Healthy, Tasty, Time-Saving Breakfasts

Just when I thought I’d gotten into a good blogging schedule, I go a whole week without a single post!  This was the last week of summer semester, which means I’ve been grading.  A lot.  Given how busy I’ve been, I did sort of fall off the “healthy bandwagon” earlier in the week, but I’m back on track now.

Having to get up early, spend an hour commuting in D.C. traffic, and then teach all day has really helped me see the importance of eating a good breakfast.  When my classes start later in the day, I’ll sometimes get up and cook eggs and take a little more time making breakfast.  But when I’m already waking up at 6:00 to make it to an 8:30 class, cooking takes a backseat.

Luckily, I’ve discovered that you don’t need to get up and cook to have a good breakfast.

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Well, okay.  This did involve cooking – baking, really – but not at 6:00 am.  I found a great recipe for bran muffins that is healthy as can be.  Instead of the usual baking suspects like refined sugar and flour, this recipe calls for things like egg whites, wheat germ, bran, and honey.  Pretty good, huh?  They’re not bad, either, but if you’re expecting a sugary, cupcake-type muffin, you’ll be disappointed – these taste more like granola bars.  Once you know that, though, they’re pretty tasty and very filling.  Even though I wasn’t eating the best dinners last week, I had this for breakfast just about every day: a bran muffin, a handful of walnuts, and a small bunch of grapes.  It takes about a minute to “prepare” this breakfast in the morning, but it’s a variety of tastes and it keeps me full for hours.  And even though I know Michael Pollan would fuss at me for saying this, you could eat this on the go too.

Since we’re speaking of quick breakfasts, I don’t think we can ignore cereal.  I’ve always been a cereal fan, but I’ve been working on eating better types of it lately.  It’s another easy-to-prepare breakfast, which is fantastic, but it’s also a breakfast that can easily turn unhealthy.  (I don’t know about you, but I do love those Lucky Charms.)  Rather than starting my day with a ton of processed sugar and potentially hormone- and antibiotic-ridden milk (though I’ve recently started buying organic), I’ve lately been satisfying my cereal craving this way:

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I discovered almond milk a couple of years ago and have become completely hooked on it.  It’s so tasty – although, yes, that is the vanilla variety.  My absolute favorite healthy cereal is Special K with dried strawberry slices with vanilla almond milk.  I generally like to mix up what I eat for breakfast, but if I had to eat one thing for breakfast every day, that would be it.  The other day I picked up the above-pictured organic granola cereal with quinoa, which I’ve heard a lot about.  (Does anyone eat it regularly?  How do you use it?)  You can have this cereal with milk or heat it up and have it as oatmeal (better than the Quaker packets, I suppose).  I tried it cold this morning with almond milk and a banana, and it was really good.  It also kept me full for a surprisingly long time.

So there you have it – my new and improved, quick, healthy breakfasts!  If you have any healthy breakfast ideas to share, I’m listening!

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