Are you stuck in a rut – eating the same boring breakfast day after day or worse skipping it all together? You may have grown up eating sugar-laden cereal every morning, but your new healthful lifestyle begs for better options. Invest in your health by making the effort to eat right meal by meal starting with breakfast.
Read on for quick and easy ways to revamp the first, and arguably, most important meal of your day.
Download On Track with Barix: How to Eat Right at Every Meal – Breakfast
Eating a high protein nutritious breakfast sets your day up right. Here’s why:
- You’re more likely to hit your daily protein goal.
- It may protect your heart, lower your risk of type 2 diabetes, and help you keep your weight down.
- It might give you a mental edge – breakfast enhances memory, attention, creativity, learning, verbal abilities, and information processing speed.
- You’ll probably get in more movement—when you feel good and full of energy, that’s what happens!
Morning is a busy time. Look for our “do ahead” tips to get you out the door lickety-split.
Stay away from highly processed foods that fail to satisfy and leave you hungry for more. Instead, stick with the fresh is best motto and select foods with minimal processing.
You’ll want to meet 20-25% of your protein goal at breakfast and then spread the rest between your remaining meals and snacks. This helps to keep your energy revved all day. Breakfast is a good time for some fresh fruit and maybe a few veggies too.
Coffee – for those who love coffee, be sure to keep calories from condiments to a minimum or turn coffee into your meal.
- Use Premier Protein (or another ready-to-drink protein supplement) as a coffee creamer.
- Heat up Fairlife milk and add to your cup of Joe to make a protein-rich latte.
- Make a coffee smoothie with milk, vanilla Greek yogurt, ice and cold coffee blended to perfection.
Do Ahead Tip: Brew a strong pot of coffee and refrigerate for cold coffee drinks throughout the week.
Pancakes – ya gotta love the warm sweetness of pancakes in the morning. Instead of a sugary rush, you’re sure to find sweet satisfaction from our overhauled pancake recipes in the recipe section.
- Out with the syrup and in with fresh fruit and/or low-sugar yogurt toppings.
- Add a scoop or two of unflavored or vanilla protein powder to your mix.
- Use Fairlife milk in place of water to boost protein.
- Try Cottage Cheese Pancakes or Light and Fluffy Pancakes for a delicious change of pace—see recipe section.
Do Ahead Tip: Make extra pancakes and freeze for a quick weekday breakfast.
Yogurt –sweet, simple and full of protein, yogurt is a natural for breakfast. The trick is finding a yogurt that has 2 grams or less added sugar. Once you do:
- Eat it right from the carton.
- Make a parfait by layering it with berries and then top with a few slivered almonds.Slip it into your smoothie.
- Stir in powdered peanut butter and banana slices.
- Add it to your favorite smoothie recipe.
- Blend with fat-free cream cheese and top with fresh fruit.
Cottage Cheese — you may not put cottage cheese and breakfast in the same sentence, but take another look, it works
- Mix with sliced bananas, pineapple, berries, melon, peach slices or applesauce.
- Blend it into a fruit smoothie.
- Make pancakes with it—really!
- Top pancakes or French toast with a blend of cottage cheese and no-added-sugar preserves for a deliciously sweet, but not-too-sweet, 7 grams of protein topping—see recipe section.
Eggs — Scrambled, fried, soft or hard cooked, eggs are a favorite breakfast food.
- Microwave eggs in a coffee cup, make breakfast bites (see recipe), whip up an omelet or even add pasteurized eggs to a smoothie.
- Use fresh whole eggs, egg whites or pasteurized egg products.
Do Ahead Tip: Make breakfast bites ahead and freeze or chop omelet ingredients in advance.
Muffins –Traditional muffins are right up there with donuts as a nutrition disaster. But it is easy to reinvent muffins into an on-the-go breakfast powerhouse. Add ham and cheese, upgrade the ever-favorite blueberry muffin, and be sure to give mini chocolate muffins a try—see recipe section.
Do Ahead Tip: Make muffins ahead and freeze. Pull them out of the freezer the night before and they’ll be thawed and ready to enjoy in the morning.
Breakfast Cookies – We’re not talking about Oreos, but fiber and nutrient dense cookies that will start your day right.
