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Quick And Easy: 10 Healthy Breakfasts That Are Better Than Cereal

Quick And Easy: 10 Healthy Breakfasts That Are Better Than Cereal

Do you desperately want a healthier start to your day, but are too tired and busy to even think about putting together a fancy, nutritious breakfast in the morning? You may have a demanding job, a heavy course load, several kids, or perhaps you’d just rather spend your morning time doing anything other than preparing food. It’s tempting to reach for a bowl of cereal to satisfy your hunger, but most of them are high in sugar and fat, leaving you prone to blood sugar crashes mid-morning and feelings of ravenous hunger by lunchtime. Instead, try these 10 ideas for a better breakfast. Some of them can be made ahead, and most take just 10-20 minutes to prepare.

1. Omelette

Omelette

    Photo Credit: Michael Phams/Flickr

    Health Benefits: Eggs are packed with protein that will help keep you satisfied until it’s time for your next meal. Add in some vegetables for vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

    Make It: Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet. Pour two beaten eggs into the pan and cook on a medium heat until the eggs are set. In a separate pan, gently fry some mushrooms, spinach, and tomatoes for the filling. Place it in the center of the omelette, fold over, and serve.

    2. Green Smoothie

    Green Smoothies

      Photo Credit: Heather Hammond/Flickr

      Health Benefits: Green smoothies are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. This recipe is delivers an iron boost from the spinach, which helps maintain your energy levels.

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      Make It: Grab 1 1/2 cups spinach, a few ice cubes, 1 small banana, 1 orange, and 1/4 cup coconut water and combine in a blender until smooth. For a protein boost, add a spoonful of seeds or protein powder.

      3. Fruit Salad

      Fruit Salad

        Photo Credit: Pixabay

        Health Benefits: If you have only a light appetite in the morning, stick with a classic fruit salad for a gentle start to the day. Use a variety of fruits for the best possible range of nutrients. For example, you can include bananas for potassium, kiwi for vitamin C, pomegranate for folate and vitamin K, and grapefruit for heart-friendly choline. Eating whole fruits rather than just drinking the juice is a great way to fit more fiber into your diet.

        Make It: Chop or dice at least three different fruits and mix together for a refreshing and healthy breakfast.

        4. Protein Bars

        Cranberry Protein Bar

          Photo Credit: Joanna Alderson/Flickr

          Health Benefits: An easy and tasty way to raise your protein intake, these bars will give you a steady release of energy throughout the morning. The nuts and seeds provide fibre, and dried fruits add sweetness without too many calories.

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          Make It: Make these in advance and they will last in an airtight container for at least one week. Alternatively, you can freeze them until needed. Take 1 1/2 cups almond meal, 1/2 cup coconut flour, 1/2 cup protein powder, 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, 1/2 cup dried cranberries, 1/4 cup of melted butter, 3 eggs, and 1/4 cup of honey and mix together. Bake at 350F in a 8″ x 8″ dish for 25-35 minutes. Cut into ten bars and allow to cool.

          5. Pita Breads

          Pitta

            Photo Credit: Ewan Munro/Flickr

            Health Benefits: Wholemeal pita breads are high in fiber, which is vital for maintaining stable blood sugar and intestinal health. Together with a combination of protein and vegetables, this is a perfect quick breakfast.

            Make It: Pick your preferred filling and start stuffing or dipping! Try lean ham and spinach, scrambled egg and mushroom, hummus and salsa, or chicken and avocado. For a high-protein vegan option, try tomato and lightly fried tofu, seasoned with salt and pepper.

            6. Frittata

            Frittata

              Photo Credit: Rool Paap/Flickr

              Health Benefits: Combining potato with egg, a frittata makes a more filling alternative to an omelette, so is a good option for those hectic mornings when you need something substantial to keep you going. The carbohydrates in the potatoes will also raise your energy levels.

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              Make It: This easy recipe takes under 20 minutes, or you can make it the night before and keep it in the fridge. Take 4 potatoes (cubed), 1 cup of diced onion, 6 eggs, some oil, and seasonings of your choice. To make a basic frittata, first heat a generous splash of olive oil in a non-stick pan until hot. Next, cook the potatoes until they start to fall apart. Add the onion and cook the mixture until it is soft. Meanwhile, beat the eggs together in a bowl. Mix this with the onion and potato mix. Add more oil to the pan and tip everything back in, cooking until golden brown and firm on both sides. You may have to flip the frittata a couple of times to ensure it is cooked evenly. Add in mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, or any other vegetable you prefer.

              7. Oatmeal

              Oatmeal

                Photo Credit: Publicdomainpibtures.net

                Health Benefits: Low in sugar and tremendously filling, oatmeal is the perfect cold cereal replacement for cold winter mornings (or for any other time of the year). Increase the protein by adding nuts and seeds, and for an even greater health boost, add some fresh fruit.

