Starting the day with a healthy meal is sometimes the last thing we feel like doing—especially when crunched for time in the morning. Often, the quickest and easiest foods to grab tend to be carbohydrate-heavy and maybe even more like dessert than breakfast. With a little bit of planning and mindful choices, you can have a more balanced and nutrient-rich breakfast that will fire up metabolism, boost brainpower, and start the day off right.
When choosing foods to eat at breakfast time, your secret powerhouse nutrient is going to be protein. Adding protein to breakfast helps foods digest more slowly and, in turn, helps you combat those mid-morning tummy rumbles. Protein also helps trigger the mechanism to start and stop eating. Bottom line? Adding some protein to the first meal of the day can help you feel much more satisfied, focused, and less hungry as the day goes on.
With the protein, adding heart-healthy fats will round out the nutrient package—foods like avocado, flax seeds, and nuts like walnuts and pistachios are packed with better for you fats.
For some inspiration, here are quick ways to add protein to breakfast for a nutrient-rich, brain-boosting morning.
- Salmon BLT with Avocado: If you can’t remember the last time you ate a BLT (bacon, lettuce, and tomato) then it is time to revisit this classically, delicious sammy. Start by picking a whole grain bread that contains some protein and fiber. Then add the basics, Greensbury Market Organic Applewood Smoked Bacon, crisp iceberg lettuce, mayonnaise, and a vine-ripened red tomato. If you’re feeling adventurous, adding salmon and avocado updates the traditional favorite.
Mix up your morning scramble: Starting your day with eggs is a quick
and easy way to add protein to your morning meal, and kick up the creativity factor. But what to add? Think outside of the box and add some seafood. Seafood in the morning? Yes…scrambling your eggs with some wild shrimp can up your brekkie game in a decadent way. Combining eggs with a beef choice like Dry Aged, Organic, Grass-fed New York Strip can remind you to slow down and savor the morning meal.
- Sausage Muffins: If you have a busy day with not much time to prep breakfast, skip the drive through and make a better-for-you option at home in minutes. Making a sandwich using a toasted whole grain English muffin, cooked Greensbury Market Antibiotic-Free Pork Sausage, and a slice of cheese is a protein-packed choice that is certainly a stick to your ribs choice. Eat it with a piece of fruit for a nutrition boost on the side.
Mix and Match: There are other ways to add protein to your breakfast—a generous scoop of cottage cheese, a cup of Greek yogurt, or a boiled egg will all do the trick. And lastly, smearing peanut butter on a banana or an
apple gives you some protein and heart-healthy fat in a ridiculously simple way.
With a few tweaks and a little practice, breakfast will quickly become a nutrient-packed meal to get your engine running and fuel you through the morning. So, skip the sugary donut and pick protein for your first meal of the day – your body will thank you for it.
Lauren Manaker is an award-winning registered dietitian based in Charleston, South Carolina. She earned a bachelor's degree and master's degree in human nutrition and is passionate about helping people achieve their nutrition goals. She currently acts as a consultant, food blogger, and freelance writer for outlets including Eating Well and POPSUGAR. When Lauren isn't working, she is enjoying the outdoor life with her daughter, husband, and rescue-pup. Be sure to follow Lauren on Instagram @laurenlovesnutrition.