Plan & Prepare
This will probably come as no surprise to anyone, but one of the best strategies for building a better breakfast (as well as any meal or snack) is to actually plan for it. And while this probably isn’t a surprise, it’s often a strategy that few people employ.
Practically, planning means you know what you’re going to make in the mornings, and you have the food that you need to on hand to make those things.
1. Dedicate some purposeful time to look at what options you might like to trial.
2. Plan how much time you need in the morning or the night before to prepare.
3. Shop for ingredients to have at the ready.
4. Help your future self.
Are you going to scramble some eggs? Put the frying pan on the stovetop the night before. Going to make some toast? Put the toaster on the counter.
5. Set a reminder or alarm if necessary to remind yourself, put it in your calendar to make sure you have dedicated the time.
Here are some simple things you can do the night before to make your mornings go more smoothly:
- For scrambled eggs, crack and scramble the eggs and put them in the fridge.
- If you’re going to have veggies or fruits, cut them up and put them in the fridge in a storage bag.
- Cook meats ahead of time.
- If you’re going to be doing any baking, measure out and mix your dry ingredients the night before.
- For protein shakes, have the blender on your counter, your protein powder measured, and your frozen fruit in a storage bag in the freezer-ready to dump in the blender.
Small actions like these can save you a few minutes in the morning. And sometimes a few minutes can mean the difference between setting yourself up for a day of success, and a day of feeling like everything is getting away from you.
Quick Breakfast Ideas
A quick note.
These are not recipes.
You might be making these ideas for an individual, or for an entire family. Use your judgement on how much food you will need for however many people. Also, there are no directions for things like “scramble eggs”, and “make rice”. If you don’t know how to do those things, taking a basic cooking course or watching some instructional videos would be a good place to start. These ideas are just that: ideas. A starting place for you to test and tweak, and fit into your lifestyle and preferences.
Each idea has three bits of information:
- What prep you can do the night before to save yourself some time in the morning
- What you need to prepare in the morning
- Approximately how much time each idea will take you in the morning, so you know what to expect. Or, how late you can sleep in.
1. Greek yogurt with oats and berries/ banana
Night before prep: Slice strawberries.
Morning prep: Scoop unflavoured Greek yogurt into a bowl, add a little (low sugar) granola, and some pre-cut strawberries and blueberries.
* My personal fav which requires a little more time, is to use WHOLE oat groats. They require being cooked beforehand but they are delicious!
* Try adding some shredded carrot on top. Chia seeds/ nut butter would really make it a balanced delight to have first thing.
Time required in the morning: 1 minute.
2. Protein smoothies
Night before prep: Place frozen fruit and fresh spinach in a storage bag in the freezer. Measure liquid (water, milk/ alternative milk, Greek yogurt) and place in the fridge. Set protein powder and blender on the counter.
Morning prep: Pour liquid in the blender. Add a scoop of protein. Add in frozen fruit and spinach. Add your favourite nut butter. Blend to desired consistency. *Add oats if you wish to have a thicker consistency!*
Time required in the morning: 3 minutes.
3. Scrambled eggs with veggies
Night before prep: Crack and scramble eggs in a bowl and place in the fridge. Cut up any veggies you want to put in your eggs (peppers, onions, spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, etc.), put them in a storage bag and toss them in the fridge. If you want bacon or sausage, cook them up and put them in in fridge too.
Morning prep: Heat up your pan with your oil of choice, throw in the eggs and veggies and cook.
Time required in the morning: 5 minutes.
4. Overnight Oats
There are a bunch of recipe ideas for overnight oats out there, but here’s a good base to start from:
- 1/2 cup liquid (milk, almond milk, cashew milk, coconut milk)
- 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
That’s it for the base, but I suggest playing around with combinations of any of the following:
- 1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup fresh or dried fruit
- 1 Tbsp of natural nut butter
- 1 Tsp of chia seeds
- 1 Tsp of flax seeds
- 1/4 scoop of protein powder
- 1/4 cup of granola
- 1 Tbsp of coconut flakes
- 1 Tsp of vanilla extract
- A drizzle of honey
Night before prep: Mix or shake all ingredients in a sealable container. Tupperware or mason jars work great. Put it in the fridge overnight.
Morning prep: Take it out of the fridge, stir it. Time required in the morning: 10 seconds.
5. Avocado toast with tomato and poached egg
Night before prep: Slice tomato. Put it in a storage bag, and in the fridge.
Morning prep: Put brown bread in the toaster and toast it. While the egg is being poached and the bread is toasting, cut an avocado. When the bread is toasted, spread about 1⁄4 of the avocado on it. Put tomato slices on top of that, and then the poached egg. Add some spinach on top!
Time required in the morning: 5-7 minutes.
To poach an egg: boiling water, a dash of vinegar. Gently break and egg into the *simmering* water for 2 minutes (if you want it slightly runny in the middle!
6. Un-fried breakfast rice
Think fried rice, but breakfast-y.
Night before prep: Cooked brown or white rice. Scramble a few eggs. Sautee any veggies you want-peppers, peas, carrots, onions, mushrooms. You can cook up a little bacon too if you would like and crumble it up. Mix everything together and put it in the fridge.
Morning prep: Heat in the microwave for a minute or two. Top with hot sauce or salsa.
Time required in the morning: 2 minutes.
7. Instant oats with apple and cinnamon
Night before prep: None.
Morning prep: Open Plain Instant Oatmeal package, add water and cook in microwave as directed. Chop up an apple and put in the oatmeal after it’s cooked. Top with a pinch of cinnamon. Add a bit of yoghurt on top if preferred.
See how easy that can be? With a little prep the night before, you’ll only need a few minutes in the morning to make yourself a healthy, nutrient dense breakfast.
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