The After Life: Breakfast Tips for a Smart Start

Your mom may not be there to slap a stack of piping hot waffles in front of you every morning, but that’s no excuse for brushing off the goodness that is breakfast. Getting fuel into your body in the morning sets the tone for your metabolism for the rest of the day, and can have a drastic effect on your energy and concentration. Even if you’re adjusting to an earlier working-life schedule and just can’t imagine doing any breakfast prep work in the day’s earliest hours, there are easy and foolproof ways to make sure the most important meal of the day gets in your belly where it belongs. Put down that breakfast bar!

**Breakfast Tips and Tricks**

Wash and chop fresh fruits or veggies the night before. Eliminating the tedious washing, slicing, and dicing can make it a lot easier to get vitamins and nutrients in your morning meal. When you wake up, throw a handful of strawberries over your cereal, add milk, and you’re good to go! Or, toss some tomato and peppers in with your eggs—a couple of minutes later, you’ve got one well-balanced omelet.

Assemble some “overnight” oatmeal. There’re two options here: (1) Cook up some old-fashioned oats on the stovetop, just the way you like ’em. Let them cool, seal up in a Tupperware, and refrigerate before going to bed. When you wake up, add a little milk, warm up in the microwave for 45 seconds – a minute, and dig in! (2) If you’re into cold breakfast, combine Greek yogurt, old-fashioned oats, and your favorite milk in a Tupperware and let them sit all nice and cozy in the fridge overnight. The next morning, the oats will have absorbed all the liquid and become a thicky and creamy breakfast treat! (Even better topped with nut butter, fruits, or other fun add-ins.)

Eggs can go in the microwave. If you can’t even look at a stovetop before 11 a.m., just break out the microwave-safe coffee mug. Nuke a beaten egg for about a minute (depending on your microwave’s strength), douse with some salsa, wrap up in a burrito, and head out the door!

Grab-and-go can be healthy. Remember when Donkey from Shrek asked, “Who doesn’t love a good parfait?” He was on to something—snagging a breakfast layered with Greek yogurt (packed with protein), fresh fruit (vitamins and minerals!), and sweet granola (healthy, crunchy grains) eliminates the need to saute, flip, or heat. Just don’t forget your spoon.

Push-button breakfast. Never underestimate the power of your blender—throw a banana, some strawberries, peanut butter, and yogurt (or even some spinach if you’re feeling fancy) in there, and a few minutes of pulsing later, you can pour yourself a morning smoothie’s worth of energy. And it’s delicious, too!

Tara Powers is an unabashed lover of any and all things breakfast. She’s also a true believer in the healing power of “brinner” [breakfast for dinner]. If she didn’t think her readers would mutiny, all of her blog entries at Chip Chip Hooray would feature pancakes.

Originally posted on Monday, April 2nd, 2012

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