Mornings tend to be hectic. Maybe you have to get your kids to school, or catch a train, or maybe you simply pressed the snooze button too many times. Whatever the reason for the rush, most of us manage to shower, dress, and brush our teeth before leaving the house. When a morning ritual must be sacrificed in the interest of time, it’s often breakfast that’s the first to go.
Why You Need Breakfast
No matter how time-crunched you are, breakfast should be as much of a priority as getting dressed before you leave the house! After sleeping all night, your blood sugar level is relatively low and your brain and body need energy. As a result, if you skip breakfast, you’re much more likely to indulge in sugary treats and to overeat when you finally do eat.
We all know we should eat breakfast. But why is it so important? Countless studies have demonstrated the myriad benefits of eating a morning meal. For one, eating earlier in the day has been associated with decreased total daily food consumption, which may help prevent obesity. Skipping breakfast may also have negative effects: A 2012 study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that attention and visual memory performance in the morning were reduced when children skipped breakfast.
3 Breakfasts in 5 Minutes or Less
To be clear, I strongly advocate mindful eating, which means taking the time to appreciate your food, and eating with your full attention. But even if you only have five minutes to spare in the morning, you can–and should–still eat a healthy breakfast. So if you think you don’t have time for a balanced breakfast, think again! Here are a few quick and tasty options that you can prepare in under five minutes.
Breakfast #1: Hard-Boiled Egg Breakfasts
Hard boil a few eggs at the beginning of the week so you have them on hand for quick breakfast options. Enjoy one egg with a pinch of something like Herbamare (a seasoning salt that contains less sodium than table salt) on a slice of sprouted-grain bread from Alvarado St. Bakery. Gluten intolerant? Consider Udi’s whole-grain bread instead.
Or make a simple egg salad by mashing one or two hard-boiled eggs with two to three tablespoons of your favorite hummus and then spread it on a cracker or a piece of toast. Alternatively, wrap your egg salad in a large leaf of butter lettuce. Romaine and butter lettuce leaves make excellent wrappers and are sturdy enough to transport if you must eat on the go. Have an extra 30 seconds? Chop fresh chives and sprinkle on top.
1. Let the eggs sit at room temperature while bringing a pot of water to a boil.
2. Turn the water down to a simmer and gently lower eggs into the water with a slotted spoon.
3. Cook the eggs for approximately 13 minutes in simmering water. (The timing will vary based on the size of the eggs; up to three small-to-medium eggs will cook in 13 minutes.)
4. Lift the eggs out of the water and immediately plunge them into ice water.
5. When they’re cool enough to handle, crack the eggs and peel away the shells.
Note: Peeled hard-boiled eggs will keep for up to three days in the fridge.
Breakfast #2: Protein Smoothie
1/2 cup blueberries (frozen or fresh)
1/2 banana (previously frozen for a creamier smoothie)
2 tablespoons almond butter
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 teaspoon spirulina (optional)
Combine all ingredients in blender, blend, and enjoy!
Note: You can prepare this smoothie the night before by combining all of the ingredients (minus the frozen banana) in the blender and placing it in the fridge overnight. In the morning, add the banana, blend, and enjoy.
Breakfast #3: Sprouted Whole-Grain Toast with Almond Butter
Choose sprouted whole-grain bread to maximize your protein intake, and avoid breads with added sodium and/or sugars. Not sure what to look for? Read this primer on how to read nutritional labels.
1 slice sprouted whole-grain bread
2 tablespoons almond butter
Toast bread and smear with almond butter.
De Castro, JM. The time of day of food intake influences overall intake in humans. http://jn.nutrition.org/content/134/1/104.full
J Nutr.2004 Jan;134(1):104-11. Accessed March 26, 2012.Horikawa, C. Skipping breakfast and prevalence of overweight and obesity in
Asian and Pacific regions: a meta-analysis. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21925535
Prev Med.2011 Oct;53(4-5):260-7. Accessed March 26, 2012.Maffeis, C. Breakfast skipping in prepubertal obese children: hormonal, metabolic and cognitive consequences. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22234046
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2012 Mar;66(3):314-21. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2011.206. Accessed March 26, 2012.