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Missing Breakfast is Not Good For You! Here Are 10 Best Breakfast Foods and Quick Recipes For a Good Morning

Missing Breakfast is Not Good For You! Here Are 10 Best Breakfast Foods and Quick Recipes For a Good Morning

Chances are, you have heard someone tell you not to skip breakfast. This is usually followed with, “it’s the most important meal of the day!” But when you slept through your alarm and you need to wash your hair, finding five minutes to get dressed beats finding five minutes to grab something to eat. Sure, you will hear your stomach growling before you get to work or class, but it’s no big deal, right? You can just eat a big lunch and you’ll be fine. Well it turns out that isn’t the case. In fact, skipping breakfast can lead to more than hunger. According to one study, men who skip breakfast increase their risk of heart attack by nearly 30% [1]. And women who skipped their first meal of the day put themselves at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by about 54%.

But even if you know how important breakfast is, we live in a fast-paced world. Often times, there just doesn’t seem to be any room to make a meal when you first wake up. And going through a drive through or getting one of those suspicious breakfast sandwiches at Starbucks usually leaves you with more guilt than nutrition. So you go without. This seems like a smart move. After all, if you eat nothing, it’s better than eating something fattening or sugary probably. Well, that’s a myth, too!

Why you need to eat breakfast.

You’ll gain weight if you skip breakfast.

Though it can be tempting to skip breakfast due to a lack of time, appetite or options, skipping breakfast can actually lead to weight gain, not loss. This seems completely unfair, I know. But skipping breakfast makes your body freak out and crave sugary and fatty foods to compensate for the lack of nutrients. Therefore, when you do eat, you’re probably not going for that salad covered in vegetables. Because your hunger level is so high, you’ll be more likely to eat a lot, and none of it will be especially healthy. Before you know it, this habit of skipping breakfast and having an unhealthy lunch results in a shopping trip for bigger pants.

You’ll be “hangry.”

Hangry: A bad mood caused by hunger.

We’ve all been there. When you’re hungry, you get frustrated. When you don’t eat, your energy levels dwindle, causing everything to seem like more of a chore. In summary, EAT.

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    One study found that men who ate breakfast had a more positive mood than those who skipped. When you skip the most important meal of the day, your blood sugar drops suddenly which can lead to irritability, fatigue and even headaches. And if you’re sitting at school or work with a headache and an empty stomach, it doesn’t take long before you hate the world. Eating regularly helps to support a good attitude. So do yourself, and those around you a favor and don’t skip breakfast [2].

    You put your heart at risk by skipping breakfast.

    Skipping breakfast may not feel like a big deal. After all, you ate dinner. But when you sleep, your body goes into fasting mode. Therefore, when you wake up, you need to reset your metabolism and hormones by ingesting healthy food. Prolonged fasting, like that done during sleep, leads to increased blood pressure and cholesterol. This decreases the concentration of HDL-cholesterol. What do all these medical terms mean? It means you’re setting yourself up for heart disease. If you regularly skip breakfast, it strains your body so much that it can lead to insulin resistance, hypercholesterolemia and blood pressure problems. And all of these lead back to, you guessed it, heart disease [3].

    Quick breakfast recipes that your body needs:

    I have a hectic schedule all the time, so I know most all of you do, too. So here are ten breakfast recipes that don’t take long to prepare but will get you through to lunch with steady energy and heart health.

    1. Berry and Yogurt Smoothie.

      Why do I love smoothies so much? Because you can make them the night before and drink them on your way to work/school! It’s an easy way to get veggies, fruits, etc.

      This recipe includes frozen berries and a banana for natural sugar your body can burn off steadily. Greek yogurt and non-dairy milk keep your calcium level high without much fat. For extra benefit, sprinkle in some chia seeds before you head out the door!

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      2. Honey Lime Quinoa Fruit Salad.

        I love quinoa because it’s packed full of goodness. Don’t let those tiny seeds fool you! I especially love to have it on hand because it’s so versatile; you can truly include it in any meal. This fruit salad has tons of antioxidants (thank you, berries!), vitamins and fiber (quinoa) as well as anti-inflammatory properties (lime and honey). Use local honey to help avoid allergies!

        3. Greek Yogurt with fruit and granola.

          This is definitely the easiest recipe on the list. While you can make your own greek yogurt if you’re feeling productive, store bought works just as well. Go for organic and plain though. You’ll get loads of calcium and even protein. I love to add a scoop of protein powder to mine for extra flavor and nutrition. Top it off with chia seeds, fruits and granola to really pack in the nutrition.

