So, how do you start your day? What’s your choice of morning fuel to help you get started and power through? Do you grab a cup of coffee and then reach for a muffin or a bagel? Or do you opt for something with more of a balance of protein and complex carbs? Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You should aim for 20-30 grams of protein with your morning meal. It gets you going, provides fuel for your body to move and your brain to function (remember, you’ve essentially been fasting while you were sleeping!) and gives you energy to handle whatever comes your way, whether it’s chasing your kids around, household or yard chores, a workout, or just plain old work.
One of my favorite breakfasts is oatmeal. No, I’m not talking about a packet of flavored oatmeal that is just crammed with sugar and lacks protein. I’m talking about regular oats that you cook on the stove. Of course, if you purchase the quick cooking oats, you could also do them in the microwave but I never get it right and I always end up with more oatmeal all over the microwave than in my cooking container. The stovetop is so much easier to control. And, it only takes 5-6 minutes for regular oats. If you don’t have 5 minutes, get up earlier. Trust me – it’s totally worth it and your body will thank you!
Anyway, I saw a recipe for a protein packed oatmeal and decided to tweak it to my personal tastes. You should definitely do that, too! It’s so easy! I start off with a half cup oats and I either cook it in one cup of 1% milk or water – depends on my mood 🙂 (also, using water changes the nutritional value – less protein, etc) – and then comes the fun part! Here’s where I add in my extras to pump up my oats. I usually start with 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder – I like the Eas Lean 15 because it’s lower in carbs and sugars than others – and to that I add about a teaspoon of honey (so good for you!), a sprinkle of cinnamon, about 1/2 tablespoon peanut butter and stir it all up. Top with fruit of your choice! I usually go with some combination on blueberries, strawberries, and banana or all 3! Om nom nom!
So, here’s how it breaks down using 1% milk (no fruit):
Calories 368; Fat 10g (sat 3g, mono 3g, poly 2g); Carbs 50g (fiber 7g, sugar 18g); Protein 22g; Cholesterol 35mg, Sodium 204mg
And, here it is using water (no fruit):
Calories 268; Fat 8g (sat 2g, mono 3g, poly 2g); Carbs 39g (fiber 7g, sugar 7g); Protein 14g; Cholesterol 20mg; Sodium 84mg
Of course, adding fruit will increase the sugars but they are natural sugars and your body processes them quickly. So, more fruit, please!