I used to have an almost daily habit of hitting the Starbucks drive-thru for a super sweet, high sodium, calorie bomb of a breakfast. I even convinced myself that I was making better choices by going with soy milk and an 'unsweetened' croissant. I didn't realize that just one drink and pastry added up to half the recommend daily amount of sodium for adults, not mention being loaded with sugar.
Well, I no longer drink blended coffee drinks and I rarely eat pastries. Instead, I aim to have a healthy, nourishing breakfast every morning. I think that I have tried almost every healthy breakfast trend, from protein heavy Paleo pancakes to squishy smoothie bowls. Of course, not every 'healthy' option is the best, as pointed out by the folks at My Domaine. In fact, many soul and southern food staples are better than a sugary smoothie or sticky protein bar. A plate of sweet potato home fries and eggs is a much healthier option than one of those Acai smoothie bowls, which are loaded with sugar. A bowl of stone ground corn grits provides great energy and will keep you full through the morning. Eggs are an excellent protein option and they will stave off hunger longer than heavily sugared foods. You can also make a double batch of sweet potato pancakes and keep leftovers in the freezer - just pop in the toaster and serve with a little maple syrup.
There are, of course, many healthy grab and go breakfast options as well. I love Lara Bars, clean smoothies, and overnight oats. Some mornings when I've overslept or I am running late because of uncooperative toddlers, I'll grab a banana and a handful of roasted unsalted almonds or an apple and one of those almond butter packets from Justin's.
There has been a lot of discussion lately about whether breakfast is the most important meal of the day - I don't care - if I don't eat breakfast I am tired and cranky and prone to overreacting to minor things. I have to eat breakfast. What's nice is that there are now so many healthy options to choose from.
One of my new favorite grab-and-go breakfasts is this delicious overnight Berry and Chia Parfait which I found in Nourish: Mind, Body, & Soul.
Makes 2 servings
For the parfait:
1 1/2 cups or your favorite milk (I use almond)
3/4 cup dark berries (use a mix of raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries)
6 tablespoons chia seeds
1 tablespoon raw coconut oil
Drizzle of maple syrup or raw honey
To serve (any or all of the following):
Small handful of fresh berries
Your favorite unsweetened yogurt
Seeds from 1/2 pomegranate
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
1. Put all the ingredients for the parfait into a blender and process until thoroughly combined.
2. Spoon one-third of the parfait mixture into the bottom of a small Mason jar or Weck jar and another third in the bottom of a second jar and the remaining third into into a spare small container. Put all three in the fridge to set oversight.
3. When you are ready to eat this glass of delicious goodness, take both jars from the fridge, sprinkle over some berries, then layer some yogurt and half of the remaining chia parfait into each jar. Top with more fresh fruit and any or all of the suggested toppings. Affix the lids and head off to work or school.
There is no excuse not to eat a wholesome, delicious breakfast.
Still, every once and a while, I gotta have a doughnut.