Wellness Tips: Healthy Protein Rich Breakfasts!

“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”

It is phrase we have heard over and over again; from our parents, from cereal companies and from doctors and nutritionists the world over. But why? Breakfast is literally the breaking of our fast from over night, and what we put into our bodies in the morning sets the tone for our blood sugar levels, energy levels and hunger levels during the day.

Unfortunately, there is a LOT of conflicting opinion from the world’s leading nutritionists and medical personalities about the best way to do this. Fruit until midday, smoothies or juices, protein shakes, carb based brekkies, cereals – the choices are endless but why is modern research backing up the benefits of protein based breakfast for sustained energy and long term weight management?

The satiating nature of protein (lean meat, eggs, dairy, beans/legumes, nuts etc) means that energy is slowly released and the food takes longer to digest. This is good news for your body, meaning you stay fuller longer and don’t get the spike in blood sugar from quickly digested food (which is the reason you can be hungry half an hour after eating fruit, as it takes only around 20 minutes to digest) and this reduces your need to snack in order to sustain your energy.

I decided to test this theory by keeping a food diary over four weeks, noting my hunger and energy levels during the day as well as the food I consumed and how it made me feel, and the results were very interesting. After a purely carbohydrate based breakfast (fruits, smoothie of just greens and fruits) I was hungry again in only two hours, and that hunger lasted the whole day – regardless of what I ate for lunch and what exercise I did – meaning I kept snacking all day.

When I started the day with protein (two eggs and a side of veggies or a protein shake) my hunger lessened all day, particularly after lunch where my usual 3.30pm sugar cravings all but disappeared! These results were repeatedly the same over the month of keeping the journal, supporting the research that protein in the morning is key to stabilising blood sugar and managing your weight and energy levels.

So how can you incorporate protein into your breakfast? Don’t worry, we don’t have to start downing raw eggs à la Rocky Balboa, there are many tasty ways to incorporate savoury, protein rich foods into your morning meal:

Leftovers – don’t be afraid of leftover quinoa/legumes/free range meats (if you eat these!) and vegetables for breakfast. It’s super easy to reheat and requires no preparation – perfect for early morning starts!

Eggs, any style – omelettes, poached eggs, scrambled eggs – any way you have them eggs are wonderfully nutritious, full of protein and a great way to start your day! Add your favourite veggies and herbs to keep flavours interesting and bump up your daily nutrition!

Protein Smoothie – add a base of your favourite milk, some good quality protein powder (Sunwarrior, NuZest Clean Lean Protein and 180 nutrition are great!) frozen fruits and some nuts/seeds for good fats and added protein and blitz! Bonus points if you add a handful of spinach or your favourite superfoods! I love adding chia seeds, goji berries, acai and maca powder! Cacao makes for a chocolate smoothie – and who can complain about a chocolate milkshake for breakfast?!

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Quinoa Porridge – swap your rolled oats from pre-cooked quinoa! Quinoa is a complete protein and a great, nutritious way to start your day. Have it sweet (with fruits, nuts and oat milk) or savoury (with spinach, sweet potato and toasted pepitas)

Yoghurt and Nuts – top your favourite yoghurt (must be PLAIN i.e. NO added sugar! Full fat organic Greek yoghurt is the way to go!!) with mixed raw nuts and seeds, coconut flakes and some berries for a portable, quick and filling breakfast.

Baked Beans on Toast – a great winter favourite, top whole grain toast with baked beans for a savoury and protein rich comfort food brekky

Nut Butters on Whole Grain Toast – nuts are a great source of protein and good fats to kept your feeling great all morning

If you have been starting your morning with a green juice/smoothie but not feeling the best, don’t worry! Green drinks are beautiful, nutritious and full of quality vitamins and minerals, a wonderful way to increase your fruit and vegetable intake! Perhaps you could try having some quinoa porridge with your smoothie? Or what about some almond butter on rye sourdough with a green juice on the side? Or drink your green juice while your eggs are poaching! These are easy ways to make your meal more complete and still have the goodness of your morning greens!

And for the record, my favourite breakfast is two poached eggs with half a sliced avocado and some leftover coconut oil baked sweet potato and spinach/kale sprinkled with turmeric and chilli! Delicious!

What is your favourite protein-rich brekky? Do any of these sound tasty to you? Leave a comment below to let us know!

Article by Lauren Rose Burke: she is a yoga addict, tea junkie and health nut from Sydney Australia, who loves to search for new ways to heal yourself and boost your beauty through exercise, mindfulness and nutrition!

Blog: laurenroseburke.wordpress.com
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Be well,