Whether or not breakfast is the most important meal of the day is a matter of debate. Some studies show eating breakfast to be beneficial for kickstarting your metabolism and keeping you satisfied throughout the day. Other studies suggest that it doesn’t really matter, and even that occasional fasting or skipping breakfast can be beneficial.
If you are a breakfast eater, I recommend opting for a breakfast that’s truly going to satisfy you. So many typical breakfast foods, like cereal, toast, and pastries, are sugar-laden carbohydrate bombs that cause your blood sugar to spike and leave you feeling hangry after a short time.
Instead, make your go-to breakfast ideas a combination of protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs that will fill you up and keep you satisfied and energized for your day ahead. Here are some of my go-to’s for quick, easy, and nutritionally balanced breakfasts.
1. Oatmeal + Nut Butter
On a cold winter day, there’s no breakfast more satisfying than a bowl of warm oatmeal. Oats are a healthy whole grain, but when eaten on their own (and especially when topped with sugar), they do cause your blood sugar to spike.
Adding a tablespoon or two of your favorite nut butter to your oatmeal adds a dose of protein and healthy fats, which not only increases satiety, but it also helps to moderate the uptake of sugar into your blood stream. Plus, it’s delicious!
If you’re not into the texture of nut butter, I often add a couple of tablespoons of ground almonds and a tablespoon of flax seeds to my morning oats, which has the same effect.
2. Toast + Avocado
Avocado toast may be trendy as heck, but there’s a good reason for it! A slice of wholegrain toast topped with half an avocado is an excellent way to start your day. The toast offers up dietary fiber and carbohydrates, while the avocado delivers a dose of healthy fats.
Want to make it even better? Put an egg on it! I love topping my avo toast with a soft boiled or poached egg, or even a cold, sliced hard-boiled egg. Don’t eat eggs? Sprinkle it with hemp seeds instead to boost the protein content.
3. Yogurt + Walnuts
I first had this combination at a bed and breakfast in Crete, and I was instantly hooked! The combination of rich and creamy full-fat yogurt with walnuts delivers a combination of protein, fat, and omega-3 fatty acids that’s incredibly satisfying.
Add a drizzle of honey on top, or sprinkle with wheat germ for dietary fiber and more healthy fats.
4. Green Smoothie
While a green smoothie isn’t exactly a 2-ingredient breakfast, it is a quick, easy, and potentially very healthy breakfast, depending on how you make it. Smoothies have the potential to become total sugar bombs if you make them with nothing but fruit, but if you add in veggies (spinach, kale, and frozen cauliflower are my favorites), protein (nut butters, hemp seeds, yogurt) and healthy fats (avocado, nut butters, seeds) then they’re a complete breakfast that’s easy to make and eat.
Bear in mind that liquids clear your stomach four times faster than solid foods, so a smoothie will leave you feeling hungry again much sooner than if you’d eaten those same ingredients as whole foods.
5. Muffin + Cheese
This is a combination I learned from my mother, and it’s one of my favorites for a mid-morning snack. Keep in mind that even healthy muffins made from whole-grain flour tend to be very high in carbohydrates. Adding a slice of your favorite hard cheese (bring me an extra old cheddar any day!) provides a source of fat that will help slow the uptake of all that sugar in your blood stream.
6. Cottage Cheese + Fruit
The 80’s are calling, they want their breakfast back! Seriously though, cottage cheese is an excellent source of high-quality protein. Topped with fruit it’s a delicious breakfast with a good amount of dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
7. Chia Pudding
Chia pudding is a make-ahead breakfast that’s super satisfying and endlessly customizable. At it’s most basic, all chia pudding requires is chia seeds and some sort of liquid. Use your favorite plant-based milk, or add in some yogurt and a touch of sweetener if you like. Top with fresh berries and you’ve got a delicious breakfast packed with fiber, protein, and antioxidants.
8. Banana + Egg
You know those 2-ingredient banana pancakes that were all the rage? They’re such a great breakfast. You get starch from the banana, protein and fat from the egg, and best of all, you get to eat pancakes! My favorite version of these involves a bit of coconut flour added in, which I find gives the pancakes a slightly better structure. They’re still great without it, though.16