          4. Boiled Eggs.

            Eating eggs at breakfast increases that full feeling, and helps maintain steady blood sugar. This means when it’s time for lunch, you won’t be tempted to get a huge burger. Egg yolks also have lots of antioxidants and even nutrients like choline that help your brain and liver stay healthy. Plus eggs are versatile. Put a couple on your avocado toast for a real powerhouse breakfast that doesn’t take much time to make!

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            5. Cardamom and Peach Quinoa Porridge.

              Yum! This recipe has 6g of fiber and 8g of protein! This will help you feel full longer while you steadily burn off 10g of natural sugar. Almond milk is used to keep it suitable for dairy free diets.

              6. Berry Omelette

                You may think omelettes take a long time to make, but they really don’t. Crack the eggs in a pan, walk away, come back, flip, repeat. This one-egg omelette is high in protein, and the berries have antioxidants and all sorts of goodness for your brain!

                7. Breakfast Muffins.

                  Make these muffins on the weekend to grab a healthy breakfast on your way out the door all week long! These fluffy muffins are made with mashed banana and apple sauce to take the place of sugar and flour. The blueberries and seeds make for a satisfying texture without taking away any health benefits.

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                  8. Nut Butter, Banana and Chia Seed Toast.

                    This recipe requires hardly any effort, making it perfect for this list. Choose a good-for-you bread (look for organic options with nuts and fruits, or opt for gluten-free) and top with sliced bananas and chia seeds. The fiber, protein and natural sugar will keep you full without using up your calorie allowance for the whole day!

                    9. Slow Cooker Sausage and Egg Breakfast Casserole.

                      Crock pot recipes are the best, especially when it comes to breakfast. You wake up to a house that smells delicious, and your breakfast is already waiting for you! We already know why eggs are great, but now you get the protein from the sausage. If you’re not into meat, opt for a vegetarian version.

                      10. Chia Seed Pudding.

                        This is one of my go-to breakfast recipes on days when I know I won’t have time to make breakfast. You can make it in advance and just grab it on your way out the door! This recipe offers tons of fiber, reduced hunger, antioxidants and decreased inflammation. It’s basically perfect.

                        Do you have other go-to recipes for hectic mornings? Make sure to share!

                        Featured photo credit: Brooke Lark via stocksnap.io

                        Reference

                        More by this author

                        Heather Poole

                        Heather shares about everyday lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

                        The 7 Types of Learners: What Kind of Learner Am I? What If All the Choices You Make Every Day Aren’t What You Need Most? What To Eat (And Not To Eat) When You Are Suffering From Inflammation! Yes Life Can Be Boring Sometimes. But There’re Some Tricks to Make It More Interesting Why Our Personal Values Matter More Than Ever Today

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                        Last Updated on March 30, 2020

                        Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (And What to Do About It)

                        Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (And What to Do About It)

                        Feeling tired all the time?

                        Have you ever caught yourself nodding off when you’re watching TV, listening to someone drone on during a meeting or even driving a car?

                        I know I have, especially when I worked 70 hours per week as a High-Tech Executive.

                        Feeling tired all the time may be more widespread than you think. In fact, two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week.[1]

                        If you’re tired of feeling tired, then I’ve got some great news for you. New research is helping us gain critical insights into the underlying causes of feeling tired all the time.

                        In this article, we’ll discuss the latest reasons why you’re feeling tired all the time and practical steps you can take to finally get to the bottom of your fatigue and feel rested.

                        What Happens When You’re Too Tired

                        If you sleep just two hours less than the normal eight hours, you could be as impaired as someone who has consumed up to three beers.[2] And you’ve probably experienced the impact yourself.

                        Here are some common examples of what happens when you’re feeling tired:[3]

                        • You may have trouble focusing because memory and learning functions may be impaired within your brain.
                        • You may experience mood swings and an inability to differentiate between what’s important and what’s not because your brain’s neurotransmitters are misfiring.
                        • You may get dark circles under your eyes and/or your skin make look dull and lackluster in the short term and over time your skin may get wrinkles and show signs of aging because your body didn’t have time to remove toxins during sleep.
                        • You may find it more difficult to exercise or to perform any type of athletic activity.
                        • Your immune system may weaken causing you to pick up infections more easily.
                        • You may overeat because not getting enough sleep activates the body’s endocannabinoids even when you’re not hungry.
                        • Your metabolism slows down so what you eat is more likely to be stored as belly fat.

                        Are you saying that feeling tired can make me overweight?

                        Unfortunately, yes!

