15 years ago I decided to simplify my breakfast routine.
I got tired of cleaning up the blender after making a protein smoothie, or cleaning up the frying pan after making eggs (the two most common ways to eat protein for breakfast). And though I love Greek yogurt, it didn't satisfy my need to actually chew my breakfast.
But I was convinced that beginning my day with protein was a habit I wanted to stick with. So I didn't give up on protein, I just found a easier way to get there.
I started making high-protein overnight oats and packed them with everything I wanted to fuel my body
I wasn't sure if I would like it enough to stick with it, but a funny thing happened. 5 things happened actually.
I am way more consistent in eating a healthy breakfast. When I was making all those time consuming breakfasts, I would invariably get busy in the morning and decide it was too much work. So I would skip breakfast (bad idea...see #2, #3, #4 and #5 below) or even worse, grab something quick like a bowl of cereal or an unhealthy drive thru item. Once I switched to my high-protein oats and found them smiling at me in the fridge every morning (you know, when you open the door and scan around for something healthy), I discovered that I starting eating them every day. And I even looked forward to them. I had never looked forward to making eggs. I'd get to the end of the week and realize that I had eaten the perfect breakfast 5 days in a row. Amazing!
I eat a better lunch. Funny thing, but eating high-protein, high-fiber breakfast makes me more likely to choose healthy at lunch too. I think it's because the steady release of energy from all that protein and fiber keeps me from being 'hangry' by lunchtime and trying to tame the savage beast with an entire Chipotle burrito (which is about 1,200 calories.)
I am able to resist snacking on junk food. All the protein and fiber in my morning oats also boosted my ability to resist the junk food in the break room at work. (Or the kids' bag of Pirate's Booty while working for home.). I am more likely to crave a healthy snack like an apple and string cheese, instead of Cheetos. It's amazing how one healthy meal leads to another. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true!
I have more energy and my workouts feel stronger. Another surprise happened to my workouts. I seem to have more endurance on my runs and bike rides, and it's easier to add lean muscle mass on my strength days (which is essential as we lose muscle mass as we age). I also replaced Gu and Clif Shots with a bowl of high-protein oats as my fuel for long distance runs and rides, and I feel so much better both during and after workout.
- I lost weight. The reason why? I think it's because of surprises #1 thru #4 in the list above. It's just easier for me to achieve--and maintain--a healthy weight when I fuel my day with fiber and protein.
What's your breakfast routine look like? I love hearing how people start their day, and what works for them in the battle to get, and stay, healthy.
Be good to your self!