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12 Incredibly Easy and Healthy Breakfast Ideas

12 Incredibly Easy and Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Many people try to excuse away their poor eating habits by saying that in the mornings, they haven’t the time or inclination to eat healthy, and it’s just “easier” to shove an instant pastry in their faces before trudging onwards with their day. It doesn’t take much effort to make these simple, healthy breakfasts, and enjoying some of these instead of grease-laden fast food takeout items will do wonders for your health, energy level, and overall well-being.

1. Granola/Muesli Parfait

Granola Parfait

    This only takes a minute or so to prepare, and can be eaten either at home, or at the office. To make a portable version, just use a mason jar with a tight-fitting lid instead of a mug or glass. Keep a healthy store-bought muesli or granola like Kashi Go-Lean on hand, or make your own with a mix of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, coconut flakes, toasted oats, etc. Pour a layer of this cereal into your jar/glass, then a layer of low-fat yoghurt, and a layer of fresh fruit (sliced strawberries, peaches, whole blueberries, etc.) Add layers like this until the glass is full, grab a spoon, and dig in.

    2. Breakfast Wrap

    This is one of the most versatile meals out there: just take a whole wheat wrap and fill it with what you have on hand. One great-tasting, high-protein filling is scrambled eggs with fried onions and peppers, but you could just as easily fill yours with tofu and veggies, or low-fat/vegan cream cheese and sliced fruit.

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    3. Pita Pocket

    Whether you prefer a sweet or salty breakfast, you can make this work for you. Just take a whole wheat pita and slice it in half so that you have two happy little pockets. If your morning preferences lie on the sweeter side, spread the insides of the pockets with almond butter (or other healthier PB alternative) and add in some sliced fruit such as bananas, apples, and pears. For a savoury version, slap some hummus into the pockets and add in tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, sprouts, lettuce, and grilled tempeh.

    4. Porridge

    Porridge

      You have a few different options for this one, depending on which way your personal preferences lie:

      • Steel-cut oats prepared in a crock pot overnight
      • Grain porridge made with a mixture of oats and barley
      • Macrobiotic porridge made with any whole grain (brown rice, oat, barley, or millet), with vegetables like radish, celery, broccoli, and seaweed, and garnished with sunflower or pumpkin seeds. Serve with a bowl of miso soup

      5. Smoothie

      If you’re the type of person who likes to have breakfast in liquid form, skip the coffee and aim for a smoothie instead. These combinations of fruit, vegetables, juices and/or non-dairy milks aren’t just super-simple breakfast options—they’re powerhouses of nutrition and energy that also keep you hydrated. Toss in some leafy greens like spinach into a banana-blueberry smoothie, or brighten your morning with a drink made with frozen strawberries, orange juice, and grapefruit wedges.

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      6. Breakfast Bars and Cookies

      No, these aren’t the fat-laden, sugar-coated, empty-calorie bars and cookies you can get from the supermarket, but rather healthy, protein-packed energy bars and “cookie-shaped-mini-meals” that you make ahead and keep on hand for breakfasts and mid-afternoon snacks. Skip the sugar and add in plenty of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit, and you’ll have a fibre-rich snack that you don’t have to feel guilty about.

      7. Egg White Tostadas

      Toast a small corn tortilla, top it with scrambled egg whites, sliced avocado, maybe some salsa and chopped cilantro, and dig in. You can crumble in a bit of queso fresco or feta, or use tofo and peppers instead if you’re aiming for a vegan version, but either way, these tostadas come together quickly and are as delicious as they are good for you.

      8. Quinoa Bowl

      Quinoa Bowl

        This amazingly tasty pseudo-grain is also one of the healthiest, and most versatile. Many people use it in lunch and supper recipes, but you can also use quinoa in both savoury and sweet breakfast dishes. Mix it with fruit, cinnamon, non-dairy milk, a drizzle of honey and some toasted nuts for a hearty sweet breakfast, or add in tofu or tempeh, chick peas, tomatoes, sunflower sprouts, sliced cucumber, toasted seeds, and a bit of tahini for a savoury version.

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        9. Congee

        A rice-based porridge, congee (also known as “jook”) can be made overnight in a crock pot or rice cooker, and is fantastic comfort food. It’s usually eaten with savoury additives, such as shredded meat, chopped green onions, soy sauce, and peanuts, but you can also have it with soy milk and fruit if you so desire.