                        Feeling tired all the time can cause you to put on the pounds especially around your waist. But it is a classic chicken and egg situation, too.

                        Heavier people are more likely to feel fatigued during the day than lighter ones. And that’s even true for overweight people who don’t have sleep apnea (source: National Institutes of Health).

                        Speaking of sleep apnea, you may be wondering if that or something else is causing you to feel tired all the time.

                        Why Are you Feeling Tired All the Time?

                        Leading experts are starting to recognize that there are three primary reasons people feel tired on a regular basis: sleep deprivation, fatigue and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

                        Here’s a quick overview of each root cause of feeling tired all of the time:

                        1. Tiredness occurs from sleep deprivation when you don’t get high-quality sleep consistently. It typically can be solved by changing your routine and getting enough deep restorative sleep.
                        2. Fatigue occurs from prolonged sleeplessness which could be triggered by numerous issues such as mental health issues, long-term illness, fibromyalgia, obesity, sleep apnea or stress. It typically can be improved by changing your lifestyle and using sleep aids or treatments, if recommended by your physician.
                        3. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a medical condition also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis that occurs from persistent exhaustion that doesn’t go away with sleep.

                        The exact cause of CFS is not known, but it may be due to problems with the immune system, a bacterial infection, a hormone imbalance or emotional trauma.

                        It typically involves working with a doctor to rule out other illnesses before diagnosing and treating CFS.[4]

                        Always consult a physician to get a personal diagnosis about why you are feeling tired, especially if it is a severe condition.

                        Feeling Tired vs Being Fatigued

                        If lack of quality sleep doesn’t seem to be the root cause for you, then it’s time to explore fatigue as the reason you are frequently feeling tired.

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                        Until recently, tiredness and fatigue were thought to be interchangeable. Leading experts now realize that tiredness and fatigue are different.

                        Tiredness is primarily about lack of sleep.

                        But fatigue is a perceived feeling of being tired that is much more likely to occur in people who have depression, anxiety or emotional stress and/or are overweight and physically inactive (source: Science Direct).

                        Symptoms of fatigue include:

                        • Difficulty concentrating
                        • Low stamina
                        • Difficulty sleeping
                        • Anxiety
                        • Low motivation

                        These symptoms may sound similar to those of tiredness but they usually last longer and are more intense.

                        Unfortunately, there is no definitive reason why fatigue occurs because it can be a symptom of an emotional or physical illness. But there are still a number of steps you can take to reduce difficult symptoms by making a few simple lifestyle changes.

                        How Much Sleep Is Enough?

                        The number one reason you may feel tired is because of sleep deprivation which means you are not getting enough high-quality sleep.

                        Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of high-quality, uninterrupted sleep per night. If you’re sleep deprived, the amount of sleep you need increases.

                        So, quantity and quality do matter when it comes to sleep.

                        The key to quality sleep is being able to get long, uninterrupted sleep cycles throughout the night. It typically takes 90 minutes for you to reach a state of deep REM sleep where your body’s healing crew goes to work.

                        Ideally, you want to get at least 3 to 4 deep REM sleep cycles in per night. That’s why it’s so important to stay asleep for 7 or more hours.

                        Research also shows that people who think they can get by on less sleep don’t perform as well as people who get at least seven hours of sleep a night[5] So, you should definitely plan on getting seven hours of deep restorative sleep every night.

                        If you are not getting 7 hours of high-quality sleep regularly, then sleep deprivation is most likely reason you feel tired all the time.

                        And that is good news because sleep deprivation is much simpler and easier to address than the other root causes.

                        It’s also a good idea to rule out sleep deprivation as the reason why you are tired before moving on to the other possibilities such as fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which may require a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

                        4 Simple Changes to Reduce Fatigue

                        Personally, I’m a big believer in upgrading your lifestyle to uplift your life. I overcame chronic stress and exhaustion by making these four changes to my lifestyle:

                        1. Eating healthy, home-cooked meals versus microwaving processed foods or eating out
                        2. Exercising regularly
                        3. Using stressbusters
                        4. Creating a bedtime routine to sleep better

                        So, I know it is possible to change your lifestyle even when you’re working crazy hours and have lots of family responsibilities.

                        After I made the 4 simple changes in my lifestyle, I no longer felt exhausted all of the time.

                        In addition, I lost two inches off my waist and looked and felt better than ever.

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                        I was so excited that I wanted to help others replace stress and exhaustion with rest and well-being, too. That’s why I became a Certified Holistic Wellness Coach through the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute.