                Make It: Top your oatmeal with a range of nuts and seeds. Consider making your own concoction and storing it in the cupboard so that all you have to do is make your oatmeal, sprinkle a handful of your own mix over the top, and get ready to enjoy breakfast! Try a hemp seed, flaxseed, linseed, brazil nut, hazelnut, and walnut mix to raise your Omega-3 levels, which may help in overcoming low mood.

                8. Breakfast Banana Split

                Banana Split

                  Photo Credit: Paul Martin/Flickr

                  Health Benefits: Have you ever wished you could have dessert for breakfast? You can! Load up on vitamins, minerals, and proteins by making over the traditional banana split in a breakfast-friendly fashion.

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                  Make It: Cut a banana in half and put on a plate. Now you’re going to make some clever, healthy substitutions. Instead of ice cream, add a couple of spoonfuls of cottage cheese. Instead of sugary sauces, use a little honey or agave nectar. Top with flaked and chopped nuts and a sprinkling of cocoa powder.

                  9. Yogurt With Extras

                  Yogurt

                    Photo Credit: Pixabay

                    Health Benefits: Along with its high protein content, natural yogurt is an excellent food for promoting gut health as it contains natural probiotics that help keep your digestive system in balance.

                    Make It: Start with a natural yogurt base and add a mixture of nuts, seeds, and fruit (either fresh or dried). If you feel the need for a sweetener, try using a teaspoon of honey or agave nectar instead of regular sugar.

                    10. Low Sugar Granola Bars

                    Granola Bars

                      Photo Credit: Theresa Carpenter/Flickr

                      Health Benefits: Much healthier than store-bought bars, these tasty breakfast snacks are a simple, easy-to-make morning treat. Their high seed content means that this breakfast delivers a decent amount of protein, and adding a few dark chocolate chips provides sweetness without lots of sugar or fat.

                      Make It: The following recipe makes approximately 10 servings. Take 1 cup pitted dates, 1/4 cup of honey, 1/4 cup of creamy salted natural peanut butter, 1 cup roasted and chopped unsalted almonds, 1 1/2 cups rolled oats, and some dark chocolate chips. Blend the dates in a food processor until they form a dough-like consistency before combining with the oats and almonds in a large bowl. In a pan, warm the peanut butter with the honey. Combine the two mixtures, stirring to gain an even distribution of ingredients. Stir in the chocolate chips. Finally, spread the resulting mix in a lined baking dish and press down to flatten. Place in a cool place for a few hours and allow to set.

                      Featured photo credit: Jules via flickr.com

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                      Jay Hill

                      Jay writes about communication and happiness on Lifehack.

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                      Last Updated on August 20, 2019

                      How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                      How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                      Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

                      Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

                      I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

                      You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

                      Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

                      When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

                      I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

                      Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

                      Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

                      Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

                      1. The Inner Critic

                      This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

                      • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
                      • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
                      • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
                      • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

                      The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

                      Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

                      2. The Worrier

                      This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

                      The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

                      3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

                      This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

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                      This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

                      The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

                      4. The Sleep Depriver

                      This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

                      The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

                      • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
                      • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
                      • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
                      • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

                      How can you control these squatters?

                      How to Master Your Mind

                      You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

                      Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

                      There are two ways to control your thoughts:

                      • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
                      • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

                      This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

                      The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

                      Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

                      For the Inner Critic

                      When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

                      You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

                      For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

                      You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

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                      “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

                      If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

                      • They rile up the Worrier.
                      • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
                      • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
                      • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
                      • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

                      Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

                      Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

                      For the Worrier

                      Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

                      Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

                      You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

                      • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
                      • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                      • Muscles tense

                      Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

                      If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

                      Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

                      “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

                      Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

                      If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

                      Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

                      Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

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                      For example:

                      If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

                      “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

                      Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

                      “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

                      Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

                      For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

                      Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

                      The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

                      • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
                      • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                      • Muscles tension

                      I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

                      Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

                      Breathe in through your nose:

                      • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
                      • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
                      • Focus on your belly rising.

                      Breathe out through your nose:

                      • Feel your lungs emptying.
                      • Focus on your belly falling.
                      • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

                      Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

                      Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

                      One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

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                      Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

                      For the Sleep Depriver

                      (They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

                      I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

                      Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

                      1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
                      2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

                      When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

                      From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

                      For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

                      If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

                      You can also use this technique any time you want to:

                      • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
                      • Shut down your thinking.
                      • Calm your feelings.
                      • Simply focus on the present moment. 

                      The Bottom Line

                      Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

                      You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

                      Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

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                      Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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