’s pieces flavored oats.
If you want to check out a couple oats recipes, here are my 3 delicious breakfast recipes for under $3.
Make it: Breakfast sandwich
I know a lot of people enjoy a hot and fresh meal when they wake up in the morning. If you’re one of those people, then a breakfast sandwich is definitely a great option for you. Don’t make the mistake of running off to your local fast food joint, you can easily make a nutrient-dense breakfast sandwich in minutes.
Here are a couple ingredients that I recommend including:
- Seasoned nitrate-free sausage
- Arugula or any salad mix
Make it: Fresh-made Breakfast smoothie
The breakfast smoothie has become part of my daily routine. It’s super easy on my stomach and contains tons of fibrous vegetables that I otherwise struggle to get into my diet. If you find that you have trouble getting in enough vegetables into your diet too, I definitely recommend giving breakfast smoothies a shot.
I like having my food ready quick, so I try to cut down to only the bare minimum that I need. These are the ingredients that I use:
- Sprout’s triple-washed spring salad blend
- Frozen blueberries
Some ingredients that I would recommend to bump up the protein and fat content include:
- Greek Yogurt
- Chia Seeds
- Almond Milk
Depends: No breakfast at all
Fasting was something that I played around with a lot in the past year. It’s definitely something that has received a lot of attention in the fields of health and wellness lately, so I’m really interested in what more research has to show about it. The form of fasting that I personally tried was calling intermittent fasting, with a 16-hour fasted period. That meant that every day, I was allowed 8 hours to eat.
This can sound challenging at first, but it actually saved me a lot of time. I would usually cut off my food intake around 6-8 PM and fast until noon the next day. It does take a couple of days to get used to not having breakfast in the morning, but after the adjustment period, I woke up everyday feeling alert, awake, and full of energy. One of the downsides that I realized, during my experience, was that it can definitely be hard to fit in all of your calories in such a short feeding period.
If you’re interested more in what happens when you start to fast, check out Allison’s article on 6 Things That Happened When I Tried Intermittent Fasting For A Week.
Break it: Coffee and donuts
On the weekends, I sometimes hop on over to the Dunkin’ Donuts near my girlfriend’s house to grab a coffee and donut while I get some work done. To be quite honest, coffee and donuts definitely sparks my brain up first thing in the morning. I often notice myself getting quite a bit done in those 2-3 hours following my wake up call. Unfortunately, time and time again, I end up crashing by around noon and have to drag myself chug more coffee before I regain any sort of efficiency again. It’s great as a temporary fix, but definitely not sustainable enough for me to recommend as a regular routine.