It’s Better Breakfast Month, and I’d like to share how I make my all my breakfast situations better for me! As a professional dancer and a fitness club creator, my mornings all look drastically different. Whether I’m running off to a 10-hour dance rehearsal, popping into a virtual meeting or workout, or cueing up Netflix for an all-day weekend binge-a-thon, it’s important to make my first meal of the day matter.
Like everyone else, it’s easy for me to grab a pastry and tempting to drown fluffy buttermilk pancakes in syrup. But when my breakfasts consist of pure carbs and sugars, I crash fast. Here are some simple twists for every situation to make breakfast more nutritious and equally delicious.
- Cereal. A classic. We’ve been training to love this stuff since we could hold a spoon. My better-for-you ratio is half fresh fruit, half cereal + add crunch. One cup cereal, one cup fresh blueberries/raspberries, then overload with sliced almonds and chia seeds. The fresh fruit will add the antioxidants and various vitamins that cereal alone misses, and the nuts and seeds add good fats to keep you satisfied and full of energy for hours.
- Smoothies. They seem like a no-brainer choice, but it’s really easy to overload smoothies with sugar. So I am careful to choose unsweetened plant-based milk and no-sugar-added nut butter, which allows the fruit to do the talking. My most recent smoothie go-to looks like this:
Chocolate Berry Smoothie:
- 1 1/2 cups mixed frozen berries
- 1/2 frozen banana
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened almond butter
- Handful of spinach
- Chocolate protein powder
- Unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- On the Go. We all know the on-the-go kind of morning. Instead of an easy-to-grab pastry, I reach for a full-sized ONE Bar.
It satisfies my sweet tooth with only 1g of sugar, while the 20 grams of protein powers me up first thing.
- Pre-workout hold-me-over breakfast. I love getting in a workout first thing in the morning. But instead of rolling out of bed and running on empty, I find that eating a little something helps me get more out of my workout. I grab a ONE MINIS™ bar. The 7g of protein fires me up without weighing me down, and it’s only a couple bites. That’s all I need to hold me over until a proper recovery meal.
- Weekend breakfast. I love pancakes and bacon on the weekend—I mean, who doesn’t? But after weekdays of (mostly) healthy eating, a carb- and sugar-filled meal like this will take my energy from sky-high to rock bottom before 11AM. So I tweak the classic weekend breakfast recipes to help prevent a crash. Like many in quarantine, I’ve taken up making sourdough—and I use my sourdough starter discard to make whole wheat sourdough pancakes! Sourdough is a prebiotic which helps feed the gut’s microbiome, making it less likely to spike blood sugar levels. I also trade my bacon in for turkey bacon to reduce the fat and up the protein.
Whether or not you believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it’s important to get the most out of what you put into your body. These small tweaks will make your meal more nutritious and equally delicious during Better Breakfast Month and beyond!
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