The Most Important Meal of the Day

Posted by @emalysethenaturopath on Instagram

Ah, breakfast: the most important meal of the day. We’ve all heard that eating something nutritious to start the day is important, but as busy students sometimes this can be a struggle. VALLEY is here to fill you in on just how many benefits there are to eating breakfast, and to supply you with some fast and healthy breakfast ideas to kick off your morning.

Increases Energy

Our bodies have a naturally regulated schedule of fasting and eating. While you sleep your body is in fasting mode, and as a result your blood sugar is often low when you wake up in the morning. If you find yourself feeling sluggish and overly tired in the morning, taking some time to eat in the a.m. may be the solution to this problem.

If your body isn’t getting the energy it needs in the morning, it will be harder to pay attention in class or to focus on all of the daily tasks you need to accomplish. By starting the day off with a quick breakfast, you’re setting yourself up to have a much more productive day right from the start. So before you reach for yet another venti cold brew, consider having a healthy breakfast – you may be surprised at how fast you feel energized.

Less Snacking Later

There’s an old saying that says we should “eat breakfast like a king” – and it’s completely true. In theory, breakfast should be your largest meal of the day, and dinner should be the smallest.

When you eat a heavy meal late at night, it’s much harder for the body to process what you ate. According to a study published by the National Institute of Health (NIH), late-night eating can even lead to mood disorders or body dysmorphia – two very serious health issues. There are several links that connect eating late at night to overall poor health, and eating breakfast is one way to combat these issues.

If you make sure that breakfast is your most nutrient-and-calorie-rich meal, your body will have plenty of time to process the food and actually use the vitamins and nutrients. If you find yourself not super hungry in the morning, try eating a smaller meal packed with more protein and fiber. You’ll be eating less but still gaining several important nutrients.

For those interested in weight loss, this is also a healthy way to eat less and limit cravings throughout the day. You’ll feel full longer and won’t get “hangry” by the time the afternoon comes around.

Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Breakfast is a key aspect to living a healthy lifestyle, but what you eat is just as important as remembering to eat something in the first place. These breakfast ideas are quick, easy to prepare and full of the nutritional value needed to fuel a good day.

Avocado Toast
What You’ll Need
  • 1-2 slices of whole grain bread
  • 1/2 or a whole ripe avocado (as desired)
  • Your favorite seasoning (such as Trader Joe’s everything but the bagel seasoning)
  • A pinch of salt
  • Desired toppings (some options include eggs, berries, tomatoes or any type of leafy greens)
What You’ll Do
  1. Toast bread until golden and firm.
  2. Using a spoon, remove the avocado pit. Place the remaining avocado in a bowl and mash with a fork.
  3. Mix in a pinch of salt if desired.
  4. Spread mashed avocado on the toast.
  5. Prepare toppings as necessary and place on top of the toast and avocado.
  6. Season as desired.
Spinach and Berry Smoothie

Need a quick breakfast that’s easy to take on-the-go? Smoothies are a perfect option, as long as they aren’t loaded with unnecessary sugars. This smoothie contains berries and spinach – both of which are full of antioxidants and fiber, nutrients most Americans don’t get enough of. If you want to make sure the sugar levels aren’t too high in your smoothie, make sure to use unsweetened yogurt and milk.

What You’ll Need
  • 2/3 cup Greek yogurt (or dairy-free yogurt if desired)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2/3 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/3 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup of spinach
  • 1/2 cup milk
What You’ll Do
  1. Slice banana and wash spinach.
  2. Place all ingredients into a blender and blend to desired consistency.
  3. Pour into desired glass or to-go cup, or enjoy as a smoothie bowl with fruit, granola and your favorite toppings.
Egg Muffin Cups

Omelets are a great breakfast option, but they can take some time to prepare. Save yourself time by making mini omelet cups ahead of time. These can be placed in the refrigerator for a few days, and even frozen to keep for a longer time. Pair with toast or fruit.

What You’ll Need
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 cups of spinach
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 cup each of desired add-ins (peppers, mushrooms, onions, bacon or anything you like to pair with eggs)
What You’ll Do
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Using cooking spray, grease a standard muffin pan.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and sauté spinach and any vegetables as desired.
  4. Place cracked eggs and egg whites into a mixing bowl and whisk.
  5. Stir cooked vegetables into the egg mixture.
  6. Pour the mixture evenly into the muffin tin.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until eggs are fully cooked.
  8. Cool and serve immediately, or place in refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Eating breakfast is an overlooked, yet essential part of living an overall healthy lifestyle. Before you rush to head out the door, consider fueling your body with something healthy. You’ll feel better throughout the day and notice an overall increase in productivity.


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