10 simple (and satisfying) breakfast ideas

Tired of toast? We asked Rachelle Wood, a registered holistic nutritionist in Charlottetown, P.E.I., for quick and healthy breakfast ideas that contain enough protein to keep your stomach from rumbling by mid-morning

10 simple (and satisfying) breakfast ideas

Source: Web exclusive: August 2011

1. Omelette with cheese and 1/2 cup of diced fruit

A large egg contains calcium, iron and six grams of high-quality protein (divided between the white and the yolk). Eggs are also considered a complete protein, meaning they offer the nine essential nutrients that the human body can’t produce.

For gooey goodness, Wood recommends organic Swiss cheese: ‘Swiss has less lactose, so it tends to be easier to digest. It also has fewer carbohydrates.’

2. 1/2 cup Greek yogurt + 1/2 cup seasonal berries + a squirt of honey + cinnamon

‘Greek yogurt is yogurt that is strained through a cheesecloth so it’s thicker. It’s three times higher in protein than regular yogurt,’ says Wood, who recommends plain-flavoured, lower-fat varieties. Antioxidant-rich berries are the perfect
companion. ‘They’re seasonal and low-glycemic, which means a lower sugar load than, say, tropical fruit,’ explains Wood. ‘Cinnamon helps to stabilize blood sugar.’

3. 1/2 cup cottage cheese + 1/2 cup diced pineapple + 2 tablespoons hemp seeds

‘Cottage cheese has more protein than yogurt. Buy the one lowest in sodium,’ advises Wood. Sweet, colourful pineapple offers fibre and vitamin C, and the nutty-tasting hemp seeds offer omega-3 fatty acids; they’re also a good source of protein.

If mornings are hectic in your household, pack this the night before and take it to go.

4. A smoothie made with 1 cup milk or milk alternative + 1 cup frozen fruit + protein powder (optional)

It takes just a couple of minutes to whip up a smoothie in a blender. Don’t drink cow’s milk? Try soy, almond, rice or hemp milk (check your supermarket or a health food store). ‘I choose almond milk myself,’ says Wood. ‘It’s still high in protein and high in calcium.’

Protein powder comes from sources like whey, soy and brown rice. Follow package directions to see how much to use. One scoop can contain anywhere from 12 to 20 grams of protein, depending on the brand.

5. A serving of fresh fruit + 12 almonds + 1 ounce of cheese

Canada’s Food Guide recommends that we have at least one vegetable or fruit at each meal and snack’don’t miss out at breakfast. When possible, pick local, seasonal and organic. (To see what’s in season, check with your local farmers’
association, such as the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets.)

‘Almonds are a great source of vitamin E, and they’re high in magnesium and calcium. Vitamin E helps nourish our skin, heart and blood. Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxer and a co-factor for calcium absorption,’ says Wood. The cheese offers more stomach-satisfying protein plus calcium.

6. Protein pudding made of 1/2 cup Greek yogurt + 1 scoop protein powder + 2 teaspoons natural almond butter + 1/2 banana mashed or avocado

This combo should keep you satisfied until lunchtime, thanks to the protein in the first three ingredients. It’s also no slouch when it comes to other nutrients: Almond butter is high in vitamin E, calcium and magnesium; bananas have fibre and potassium, which helps control blood pressure and helps our nerves and muscles co-operate; and avocado is a good source of healthy fatty acids.

7. Trail-mixed yogurt made with 1/2 cup plain yogurt + 1/4 cup trail mix + 1/4 cup seasonal berries

Trail mix does double duty’it’s delicious with yogurt and fruit for breakfast, and it makes a healthy snack later in the day. Avoid sugar in store-bought mixes by making your own with raw, unroasted nuts and seeds. Look for dried fruits with no sulphites, Wood advises’many people are allergic to those.

8. Cooked quinoa + 1/2 cup applesauce + allspice + chia seeds

‘Quinoa is the gluten-free grain highest in protein and calcium,’ says Wood. ‘Applesauce is something you can make yourself, or use an unsweetened variety to avoid the sugar.’

New to chia seeds? Wood says they’re a good source of fibre and fatty acids. Ask for them at health food stores.

9. Breakfast burrito made with one 6-inch whole-grain wrap + 1 egg scrambled with a handful of shredded cheese + salsa + lettuce and diced tomatoes and avocado

This is a great option for anyone who feels ravenous in the morning. ‘Whole grains are higher in fibre and other nutrients than processed products,’ says Wood. ‘Salsa adds flavour without a lot of fat and calories, and tomatoes are high in vitamin C.’

Time-saving tip: Prep this at night and warm it up in the microwave the next day.

10. Freshly pressed veggie juice made with apple, carrot, lemon, spinach and ginger + 12 almonds and a slice of Swiss cheese

‘This is one of my favourite combinations for veggie juice,’ says Wood. ‘It’s very high in vitamin C. The ginger is anti-inflammatory and gives the juice a nice zip. Spinach adds iron, and the vitamin C in the carrot and apple helps you absorb that iron.’