5 Simple Steps to Optimize your Breakfast Habits
Clean Eating Breakfast Choices will be the focus of this week’s challenge. For an 80/20 approach, you will find here only ideas for easy recipes with little preparation time including a short video. In addition, expect five simple steps that will help you optimize your breakfast habits.
Healthy Breakfast is a Keystone Habit
Among nutrition experts, breakfast is regarded as the most important meal of the day. Like drinking water, eating breakfast is a typical keystone habit – a catalyst for other good routines. It is your springboard into a good start that encourages healthy behavior throughout your day.
Healthy breakfast foods stimulate your metabolism and influence your blood sugar level in a positive way. That’s why carefully selecting what you eat in the morning is so important.
If you are skipping breakfast because you are trying to lose weight, you can actually sabotage your weight loss efforts.
Studies have shown that going hungry in the morning can cause obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases in the long run. If you don’t replenish energy reserves you’ve used up over the night, you might suffer hunger pangs before lunch. Nothing edible will be safe from you, and you will have a hard time resisting sweet calorie bombs. To function smoothly, your body needs a big chunk of healthy energy.
What is a clean breakfast?
If you start your day with toast with jam or Nutella, your body immediately switches into carbohydrate burning mode in the morning. That means that your body doesn’t burn any fat.
On top of that, if you start your day with simple quick carbohydrates (white flour, sugar), which are the main components of honey pops or chocolate cereals, you risk feeling hungry all day.
And here comes the dilemma…
On the one hand you know how important a healthy breakfast is for you, but on the other hand a lot of clean eating breakfast recipes seem to be complicated and time consuming…
How to be balanced
A perfect clean eating breakfast routine should incorporate high-fiber carbohydrates (e.g. grains and fruits) and lean protein. This combination is satiating for a long period of time and provides the necessary energy for you to make it until noon.
There are a few clean eating breakfast rules that must be adhered to for this meal to be a success. It has to taste delicious, be simple to prepare, and be sustaining.
Ideal sweet start: Fruits + Whole Grains + Proteins
A yummy alternative to toast with jam is a self-made muesli without sugar. Remember my homemade muesli I presented to you in week #8 in the context of increasing whole grain consumption?
I also included some yummy inspirations from my valued readers.
A healthy self-made muesli is usually made of whole grains, nuts, fresh or dry fruits with milk or yoghurt. Nutrition experts have long praised this kind of clean breakfast as the healthiest option available. Depending on the season, you can combine whatever your heart desires.
The DIY mix chart below provides you with ideas for three food categories: fruits, whole grains and proteins. Please choose only ONE item from each category! The “extra” category is optional and should be used scarcely.
And in the following a quick and easy recipe based on the DIY mix chart for a yummy clean eating blueberry muesli and don’t miss my short video below:
- • 1 cup blueberries
- • 1/2 cup uncooked, plain rolled oats
- • 1/2 cup fat-free greek yoghurt
- • 1 tablespoon almond flakes
- The quickest results you get when you mix together all 4 ingredients, e.g. in a muesli bowl. For the eye-catching layer effect on the photo above I use a Latte Macchiato glass. A dessert glass bowl would do the job too.
- start with some yoghurt
- the next layer is 1/4 cup of oats, some almond flakes and some blueberries
- then again a yoghurt layer
- repeat 1/4 cup of oats, some almond flakes and some blueberries
- the last layer is the remaining yoghurt
- top it with some blueberries
- Tip for a nutty taste: Toast the oats with almond flakes for some minutes in a skillet at medium heat and add them to your muesli. To save time I toast a huge amount of oats & almond mix in advance and store it in a mason jar glass.
Video: How to make a Clean Eating Blueberry Muesli Quick and Easy (1 Min)
Ideal hearty start: Veggies + Proteins + Grains
How does a healthy, hearty breakfast look?
A delicious egg breakfast, like spiced scrambled eggs combined with veggies (tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms), offers high-quality protein at a low price. Add a slice of whole grain bread, and you have a healthy clean eating breakfast choice.
Another hearty idea is to combine Mozzarella cheese, tomato and 1/2 whole wheat bread.
Tim Ferris, the best selling author of The 4-Hour Workweek, swears by the incredible fat-loss properties of whole eggs, lentils, and spinach … and as a big lentil fan, I can confirm that it tastes delicious.
5 baby action steps for switching to a
clean eating breakfast routine
Here is way to create simple habit changes that will help you to improve your breakfast habits:
- Think about your single most unhealthy breakfast that you tend to desire most often. Do you find yourself often craving fatty donuts, white bread or sweet supermarket cereals?
- Try to replace this with one of the clean eating breakfasts above. (e.g. replace sweet supermarket cereals with homemade sugar free muesli using the mix chart above, or print out my clean eating blueberry muesli if you like it).
- Make sure to plan not only for dinner, but also for your breakfast in your weekly meal planner. -> Click here to print out the meal planner template!
- Put the necessary items for your desired meal on your running shopping list and make sure that you always have the ingredients on hand. Also include on your list sufficient and fast “clean eating breakfast to go” options, like fruits or low-fat Greek yoghurt that you can carry with you.
-> Click here to print out the running shopping list!
- If you can replace your single most unhealthy breakfast with a healthy option for a month, reward yourself with a cute new muesli bowl.
4 additional tips for clean eating breakfast choices
A smart habit right after you wake up is to drink at least three cups of water or tea. It hydrates you, provides your brain with fuel, boosts your metabolism, supports your body by flushing out toxins, and may even let you feel satiated sooner.
2) Even if you don’t have much time, try to eat mindfully
The purpose of a healthy breakfast is not only regulate food intake, but also to promote regularity and provide balm for the soul to prepare for a great start. A good idea is to try to start getting up fifteen minutes earlierto fit this important habit into your day.
3) If you can’t eat in the morning, don’t force yourself
If you are not a morning person, then try to drink a breakfast smoothie, vegetable juice or milk. Even 1-2 cups of coffee is ok according to experts.
4) Stay clear of bakeries
Don’t eat when you find yourself hungry while standing in front of a bakery. The better option is to take with you a yoghurt to go or a sandwich made with whole grain bread. This way you can enjoy food even while on the go.
Follow my clean eating breakfast board on Pinterest
Do you need more quick and easy breakfast inspirations? Then make sure to follow my clean eating breakfast board on Pinterest where I curate the best healthy breakfast options on the web. See you there!
PLEASE SHARE: WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE CLEAN EATING BREAKFAST IDEA?
What’s your all-time favorite clean eating breakfast choice? Just one!
Shout it out in the comment section below.