The BIG Breakfast
As a kid, on Saturdays and Sundays, my mom often showed her deep, undying love for us by preparing what I will affectionately call the Big Breakfast. I especially loved it when she made waffles. And when she prepared fried green tomatoes, fried side pork with apple sauce. And when she made fried potatoes and mackerel. Ok. Truth is, I can’t remember there ever being a Big Breakfast that I didn’t love.
Unfortunately, after the Big Breakfast, I always walked away feeling sluggish, sleepy. If there were stories of me being found, snoring in my plate with a piece of waffle in my mouth, I would not be surprised.
But, in recent years, as I have started to really understand more about food and what works for MY body in particular, unless I am able to spend my Saturday or Sunday drifting in and out of a sleepy haze, I typically avoid that heavier breakfast of my youth.
These days, a few of my favorite breakfast options, both during the week and on the weekend, include whole grains, fresh fruit and seeds. And the bonus is that these are great options for before and/or after a morning workout.
Banana Nut Kale Smoothie
Smoothies are a great option because they’re easy to make and you can get as creative as you like. My favorite smoothie routine includes throwing almond milk (or coconut water), a banana (frozen or not), fresh-ground peanut butter (or plain greek yogurt), kale (or spinach), hemp seeds (optional), ground flax seeds (aka flax meal), cinnamon, cardamom and ginger (ground) in the blender. If you want, add strawberries, blueberries or raspberries. You can also add honey or agave, but I usually find the fruit makes the smoothie the right kind of sweet for me. The protein-carb combo in this smoothie makes it a nice post-workout treat.
Wheat Berry Breakfast Bowl
This is SUPER easy! Cook the grain (you could also use farro or quinoa) per directions on the package. When done, add a palm-full of blueberries (or raspberries, strawberries, etc), a drizzle of honey, sunflower seeds, a sprinkling of ground flax seeds (aka flax meal), cinnamon and cardamom. Have pumpkin seeds? Add ‘em!
Sometimes I make a enough of the grain to last for a couple of days so all we have to do is warm in the morning before (or after) throwing in all of the other goodies. This is a delicious, energizing meal to enjoy prior to your morning workout.
This granola is made with rolled oats, nuts (almonds, pecans & cashews), ground flax seeds (aka flax meal), pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, allspice, ginger (ground), salt (just a smidge), coconut oil and honey (also try agave or maple syrup). Mix and bake the granola mixture. Once done and cool, add berries of choice, bananas and almond milk. Enjoy!
Fried Egg & Mashed Avocado Toast
While we haven't been huge avocado fans, we decided to try an "avocado toast" option knowing that avocados are a lovely protein option and have those "good fats" that give richness without the guilt (or at least with less guilt). The avocado was mashed with a mix of sea salt, pepper, granulated garlic, onion powder and lime juice (all to taste). For the veggies, we used fresh tomato on top of sautéed red onion and bell pepper (it's STILL delicious with raw bell pepper). And, as you can see, it was topped off with a fried egg (a runny egg works too if you like that). Oh! And the bread is a nice piece of toasted Ezekiel bread (use whatever bread you like). I didn't know what to expect when we first tried this, but it has definitely become a morning favorite!
Now, truth be told, I STILL love the Big Breakfast! BUT, the choice to indulge is a treat that I allow myself on the occasional Saturday or Sunday morning when there is nothing more to do than nap on the couch all day. For the other days, I love diving into these lighter, healthier options that help me feel energized and ready to take on the day ahead!