Morning Energy Boosters Without the Coffee
A large coffee and a muffin on the go is the breakfast of choice for many folks in a hurry. But by mid-morning, that choice may make you feel energy-less. The caffeine buzz is gone, the carb and sugar high has worn off, and you’re thinking, “When’s lunch!?”
Break the cycle and boost your energy with these easy-to-make, tasty and portable breakfast ideas. They’ll keep you going until lunchtime with nutrient-dense ingredients that replenish, rather than zap, your mojo.
Peggy Kotsopoulos, a nutritionist and culinary consultant in New York, says ingredients like avocados, chia seeds, fresh fruit, nuts, nut milks and yogurt can help keep a body well-fueled until your next meal.
Avocados, for instance, are rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and make a great addition to breakfast smoothies (see below for a recipe suggestion) as they provide a rich and creamy texture without containing any dairy — a bonus if you’re vegan or lactose intolerant.
“The fats coupled with the fruit’s high fiber content help to satiate hunger and ward off mid-day cravings. Plus, avocados are rich in antioxidant vitamins E and C that combat free radical damage and slow down aging, helping you to look and feel great,” Kotsopoulos adds.
Kotsopoulos is also a fan of chia seeds, which are one of the highest plant-based sources of fiber out there. These little seeds can also soak up to 20 times their weight in water. In the recipe below, chia seeds are mixed with a nut milk, which plumps up the seeds as they absorb the liquid, making for a delicious and nutrient-dense pudding.
“Its high concentration of insoluble fiber increases satiety levels and keeps you fuller longer,” says Kotsopoulos, adding, “fiber slows down the absorption of carbohydrates and improves the intake of sugar by cells and tissues. This helps balance blood sugar levels and wards off cravings.”
The overall bonus, according to Kotsopoulos, is that research, as published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, shows that eating more fiber and less sugar throughout the day is linked to a deeper, more restorative sleep at night. And that’s as good a reason to start the day off right as any!
Mango Avocado Morning Smoothie Recipe
Prep Time: 5 minutes
1-1/2 cups cold, plain kefir (or your choice of milk substitute, such as soy or almond)
1/2 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
1/3 cup mango, peeled and pitted
1 small ripe, banana, peeled
1 teaspoon of pure maple syrup (or honey)
1 tablespoon of hemp seeds
- Blend all of the ingredients in a blender until smooth.
- If your smoothie is too thick, add a little more milk or water and blend again until you reach the desired consistency.
- Serve immediately and enjoy.
Customizable Overnight Chia Cups Recipe
Prep Time: 5 minutes
1 teaspoon honey
Pinch of cinnamon
2 heaping tablespoons chia seeds
3/4 cup almond milk (or the milk of your choice)
1 small, ripe banana, sliced
4 tablespoons Greek yogurt (divided into 2 tablespoons each, you can also use coconut or soy yogurt if you prefer)
- toasted pumpkin seeds
- almond slivers or walnut pieces
- shredded unsweetened coconut
- a small handful of fresh, washed fruit (blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, kiwi pieces, apple slices)
- Combine all of the ingredients in one bowl, excluding fruit garnishes and yogurt. Add some nuts now if you’d like, a heaping tablespoon in total.
- Mix ingredients together.
- Divide chia seed mixture into two re-sealable, portable containers. Seal and refrigerate overnight.
- The next morning, top with 2 tablespoons of yogurt per container, any garnishes you like, and enjoy.
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