They say “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”.
But then “they” don’t say much else about it at all. What a blanket statement to confuse so many people who wind up asking me – what about breakfast?
And my answer is always a question right back to them. “What does breakfast meant to you?” Because I cannot agree whether or not it is “the most important meal of the day” until I know how an individual defines it and feels about it themselves.
Breakfast can be a nourishing start to your day – to get your digestive system going, fuel your brain, and keep you satisfied throughout the morning to set yourself up for healthy, active daily routine. If we lack intention and prioritizing, then breakfast can also be a distracted meal of processed added sugar that leads to a crash mid-morning.
So depending on your definition of breakfast, it could be the most important meal of the day or it could be a flop. If your definition of breakfast is driving through fast food to grab something to scarf in the car, I would say that maybe there is a way to make breakfast more important to you. If it is being skipped for lack of time and then “made up for” at lunch with a big meal, I would also suggest building priority for breakfast to counteract this habit.
So how do we make breakfast the most important meal of the day? It can look a little different for each individual – but it all comes down to intentional, nutrient dense, and sustainable.
Intentional. This means seated, preferably at a table. It means limited distractions (I know you can’t run from your kids to eat breakfast). Try keeping emails and screens to a minimum while eating. It means planned – so if you planned to have overnight oats, but then the kids left syrupy waffles on their plates – eat the oats. The waffles are an extra that wasn’t in your plan. Having a designated time, place and food to eat for breakfast means you won’t graze on snacks all throughout the morning and will keep you from scarfing those syrupy waffles while standing over the sink.
Nutrient Dense. Balance is the best way to start your day. A combination of heart healthy fats, lean protein (ideally 15-20 grams) and complex carbohydrates is the perfect mix to keep you satisfied and energized. Strive to eat at least three food groups for breakfast. For example, if you typically eat a bagel for breakfast try balancing it out by choosing half and pairing it with eggs
Pumpkin Overnight Oats
These delicious overnight oats are here for pumpkin season! Can be easily prepped overnight and offer protein, fiber and healthy fats to fuel your day.
- 1/4 cup plain, nonfat greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk or milk of choice
- 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup oats (dry)
- 2 tsp chia seeds
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground ginger
Mix together greek yogurt, almond milk, pumpkin puree, vanilla and maplye syrup until well combined.
Stir in oats, chia seeds and spices.
pour into a jar or container with a lid and place in refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight.
and berries. Or if you usually make a fruit smoothie, make sure it includes more than just fruit. Adding Greek yogurt and a chia seeds, will keep you fueled much longer.
Sustainable. If you’ve set out to have an egg white omelet sandwich with vegetables and whole wheat toast, but don’t even have the time to crack an egg then it won’t be a workable option for you. Try planning a mix of breakfast ideas – some for the days you have time to cook (think eggs, veggies and English muffins, oatmeal, whole grain pancakes with flax) and others for the days you need to faster fuel (think yogurt with berries and granola, egg muffin cups and homemade breakfast bars with a fruit smoothie). It has to work for you or you won’t work for it.
So there you have it – the answers to making breakfast the most important meal of the day. And a recipe for pumpkin pie overnight oats which can be intentional, nutrient dense and prepped in advance for ease and sticking to it.