- Try our recipes for No Bake PB Bites, Breakfast Cookies or Quest protein bar cookies for breakfast or anytime you need a sweet pick-me-up—see recipe section.
- Look for a high protein, low sugar protein cookie mix like you’ll find at proteincakery.com
Do Ahead Tip: Portion pack and refrigerate or freeze–ready to take on the run.
Breakfast Drinks – When you’re in a rush, a breakfast drink may be the ticket to on the go nourishment. With so many options to choose from, you’re sure to find a favorite or two.
- A simple glass of milk provides 8 grams of protein. The brand Fairlife milk boosts the protein up to 13 grams and is lactose-free.
- Add no-added-sugar chocolate milk powders, hot cocoa mix, chocolate syrup or Carnation Instant Breakfast to a glass of milk—enjoy hot or cold.
- Ready-to-drink protein drinks provide the ultimate convenience—just keep them in stock.
- Blend up a protein smoothie. Start with milk and add protein powder, fruit, peanut butter powder (to save calories), no added sugar chocolate, or yogurt for a breakfast treat. Add in some extras like fresh spinach, powdered calcium, vitamin D drops, ground flax seeds, chia seeds, or ground turmeric to boost nutrition even more.
Do Ahead Tip: Mix up your drink the night before, put it in an insulated mug, and refrigerate—then just grab and go in the morning.
Next time you wonder what’s for breakfast—you’ll have lots of healthy options. Here are some great recipes helping you prepare awesome fresh is best breakfasts to get your day started right.
Ham and Cheese Egg Cups
6 large eggs
1/2 c. milk
3/4 c. Muenster cheese, diced
5 oz. baby spinach, chopped
1/2 c. roasted red pepper, diced
2 oz. lean ham, sliced into ribbons
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
In large bowl, beat eggs, milk, salt and black pepper. Stir in cheese, spinach and roasted red pepper. Divide mixture evenly in muffin-pan cups, top with ham and bake 20 to 25 minutes or until set in the center.
Cool for 5 minutes and then remove from pan. Makes 6 servings.
Nutrition information per serving: 160 calories, 13 g protein, 10 grams fat, 4 grams carbohydrate, 420 mg sodium.
Do Ahead Tip: Refrigerate up to 4 days–microwave on high for 30 seconds to reheat. Wrap individually in plastic wrap and freeze up to a month–microwave on high for 1 minute to reheat.
Optional fillings: turkey, avocado, cheese, hummus, sliced veggies
Optional seasonings: salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, basil, oregano
Spray the bottom of a small non-stick skillet with cooking spray and then heat on medium. Crack one egg and mix well in a bowl. Pour the egg into the hot pan. Tilt the pan to spread egg into a large circle on the bottom. Let cook 30 seconds and add optional seasonings. Carefully flip with a large spatula and cook another 30 seconds. Remove from pan and repeat with as many eggs as desired.
Let egg wraps cool slightly (or fully), top as desired with fillings, roll and serve warm or cold.
Do Ahead Tip: Make ahead of time, refrigerate and fill for a quick snack.
Light and Fluffy Pancakes
1 cup blanched, finely ground almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
2 Tbsp. erythritol or other sweetener
1 tsp. baking powder
5 large eggs
1/3 cup skim milk
1/4 cup oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until smooth. The batter should be the consistency of typical pancake batter. Add a small amount of milk if it is too thick.
Preheat a non-stick pan or griddle on medium heat. Drop batter to make 3” pancakes. Cover and cook 1 ½ -2 minutes until there are bubbles in the batter. Flip and cook until golden brown. Makes 12 pancakes.
Nutrition information per pancake: 116 calories, 3 grams protein, 10 grams fat, 4 grams carbohydrate, 129 mg sodium.
Do Ahead Tip: Make extra and wrap in single servings and freeze.
Cottage Cheese Pancakes
¼ cup oats pulsed in the blender to make “oat flour”
2 heaping tablespoons pancake mix
2 egg whites
½ cup nonfat cottage cheese
3 tablespoons nonfat milk or more if necessary
½ teaspoon vanilla
Blend all ingredients until smooth. Add more milk if necessary.
Lightly spray a large nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray and pre-heat on medium. Once heated, pour batter into the pan to make 4 pancakes. Cook until the bottom sides are golden brown. Flip and cook the second side. Makes 2 servings.
