The hallowed words of your parents, teachers, doctors, friends, relatives and every nutrition website ring in your ears: “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!” And yet here you are, scarfing down a sugary Pop-Tart as you run to your first class.
The good old days of waking up to a hot breakfast and having time to sit down and eat it are over, and it’s up to you to try and revive them. Granted, not everyone has time to bust out an apron and whip up some eggs benedict before class, but it’s still important to start the day with a good meal.
Start by cutting out prepackaged breakfast foods that are loaded with sugar. If you don’t buy Pop-Tarts and sugary cereal cups, then you can’t be tempted to eat them on the fly, because they won’t be in your dorm or apartment in the first place. It’s as easy as that.
Instead, load up on some healthy basics, like toast, oatmeal, granola and Greek yogurt. Those are perfect starters to make less boring breakfasts. Here’s how to revamp...
Ditch the butter and jam routine. Grab some hummus from Emporium Café and use that as a savory base on your toast. Top it off with some cherry tomatoes from Plaza and a little bit of parmesan cheese for a well-balanced meal on the go.
Not into hummus? Try Elvis’s classic peanut-butter-banana combination and add on honey and raisins. The best thing about these toast recipes is that most of the ingredients can be found in a dining hall, and you don’t have to wait in line to get them.
First things first, don’t buy the maple-cinnamon-apple-brown-sugar twelve packs of instant oatmeal. The combination of high-sugar and low-protein content will get you nowhere in terms of healthy eating. Instead, start fresh. Buy the plain instant oats, and get creative. Walnuts, almonds, cranberries, banana chips and apple slices are perfect to toss in for flavor, and they’re full of fiber and protein.
A great underrated food combination is creamy peanut butter and oatmeal. It gives the oatmeal a new thickness with a familiar flavor, and you get extra protein in the process. Mix in the peanut butter while the oatmeal is still hot so that the distribution is even.
If you absolutely can’t give up the sweetness in your oatmeal, swap out the mounds of brown sugar for half a tablespoon of honey. This is probably the fastest healthy breakfast you could make, so it’s perfect for those mornings when you oversleep and are rushing to get ready. All it takes is some hot water and a handful of mix-ins, and you’re ready to go.
The best thing about granola is that it can be found in most of the dining halls, so it’s an easy breakfast go-to that’s also full of protein. Much like oatmeal, another great thing about granola is the many ways it can be customized. Dried fruit is a classic pairing, but if you’re up for an adventure, pour in some almond milk, then mix in dark chocolate chips and dried banana chips.
Don’t reach for the blueberry or vanilla single-serve cups. Start with a clean slate, and grab a tub of plain yogurt instead. Plain Greek yogurt has more protein and less sugar than flavored options, and you can create more flavor combinations. Like granola and oatmeal, the possibilities are endless. Raisins, almonds, cashews, apple slices, strawberries and coconut shreds all make for a healthy meal, whether you add all of them to your yogurt or just one. If you’re in a hurry or you’re just feeling lazy, you can toss in a handful of trail mix for a quick variety bowl. You can even try to recreate healthier versions of store-bought flavors. For a lemon-pie-inspired yogurt, mix in a tablespoon of honey and some lemon juice or lemon zest.
Edited by Katherine White | firstname.lastname@example.org