Mornings are tough. If you’re like me, you have a gigantic list of tasks to accomplish before you get on with the business of the day. Does eating a healthy breakfast even fit into your morning schedule? You may find you only have time for a piece of toast, which means you likely aren’t getting enough protein.
The Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences recommends women over 14 need 46 g of protein daily. Men 19 and older require 56 g on a daily basis. You have been fasting the whole night and your blood sugar might be low. Skipping breakfast is never a good option.
Protein helps deliver enough energy to get you through to lunch. Eating an adequate amount in the morning will help regulate your blood sugar levels, keep you full and start your day off on the right track.
1. Blend a Protein Smoothie or Shake
I make a protein smoothie every morning. I always make sure to incorporate protein, vegetables and healthy fats, all in a handy beverage. I like to use brown rice protein powder, which contains 16 g of protein per serving. You would also get about seven grams of protein combining a cup of spinach, a cup of kale and half an avocado. Two tablespoons of almond butter also has around eight grams of protein. For variety, throw in a handful of almonds or cashews. Overall, you will be getting quite the power boost in the morning. Hint: I prepare my smoothie at night and keep it in the fridge.
2. Boil Some Eggs
Another morning protein option is eggs. They are easy to make and definitely complement a complete breakfast. One egg contains 5.54 g of protein. If you choose organic there will be more vitamins, beta-carotene and omega-3s. To get all that energy in the morning, you will need to leave enough time for preparation. An omelet or scrambled eggs are good choices, but it might run you a few extra minutes. To save time, boil a couple of eggs before you go to bed and store them in the fridge. When you wake up, peel and slice, and add it to a piece of whole-grain toast. A few baby spinach leaves and a slice of avocado will also add some flavor and extra nutrients.
3. Spread on Your Nuts and Seeds
There is so much variety when it comes to nuts and seeds. In a quarter cup you obtain a decent amount of protein—cashews contain 5.24 g, almonds contain 7.62 g, walnuts have 3.81 g of protein and pumpkin seeds have 8.47 g.
Sprinkle them over your whole-grain cereal or add them to your smoothie. Most nuts and seeds come in versions you can easily spread on toast, too. Almond butter, cashew butter, tahini (sesame seeds), pumpkin seed butter and sunflower seed butter are excellent. Spread them on your favorite healthy bread option or on top of apple or pear slices.
The digestive process of protein is slow which is why it keeps you full for so long. But preparing high-quality protein doesn’t need to take a lot of your time. Plan and prep ahead, and you can feel great and full of energy all through the morning.
Mateljan, G., The World’s Healthiest Foods: Essential Guide for the healthiest way of eating (Seattle: George Mateljan Foundation, 2007), 510, 514, 520, 526, 538, 548, 636, 778.
“Why a High Protein Breakfast is a Good Way to Start Your Day,” FitDay website; http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/why-a-high-protein-breakfast-is-a-good-way-to-start-your-day.html, last accessed May 26, 2014.