                        Interestingly enough, I discovered that Dr. Sears recommends a somewhat similar L.E.A.N. lifestyle:

                        • L is for Lifestyle and means living healthy including getting enough sleep.
                        • E is for Exercise and means getting at least 20 minutes of exercise a day ideally for six days a week.
                        • A is for Attitude and means thinking positive and reducing stress whenever possible.
                        • N is for Nutrition and means emphasizing a right-fat diet, not a low-fat diet.

                        The L.E.A.N. lifestyle is a scientifically-proven way to reduce fatigue, get to the optimal weight and to achieve overall wellness.[6]

                        And yes, there does seem to be an important correlation between being lean and feeling rested.

                        But overall based on my personal experience and Dr. Sear’s scientific proof, the key to not feeling tired all of the time does seem to be 4 simple changes to your lifestyle.

                        L — Living Healthy

                        Getting enough high-quality sleep every day is the surefire way to help you feel less fatigued, more rested and better overall.

                        So, whether you’re sleep deprived or potentially suffering from fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, you probably want to find a way to sleep better.

                        In fact, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, your body isn’t getting the time it needs to repair itself; meaning that if you are suffering from an illness, it’s far more likely to linger.

                        As unlikely as it sounds, though, fatigue can sometimes make it difficult to sleep. That’s why I’d recommend taking a look at your bedtime routine before you go to bed and optimize it based on sleep best practices.

                        Here are 3 quick and easy tips for creating a pro-sleep bedtime routine:

                        1. Unplug

                        Many of us try to unwind by watching TV or doing something on an iPhone or tablet. But tech can affect your melatonin production due to the blue light that they emit, fooling your body into thinking it’s still daytime.

                        So turn off all tech one hour before bed and create a tech-free zone in your bedroom.

                        2. Unwind

                        Do something to relax.

                        Use the time before bed to do something you find relaxing such as reading a book, listening to soothing music, meditating or taking an Epsom salt bath.

                        3. Get Comfortable

                        Ensure your bed is comfortable and your room is set up for sleep.

                        Make sure you room is cool. 60-68 degrees is the ideal temperature for most people to sleep.

                        Also, it’s ideal if your bedroom is dark and there is no noise.

                        Finally, make sure everything is handled (e.g., laying out tomorrow’s clothes) before you get into your nice, comfy bed.

                        If your mind is still active, write a to-do list to help you fall asleep faster.[7]

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                        Above all, be gentle with yourself and count your blessings, some sheep or whatever helps.

                        This article also offers practical tips to build a bedtime routine: How to Build a Good Bedtime Routine That Makes Your Morning Easier

                        E — Exercise

                        Many people know that exercise is good for them, but just can’t figure out how to fit it into their busy schedules.

                        That’s what happened in my case.

                        But when my chronic stress and exhaustion turned into systemic inflammation (which can lead to major diseases like Alzheimer’s), I realized it was time to change my lifestyle.

                        As part of my lifestyle upgrade, I knew I needed to move more.

                        My friends who exercise all gave me the same advice: find an exercise you like to do and find a specific time in your schedule when you can consistently do it.

                        That made sense to me.

                        So, I decided to swim.

                        I used to love to swim when I was young, but I hadn’t done it for years. The best time for me to do it was immediately after work, since I could easily get an open swim lane at my local fitness club then.

                        Also, swimming became a nice reason for me to leave work on time. And I got to enjoy a nice workout before eating dinner.

                        Swimming is a good way to get your cardio or endurance training. But, walking, running and dancing are nice alternatives.

                        So find an exercise you love and stick to it. Ideally, get a combination of endurance training, strength training and flexibility training in during your daily 20-minute workout.

                        If you haven’t exercised in a while and have a lot of stress in your life, you may want to give yoga a try because you will increase your flexibility and lower your stress.

                        A — Attitude

                        Stress may be a major reason why you aren’t feeling well all of the time. At least that was the case with me.

                        When I worked 70 hours per week as a High-Tech Executive, I felt chronically stressed and exhausted. But there was one thing that always worked to help me feel calmer and less fatigued.

                        Do you want to know what that master stress-busting technique was?

                        Breathing.

                        But not just any old breathing. It was a special form of deep Yogic breathing called the “Long-Exhale Breathing” or “4-7-8 breathing” or “Pranayama” in Sanskrit).

