By GalTime Nutritionist Elisa Zied, MS, RD, CDN
If you're like many Americans and get bored by the same old, same old each and every morning, here are some delicious, quick and easy out-of-the-box breakfast ideas to reignite (or spark) your love for a healthful and satisfying morning meal.
Even if you only have a few minutes, the breakfasts below pack in protein, fiber, and tons of vitamins and minerals and other key nutrients to keep you feeling energized, alert, and start your day off on a healthy note.
Not your mother's English muffin
I grew up devouring English muffins, usually the white kind toasted and topped with tomato sauce and shredded mozzarella, or with butter. Though I have graduated to whole wheat English muffins, I love to have them toasted and super crunchy topped with a teaspoon of vegetable oil spread and a scrambled egg with cheddar cheese.
Dawn Jackson Blatner, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association and author of The Flexitarian Diet loves to top a toasted whole grain English muffin with a mixture that contains 2 tablespoons each of chopped pears, walnuts, and low-fat cottage cheese, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a drizzle of honey.
"This breakfast is not only delicious, but it's super easy and not too sweet" says Blatner. She adds "The protein in the cottage cheese and fiber in the pear give this breakfast staying power, the walnuts provide heart-healthy omega-3 fats, and the cinnamon may even help regulate blood sugar."
D. Milton Stokes, MPH, RD, CDN, coauthor of Flat Belly Diet! for Men, recommends pairing a toasted whole wheat English muffin with an egg or two (poached in a microwave egg poacher or fried in a pan coated with cooking spray), 1/4 cup sliced avocado, and a slice of low fat cheddar cheese.
"This breakfast takes less than five minutes to prepare, and provides fiber and protein to fill you up as well as heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and bone-building calcium."
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Instead of sowing your oats, spice them up!
"I like to plan ahead the night before and make "overnight" oats" says Janel Ovrut, MS, RD, a Boston-based dietitian and blogger (www.EatWellwithJanelBlog.com). She adds "If you soak a serving of rolled oats in skim or soy milk overnight, you can enjoy them cold like a pudding or heated in the microwave the next morning."
Ovrut also likes to add a level tablespoon of peanut butter to her fiber- and protein-filled breakfast bowl for a boost of healthy fat. To jazz it up even more, Ovrut adds a few tablespoons of canned pumpkin and a dash of cinnamon, or some mashed banana and a teaspoon of honey.
Keri Gans, MS, RD, CDN, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, can't wait to get up in the morning just to start her day off with a bowl of oatmeal. She loves to heat 1/2 cup quick cooking oats with 1 cup nonfat milk in the microwave for two minutes, and then top with a dash of cinnamon, one tablespoon of ground flaxseed, and about 1/4 cup of low fat cottage cheese.
Have dinner for breakfast
Felicia D. Stoler, DCN, MS, RD, FACSM loves to recommend leftovers for a quick and easy, heat-and-eat meal. For example, you can make a dish inspired by her husband's father who learned to love eggs and rice when in Korea on a peace-keeping mission after the war. To make a variation of this basic dish, you can scramble an egg in a skillet with cooking spray on medium heat, and add to the mix a 1/2 cup each of brown rice and veggies like broccoli (you can use last night's Chinese food leftovers). Sprinkle in a few tablespoons of shredded nonfat crumbled feta cheese (or another shredded cheese), cover, and voila-you'll have a delicious, nutritious frittata.
And for those who think oats are the only hot cereal grain, think again.
"I love to recommend quinoa, or brown or black rice for breakfast to my clients" says Lauren Slayton, MS, RD, owner of Foodtrainers TM in New York City.
Her favorite toppings include coconut milk and honey as well as walnuts and chopped pears combined with fresh ginger.
Also See: Help-- My Teen Is a Junk Food Junkie
Get yourself to the Greek
According to The Nutrition Twins®, Tammy Lakatos Shames, RD, CDN, CFT and Lyssie Lakatos, RD, CDN, CFT, co-authors of The Secret To Skinny, "Our clients love what we call an Apple Muesli Strudel."
To make it, cut an apple into chunks and sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg (optional), and a sweetener of choice (a teaspoon of sugar, or a packet of Splenda, or Stevia). Heat in the microwave for about 45 seconds (or until the apple chunks are soft). Combine 3/4 cup of nonfat Greek yogurt with 1/4 cup whole oats in a medium-sized bowl and stir the apple chunks into the mixture.
"The Greek yogurt is creamy, satisfying, and a great source of protein, the oats are a great source of soluble fiber and energy-revving carbohydrates, and the apple mixture adds a unique twist not to mention some fiber and a powerful boost of antioxidants" according to Shames and Lakatos."
Gans and Stoler also love to recommend nonfat Greek yogurt (plain, vanilla, or another flavor) mixed with 1/2 cup of All Bran Fiber Buds (or some other whole grain cereal with at least 5 grams of fiber) and 1 cup of berries, sliced banana, or melon.
What's your favorite out-of-the-box breakfast?
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