Breakfast is widely recognised as the most important meal of the day, and for good reason. It’s named so because it breaks the fast that our bodies undergo overnight. By allowing enough time for your body to repair and digest, you can promote optimal health and well-being. Experts recommend leaving a gap of at least 12 hours (preferably more) between dinner and breakfast to ensure that your body has enough time to repair and digest. Having an early dinner can be a wise choice, as it not only helps to facilitate proper digestion before bedtime but it also provides sufficient time for your body to heal before the next day’s meal.
So, if you’re looking to enhance your overall health and well-being, making a nourishing and balanced breakfast a non-negotiable part of your daily routine is an excellent place to begin. It also is part of my 5 daily wellness habits.
Keep reading this guide to healthy breakfast to make the most out of your morning meals!
My personal wellness experience with breakfast
After experiencing unwanted weight loss and being diagnosed with coeliac disease, I realised the necessity of incorporating breakfast into my daily routine to maintain a healthy weight. Through self-reflection, I discovered that my habit of skipping breakfast stemmed from childhood experiences. As a member of a large family, the sensory aspects of breakfast were overwhelming, and my morning anxiety often interfered with my appetite. However, with a better understanding of my past experiences and their impact on my habits, I have been able to make positive changes and prioritise breakfast as an essential part of my daily routine.
As with any new habit, it took me some time to cultivate an appetite for breakfast and to look forward to this meal. I also needed to develop recipes that were both enjoyable and time-efficient, as my healthy morning routine is quite long already and I’m not an early riser. Despite these challenges, I was determined to prioritise breakfast as a crucial component of my daily routine, and with perseverance, I was able to find recipes that I truly enjoy and that don’t require too much time in the morning.
5 ways healthy breakfast recipes can improve overall health and wellbeing
From improving your overall health to increasing productivity, breakfast is widely regarded as one of, if not the most important meal of the day, as it can have a great effect on your mind and body. Healthy breakfast recipes can…
1. …increase energy levels and boost cognitive function: Breakfast provides the body with essential nutrients and the vital energy it craves to operate optimally. Consuming a nutrient-rich breakfast can sharpen focus and concentration, paving the way for heightened productivity throughout the day.
2. …fulfil daily nutritional needs: starting the day with a nutritious breakfast can help you meet your daily intake of crucial vitamins, minerals, and fibre. Such a well-rounded meal not only satisfies hunger but also fortifies gut health, enhancing overall wellbeing.
3. …regulate hormonal balance: in the morning, cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, is typically at its zenith. A balanced breakfast assists in moderating cortisol levels, and if these remain elevated over time, they can exacerbate inflammation.
4. …jumpstart metabolism and promote satiety: eating in the morning signals to your body that it’s time to rev up the metabolic processes, indicating the availability of calories for energy. An efficient metabolism, when complemented with nutritious breakfast choices, helps maintain feelings of fullness, thereby deterring one from reaching out for less healthy snacking alternatives as the day progresses.
5. …maintain stable blood sugar: regular breakfast consumption aids in stabilising blood sugar. Avoiding abrupt spikes and dips is crucial because inconsistent blood sugar can lead to feelings of fatigue, mood swings, and can strain the body’s insulin-producing mechanisms over time.
Did you know? Breakfast is named so because it breaks the fast that our bodies undergo overnight. Experts recommend leaving a gap of at least 12 hours (preferably more) between dinner and breakfast to ensure that your body has enough time to repair and digest, promoting optimal health and well-being.
Healthy breakfast recipes: find out what a balanced plate looks like
What does a balanced plate look like?
Based on the standard guidelines for a balanced diet, you want to include plenty of fruits or vegetables on your plate, some whole grains, protein and healthy fats. Having a healthy fat and protein-rich breakfast is great for your overall health – it helps balance blood sugar levels (don’t forget to take your daily intake of fruits!).
Not sure how to combine these macronutrients in a delicious breakfast recipe? Keep reading!
