We all know that a good breakfast is essential for giving us the energy to go about our day productively and happily, but how often do we pass it over thinking we'll just make up for it at lunch? By then it's too late, and we've also missed our chance to take advantage of the metabolism boosting benefits that comes with an early meal. Skipping breakfast, or making poor choices, can leave us foggy-headed and fatigued, and if you work in a particularly demanding industry this can make it difficult to perform well. It's also dangerous to miss it if you work in healthcare, for example, where impairment of your ability to pay attention and think clearly could have grave consequences. Whether you're finishing your online DNP program or you’ve been in the healthcare industry for years, or any other field where you need to be at your very best, it’s imperative to start your day with a healthy breakfast.
Here are the top breakfast choices to properly fuel your body and brain - and they're all simple and quick, so no excuses!
We're not talking about the instant variety. Although convenient and tasty, those little packets are loaded with sugar and sodium. Slow cooking rolled or steel-cut oats are the way to go for energy that is released into your bloodstream slowly and steadily. That means you won't get a blood sugar spike that ends in an energy crash. If you just don't have the 10 minutes or so that it takes to cook your oats, make a small pot in advance and then heat it up in the microwave in the morning - I freshen mine with a bit of extra coconut or oat milk then give it a good stir. Top with fresh berries, nuts, and flax seed, but watch the honey because while it's natural, it's still pure sugar regardless of where it came from. Other benefits of oatmeal are that it can lower your cholesterol, is high in soluble fiber, and it's packed with vitamins and protein.
Now before you go and reach for the first fruit that catches your eye, let's point out a couple of standout options. Bananas are one of your best bets in the morning. Not only are they filled with healthy carbs and potassium, they will also help to keep you feeling full for longer. This is very important for those who work long shifts with little to no breaks. Even better, pair a banana with your oatmeal to maximise the benefits of each. Apples are packed with vitamins and fiber - another nice accompaniment for your oatmeal and even nicer with cinnamon - which means they deliver energy slowly. Oranges are another great choice, giving a good dose of vitamin C to get you going, and they have folate and potassium. Antioxidant-packed blueberries and strawberries are excellent choices as well.
Here's another basic food that is packed with all kinds of healthy nutrients. Eggs are a great source of vitamin D and protein. Eating eggs typically helps to make you feel full for longer periods of time, and it can help to stabilize your insulin and blood sugar levels. If you often find yourself pressed for time, hard boil a few and keep them in the fridge for the morning. You can even peel them before storing them for a super quick, fuss free breakfast. If you have time, round it out with some fruit or grab a handful of spinach leaves for a big dose of vitamins and minerals that are known for restoring energy.
More popular than ever, Greek yogurt, or baltic style, is thick and creamy, so a little goes a long way in filling you up. Yogurt naturally has good bacteria which will help to keep your gut happy and healthy. Combine it with your favourite fueling fruits, nuts and seeds to make the most of it. And be careful not to choose the sugary alternatives to plain yogurt that contain sugary fruit puree.
High energy breakfast smoothie
There really are endless options for delicious and energy boosting smoothies, so experiment with different combinations to find the ones you want to walk up to most. However, if you combine the suggestions found in this list - try banana, berries, a handful of spinach, a bit of Greek yogurt, and a sprinkling of oats, all blended with water or unsweetened almond, oat, rice or coconut milk - you'll be sure to get a good start to your day with ho hunger pangs to distract you before lunch!