My Favorite Healthy Breakfast Recipes

Last week during a work happy hour, a co-worker who is getting married in six weeks asked me how she can lose 10 pounds before the big day. While I am neither a dietitian nor a personal trainer, I spent the next thirty minutes sharing with her a few of the tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years.

Since she and the other co-workers continued to ask me questions for the duration of our happy hour, I thought it was only kind of me to share the discussion with you guys.

Over the next few weeks, I am creating posts inspired by the questions asked during the conversation. Some of them may be more basic and less relevant for readers who are already practicing a healthy, balanced lifestyle. But, for others, I hope that these tips, tricks, workouts and recipes will serve as inspiration to improve even just one aspect of your day.

As you know, my goal is to inspire each one of you to lead healthier, happier lives regardless of your stress levels, commitments or daily life demands.

Today’s focus is BREAKFAST.

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Now, I’ve never been one of those girls who can survive on water and coffee alone until taking a lunch break. While I know many people who just “aren’t breakfast people” I am not one of them. Growing up, my parents never let us leave the house without eating breakfast. Over the years this meal evolved from milk and cereal to toaster strudels and Jimmy Dean sandwiches until finally circling back to the balanced, healthy meal of oatmeal or eggs. In fact, eating a healthy breakfast makes me feel like SuperWoman the rest of the day.

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Not on team breakfast yet? Maybe these facts will convince you.

  • Breakfast eaters tend to have better diets overall, consuming more fruit, vegetables, milk, and whole grains than non-breakfast eaters. (Consumer Reports)
  • Studies show that breakfast can be important in maintaining a healthy body weight. (Johns Hopkins)
  • Breakfast needs healthy protein and fat in order to satiate you and stabilize your mood and cravings. (AnnetheRD)

A creature of habit, over the past ten years, since taking charge of my health, I rotate through the same four breakfasts depending on the season, my workout schedule or mood. Similar to my workout habits, my breakfasts have evolved for the better over the past year. I’ve spiced up each of the breakfasts to have a bit more staying power, nutritional punch and flavor by adding protein sources, fruit and spices. Gone are the packs of Quaker Oats Weight Control oatmeal, of which the banana nut flavor was a favorite during my Weight Watcher weight loss era from 2005-2007. Friends and resources like Anne have helped me understand the importance of being able to pronounce each ingredient. I don’t need to buy prepackaged oatmeal with many unknown ingredients. Instead, I can save money and eat healthier by making my own oatmeal concoction, inspired by seasonal flavors.

quaker oats nutrition facts

Below, you’ll find a round-up of my favorite healthy breakfast recipes for each of my four breakfast rotations.

Healthy Breakfast Round-Up

Oatmeal/Quinoa/Chia

Smoothie

Eggs

Yogurt Bowl

How about you? What is your favorite breakfast? 

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Healthy Five Minute Chai Oatmeal

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Good morning from cookie central. My mom and I have spent more than twelve hours in the kitchen together baking cookies. One of our family traditions is to for my mom and I to decorate the Christmas tree and bake cookies together each year. Even though this means that the first few days home are jam-packed, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Instead of limiting our cookies to one or two types, we do our best to please everyone by baking each person’s favorite cookie or treat. So far, we’ve baked eight different types of desserts ranging from peanut butter blossoms, toffee bars and sugar cookies.

When you’re tempted to eat cookies for breakfast, the easiest solution is putting the flavors in your oatmeal. Yesterday morning’s breakfast was a delicious, five-minute chai cookie oatmeal.

IMG_7663Chai Cookie Oatmeal

Servings: 2

Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon flax seed oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons honey, plus more to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
  • 1/8 cup chopped pecans
  • Optional 1 teaspoon brown sugar or sugar in the raw to sweeten

Instructions

Combine all ingredients together, stirring well. Once combined, either put in oven on 350 degrees for 5 minutes to warm and bake or put in microwave to bake. Divide into two servings and enjoy!

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Whole Wheat Protein Pancakes

What do you do when you wake up at 7:30 on a Saturday, long before your jet-lagged husband? Head out for a peaceful run along the lake!

Nike  Run

The weather is perfect here today – 38 degrees and sunny! I didn’t wear my Garmin on this run, instead using Nike +. This allowed me to keep track of the run but only hear my pace each mile. Since I’m still working my way back after my cold and stomach illness, I didn’t want to stress over the pace. My average pace was 9:39 and I was smiling ear to ear by the end. The blue sky, sunshine and lake views were definitely the perfect way to start the day! Even better is the fact that I didn’t have to stop once during the run and felt really strong!

I headed directly into the kitchen when I got home, ready to whip up a breakfast of coffee, fruit and healthy pancakes. Inspired by a few different Pinterest recipes, I combined them to develop delicious, fluffy pancakes which were even better when paired with syrup and fresh fruit!  Thanks to the protein in the egg whites and Greek yogurt, these packed 18 grams of protein per serving and the healthy fat helped keep us full all morning! Be careful, since these are thick, yogurt based pancakes they need to be cooked at a lower temperature for longer period of time. But, if you take your time, they will turn out perfectly!

Whole Wheat Protein Pancakes

Whole Wheat Protein Pancakes (2 servings)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 oz Fage Total Greek yogurt
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Optional: Syrup & fresh fruit

Directions

  • Combine whole wheat flour and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl until combined
  • Add yogurt, egg whites, vanilla and cinnamon to dry mixture, stirring until well combined.
  • Let batter rest while you coat skillet with non-stick cooking spray, butter or oil and bring it to heat on stove over a medium-low to medium heat.
  • Pour batter into pan, making 5-6 small pancakes.
  • Allow batter to cook slowly, waiting a few minutes until you flip.
  • Cook for another few minutes, until golden brown and remove from heat.
  • Top with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Whole wheat protein pancakes 

What’s your favorite way to top your pancakes?

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