A blog by ordinary people about living an extraordinary life
Once again, my sister Jenn has come through with some great ideas. When you are no longer stopping at Dunkin Donuts on the way to the office to grab an egg and cheese sandwich with a large coffee, what do you make for breakfast. Meghan used to take a packet of oatmeal every morning to work, but even with all the varieties of flavors at the store, you can get bored with oatmeal every day. I usually grab some Greek yogurt, fruit and granola. But as you can read in Jenn’s post, there are plenty of creative and delicious ideas out there. Thanks so much Jenn.
As an adult, I voluntarily spent two years of Saturdays getting up
early to spend six to eight hours in a classroom as a student. In
retrospect, having since reclaimed my weekends for leisure activities
like doing chores around the house, my only defense is to plead
temporary insanity. However, I cannot deny that my education taught me
plenty; not the least of which is: breakfast truly is the most important
meal of the day!
Many people skip breakfast almost daily. They claim they’re just not
hungry in the morning or they don’t have time or all they really need is
a cup of coffee. Some of these claims may contain a nugget of truth
(coffee aside), but the fact is that skipping breakfast sets an
unfortunate tone for your day. It’s not a good idea. When you get up in
the morning, your blood sugar is at its lowest point. Your brain and
nervous system require appropriate fuel for all the tasks ahead. When
you skip breakfast, you’ll have a decreased attention span, longer
response time, and overall irritability.
In my experience, planning ahead makes breakfast an easy ritual that
helps to streamline your morning. Here are a few tips and recipes that
have made my own early mornings more bearable.
Oatmeal is a great breakfast option and you don’t have to rely on the
sugary paste in a packet to make it a quick morning meal. I cook steel
cut oats in a crockpot overnight and wake to the smell of a delicious
hearty breakfast. Here is an easily customizable recipe to put on the
1 cup steel cut oats
4 cups water
1 cup soymilk
1 cup fruit (frozen berries, diced apples, diced plums, dried figs,
cinnamon/sugar to taste
Leave crockpot on low heat for eight to nine hours, then stir and
enjoy. No crockpot? Combine ingredients and refrigerate overnight, then
microwave and stir in the morning.
Brown rice is a hearty alternative to oatmeal for breakfast. You can
use leftover rice, prepare your rice the night before and then
refrigerate, or buy those handy 3-minute microwave pouches. Simply mix a
bowl of rice with dried fruit, fresh fruit, nuts, and honey. Simple,
hearty, and healthy.
Vanilla or plain yogurt
Diced fruit or berries
Cinnamon/sugar and cooking spray
Spread your cinnamon/sugar on a plate. Spray one side of your flour
tortilla and lay it on the plate, moving it around a bit until one side
is coated with the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Spread a strip of yogurt on
the side of the tortilla the faces up and then lay fruit on top of the
yogurt. Roll your burrito and freeze. These are great to make in bulk
and then freeze. Take them out of the freezer while you shower, then eat
on the run. They’re kid tested and approved! (Tip for freezing: lay
burritos on a cookie sheet and place in freezer for ten to twelve
minutes before bagging and freezing. This will keep them from sticking
to each other and getting coated with frost.)
Everyone has a favorite smoothie recipe. With the proper preparation,
smoothies can be a really quick way to get your fuel on the go. My
advice: chop, bag, and freeze your fruit ahead of time. Buy your fruit
in bulk on sale. Then combine it in the blender with a cup of apple or
carrot juice and a dollop of yogurt or protein powder and go.
Veganist with a desire for protein in the morning? Try scrambled tofu
(make ahead and put in single-serving cups in the fridge). I like this
recipe: http://www.theppk.com/2008/10/scrambled-tofu/. Morningstar Farms
vegetarian sausage patties are surprisingly delicious and microwave in a
minute or less. Protein-rich quinoa flakes (sold at Whole Foods) are as
simple to prepare as quick oats (add water or milk, stir, and microwave
for about a minute and a half) and can be topped with chopped fruit,
jam, honey, or cinnamon/sugar. Top whole wheat toast with
peanut/almond/or sunbutter. Make it a sandwich and eat on the go.
Keeping your fridge, freezer, and cabinets stocked with a few
breakfast-ready items makes the most important meal of the day simple
and enjoyable. What are your go-to breakfasts?