My favourite 3 balanced breakfast bowl recipes
Now, let’s finally get into some healthy breakfast recipes. These first three have a great balance of healthy fats, protein, and fibre, making them the ideal morning fuel.
Avocado chia pudding bowl
This creamy, dreamy avocado chia pudding is one I discovered years ago and recently rediscovered on my journey to healthy, balanced breakfasts. With just a few simple ingredients, you can create this nutritious delight in no time. Top with berries and seeds you have on hand for a wonderful morning treat.
- 1 ripe avocado, pitted and peeled
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons raw honey
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 cup berries of your choice
- In a blender, blend the avocado and coconut milk until smooth and creamy.
- Pour into a bowl and add the honey and chia seeds into the mix.
- Let it sit for at least 15 minutes to 2 hours, to allow the chia pudding to firm up. Soaking chia seeds not only helps them gel and thicken the pudding, but it also makes them easier to digest and allows our bodies to access the nutrients inside more efficiently.
- Garnish with berries of your choice before serving and top with seeds for added plant points and texture.
- Serve at room temperature.
Brighten up your morning with these beautiful papaya boats. They are such a fun, fruity way to start the day, and you can switch up the toppings to customise them just the way you like. Perfect for a weekend brunch or weekday treat!
- 1 ripe papaya, halved lengthwise and seeds scooped out
- 1 cup plain coconut yoghurt
- 1/2 cup mixed berries (like blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries)
- mulled chia seeds
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- Create two papaya boats by halving a papaya lengthways and scooping out the seeds.
- Add a few tablespoons of yoghurt into each papaya half.
- Sprinkle the yoghurt with mulled chia seeds.
- Top the yoghurt on each papaya boat with your mixed berries.
- Top each boat with 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts.
Warming anti-inflammatory morning oat bowl
This oat bowl breakfast recipe has stood the test of time and features healthy oats, plant milk of your choice, and a variety of nutritious toppings. Transform this base recipe with any ingredients you have on hand to really make it your own:
- 1/2 cup whole oats
- 1 cup of plant milk of your choice (almond, soy)
- 1 medium-sized apple or pear, chopped and cooked
- Anti-inflammatory spices likes cinnamon and ginger
- 1/4 cup mixed berries (such as blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries)
- 2 tbsp seeds of your choice (such as chia seeds, flax seeds, or pumpkin seeds)
- 2 tbsp nuts of your choice (such as cashew or almonds, soaked overnight and chopped)
- In a pan, combine the whole oats and milk over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the oats are cooked and the mixture has thickened to your liking.
- While the oats are cooking, prepare the toppings. To cook the apple or pear, simply chop it into small pieces and sauté in a little water until softened. For a quicker version you can even grate your apple directly with the oat mix so it all cooks together.
You can add some cinnamon as well for extra flavour and to aid digestion and some freshly grated ginger for anti-inflammatory benefits.
- Once the oats are cooked, remove them from the heat and allow them to cool for a minute or two. Spoon into a bowl, then add the cooked apple or pear on top, followed by the berries, seeds, and nuts.
- Enjoy your delicious and nutritious breakfast bowl!
Unpacking Oats: Understanding the Differences Between Processed and Whole grain oats
Are whole-grain oats the same as processed grain?
Short answer: No. Let’s dive into it for a better understanding.
Steel-cut oats are an excellent source of minimally processed carbohydrates, as they consist of whole oat grains that have been cut into two or three pieces. In contrast, instant oats and rolled oats are highly processed, which can lead to a rapid spike in blood sugar levels. So if you’re having oats for breakfast make sure to choose wisely and as whole as possible.
Not only can elevated sugar levels lead to chronic diseases in the long run, they can also be responsible for an energy crash leading to fatigue, irritability and poor concentration, which you definitely want to avoid in the morning.
Exploring breakfast options: do I have to limit myself to bowls and oats?
