The Simple Healthy Breakfast Switches You Can Make Today
We've all heard the saying: "breakfast is the most important meal of the day". We'd like to add an amendment: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day to get right. What you choose to eat for breakfast is possibly more important than lunch or dinner because it has a much greater knock on effect. Case in point: It's been shown munching on protein and fat in the morning can keep sugar cravings at bay, effectively setting you up for a good 24-hours of eating. Opting for sugary cereal or the like does the opposite. If this is true, why do we continue to rely on nutrition-poor choices (and extra-large coffees) to get us through?
Convenience aside, sometimes a hankering for a particular food just won't be beat. (There's no point sliding a big ol' bowl of kale and eggs under your hungover nose at 7a.m. on a Monday unless there's a toast and butter—or possibly cheeseburger—chaser nearby.) The trick in these situations is to go for a slightly more healthy version of these foods to deliver nutrition to your body while still sating your cravings. Basically you're aiming for "better" not "best". Enter: Us! Ahead you'll find five easy swaps for the popular (but not overly healthy) breakfast options you rely on weekly.
We get it, sometimes you just really feel like a fruit smoothie. If you're convinced you're making a healthy choice, know this: they're often packed with sugar. And before you say "how bad can they really be?" let us tell you: a recent survey found that a Mango Fruzie from Gloria Jean's contains the equivalent of 31 teaspoons of sugar. That's almost double the amount found in a 600ml bottle of Coca-Cola. Yikes. If you feel like fruit, eat the real stuff and go for low-sugar varieties like berries. You'll reap more benefits (like fibre and vitamins) for less calories. Add a dollop of sugar-free yoghurt for protein to help you stay fuller for longer.
The struggle of coffee addiction is real. Add in some cream, sugar and syrup a la your favourite flavoured frappucino and you're in danger country. Not only are frappucinos calorie bombs, they too can be full of sugar. Also? They're not breakfast. (No, the "C" in vitamin C does not stand for caffeine...) If you can't give up your coffee fix, try making iced coffee at home. It's simple and quick and means you can cut out most if not all of the sugar. (Plus, it gives you a reason to buy this chic coffee thermos, $40.) Add just a splash of milk to cut calories, and serve alongside some actual food.
The debate rages on over whether gluten is the devil or just an over-hyped victim of the paleo movement. There are many who believe we would all do better on a gluten-free diet, even people who don't show obvious intolerance, but the choice is yours. If you do want to ditch gluten but don't want to forgo your beloved muesli, try quinoa bircher. It's delicious, contains more protein than oats, and doesn't contain any of the unhealthy additional ingredients processed mueslis do. If you don't want to go GF? At least opt for an un-toasted muesli as these tend to be lower in unhealthy fats and sugars.
Who doesn't love an apricot danish with their morning latte? Pastries may be delicious (and they are—don't play) but their nutritional value is poor, if not non-existent. Swap in wholegrain toast for a carb fix and top with homemade chia jam for added omega 3s and fibre. This recipe from Oh My Veggies is relatively low in sugar and so easy even a kitchen dunce could make it.
Ahh the legendary hangover breakfast that is the cheesy bacon and egg roll. We're not here to tell you you'll never feel the absolute need to wrap your hands around one of these again but there is a healthier alternative you might want to try. Baked eggs are a great way to sneak veggies into your brekkie (so too adding baby spinach to just about any savoury dish) and they're deceptively easy to make. This recipe includes ricotta for a little extra flavour but you can dress yours up with anything from chilli flakes to flaked smoked salmon.