The countdown is on for the multitude of us who are suddenly obsessively plotting our next health or fitness objectives ahead of summer.
Whatever the goal, there’s a great chance diet will play an integral part, and breakfast — the king of meals — should not be taking a backseat.
There’s more than a few good reasons why health buffs bang on and on about the benefits of embracing a morning meal. F45 nutritionist Kimberly Bowman credits breakfast, or ‘breaking a fast’, as setting the tone for the entire day.
“Our first meal jumpstarts our metabolism and provides our body with essential nutrients to boost energy and alertness,” she tells 9Honey.
READ MORE: A spring smoothie for every health goal
When done right, your brekkie can play a key role in replenishing your glucose levels, stabilising blood sugars, and increasing feelings of fullness to prevent energy dips in the middle of the day, she says.
On the flipside, eating the wrong kind of breakfast — or no breakfast at all — can have opposite effects.
“Skipping breakfast or choosing sugary, processed foods that contain no real nutritional benefit can often leave us feeling tired, irritable, and more likely to have cravings or food binge when we reach a peak hunger level.”
Not sure what sort of breakfast to reach for to support your particular health goal? Kim has shared a range of healthy spring breakfast recipes that address everything from shedding winter kilos to boosting energy levels. Not a bad place to start, we say!
A healthy breakfast for… muscle building and repair
Mexican scrambled eggs
This easy, protein-packed breakfast is ideal for those aiming to develop lean muscle.
“It’s the perfect option to have following a heavy, intense, resistance workout as it contains quality sources of proteins from eggs and beans, while avoiding processed carbohydrates to optimise recovery,” Kim says.
Intense sessions require higher-calorie meals and quality carbohydrates.
“For those who currently follow a high-calorie daily intake and who are looking to build additional lean muscle, adding a protein shake to go with breakfast is another great way to gain an added boost of protein, especially after a heavy resistance workout.”
- 2 medium eggs
- Himalayan salt
- black pepper
- 30g canned black beans
- 45g red onion, diced
- 80g tomato, diced
- 40g green capsicum, diced
- 1 tsp fresh coriander, chopped
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 25g avocado, chopped
- Crack the eggs in a bowl and whisk vigorously. Season with salt, pepper and coriander. Set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a non-stick fry pan over medium temperature and saute the black beans, red onion, capsicum, and tomato for 3 minutes.
- Pour the egg mixture into the pan and cook stirring the ingredients together for a few minutes or until the eggs are cooked through.
- Transfer to a plate. Add the avocado on top and serve.
Calories: 349 | Protein: 22g | Carbs: 9g | Fat: 24g
A healthy breakfast for… weight loss
Poached eggs and spinach on salmon
This low-carb yet protein-rich breakfast can be prepared in under 20 minutes, and contains the perfect blend of nutrients for shredding, leaving you feeling full and nourished.
“A simple egg scramble combining smoked salmon and spinach is a delicious combination that is light and lean, while also providing all the essential nutrients to start your day off on the right track,” Kim says.
Smoked salmon is a great source of quality protein and healthy fats (omega-3 fatty acids) along with a number of vitamins and minerals including selenium, magnesium, and B vitamins, according to the nutritionist.
“A breakfast that incorporates both good sources of healthy fat and protein is best for weight loss as it promotes feelings of satiety to prevent cravings later in the day.”
- 120g smoked salmon
- 2 free range eggs
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tbsp. white vinegar
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- Boil water in a saucepan over medium heat. Once boiled reduce the heat to simmer and add the white vinegar to the water. Using a wooden spoon stir the water in a clockwise direction creating a whirlpool .
- Crack the eggs into the water and cook for three minutes. Remove the poached eggs from the water and set aside .
- Whilst the eggs are cooking, heat coconut oil in a non-stick fry pan over medium temperature and cook the spinach and garlic for a few minutes or until the spinach begins to wilt. Season with Himalayan salt and pepper .
- Plate with raw smoked salmon, wilted spinach and poached eggs on top . Serve.
Calories: 349 | Protein: 42g | Carbs: 1g | Fat: 16g
A healthy breakfast for… stress
Smashed avocado and cherry tomato toast
This well-rounded breakfast combines a healthy dose of fat and fibre-rich carbohydrates to boost energy and mood to start your morning productively.
“Avocado contains essential monounsaturated healthy fats which are ideal for increasing feelings of fullness,” Kim explains.
“They’re great for stablising blood sugar and keeping a healthy energy balance to prevent sugar cravings, which often occur when we are stressed.”
Combine them with cherry tomatoes and sit on top of a sprouted grain rye bread for a hit of gut health-boosting fibre, and you’ve got a winner.
“The best part is that this breakfast can be whipped up in under five minutes, making it an easy, stress-free, convenient option for busy mornings.”
- 2 x (35g) gluten-free bread slices
- 80g avocado
- Himalayan salt & pepper
- 10 cherry tomatoes, sliced
- 1 tsp (5ml) olive oil
- 2 tsp (10ml) balsamic vinegar
- Toast the bread until golden and to your liking. Transfer to a plate.
- Mash avocado in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Spread evenly over the toast.
- Top with cherry tomatoes and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Calories: 402 | Protein: 7g | Carbs: 34g | Fat: 25g
A healthy breakfast for… energy
Raw energy seed bar
While these do require some prep, homemade nut and seed bars are a great grab-and-go option for fitness buffs.
“These bars are perfect for pre- or post-workout breakfasts. Made with quality sources of energy-boosting carbohydrates, including rolled oats, pumpkin seeds, and dried fruit, they provide an excellent source of quality fibre to curb cravings and stabilise blood sugar,” Kim says.
For an added flavour boost, combine with a creamy nut butter to up your satisfaction levels without resorting to refined sugar.
- 60g dried prunes
- 40g rolled oats
- 25g unsalted almond butter
- 20g sunflower seeds
- 40g raw, unsalted almonds
- 10g sesame seeds
- 10g pumpkin seeds
- 20g shredded coconut
- 20g rice malt syrup
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Soak the prunes in water for 5 minutes. Once the prunes become soft, drain the water. Transfer the soaked prunes to a food processor .
- Add the oats, almond butter, all the seeds, coconut, rice malt syrup, almonds, water and cinnamon into the food processor. Process until the ingredients are combined and the mixture forms into a ball .
- Transfer the mixture into a tray and press down firmly with a 2cm thickness in a rectangle .
- Refrigerate for up to 1-hour to set . Slice bar into five portions.
Calories: 217 | Protein: 6g | Carbs: 14g | Fat: 15g
READ MORE: Best and worst breakfasts to eat on the go
A healthy breakfast for… boosting immunity
Antioxidant vanilla yogurt jar
The key to a healthy immune system is in our gut, according to the nutritionist, and a quality greek yogurt topped with antioxidant-rich berries is the perfect combination to optimise health and give your immune system an extra boost.
“Greek yogurt contains probiotics that are key for keeping the digestive system and gut functioning effectively to minimise inflammation,” Kim says.
“They are made up of good bacteria to keep the body healthy while also helping our body keep out harmful bacteria that stress the immune system.”
- ⅓ cup mixed berries
- ⅓ cup natural greek yoghurt (no added sugar)
- 1 tbsp vanilla protein powder
- 1 tbsp quinoa flakes
- 4 walnuts, chopped
- 1 tsp desiccated coconut
- 1 pinch stevia
- Combine the yoghurt, protein powder and stevia in a bowl and place in a jar
- Place the quinoa flakes over the yoghurt and top with the berries, walnuts and coconut
Calories: 354 | Protein: 18g | Carb: 23g | Fat: 20g