However, now that I've started my first "real" job - as Senior Editor to Entity Magazine - I'm starting to understand why 31 million Americans skip breakfast everyday. In 2011, a survey by NPD Group found that 10 percent of Americans skip breakfast, reportedly because they aren't hungry, don't feel like eating or don't have time. And, considering how hard I find it to "slow down" and make time for breakfast when I'm working at home, I can only imagine the challenges the average commuter faces.
What's a workin' gal to do? Get some help from these five secrets to eating an energizing breakfast - whether you're working full time, a busy college student or anything in between!
1. Prep ahead of time as much as possible.
There's no better party than a preppin' party...okay, that's a lie, but prepping your breakfast ahead of time can make your mornings ten times easier. You don't have to make your entire breakfast either. If you're going to eat a yogurt parfait once you get to work, cut up your fruit, put your granola in a bag and put your yogurt and other cold toppings close together in the fridge. This way, all you have to do is grab your bags in the morning and throw everything together in the office!
If you do want to have a breakfast buffet waiting right when you wake up, some of my favorite prep-ahead meals include:
- Overnight Quinoa Flakes: if you want a breakfast similar to oatmeal but packed with even more protein, this is what dreams (and happy tummies) are made of...
- Cozy Cacao Oatless Zoats: zucchini has never tasted so sweet - and breakfast has never been more easy to eat on the go!
- Eat Yo' Greens Mini Baked Pancakes: these gluten free and vegan pancakes stay good for over a week in the fridge, which makes them perfect to make on the weekend and eat all week!
- Zucchini Bread Nana Ice Cream: this is my favorite breakfast to make ahead. Simply blend your smoothie as usual and store it in a glass container/jar in the freezer. When you want to eat it, pop it in the microwave on defrost until melted through and enjoy!
- Berry Coconut Granola or Green Smoothie Granola: really, any of my granola recipes make delicious breakfasts with a fruit and little (plant based) milk or yogurt. Both recipes boast some hidden veggies, making them a healthier way to start your day.
- Superfood Coconut Banana Cookies: cookies in the morning? Luckily, these are just healthy enough to count as a well-rounded breakfast!
- Bliss Balls: these taste like candy, are packed with superfoods like coconut flour, dates and nuts, and are easily personalized. What more could you want?
|Some of my personal faves!|
2. Use naturally energizing ingredients.
While I wouldn't classify myself as a night owl, calling me a "morning person" would be a bit of a stretch. So, even though I don't drink coffee, I need all the energy boosts I can get when I wake up. Luckily for me - and others who want to lower their coffee intake or don't drink it at all - there are plenty of other naturally energizing foods, including: fresh fruit (yay natural sugars!), water (with studies showing that dehydration can often make people feel fatigued), nuts (which are packed with magnesium and help convert sugar to energy) and cardamom (which promotes blood flow by expanding small blood vessels).
If you want a coffee-like drink with none of the energy crash, you may want to add Macaccino to your grocery list. I recently got the chance to taste this superfood drink and fell in love with the chocolatey flavor. The Original Roasted Maca Blend that I tried boasts a mix of organic roasted maca, cocoa powder, mesquite powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. As I've written before, maca has been shown to improve immune function, memory, focus and stress management - while also helping to balance hormones. As a result, this drink is about as healthy an energizing drink as you can get.
|Hot cacao in smoothie form! ;)|
No matter how much of an early bird you are, we all need a little help from time to time. Whether it's fresh fruit, trail mix or Macaccino, just don't forget to include ingredients that will set your energy levels up (no pun intended) for success!
3. Know what processed foods are your friends - and don't feel guilty for using them!
Maybe if I had my own personal chef, I'd always eat from scratch for breakfast - but that isn't my reality, and it isn't most of Americans'. In fact, a recent study found that more than half of Americans' calories come from "ultra-processed" foods. As I've mentioned before, processed foods is an umbrella term that can include a variety of foods - and some are way healthier for you than others. The key is learning which of these foods to avoid - like "ultra-processed" foods that contain ingredients like extra colors, sweeteners, emulsifiers and flavors - and which can be part of a healthy diet.
|The perfect morning start...or night snack!|
The truth is, not everyone has the time, money or energy to make all of their own food, and we shouldn't feel ashamed to reaching to processed foods for a little help...especially when those products are as nutritious as they are delicious.
4. Stick to what you know works.
Of course, maybe what kinda "works" for you is skipping breakfast altogether. However, when you're trying to introduce a new healthy habit into your life, don't go farther out of your comfort zone than absolutely necessary. As a blogger, I love trying new products. As a foodie, I love trying new recipes! Yet, I rarely miss having a smoothie bowl for breakfast (unless I'm traveling, in which case I just eat all of the smoothie toppings and lots of fruit!). Why? I know that smoothies won't upset my stomach and that they'll give me the fuel I need for a busy day.
|My brunch at the airport!|
And when you find your edible soul mate? Make it a committed relationship and stick to a breakfast you know works for you!
5. Treat yo' self...while treating your body right!
Now, "treating yourself" doesn't necessarily mean kicking off every morning with a bowl of ice cream. Maybe that's A-OK on your birthday - but you also need to regularly focus on treating your body to the fuel and nutrients it needs. When I'm working, taking a break for brunch can seem like an annoying interruption. However, I know that if I don't feed myself right, I won't be able to write "right" either!
|Taking a trip on the sweeter side!|
Some days, brownies are acceptable breakfast material. Other days, your body needs a green smoothie. Treating yourself - and your body right - means both breakfasts are allowed to land on your weekly menu, because feeding our cravings can be just as important as feeding our bodies. The definition of "treat" is up to you...and you and define it differently every day!
Before I turned into a (pretty legit) "working woman," I never understood how so many people could regularly skip breakfast. Now, I have a better grasp on how difficult eating an energizing breakfast can be - and way more respect to the expert foodies who've already managed this feat for years!
|Cheers to delicious work day mornings!|
*I received these products free of charge in return for a written review. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.*
*Also found at What'd You Do This Weekend, Inspiration Monday, Totally Terrific Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Turn it Up, Wine'd Down Wednesday, What's Cookin' Wednesday, Dare to Share, Snickerdoodle Sunday*
What is your favorite breakfast to eat before or at work? Have you ever tried Macaccino, Frontier Bites or Heavenly Organic honey before? Tell me your thoughts below!