While I appreciate the health benefits of starting the day with the oats bowl recipe listed above, I often find myself craving a more textured breakfast. So, how can I make my breakfast more textured and satisfying? With this in mind, I have developed a few of my favourite go-to breakfast meals that provide a satisfying crunch to start my day.
Craving something to chew in the morning? Check out these 4 delicious anti-inflammatory breakfast ideas
Why it is important to chew your food
Mastication, or the act of chewing food, is an essential part of your digestive health. This is why adding fruits, nuts and seeds to your morning bowl ensures that you have something to chew on; this is where digestion starts! By doing that you’re supporting digestive enzymes and saliva production thus signalling your stomach that food is coming.
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Savoury morning eggs delight
If you prefer savoury breakfasts, this breakfast recipe is perfect for you! When I actually think of happy breakfast memories as a child it was my dad making me eggs so I’ve always had a taste for savoury morning meals. While it’s cooking, I enjoy a piece of fruit to round out the meal.
- Extra virgin olive oil (for cooking)
- Salt and pepper
- 2 fresh eggs (I source mine from my own coop)
- Handful of cherry tomatoes or other vegetables, halved
- Handful of black olives
- Fresh parsley
- Seeds: flaxseeds, hemp seeds, or seeds of your choice
- Coat the pan with olive oil
- Crack the eggs into the pan
- Add the tomatoes, olives, and parsley immediately after adding the eggs to the pan, allowing them to cook together
- Drizzle the cooked eggs with honey
- Sprinkle with your choice of seeds and enjoy!
Turmeric tofu scramble: the ultimate anti-inflammatory breakfast recipe
Trade in your eggs for this colourful, turmeric tofu scramble and enjoy this anti-inflammatory breakfast packed with protein, fibre, and healthy fats!
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 block firm tofu
- 1 leek sliced
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- Few cherry tomatoes
- 1 avocado, chopped
- Flaxseeds for topping
- Heat a skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Sauté the leek until softened. For a quicker, juicier and healthier version, you can steam the leek a day in advance so it’s already soft and ready to use.
- Add the tomatoes to the skillet and let them release their juice.
- While that’s happening, drain the tofu and crumble it into bite-sized pieces using your hands or a fork.
- Introduce the crumbled tofu to the skillet, sprinkle in the turmeric, and stir until everything is well combined and heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve topped with diced avocado and seeds.
Sweet potato avocado & egg ‘toast’
Did you know roasted sweet potato slices make a delightful gluten-free toast alternative? Topped with avocado and egg, they offer healthy fats and protein, making for an ideal anti-inflammatory start to your day. It’s certainly a weekend brunch favourite of mine.
- 1 sweet potato (half will be used for the recipe)
- 1 avocado, mashed
- 1 egg
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Few cherry tomatoes, halved
- Microgreens and seeds of choice (sunflower, hemp and pumpkin seeds go well here)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Slice the sweet potato into two halves or into toast-like slices, depending on its shape. You can roast it in the oven, but steaming is a healthier and quicker option.
- While that’s cooking, prepare your egg. Poached would be ideal, but if you’re unsure of your poaching skills (I’ve had my share of mishaps too), a soft boiled egg works perfectly.
- To serve, lay your sweet potato slices on a plate, then spread the mashed avocado on top, followed by the egg.
- Garnish with halved cherry tomatoes, seeds and microgreens of your choice. Season with salt, pepper, and finish with a drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy!
Flourless egg muffins: a perfect anti-inflammatory breakfast for on the go
Rushing to work or travelling? Need a fast and tasty breakfast? These anti-inflammatory savoury muffins are your answer! Packed with protein and veggies, they’re so quick to make in 3 easy steps and perfect to grab on the go.
- ½ to 1 egg per individual muffin depending on the size of your moulds
- Handful spinach
- 1 grated carrot
- Spices (turmeric, cumin)
- Mix of black and green olives, sliced or chopped
- In a bowl, combine all ingredients until well mixed.
- Pour the mixture into individual muffin moulds.
- Bake in the oven until set.
