Growing up breakfast was always my favorite meal of the day. I would come downstairs after getting ready for school and my dad would have a feast prepared on the counter. I could always count on having my pick of eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, chocolate chip pancakes, grits, biscuits, country ham, and red eye gravy. It was a joyous time. I didn’t know it then. I actually had time to sit and eat a delicious meal before heading out the door to catch the bus for school.
Flash forward 20 years and I’m 28 years old, married with two kids. If my husband and I want any time to ourselves before our children awaken, we have to rise and shine about 4:30am. It’s actually quite welcoming and we have come to look forward to this time together. Lately I have been getting up about 4:00-4:15am so I have time to meditate. That really sets my day off right.
But breakfast just doesn’t happen like it did when I was a kid. Our girls are early risers. They usually are awake and full of energy about 5:00-5:30am every day. We’ve tried putting them to bed later. It doesn’t work, so spare me on that piece of information.
By the time we all get dressed and ready for our day, pack the bags for daycare, gather our things for work, it’s time to leave. we try to leave the house no later than 7am to beat traffic. We’re lucky if we get to eat a granola bar in the car.
But lately I’ve been trying to be better about prepping a breakfast dish ahead of time. Our girls eat breakfast at school but we always give them a light snack before hand. Maybe some yogurt, a fruit and veggie pouch, or a granola bar. If we aren’t in a rush to get to work (mostly on Friday’s), we take time to make avocado toast with a delicious over easy egg on top and we make scrambled eggs and/or polenta for the girls.
Being an elementary school teacher means I do a lot of eating on the go and while standing. It’s nothing for me to go hours without touching my food simply because I got busy lesson planning or I was in a meeting. In order to make sure I’m getting nutritious calories that are filling and healthy, I’ve been making a daily morning smoothie. My smoothie usually stays the same each day, maybe adding some different fruits depending on what we have.
My typical smoothie includes:
- spinach and/or kale
- dairy-free yogurt
- dairy-free milk
- coconut water
- frozen fruit (usually berries)
- fresh banana
- protein powder
- spirulina powder
- chia seeds or chia seed powder
- avocado (if there is one ripe enough)
This daily smoothie provides me with enough energy to feel full and get me to lunch. I am able to drink it on my way to work and while I am teaching. People at school have come to recognize me by my large smoothie drink and stainless steel mermaid straw. — Real quick, if you haven’t jumped on the stainless steel straw band wagon yet you should. I have several bright stainless steel straws. They add amazing flair to my smoothies and other drinks. They make me feel good knowing I’m not adding one more harmful plastic straw to the already over-polluted Earth. 😉
Anyway, back to my post.
Another fantastically filling and nutritious breakfast item I like to make is Spirulina Yogurt. Sometimes I make this in addition to my smoothie. Other days I substitute my smoothie for an extra large yogurt bowl.
Spirulina has been getting a lot of attention lately. Its nutritional benefits are astounding! A few of its health benefits include: aids in muscle development, fights inflammation, may have cancer protection, controls blood sugar. It’s considered a super-food, right up there with chia seeds, cocoa nibs, spinach, blueberries, garlic, and broccoli.
To make this recipe you will need:
- 1-2 cups of dairy-free yogurt
- 1 tsp of spirulina powder
- 5 tbsp of chia seeds
- dried cranberries
- your favorite granola
- sliced almonds
First mix the yogurt, spirulina, and chia seeds together. Let the chia seeds sit for a bit in the yogurt. After a few minutes they will swell slightly forming a thicker texture to the yogurt. Then add in the other ingredients and enjoy! You can add as much of any of the ingredients as you want, except the Spirulina. The serving recommendation is about 1 tsp. I wouldn’t go much more than that or your yogurt will taste more like grass. 😉 A little spirulina goes a long way. According to Healthline, a single tablespoon (7 grams) of spirulina powder contains:
- Protein: 4 grams
- Vitamin B1 (thiamine): 11% of the RDA
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): 15% of the RDA
- Vitamin B3 (niacin): 4% of the RDA
- Copper: 21% of the RDA
- Iron: 11% of the RDA
- It also contains decent amounts of magnesium, potassium and manganese and small amounts of almost every other nutrient that you need.
Bottom line, find what works for you and don’t be afraid to try something new!