One thing that I notice a lot in the mornings is the lack of time I have. When I use to work a 9 to 5 job, I would wake up at 8:30am, down to the last second. Bouncing out of bed under the fear of being late, I would jump in the shower and rushed out of the house faster than you can say “French toast”. Even now, as a person who works from home, I occasionally have trouble making time for breakfast because I get consumed into work. In the last several weeks, I decided to research and discover some quick, healthy & high energy breakfast recipes for myself.
If you are reading this article, chances are that you take your health seriously. There is no doubt that eating a protein-rich breakfast not only provides fuel for the day ahead, but starting the day on a full stomach also decreases the chances of making poor food choices. On an empty stomach, most people start to feel sluggish around late morning and try to compensate by a drinking a caffeinated drink or eating a sugary snack. Caffeine and sugar may give a quick rush and burst of energy, but you end up crashing soon afterwards because neither provides long-lasting nutritious fuel.
As I said earlier, one thing that we all struggle with is lack of time when it comes to healthy eating. It may seem even more challenging to find the time to prepare breakfast every day, so planning is important. Sunday is a great day to plan out your meals for the upcoming week, including breakfast. Spending a little time over the weekend will alleviate stress and make skipping breakfast difficult. Below are three different, protein-dense recipes to try. Since most of the preparation can be done over the weekend, it shouldn’t take longer than 10 minutes to have a healthy, satisfying meal to start your day.
1 chicken breast (approximately 4 ounces)
1 15 oz can black beans
1 egg (per burrito)
1 small tomato or fresh salsa
1 whole wheat tortilla
1/8 cup 2% milk or soy milk (per burrito)
Olive oil cooking spray
Hot sauce (optional)
Reduced fat mozzarella cheese (optional)
To scramble the egg:
Take a small skillet and heat to medium high. Crack 1 fresh egg in a small bowl and whisk with 1/8 cup milk, and several pinches of black pepper and cayenne pepper. Feel free to add more pepper if you like a spicier taste. Spray the skillet with olive oil spray and pour in egg mixture. The mixture will start to solidify. Take your spatula to scramble the egg. When the egg is almost cooked, remove from heat. Add ¼ shredded chicken and ¼ black beans. Cover with lid to heat up the chicken and beans. Set aside.
To prep your burrito:
Place the tortilla on a plate and sprinkle with cheese (optional). Place the egg, chicken, and bean scramble and top with cilantro, chopped tomato, or fresh salsa. Wrap the bottom and the sides of the tortilla to shape a burrito and enjoy!
In a medium pot, fill it half way with water and bring to a boil. Wash the chicken breast and cut into four pieces. When the water is boiling, drop the chicken in and boil for approximately 5 minutes, or until cooked. Remove from the water and place in a Tupperware or similar container with a lid. You will have enough shredded chicken for 2 burritos. If you would like to cook more chicken (for extra burritos, a salad, etc.), just use a bigger pot. After the chicken cools, shred by hand and refrigerate. Drain the beans in a colander or strainer and rinse thoroughly. Place in a Tupperware or similar container with a lid and refrigerate. You will only be using ¼ cup of beans per each burrito, should you will have plenty left over. If you wish, you may also wash, chop, and refrigerate your tomato.
16 ounces of water
3 cups of kale
1 lemon (preferable) or lemon juice
1 hard-boiled egg (made in advance)
Place approximately 3 cups of kale leaves in a blender. This should almost fill your blender. Add the lemon juice and water. Blend at a high speed until the juice appears smooth. Place a strainer over your drinking glass. Pour the kale juice in the strainer, which will trap all of the bigger pieces. Discard the kale remnants in the strainer. Enjoy your juice with a hardboiled egg for a well-rounded breakfast.
Rinse your kale and remove the leafy parts from the stem. Discard stem and refrigerate the kale. If you prefer freshly squeezed juice, you may also squeeze your lemon. 1 lemon will make approximately 3 tablespoons of juice, which will be enough for 3, 16 ounce glasses of kale juice. You may also hard-boil your egg(s) in advance and refrigerate.
1 10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach
3 large eggs (or ¾ cup egg whites)
1 cup shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup diced yellow or white onion
1/8 cup diced bell pepper (you can use any color pepper, or combination)
1/8 cup chopped white mushrooms
1-2 dashes hot sauce
Olive oil cooking spray
Make these over the weekend so they are ready to go on Monday morning! Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a muffin tin with the olive oil cooking spray. After the spinach is thawed, place in a colander and rinse. Wring the spinach out thoroughly and put in a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs (or egg whites), cheese, onion, peppers, mushrooms and hot sauce. Mix well with a large spoon. Fill the muffin tin cups approximately half way with the mix. Bake for 20 minutes. These may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can eat these cold or microwave for 20 seconds on high.
By prepping these 3 recipes over the weekend, you will have breakfast for the whole week practically done for you. Make it a point to eat breakfast every day for a week and evaluate how you feel. Did you have more energy during the day? Were you less likely to crave sugary, high-calorie snacks for a quick boost of energy? Did you feel healthier? Challenge yourself and let me know how it worked for you!