If you've ever found your stomach rumbling, energy wavering, and concentration scattering come mid-morning, you're acquainted with the effects of breakfast skipping. While it might seem like a good idea to forgo your morning meal for some extra shut-eye, that's a mistake. Easy make-ahead breakfasts may help.
LeeAnn, a busy digital and technology executive recently skipped breakfast because she was running behind and preparing for a big meeting. "While I made it through the morning, I didn't feel like I was on my 'A' game," LeeAnn says. "My concentration wasn't as strong, and not having breakfast definitely affected my tone and energy."
Did you know skipping breakfast is connected with increased coronary heart disease and reduced cognitive performance, according to a review in the International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science?
Sleep and eating shouldn't have to be mutually exclusive, even if you don't have time to cook a nutritious meal before the sun rises. A solution that may let you stay in bed just a little longer: make-ahead breakfasts. These magical meals can be a lifesaver for those on the go, especially in households with multiple family members trying to get out the door in the morning.
Here are three worth trying:
Store-bought bars are often packed with sugar, preservatives, and other ingredients that aren't what your body demands in terms of a healthy breakfast. Instead, consider making your own. Flaxseed and oats are packed with fiber that will keep you full. Dates and dried fruit offer sweetness without refined sugar. Nuts contain heart-healthy fats. With those ingredients as a base, you have tons of options for creating a healthy, filling bar perfect for grabbing on your way out.
- Cherry-Date Oat Bars (Whole Living)
- Paprika Parmesan Granola Bars (Good Housekeeping)
- PB&J Breakfast Bars (Rachael Ray Show)
Oatmeal is a satiating alternative to dry cereal. While it may take just a few minutes to cook quick oats, every minute counts in the morning. This may be why the popularity of overnight oats has increased. This no-cook option involves filling a mason jar with oats, a liquid (such as milk, a nut milk, or water), and toppings or seasonings. Stick the concoction in the fridge before bed, and enjoy a flavorful breakfast after you wake up as the oats soften and the flavors deepen. It's a ready-to-go breakfast that's already in a portable container.
- Chilled Plum-Oatmeal Pudding (Martha Stewart)
- Easy Overnight Oats (Rachael Ray Show)
- Miso-Glazed Banana and Bacon Overnight Oats (Cooking Light)
When all you have time for is heat and go, a breakfast burrito is in order. Make a big batch and stick them in the freezer so that you always have a quick option with filling protein in the morning. To keep the tortilla from becoming soggy, let the ingredients cool before assembling everything, then quickly wrap in foil and get them into the freezer.
- Vegetarian Breakfast Burritos (Extra Crispy)
- Chicken Breakfast Burritos (Better Homes & Gardens)
- Breakfast Burrito Kit (Food Network)
"I usually make every effort to not skip breakfast because it really does impact my performance at work," LeeAnn adds. "So, I try to plan ahead by meal prepping on Sundays and having easy go-to options. Simple, and meal prep, is the way to go when you're crunched for time and juggling multiple priorities."
Get hungry at night? Here are the five snacks to avoid before sleep and what you can replace them with.