Nutrition information per serving: 163 calories, 15 grams protein, 2 gram fat, 22 grams carbohydrate, 424 mg sodium.
2 tbsp vanilla protein powder
3 egg whites
1 large banana, extra-ripe
½ cup blueberries
Mix all ingredients except blueberries. Spray nonstick pan with cooking spray and preheat to medium. Pour ¼ cup of batter at a time to make 5 small pancakes. Sprinkle each pancake with blueberries. Flip when bottom side is done. Continue cooking until golden brown and center is done. Makes 5 servings.
Nutrition information per pancake: 88 calories, 7 grams protein, 1 gram fat, 9 grams carbohydrate, 67 mg sodium.
Pancake Fruit Topping
1 c cottage cheese, fat-free
¼ cup fruit preserves, no-added-sugar
Put in blender and blend. Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition per serving: 50 calories, 7 grams protein, 0 grams fat, 8 grams carbohydrate, 215 mg sodium.
Pancake Yogurt Topping
1 carton Dannon Oikos Triple Zero Yogurt
¼ small ripe banana
Mix together banana and yogurt. Spread on top of pancakes. Makes 2 servings.
Nutrition information per serving: 83 calories, 8 grams protein, 0 grams fat, 13 grams carbohydrate, 33 mg sodium
Mini Chocolate Muffins
1 egg, beaten
3 tablespoons milk, skim
2 tablespoons sugar-free vanilla syrup
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 tablespoons pancake mix
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix egg, milk, syrup and oil and combine thoroughly. In a separate bowl, mix pancake mix, cocoa, protein powder and salt. Add dry ingredients into wet ingredients and stir till combined. Pour into a non-stick mini muffin pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake for 10 minutes. Makes 12 mini muffins.
Nutrition information per muffin: 50 calories, 3 grams protein, 2 grams fat, 1 gram carbohydrate, 82 mg sodium.
Quest Protein Cookies
1 Quest bar, any flavor
Preheat oven to 325 F. Cut the Quest bar into 8 pieces and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 3-5 minutes, until softened and begin to puff up. Flatten the cookies with a spatula and bake 3 minutes more. Let cool slightly, and enjoy! Makes 8 small cookies.
Nutrition information per cookie: 25 calories, 3 grams protein, 1 gram fat, 3 grams carbohydrate, 35 mg sodium.
Do Ahead Tip: Store in zip-lock bag for a quick on-the-go snack.
PB Protein Bites
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1½ scoop vanilla protein powder
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. Stevia
20 raw, unsalted peanuts
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Finely chop peanuts and set aside. Mix the remaining ingredients together until smooth and roll into 15 evenly sized balls. Roll in chopped peanuts and place on baking sheet. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Makes 15 servings.
Nutrition information per serving: 126 calories, 8 grams protein, 10 grams fat, 5 grams carbohydrate and 10 mg sodium.
Do Ahead Tip: Transfer to sealed container for storage–keeps for up to 5 days in refrigerator and 6 weeks in freezer.
4 medium ripe bananas, mashed
2 small apples, peeled and chopped
½ cup raisins
¾ cup walnuts, chopped
½ cup sunflower seeds
1 tbsp flaxseed meal (ground flaxseed)
2 cups quick cooking oats, dry
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 scoop unflavored protein
6 packets Stevia® sweetener
¾ tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray baking sheet with pan coating.
Place oatmeal in blender or food processor and blend until flour consistency.
Add sunflower seeds and pulse. Place oatmeal flour/sunflower seed mixture in
large bowl. Add unflavored protein, Stevia, baking soda, flaxseed meal and cinnamon and stir.
Mix bananas, apples, raisins, walnuts, and vanilla together in another bowl. Mix together the fruit and oatmeal mixtures. Drop by large spoonful onto baking sheet. Bake for 7 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven, flip cookies to other side and bake for 7 minutes or until golden brown. Cool and enjoy. Makes 24 servings.
Nutritional information per serving: 105 calories, 3 grams protein, 5 grams fat, 14 grams carbohydrate, 80 mg sodium.
Do Ahead Tip: Leftovers keep in the refrigerator for 3 days and in the freezer for 3 months.