The alarm clock rings and it’s 5 am.
You only have 30 minutes to get ready before you leave the house. You’re probably not hungry, and you just want to get your day started before work.
The last thing on your mind is breakfast.
As a busy professional, you don’t have a lot of time to waste. Therefore, it is important to have a handful of easy breakfast ideas that you can prepare in no time.
This post will cover
– Why consuming breakfast is important, especially for a busy professional
– Which foods you should consume for optimal function
– 5 quick breakfast options that you can prepare in 5 minutes or less
Why You Should Eat Breakfast
Many people argue that breakfast is overrated.
It does not matter what anyone says, the key to living a healthy lifestyle begins with a proper nutrient intake.
Your body will not function optimally if you do not regularly consume all of the essential vitamins and minerals found in mother nature.
The easiest way that you can do this is by consuming 4-6 meals of high-quality food sources every single day.
Not every meal has to be a complete sit-down feast. Sometimes a high-quality snack will be sufficient for 1-2 of these meals.
Consuming 4-6 Meals per Day
– Decrease hunger symptoms throughout the day
– Will help maintain high levels of energy throughout the day
– Increases the likelihood that you meet your necessary nutrient requirements
The simplest and easiest way of consuming enough food is to start with breakfast.
Your brain, organs, and muscles need a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients just to keep you alive. Whether you eat once a day or 10x a day, your body will do whatever it takes to keep a steady flow of nutrients entering your vital organs.
If you do not eat breakfast, you will be in a state of fasting.
Prolonged fasting can deplete your body of its nutrients as it has to preferentially feed the processes that keep you moving and breathing.
During Prolonged Fasting,
– Your Glycogen (carbohydrate) reserves are used up first
– Fatty Acids are then broken down to form Ketone Bodies as a source of energy
– While this sounds desirable, it does come with a price
– Your metabolism slows to conserve energy for the basic processes mentioned above
– Further starvation will then cause your body to get rid of its most expensive assets, your muscles
This is different from intermittent fasting.
Some people intentionally use intermittent fasting as a dietary strategy to lose weight. However, they strategically know how and when to break their fasts to achieve great results.
These individuals have to ensure that they consume high-quality nutrient-dense foods whenever they enter a feeding window.
For anyone not following an intermittent fasting protocol, I recommend that you break your fast in the morning, to give your body a head start on the building blocks necessary for its functions.
More nutrients consumed means more nutrients to your brain for mental clarity, more nutrients to your organs for improved digestion, and more nutrients to your muscles for strength.
In addition, busy professionals know that a typical workday can be unpredictable, and the opportunity to consume lunch or snacks throughout the day may not exist.
Breakfast helps mitigate these effects.
What You Should Eat for Breakfast
In order to experience the numerous benefits of breakfast, it is important to consume something worthwhile.
I do not mean consuming a cup of coffee or a bowl of fruit loops. You need to eat something that is full of macro and micro-nutrients.
Most people use breakfast as an excuse to consume low-quality carbohydrates. This includes bagels, waffles, pancakes, french toast, etc etc.
These poor breakfast options will only give a quick boost of energy that’ll fade an hour later.
Instead, you need to minimize the number of carbohydrates you consume for breakfast.
The best breakfast ideas include foods high in protein and fat.
Not Aunt Jemima French Toast Stick or a bowl of Lucky Charms. (I too was guilty of consuming these foods for several years).
You must consume healthy protein and healthy fats. These foods will give you a tremendous amount of energy, and provide you with lasting fullness.
Quick Tips on Finding Time to Eating Breakfast
I know what you’re’ thinking.
You do not have any time to eat let alone prepare breakfast. Believe it or not, you do not need a lot of time.
All you need is ~10-15 minutes in the morning. 5 to prepare it and 5-10 to eat it. You really can’t spare 10-15 minutes in the morning?
Trust me, those extra 15 minutes of sleep will not make any significant difference in your energy levels.
Instead, using this time to actually feed your body some high-quality nutrients will do wonders for your energy.
So here are 4 quick tips you can use to find time for breakfast.
1) Prepare something that’ll only take 5 minutes to make.
2) Have a container ready to take with you to go
3) Prepare some breakfast the previous night, to have ready to go in the AM
4) Even if you are not physically hungry, eat breakfast anyway. Your body is hungry, and you don’t know when you will eat again.
It is important to develop this habit now because life seems to only get busier as time goes on.
What will happen when you have children (if you don’t already have any)? Are you not going to have time to prepare breakfast for them and establish healthy eating patterns from early on? Or are you going to have them following the Intermittent Fasting Diet from the age of 5?
Kids always look to their parents as role models, and it is important to instill nutrition into their lives early on. Bad eating habits at home have been linked to the development of obesity in childhood.
Anyway, I digress.
Without further ado, here are some of our favorite breakfast ideas…
5 Easy Breakfast Ideas for Busy Professionals
1. Eggs, Kale and Avocado
This is one of our go-to breakfast options. It can be prepared in 5 minutes or less. Turn on the stove and throw a handful of kale and a couple of whole eggs into a frying pan with olive oil or avocado oil.
