A couple of years ago, I always skipped breakfast. I just couldn't get up early enough to prepare a healthy meal for myself, and even on days when I didn't go into work until the afternoon, the most I ever managed was a bowl of cereal or a cup of coffee before lunch.
I knew this wasn't a healthy habit. Sometimes I would even skip lunch, which meant that my first meal of the day didn't take place until 5 p.m. or later. I was sluggish and irritable a lot of the time, and I experienced frequent headaches.
I decided to put more effort into eating breakfast, but it was an uphill battle. I just didn't feel hungry when I woke up, and even when I did have a rumble in my stomach before noon, it felt more natural to ignore it. Some mornings I had to force myself to eat, and even when I didn't mind having breakfast it was still a conscious decision to do so.
When I asked my doctor for some tips on how to deal with this problem, she suggested that I try drinking a certain brand of canned "meal replacement" shakes instead of eating a big meal. But when I got to the store, I realized that they are packed with sugar and chemicals along with nutrients, and they were also incredibly expensive. Instead, I bought an immersion blender and a bunch of fresh fruits and veggies, and I started making smoothies for myself in the mornings.
The smoothies really helped me break out of my morning funk, and if you're as breakfast-averse as I was, I highly recommend them as a gateway-meal. They taste fresh and delicious, so you look forward to them, and since you drink them, they don't make you feel nauseous and bloated the way a heavier meal might. Plus, you can pack them with nutrients you might miss in your later meals.
After a few weeks of drinking smoothies every day, I started experimenting with other choices. And while I still rely on a liquid breakfast to get me out the door most mornings, I do switch it up sometimes, especially if I'm in the mood for something savory.
Try one of these ten quick, healthy breakfast recipes to shake up your morning routine, and see if you don't have a happier, more productive day.
Antioxidant Chia Smoothie
This is one of my favorite smoothies, and it's the perfect choice if you're just getting started with a breakfast habit. It's very light, so it won't keep you full until lunch, but the chia seeds will tide you over until you're ready for a morning snack at your desk.
Almond Joy Granola
Almond Joy is one of my favorite candy bars, but all that sugar on an empty stomach isn't a very good start to the day. Instead, try this granola that will satisfy your sweet tooth while giving you a dose of whole grains and protein. Try it with some almond milk for a delicious vegan breakfast.
2-Minute Frittata in a Mug
Is there no end to the number of things that can be cooked in a mug? If you prefer eggs for breakfast, you'll love this quick meal that's full of protein and flavor. Making this dish is easier than spelling frittata - I promise!
Banana-Cocoa Soy Smoothie
If you won't have time for a snack before lunch, this is the breakfast for you. This smoothie is so filling that you won't even think of food until it's time to refuel. This chocolate-y drink is incredibly rich and satisfying.
Skinny Oatmeal Brown Sugar Muffins
I love making muffins at the beginning of the week because I can grab one every morning on my way out the door, with absolutely no prep time. Most muffins lead me straight to a sugar crash, which isn't good news for my productivity. This "skinny" recipe doesn't have any butter or oil in it, and the entire batch only contains 1/4 cup of brown sugar. You'll be impressed by the flavor and texture of these breakfast pastries.
Blueberry and Grilled Peach Quinoa Parfaits
This is another make-ahead option that will leave you full and satisfied for hours. The bright summer flavors of peach and blueberry are a great contrast against the tangy yogurt and the earthy quinoa. I like to add a little honey to mine for sweetness, but you can reduce the sugar by leaving it out.
Salmon and Avocado Toast
One of my favorite things to order at brunch is a bagel sandwich with lox and cream cheese. This toast cuts down on the calories while still bringing the flavor of the weekend. I love the way the avocado pairs with the smoked salmon. It's an unexpected twist, but a good one.
Glowing Skin Smoothie
If you aren't drinking green smoothies yet, you're seriously missing out. It's an easy way to sneak in the green veggies that you might miss out on during the other meals of the day. You won't even realize this sweet smoothie has spinach and avocado in it - all you can taste is the fruit. Stock up on frozen mango when you find it on sale at the grocery store. You'll want to make this drink more than once!
Blueberry Banana-Nut Oatmeal
Sometimes, the only thing that will warm up a cold morning is some good old-fashioned comfort food. This oatmeal is the kind of stick-to-your-ribs meal that will last you all morning. You'll love the way the blueberries plump up and burst over the warm bananas, and the walnuts are the perfect flavor complement to the dish.
Country Breakfast Bowls
These frozen breakfast bowls are a great alternative to the convenience food you might be picking up on the way into work. They're endlessly customizable - you can make them healthy with lots of veggies, or make them indulgent with lots of sausage and gravy. You can't go wrong!
What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?