My Top 10 Easy Breakfast and Lunch Ideas
OCTOBER 30, 2017 by OLIVIA NEELY, RDN, LD
I get it. Switching to eating real foods at every meal can be hard at first… that’s why I’m here. I want to make sure that you are equipped with easy to prepare, whole food, get out the door on time breakfast and lunch recipes!
As individual as nutrition is, some rules are a constant for the majority of people:
Eat real food.
Get those meals in MACRO-trio balance.
STOP. BREATH. EAT. Yes… this is for you “too busy and stressed to sit down for 10 minutes to eat any assemblance of a real meal” person. Like it or not, our bodies are all wired the same way: to survive. You simply can’t expect to be the healthiest you want to be if you’re constantly in “fight or flight” mode.
Breakfast can be as simple or involved as you like, but there are a few rules that should always be followed:
Fat and protein should be the featured nutrients. For most people, a carbohydrate-loaded breakfast based on vegetable or fruit juices, fruits, grains, flour and sugar will only set them up for a crash mid-morning. Breakfast-candidate foods (preferably produced through non-toxic, pastured-based agriculture) well-endowed with protein and fat include eggs, meats, fish, full-fat dairy foods such as yogurt or kefir (if tolerated), nuts and seeds, coconut oil, lard, butter and avocados. Once these fats and proteins are decided on, fruits, vegetables, tubers and whole grains (if tolerated) make a wonderful side note of carbohydrates.
– Protein first thing in the morning is especially important for many reasons including better sleep at night, weight loss and sustained energy through the day.
– Eating fat is essential for your metabolism to work properly. When you consume fat, it slows the assimilation of any sugar in your bloodstream, promoting stable blood sugar levels and boosting metabolism for hours after you eat.
– I encourage getting most, if not all, of your carbohydrates from veggies and fruits. Think colorful carbs! It may take some time and reprogramming of your brain to switch from thinking of carbs as exclusively bread, rice and pasta, and instead, to begin thinking of colorful, nutritious veggies and fruits.
Don’t rush! Get yourself in the habit of going to sleep early enough to allow time in the morning to relax through your morning meal. Plan ahead. Know what you will have tomorrow, whether it is going to be a beautifully laid out fare with flowers and a table cloth or something you throw together in under two minutes.
My Top 5 Breakfast Picks…
Quick Smoothie. Protein powder of choice (I love collagen peptides), ¼ cup canned coconut milk like this one or ½ cup coconut Greek yogurt, 1 cup of fresh or frozen strawberries, 1 cup fresh spinach or kale and 1 scoop of Organify.
Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowl – . Just make sure you roast the sweet potatoes up ahead of time!
Grab-N-Go Breakfast: Choose one protein (Epic meat bars, 2-3 hard-boiled eggs, Applegate organic turkey slices), choose one fat (packet of almond butter, handful of cashews or macadamia nuts, a few slices of raw cheese) and choose one carb (apple, orange, banana, bonus points if you put a veggie with the Applegate organic turkey slices like cucumber, spinach, peppers)!
So you’ve made it to lunch… what have we learned?
- Don’t make this harder than it has to be. Keep it MACRO-trio balanced… keep it simple!
– Protein boosts your metabolism every single time you eat it, which is why it’s important to eat it throughout the day. Animal proteins contain all of the essential amino acids in the perfect proportions, which is important for your skin, hair, heart, and hormones.
– Begin to bring in some starchy carbs at this meal (think whole grains gluten-free like rice or quinoa, sweet potatoes, chick peas, etc.)
– Top it off with healthy fats like avocado, olives, olive oil, grass-fed cheese if tolerated, nuts and seeds… get creative.
- Take what you can get here whether it’s 10 minutes, 20 minutes or an hour. Studies have shown that employees who take even a small lunch break are less likely to overeat, are more productive at work, are more social and get more physical activity in than those who don’t. Because when you’re willing to take a few minutes to slow down and let your body recognize it has had a meal, your entire body (and waistline) will thank you.
My Top 5 Lunch Picks…
Taco Salad. No recipe even needed: take some leftover cooked ground meat (pork, beef, chicken) in a glass container. In a separate container throw in some greens (spinach, lettuce), diced veggies (onions, olives, tomato, peppers), salsa and/or guacamole and even throw in some tortilla chips for some crunch if you’d like. Heat the meat up, add to the salad and enjoy.
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Simple Tuna Salad. Take a can of tuna and mix with a good quality mayo like this one, add in some quality carbs like grapes, onion and celery and serves on some crispy romaine lettuce leaves.
My favorite- leftovers. Pack it away the night before in a glass container and stick it in the fridge so you don’t even have to think about it in the morning!
What’s your favorite quick breakfast or lunch go-to? Let me know!