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                        Here’s how you do “Long-Exhale Breathing”:

                        1. Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight and your hand on your tummy (so you know you are breathing deeply from your diaphragm and not shallowly from your chest)
                        2. Breathe in deeply and slowly from your diaphragm with your mouth closed while you count to 4 (ideally until your stomach feels full of air)
                        3. Hold your breath while you count to 7 mentally and enjoy the stillness
                        4. Breathe out through your mouth with a “ha” sound while you count to 8 (or until your stomach has no more air in it)
                        5. Pause after you finish your exhale while you notice the sense of wholeness and relaxation from completing one conscious, deep, long exhale breath
                        6. Repeat 3 times ensuring your exhale is longer than your inhale so you relax your nervous system

                        This type of “long-exhale breathing” is scientifically proven to reduce stress.

                        When your exhale is twice as long as your inhale, it soothes your parasympathetic nervous system, which regulates the relaxation response.[8]

                        Plus, this is a great technique for helping you get to sleep, too.

                        N — Nutrition

                        Diet is vital for beating fatigue – after all, food is your main source of energy.

                        If your diet is poor, then it implies you’re not getting the nutrients you need to sustain healthy energy levels.

                        Eating a diet for fatigue doesn’t need to be complicated, time-consuming though.

                        For most people, it’s just a case of swapping a few unhealthy foods for a few healthier ones, like switching from low-fiber, processed foods to whole, high-fiber foods.

                        Unless your current diet is solely made up of fast food and ready meals, adjusting to a fatigue-fighting diet shouldn’t be too much of a shock to the system.

                        Here’re 9 simple diet swaps you can make today:

                        1. Replace your morning coffee with Matcha green tea and drink only herbal tea within six hours of bedtime.
                        2. Add a healthy fat or protein to your any carb you eat, especially if you eat before bed. Please note that carb-only snacks lead to blood-sugar crashes that can make you eat more and they can keep you from sleeping.
                        3. Fill up with fiber especially green leafy vegetables. Strive to get at least 25g per day with at least 5 servings (a serving is the size of your fist) of green vegetables.
                        4. Replace refined, processed, low-fiber pastas and grains with zucchini noodles and whole grains such as buckwheat, quinoa, sorghum, oats, amaranth, millet, teff, brown rice and corn.
                        5. Swap natural sweeteners for refined sugars and try to ensure you don’t get more than 25g of sugar a day if you are a woman and 30g of sugar a day if you are a man.
                        6. Replace ice cream with low-sugar alternatives such as So Delicious Dairy-Free Vanilla Bean Coconut Ice Cream.
                        7. Swap omega-6, partially-hydrogenated oils such as corn, palm, sunflower, safflower, cotton, canola and soybean oil for omega-3 oils such as flax, olive and nut oils.
                        8. Replace high-sugar yoghurts with low-sugar, dairy-free yoghurts such as Kite Hill Plain Yoghurt with 1g sugar or Lifeway Farmer Cheese with 0g sugar.
                        9. Swap your sugar-laden soda for sparkling water with a splash of low-sugar juice

                        Also, ensure your diet is giving you enough of the daily essential vitamins and minerals. Most of us don’t get enough Vitamin D, Vitamin B-12, Calcium, Iron and Magnesium. If you are low on any of the above vitamins and minerals, you may experience fatigue and low energy.

                        That’s why it’s always worth having your doctor check your levels. If you find any of them are low, then try to eat foods rich in them.

                        Alternatively, you might consider a high-quality multi-vitamin or specific supplement.

                        The Bottom Line

                        If you are tired of feeling tired, then there is tremendous hope.

                        If you are tired because you are not getting enough high-quality sleep, then the best remedy is a bedtime routine based on sleep best practices.

                        If you are tired because you have stress and fatigue, then the best remedy are four simple lifestyle changes including:

                        • Enough High-Quality Sleep with Bedtime Routine
                        • Regular Exercise You Love
                        • Stress Reduction with Long-Exhale Breathing
                        • Fatigue-Reducing Diet

                        Overall, adopting a healthier lifestyle Is the ideal remedy for feeling more rested and energized.

                        More Tips to Help You Rest Better

                        Featured photo credit: Cris Saur via unsplash.com

                        Reference

                        [1] YouGov: Two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week
                        [2] National Safety Council: Is Your Company Confronting Workplace Fatigue?
                        [3] The New York Times: Why Are We So Freaking Tired?
                        [4] Mayo Clinic: Chronic fatigue syndrome
                        [5] Mayo Clinic: Lack of sleep: Can it make you sick?
                        [6] Ask Dr. Sears: The L.E.A.N. Lifestyle
                        [7] American Psychological Association: Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
                        [8] Yoga International: Learning to Exhale: 2-to-1 Breathing

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