Easy breakfast ideas to fuel your workday!
–by Erika D White, Fitness Motivator & Creator of Fitzone
PUBLICATION DATE: JUNE 2017
Whoever coined the phrase “breakfast of champions” obviously has never ridden with me on the way to work; balancing a bowl of cereal while trying to drive with one knee is not easy, nor recommended! Throw in dropping off a kid or two, who also require a morning feeding, and the aggravation of morning quickly minimizes the need for breakfast to be little more than a relaxing glass of wine…whoops, we’re talking about morning, aren’t we? Rewind! …and the aggravation of morning quickly minimizes the need for breakfast to be little more than a relaxing glass of coffee. It was with daily daytime drama that the reality quickly settled in that this “breakfast of champions” fantasy wasn’t quite working out for me. Lying in bed one night, I came up with one of my best ideas ever. I would first, be retiring as the Indie one-knee driving champion; and second, I would be switching to a better alternative for my breakfast routine.
I knew my new and improved breakfast needed to follow the simple rule of the SNAP-E! (Yes, I agree that the “E” is a little vain, but hey, aren’t we all?) Breakfast was now about satiety, nutrition, affordability, portability and being relatively easy. Satiety, because it should be a mortal sin to eat and still be hungry; nutritious, because it is about eating the right foods to fuel the body; affordable, because wine and cute shoes are NOT to be negotiated; portable, because breakfast should be pocket-sized or served on skewers; and easy, because we all need that one thing we can achieve without great effort.
The real reason for breakfast is to fuel the body for whatever activity comes along the way. The right amount of protein, carbs, and fat, aka macronutrients from whole foods, don’t just get you outside the breakfast box, they smash the box. Make breakfast the best part of your day with some of my favorite fuel combinations. Skip the sugary cereals, buttery breads, and processed meats that feed your face and not your body. Don’t forget to cut your portions into mouth-sized pieces along with toothpicks for skewers and divided plates or bowls for portability. And of course, keep your knee off the wheel, your mom will thank you.
Suggested for the morning when work is away from the desk or on the move
41g Carbs; 11g Fat; 34g Protein
1 medium apple
1 slice whole wheat toast
1 tablespoon almond butter
3 ounces chicken breast
Suggested for the morning when you need to get in control of your hunger
31g Carbs; 15g Fat; 36g Protein
2 extra-large, hard-boiled egg whites
1-70 gram pouch of tuna, any type
(not to exceed 110 calories a serving)
2-3 avocado slices or 1 oz.
3 oz. each, cantaloupe and watermelon
12 raw almonds
Suggested for a long morning of meetings and/or conferences
34g Carbs; 10g Fat; 27g Protein
1 medium banana
1/8 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup of plain Greek yogurt*
*your best choice is Fage or equivalent;
if the taste is too bitter, add a teaspoon
of cinnamon and a teaspoon of sweetener
Suggested for the morning where lasting until lunch is not an option
34g Carbs; 16g Fat; 33g Protein
½ cup strawberries
1 cup 0% plain Greek yogurt
½ multigrain light muffin
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon almond butter
If you have a nut allergy or want a few more choices, foods like salmon, avocado, olive oil, chia seeds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, olives, hummus, and tahini are great examples of healthy fat substitutions.
For vegetarians and vegans, or anyone looking for more plant-based protein suggestions, foods like tofu, black beans, tempeh, edamame, spinach, and green peas are my favorite choices for their protein content and tastiness.
Fage, or any equivalent brand Greek yogurt, is what I recommend. Focus on the protein and sugar content when comparing to an equivalent. Fage slays the competition with its protein content. One cup, or individual container, ranges from 18-24 grams of protein.
Not a fan of Greek yogurt? I get it. Not everyone likes the creamy, thick texture. Choose a plain yogurt that is low in calories (120 or less), fat (4g or less), and sugar (less than 20g).
Erika D. White is a certified fitness professional who believes in building strong, healthy, ageless men and women.
Connect with Erika at ErikaWhite.net
or every Tuesday at noon on 13abc’s Ask the Expert