Happy first day of February! I’m so excited about this month because in my recipes I’ll be focusing on one of my favorite food groups of all time: breakfast. I could eat breakfast every meal of the day and be a happy camper. It’s so versatile, and you just can’t go wrong with some muffins, pancakes, eggs, breakfast sausage, fruit and yogurt. Not to mention oatmeal, smoothies, bacon and cereal. Y’all… I could go on and on!
A few weeks ago I wrote about my favorite things to eat for breakfast. It was a hit, and I thought it’d be a good follow up to write about what NOT to eat first thing in the morning. In our American culture, it’s hard to know what’s good for you and what’s not, because of so many misconceptions we have about the foods we eat. I in no way claim to be a nutritionist or health professional, but I have learned a lot of things in my healthy eating journey… Including some of the foods you should try to avoid when fixing breakfast!
What NOT to Eat for Breakfast
Foods high in sugar
One of the biggest problems I face when it comes to breakfast here in the states is that EVERYTHING seems to be laden with sugar. Pancakes smothered in syrup, Pop Tarts with icing on top, cinnamon rolls full of cinnamon and sugar, and cereals with more sugar than any other ingredient. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE those things, but when it comes to my day-to-day breakfast, I can’t load up on so much sugar. I end up crashing halfway through the day, and I just can’t have that!
Instead, opt for low sugar (NOT artificial sugar), or make things yourself where you can control how much sugar you put in your food. Check out these delicious breakfast cookies for a healthy and sweet breakfast treat.
Highly processed meat
I’m talkin’ to you, bacon and sausage! As tasty and greasy and decadent as they are, they really aren’t the best option when planning your breakfast. They are loaded with chemicals and saturated fats that your body doesn’t need! Research has found that for every 1.8 ounces of processed meat you eat, you raise your risk of heart disease by 42%. These meats are okay for you when consumed in moderation, and as sides, but not as the main dish!
Instead, load up on protein with eggs, lean meats and protein powder in your smoothies or pancakes. Check out this tasty protein pancake that loads you up on the protein without all ingredients your body doesn’t need.
Empty Calories + Carbs
Lots of popular breakfast foods are just empty calories and high in carbs. The biggest culprits are bagels, jumbo muffins, biscuits and donuts. You may think “but this bagel is healthy“, but in reality they equal about four slices of white bread, have no protein or vitamins, and it only gets worse when you start slathering on the cream cheese. Jumbo muffins are just as bad, and let’s not even talk about biscuits that are smothered in gravy and ooey gooey donuts. But you get my point. They have no nutritional value and are heavy on the carbs.
Instead of reaching for one of these diet bombs, go for something lighter instead! I LOVE my baked oatmeal muffins, which are high in fiber, full of protein and oh-so-delicious.
Nothing at all
Y’all, this has honestly NEVER been a problem for me. I am the biggest believer in eating 5 meals a day (yes, you read that right… FIVE), and I refuse to skip breakfast. Not only is it my favorite meal, but it also helps me start the day off on the right foot and keeps me going all morning. When you skip breakfast, you’re actually doing your body a disservice. You are more likely to overeat later on in the day to “make up for” what you didn’t eat that morning. You can also miss out on some of the vital nutrients your body needs (like whole grains, fruit and calcium), which are most commonly consumed early in the day.
Instead of skipping breakfast, try whipping together one of these tasty toasts, which are perfect for grabbing a healthy breakfast on the go.
Veggie Egg Muffins
Speaking of a healthy breakfast option, these Veggie Egg Muffins are PERFECT. They are loaded with veggies, healthy fats, and lots of protein, which your body will love! I also like pairing it with some guacamole for some healthy fat. So so good! I was inspired by some egg white bites I had from Starbucks the other day, and even though I didn’t quite nail it the perfect copy cat recipe, these were too good to pass up on posting. And I know you’ll love them!
- 1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
- 1/2 red bell pepper
- 1 small onion
- 1/2 cup mushrooms
- 1/2 tsp garlic
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 cup egg whites
- 1/4 cup Monterrey cheese
- 1 tsp thyme
- Salt & pepper
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Blend the cottage cheese in a food processor or blender until thick and creamy. Pour into a medium sized bowl.
- Chop the bell pepper, onion and mushrooms into small pieces. Cook them in a skillet with the olive oil and garlic until soft and fragrant.
- Mix together the cottage cheese and cooked veggies.
- Gently fold in the egg whites (do NOT whip or add air), the shredded cheese and seasonings.
- Spray a muffin tin with nonstick spray and pour about 1/3 of a cup of the mixture into the tin (until full).
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and the egg is fully cooked. Remove from the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes before transferring the egg bites to finish cooling on a wire rack.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days in an air tight container!
Now it’s your turn to talk! Answer one of these questions below:
What is your favorite breakfast food?
Do you have a favorite splurge breakfast food you love to enjoy?