ZAP Refresh: Healthy Breakfast Options

 Image via  Culinary Hill

Image via Culinary Hill

I never used to be a breakfast person; typically, I would just grab a granola bar in the morning and be out the door. However, over time my taste buds have vastly matured and now I go to bed looking forward to my morning meal. Though breakfast is a wonderful, marvelous thing, it’s easy to make unhealthy choices in the early hours that don’t properly prepare you for the long day ahead. Sugary cereals, calorie-laden breakfast bars and white bread are all sure ways to spike your blood sugar and have you feeling tired and hungry long before lunchtime, leading to unhealthy snacking. However, if you start your day with a healthy, balanced breakfast, you’ll be feeling full and energized until the afternoon and will experience less sugar cravings!

Here are some of my favorite, healthy breakfasts that I love in the morning:

  1. Oatmeal: Steel-cut oats are my favorite kind of oats; they’re more substantial, chewy and filling than microwavable quick oats. I usually cook a huge batch of steel-cuts on Sunday so I have them all week. However, oatmeal doesn’t have much protein, so I microwave the oats with some almond butter and mix them together then, chop up some fresh strawberries and throw them on top. Oats are incredibly versatile, so make them with whatever you want! Berries, nut butters, and nuts are all great toppings for your oatmeal; just don’t go crazy.
  2. Greek yogurt: A cup of Greek yogurt is packed with protein, so it’s perfect to keep you full throughout the morning! Just watch the sugar count; some brands and flavors are laden with artificial sugar. I love plain, nonfat Fage Greek yogurt with a drizzle of organic honey, granola, and berries on top! Bonus: make a healthy and delicious granola choice with Purely Elizabeth’s Ancient Grain Granola.
  3. Eggs: There was no way I could leave eggs off this list. I love them in any form (scrambled, fried, poached, etc.) and they make for a great breakfast. Try not to go overboard with them, as they are high in cholesterol, but they are packed with protein, vitamins, minerals and loads of other health benefits. My favorite way to eat eggs is as an omelet with avocado, turkey sausage, onions and peppers, with some whole-grain toast and fruit on the side. That’s healthy fat, protein, veggies, fruit and whole grains all on one plate! It does definitely taste better, however, when I’m at a restaurant and not making it myself.

Courtney Mocklow, Summer 2016 Intern