        10. Frittata

        This halfway-point between an omelette and a quiche pairs sauteed vegetables with beaten eggs and spices for a light, protein-packed, and low-fat breakfast. Try combinations like caramelized onion and Swiss chard, mushroom and spinach, tomato-zucchini, red pepper and goat cheese, or countless other pairings.

        11. Fruit Salad

        Fruit Salad

          Create a salad of your favourite fruits and store it in the fridge to keep it nice and cool. Douse the fruit with a bit of orange or lemon juice to stop it from turning brown, and enjoy a full rainbow-like serving for breakfast. Feel free to top it with wheat germ or oat bran for extra fibre, and depending on the type of fruit that you used, a bit of low-fat yoghurt or cottage cheese would work with it for a protein boost.

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          12. Low-Fat Huevos Rancheros

          Believe it or not, this scrumptious breakfast can actually be healthy. Toast a whole wheat or corn tortilla, and instead of a fried egg, top it with scrambled egg whites. Skip the shredded cheese, add plenty of pico de gallo (or other salsa of choice), some refried or mashed beans on the side, and a dollop of fat-free Greek yoghurt instead of sour cream, and you’ll begin your day with a well-rounded, delicious meal that will fuel you for hours.

          Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, and with these tasty, healthy ideas at hand, you have no reason to skip it anymore.

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          Catherine Winter

          Catherine is a wordsmith covering lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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          Last Updated on June 20, 2019

          Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

          Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

          There’s nothing quite like picking up a guitar and strumming out some chords. Listening to someone playing the guitar can be mesmerising, it can evoke emotion and a good guitar riff can bring out the best of a song. Many guitar players find a soothing, meditative quality to playing, along with the essence of creating music or busting out an acoustic version of their favourite song. But how does playing the guitar affect the brain?

          More and more scientific studies have been looking into how people who play the guitar have different brain functions compared to those who don’t. What they found was quite astonishing and backed up what many guitarists may instinctively know deep down.

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          Guitar Players’ Brains Can Synchronise

          You didn’t read that wrong! Yes, a 2012 study[1] was conducted in Berlin that looked at the brains of guitar players. The researchers took 12 pairs of players and got them to play the same piece of music while having their brains scanned.

          During the experiment, they found something extraordinary happening to each pair of participants – their brains were synchronising with each other. So what does this mean? Well, the neural networks found in the areas of the brain associated with social cognition and music production were most activated when the participants were playing their instruments. In other words, their ability to connect with each other while playing music was exceptionally strong.

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          Guitar Players Have a Higher Intuition

          Intuition is described as “the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning” and this is exactly what’s happening when two people are playing the guitar together.

          The ability to synchronise their brains with each other, stems from this developed intuitive talent indicating that guitar players have a definite spiritual dexterity to them. Not only do their brains synchronise with another player, but they can also even anticipate what is to come before and after a set of chords without consciously knowing. This explains witnessing a certain ‘chemistry’ between players in a band and why many bands include brothers who may have an even stronger connection.

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          This phenomenon is actually thought to be down to the way guitarists learn how to play – while many musicians learn through reading sheet music, guitar players learn more from listening to others play and feeling their way through the chords. This also shows guitarists have exceptional improvisational skills[2] and quick thinking.

          Guitar Players Use More of Their Creative, Unconscious Brain

          The same study carried out a different experiment, this time while solo guitarists were shredding. They found that experienced guitar players were found to deactivate the conscious part of their brain extremely easily meaning they were able to activate the unconscious, creative and less practical way of thinking more efficiently.

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          This particular area of the brain – the right temporoparietal junction – typically deactivates with ‘long term goal orientation’ in order to stop distractions to get goals accomplished. This was in contrast to the non-guitarists who were unable to shut off the conscious part of their brain which meant they were consciously thinking more about what they were playing.

          This isn’t to say that this unconscious way of playing can’t be learnt. Since the brain’s plasticity allows new connections to be made depending on repeated practice, the guitar player’s brain can be developed over time but it’s something about playing the guitar in particular that allows this magic to happen.

          Conclusion

          While we all know musicians have very quick and creative brains, it seems guitar players have that extra special something. Call it heightened intuition or even a spiritual element – either way, it’s proven that guitarists are an exceptional breed unto themselves!

          More About Music Playing

          Featured photo credit: Lechon Kirb via unsplash.com

          Reference

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