Most of us feel short on time during the average work week, and often one of the first casualties of our time-constrained schedules is a nutritious breakfast. In our rush to get out the door, it just seems easier to swing by the local coffee shop and pick up a super-sweet pastry item, hit the vending machine at work, or worse, just skip breakfast altogether. Fortunately, there are plenty of quick and nutritious breakfast options that don't require tons of preparation time. Below are eight healthy, quick breakfast ideas that can fit right into your busy schedule.
1. Fruit and Yogurt Parfait
This one's a classic when it comes to healthy breakfasts - easy-to-prepare, filling and delicious. Simply layer Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla) in a bowl or glass along with fresh fruits such as strawberries, raspberries, kiwi and blueberries. Top it off with some honey-roasted granola or toasted almonds, and you'll start your day off in a healthy and extremely tasty way.
2. Healthy Waffle PBJ
This is a fun twist on one of the most popular sandwiches in existence. Pop a whole-grain waffle into the toaster, and then spread one side of it with about 2 tablespoons of your favorite low-sugar nut butter. Now top that with a layer of sliced strawberries (as a substitute for high-sugar jelly), and you've got a simple breakfast that supplies fiber, protein and antioxidants all in one shot!
3. Fruit and Cheese
It doesn't get any easier than this. Slice up a couple of apples and throw in about 1 to 2 ounces of cheese cubes (cheddar or Colby Jack are common favorites) along with a handful of walnuts into a container, and chow down throughout your morning. This breakfast is highly portable, so if you find yourself really pressed for time, just throw the ingredients into a resealable plastic bag and take it with you.
4. Fruit and Yogurt Smoothie
For those who love to crank up the blender, this is a super-quick and nutritious breakfast option. Combine 6 to 8 ounces of vanilla yogurt along with one or two large kale leaves, 1 cup of almond milk, a banana (sliced into thirds), and 8 ounces of frozen mixed berries in a blender and let 'er rip! Pour into a glass and serve immediately.
5. Protein or Energy Bars
You've got to watch this one - a protein or energy bar can serve as an adequate meal substitute if it contains at least 10 grams of protein and anywhere between 3 to 5 grams of fiber. Choose a bar sweetened with natural sugars versus high fructose corn syrup or other refined sugars. Some of the better protein/energy bars on the market include Clif Bar, Odwalla, TruSoy and Kashi GoLean.
6. Egg Sandwich
Eggs are one of the best sources of protein around, and they cook fast, too. Plus, an egg sandwich can provide you with a filling meal to start the day. Simply fry or scramble two eggs, and then sautee a nice handful of spinach in olive oil. Place on top of whole grain toast slices (or whole grain English muffin halves) along with a slice of cheddar cheese. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper into the mix, and you're good to go in minutes!
7. Ricotta and Honey Swirl
This simple dish is a protein powerhouse. Simply combine 1 cup of ricotta cheese with 1 teaspoon of honey in a bowl and stir well. Top with one-half teaspoon of flax seeds and a half-cup of chopped fruit in a bowl, and you're ready to dig in.
8. Hearty Toast
For a savory, protein-rich breakfast, try a slice of whole-grain toast topped with a couple of slices of Canadian bacon and a slice of Swiss or Muenster cheese. Canadian bacon is an excellent alternative to regular bacon, because it contains nearly double the protein but only about half the fat of its traditional counterpart. Add avocado for an even better breakfast!
As you can see, eating a healthy breakfast on the go is not as hard as it may seem. Keeping the above healthy breakfast ideas in mind will help you stay energized as you juggle a demanding morning schedule and keep you on track to eat right all day.