Add half of an avocado and a small amount of salsa (optional) and you have a breakfast of champions.
This is full of Omega-3 fatty acids as well as high-quality protein.
Eggs are a great breakfast item because of their extreme versatility. There are several ways you can cook them and they go well with almost everything.
Other Easy Breakfast Ideas With Eggs
– 2 Eggs, Half a Sweet Potato and 1/2 an Avocado
– 2 Eggs, with Peppers Onions and an Apple
– 2 Eggs with 3 oz of grilled salmon
– 2 Eggs with Pesto
*Alternate the way you cook the eggs (over easy, scrambled, poached, hardboiled, etc) to keep it exciting.
2. Overnight Oats with PB and Berries
If you have a sweet tooth in the morning, here is a much healthier alternative to pancakes or French toast.
Overnight Oats are a great way to consume more whole grains while getting the additional benefit of nuts and berries all in one.
Do not use instant oats. Get rolled, or steel cut oats.
Add some berries and other hearty ingredients such as chia seeds, and almond butter for an awesome breakfast option that’s actually good for you. You may also add greek yogurt, which ties into our next recipe below.
The oats contain a lot of fiber and are full of antioxidants, while berries are just the best fruit of all time.
3. Yogurt Parfait with Hemp Seeds and Berries
Greek yogurt has become very popular over the last several years and with good reason. It has twice the amount of protein as regular yogurt and also has a ton of other nutrients.
To derive the most benefit, buy plain Greek yogurt.
Please do yourself a favor and stop buying yogurts with fruit on the bottom. These things are loaded with sugar. You might as well just drink syrup for breakfast.
Instead, add your own fruit in the form of berries, and some healthy fats in the form of hemp seeds or pumpkin seeds.
If you must have some carbohydrates, then sprinkle in a little granola or a banana.
In addition, you can also use Coconut Yogurt as a good plant based alternative to plain greek yogurt.
Again, buy plain coconut yogurt to keep the sugar content low and add
- Mixed berries
- Hemp Seeds
- Peanut Butter
- Banana (optional)
- Granola (optional)
4. Breakfast Smoothie
Breakfast smoothies are by far the most efficient way to get a good deal of calories, macros and other micronutrients in the morning. The possibilities are endless.
As long as you have all the ingredients readily available, you can prepare a breakfast smoothie in 5 minutes or less.
We personally prepare smoothies a week in advance and place them into ziplock bags. Afterward, we throw them in the freezer so that we can have them ready to go early in the morning.
Each smoothie contains a handful of veggies, 1-2 pieces of fruit (just to make it palatable), and something that contains healthy fats such as coconut oil, or almond butter.
This is a quick and easy way of satisfying your daily vegetable quota!
You can find a selection of some of our favorite Smoothies here
5. Protein Shake
This option is the least preferable of the 5, but still significantly better than skipping breakfast or having some cheerios to start the day. This is the easiest option of the 5, but it relies on a supplement, rather than eating whole foods.
If you are going to utilize this option, then ensure that the protein powder is from a reputable company.
Add almond milk to a container, a scoop of whey protein powder, and a tablespoon of healthy fat such as avocado oil or peanut butter.
You can also add a bunch of other ingredients to increase the nutrient and satiation profile such as oats, chia seeds, bananas, berries etc.
Just throw it in your Nutribullet, blend it up, and you’re ready to go.
6. Bonus Breakfast: Seed Cereal
Let’s throw in a sixth breakfast just for fun. This one is chock full of nutrition.
Instead of consuming a bowl of Cap’n Crunch cereal, make your own supercharged cereal using incredibly filling seeds.
First, you need to start with a base: You can use whatever grain you like. I often use some type of granola or a crumpled up rice cake.
Next, you add three types of seeds, such as pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds or hemp seeds. All of these seeds are full of heart healthy omega 3 fats, a decent amount of protein and many micronutrients.
Needless to say, these are very filling.
Lastly, add almond milk (or whatever milk preference you may have) and any other topping such as blueberries, bananas, or dark chocolate pieces.
Now Go Set Your Alarm Clock 10 Minutes Earlier
So there you have it.
Here are 6 easy breakfast options that you could make to begin adding this critical meal to your daily routine.
As a busy professional, you cannot miss out on the benefits of eating a healthy breakfast. Stop relying on coffee for your energy- get it from the sources we were meant to get it from.
While you’re at it, why don’t you try and consume some superfoods as well? Here are 5 Everyday Superfoods That You Should Consume on a Daily Basis.
Do you regularly eat breakfast?
Does your first meal keep you energized and satisfied during the early hours?
Do you skip breakfast in place of sleep?
Alex Robles, MD, CPT / Brittany Robles, MD, MPH, CPT
Alex & Brittany Robles are physicians, NASM Certified Personal Trainers, and founders of The White Coat Trainer: a resource dedicated to improving the health and fitness of busy professionals using time-efficient strategies. Their advice has been featured in My Fitness Pal, Prevention, Livestrong, Reader’s Digest, Bustle, The Active Times, and more. Learn more about them here.