Why I favour warm cooked foods over cold smoothies
The benefits of warm cooked foods according to Ayurveda
According to Ayurveda, eating warm cooked foods, especially in the morning, is preferred to promote optimal digestion, balance doshas (especially those with a Vata imbalance), and increase nutrient absorption. Warm foods can also be soothing to the senses and promote feelings of comfort and relaxation.
In Ayurveda, it is believed that the body is naturally warm and that consuming cold foods and drinks can disrupt this balance, affecting digestion and nutrient absorption. When you drink cold water or a frozen breakfast smoothie, it can be a shock to your system and cause a contraction of the digestive organs, reducing their ability to function efficiently. As a result, it’s recommended to avoid consuming very cold foods and drinks, and instead opt for warm or room temperature options to support healthy digestion and nutrient absorption.
But you don’t have to limit yourself to savoury warm breakfasts! Let’s revisit some sweet breakfast classics and give them an anti-inflammatory twist.
Banana & Pear Breakfast Bread: Gluten-Free and Refined Sugar-Free!
These are super quick to make and delicious, especially when eaten warm. This recipe will yield one full loaf, but more frequently I opt to use half of the ingredients and bake them in individual-sized moulds and eat them with a spoon straight off the mould.
- 3 ripe bananas (1 for topping)
- 4 ripe pears (1 for topping)
- 2 eggs
- Optional – 1 spoon of gluten-free baking powder
- 1 ½ cups of gluten-free flour (brown rice or sorghum flour work well)
- ½ cup of coconut oil
- ½ cup of maple syrup
- Chocolate chips or dark chocolate chunks to taste
- For the banana version: walnuts
- For the pear version: almond flakes
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Grease a loaf pan with coconut oil or line it with parchment paper
- In a large mixing bowl, mash the ripe bananas or pears until they become a smooth consistency (for the pear it may be more tricky so it’s ok to opt for diced pieces)
- Add the eggs, baking powder, flour, coconut oil, and maple syrup to the mixing bowl. Stir until all ingredients are well combined
- Fold in the chocolate chips or dark chocolate chunks, and the walnuts or almond flakes depending on which version you’re making
- Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and smooth out the surface with a spatula
- Arrange the sliced banana or pear on top of the batter for an extra touch of flavour and texture
- Bake for 20/30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake
- Can be enjoyed with yoghourt and additional seeds and nuts on top
Banana Chia Seed Pancakes: Gluten-Free and Refined Sugar-Free!
Have you seen my famous pancakes on Instagram? Not only are they incredibly easy and quick to make, but they’re also delicious and incredibly versatile. The toppings and fruits can be easily switched up to suit your personal taste preferences.
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 egg
- Brown rice flour to achieve a nice consistency (I don’t measure)
- 1 spoon of gluten-free baking powder – optional if you want them to be fluffy
- 2 spoons of mulled chia seeds
- Chocolate chips or dark chocolate chunks
- Frozen raspberries
- Mulled chia seeds and dried coconut for topping
- Mash the ripe banana in a mixing bowl until it is smooth
- Crack the egg into the bowl and mix it with the mashed banana
- Add in the gluten-free baking powder and flour and mix well
- Mix in the mulled chia seeds and chocolate chips or dark chocolate chunks
- Add in the frozen raspberries and mix everything together
- Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat and add a tiny bit of oil
- Once the skillet is hot, scoop about 1/4 cup of batter onto the skillet for each pancake
- Cook the pancakes for about 2-3 minutes on each side
- Remove the pancakes from the skillet and place them on a plate
- Sprinkle milled chia seeds and dried coconut on top of the pancakes before serving
What are your current breakfast habits and how satisfied are you with them?
By incorporating the tips and healthy breakfast recipes from this blog, you can create a breakfast that not only tastes delicious but also provides the necessary nutrients to start your day on a nourishing and balanced note. Remember to experiment with different ingredients and flavours to find what works best for your needs and preferences. With a little creativity and intentionality, you can turn breakfast into a satisfying and enjoyable part of your morning routine.