Five Heart Healthy Breakfast Options for on the Go!
Ever had those mornings where you are rushing to get out the door so you skip breakfast and as soon as you drive away, you are hungry? Only me every day! You might not have time to cook up some eggs, and oatmeal with tea and fruit, or whatever you like to have, but you can still get a heart healthy breakfast for on the go- no frozen processed food required, or allowed.
1. Hard boiled eggs. This is so easy. You can boil them the night before, even, if you like them cold. Or put them on the stove as you get everything else ready. You can even buy a cheap egg cooker that times itself and will shut off automatically. I like the Dash Automatic egg cooker. It lets you cook up to six hard- or soft-boiled eggs, and you do not even have to watch them because it shuts off automatically. Once the eggs are boiled, an easy peel method is to drain the water from the pan and then, with the lid on, shake the eggs in the pan to loosen the shells. They come right off!
If you thought eggs were not heart healthy, you are not alone. We used to think that the cholesterol in eggs raised our own cholesterol and put us at risk for cardiovascular diseases and heart attacks. But the cholesterol our liver makes come from the saturated fat we eat. Eggs are low in saturated fat and have a good amount of protein, about 6 grams, and is a good source of vitamin D. And boiling your eggs, keeps you from adding any saturated fat, like bacon fat or butter.
I like to put pepper on mine and put them in a container so I can eat them right when I get to work. I have also put them in a zip lock and used the bag as a wrapper to hold the egg when I know I won’t have access to a fork- not preferred, but girl’s gotta eat!
2. The second go- to for me and a lot of others, is overnight oats. If you have not tried this yet, give it a try tomorrow! There are so many add-ins, and you can eat it hot or cold. I like to put my old fashioned oats(not quick oats!) in a jar, add some kind of milk (water will work too) fresh or frozen fruit, nuts, maybe protein powder and peanut butter. Get creative, chocolate protein with some cayenne pepper…. yum! In the morning, you can grab the jar as you head out to work and eat when you get a break. If you want to heat and eat before you walk out the door, it will only take 2 minutes total. At first, I always heated it up before eating it, but I have also learned to eat it cold and love it just the same. You can reuse the jar, so it makes it an environmentally friendly breakfast as well.
3. Peanut butter and Jelly. This reliable lunch stand-by can make a great breakfast too! Choose natural peanut butter that has no added sugar. Peanut butter is high in fat and calories so if you are trying to lose weight, do not over spread. The fat is the “good” fat. The monounsaturated fats is oleic acid which positively influences good cholesterol. The poly unsaturated fat is linolenic acid which helps build muscle. It also contains omega 3 fatty acids which are anti-inflammatory, so good for your heart. Find a whole grain bread with at least 3 grams of fiber per slice and the least number of ingredients – unless it is nuts or seeds. Flour, yeast, salt, and water make bread. Ideally, pick preserves over jelly as preserves have real fruit in them. You can always pick a low sugar jelly, but keep in mind that they will contain sugar alcohols or other chemical sugars to make it sweet.
3.2 Peanut butter and….. almost anything. Grab a banana and your jar of peanut butter on your way out the door. I just bring a butter knife and dip it in the peanut butter, spread it on the banana and take a bite. Repeat. You can also prep some peanut butter in a container and slice some apples for on the go. Peanut butter and celery are also one of my favorites, Throw some raisins on the peanut butter for more iron and fiber.
4. A smoothie. This is a GREAT breakfast. Use any kind of milk or water as your base. Add your frozen items next. The great thing about smoothies is, if you have fruit or vegetables that need to be eaten, or they will go bad, put them in the freezer and you will always have some on hand. Once your frozen food is in, or ice if you prefer, add anything fresh, your protein powder or other add ins and blend. I like to make the smoothie the night before, so I do not wake the household with the blender. I pour it into a jar, and it is ready to go. The great thing about smoothies is you can get so many fruits and vegetables in one easy step. Some vegetables I use are carrots, spinach, and cucumber. You can use anything you like! Some of my go-to’s are frozen peaches, an orange or tangerine, a banana, a carrot, spinach and vanilla protein, chia and or flax seeds, maybe almond milk, but I mostly just use water.
Another one I like, frozen banana, spinach, peanut butter, some kind of milk and chocolate protein.
5. Plain Greek yogurt with fresh or frozen fruit, seeds, nuts and/ or granola. Be sure to read the label on your granola. Many are high in sugar, which is not heart healthy. Greek yogurt has twice the amount of protein as regular, and less sodium and sugar. I like to put my yogurt and fruit in a container the night before and then just add the nuts or granola in the morning and I’m out the door.
Although we have always heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, you do not have to eat it first thing. If you are not hungry, take it with you and eat it on your morning break. It is important to learn to listen you YOUR body, not any so called “expert” on you. Eat when you are hungry and that’s it. Stop listening to external cues that tell you when and what to eat. I hope you will try some of these soon to get your day off to a great start!