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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.

          More by this author

          Catherine Winter

          Catherine is a wordsmith covering lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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          Last Updated on September 18, 2020

          7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

          7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

          Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

          Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

          1. Exercise Daily

          It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

          If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

          Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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          If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

          2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

          Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

          One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

          This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

          3. Acknowledge Your Limits

          Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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          Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

          Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

          4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

          Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

          The basic nutritional advice includes:

          • Eat unprocessed foods
          • Eat more veggies
          • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
          • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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          Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

            5. Watch Out for Travel

            Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

            This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

            If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

            6. Start Slow

            Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

            If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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            7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

            Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

            My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

            If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

            I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

            Final Thoughts

            Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

            Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

            More Tips on Getting in Shape

            Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

            Reference

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