Eating clean is a modern-day goal for people that want to get fit and to have a healthier body. There are a lot of processes happening in your body when you wake up and starting your day properly is the key to your success. Even though some people prefer to skip breakfast altogether, we decided to lay out a few clean eating breakfast ideas that are surely going to put your body into higher gear in terms of productivity throughout the day.
Eating clean is subjective to every person. Sure there is a mile long list of foods with fewer fats and more protein in them but is that what your body really needs early in the morning? This is why clean breakfasts should be chosen depending on the character of your activity and schedule. For people who had a late workout the previous day, their bodies might be in a bigger need of carbs in the morning as well as a slightly higher need for proteins. People that won’t be eating for at least 4-5 hours after the breakfast might benefit from extra fats and less carbohydrates in their meal. Balancing your meal according to all those factors is crucial to eating clean and staying healthy.
Before we move on with our favorite recipes and ideas, we need to answer one of the most important questions first…
What Is A Clean & Healthy Breakfast?
There are countless interpretations and studies on what the ideal breakfast should be, or whether we should eat breakfast at all. Still, one of the most widely accepted theories is that a breakfast should consist of a healthy dose of protein and complex carbohydrates. Adding some healthy fats can benefit your long-term metabolism throughout the day and prevent blood sugar spikes and falls.
An example of a bad breakfast is one that is full of empty calories such as any basic cereal. It packs a lot of carbohydrates and does a great job at satisfying your hunger but in around 2 hours your blood sugar dips as hard as an Olympic diver and you are suddenly fatigued and hungry… and its only 10am!
So, to summarize, here are the individual elements of an ideal breakfast:
- Complex carbohydrates
- Healthy fats
- Natural sugar
Complex carbs have one major advantage when compared to simple ones – they stay in your body for more time and digest slower. This will keep you full for longer and won’t create drastic changes in your blood sugar levels. Complex carbs have bran, seed and germ which makes your belly full of healthy vitamins, fiber and other slowly digestible ingredients. Some examples are:
- Brown rice
Protein is what your body needs to maintain its muscle mass and regenerate your tissues after they’ve been damaged either in training or any other occasion. They provide your body with amino acids after proteins are dissolved in the stomach and intestine. Later on, our bodies create proteins of its own from those amino acids. So, in other words, proteins provide us with the building blocks we need to make our own proteins.
Some examples of protein that is a great addition to any breakfast are:
- All sorts of nuts
- Whole milk
Check out some of the best ab machines for the ultimate workout that will surely need a good protein meal afterwards!
Fiber is essential to our bodies for a few reasons. The soluble fiber binds with water in our digestive system and creates these large squishy chunks which ease the passage of food through our lower intestines. They help us feel full for longer periods of time and avoid frequent bathroom trips. Insoluble fiber cannot be digested but has a “brush” function to the wall of the intestine cleaning it from any contaminants and even cancer cells.
All vegetables, fruits, and seeds, as well as the whole grains are rich in either kind of fiber.
Fats have been victimized for decades by the consumer market but that trend is thankfully over. Foods rich on fats can help us with enzyme and hormone production, benefit our hearts and skin, as well as our blood sugar control. They also help with maintaining fat levels, and fat-based diets even help with more efficient fat burning. Foods like nuts, coconut oil, chia seeds, avocados and most whole milk products are all a good source of healthy fats.
The last part of our healthy and clean breakfast should be natural sugars. Those are the maple syrup, the fructose in fruits, and that sweet, sweet honey. Refined sugars that local stores bombard you with are bad when you intake too much of them, as they make it harder for your body to control its blood sugar levels and can potentially damage some of your organs if taken consistently at high quantities.
Our Favorite Recipes
When we talk about recipes we usually divide them all into a few categories:
- Egg-based breakfasts
First on our list are waffles. Let’s take a look at how they are usually made and what are their nutrition properties…
In a normal waffle (2.5 ounces) there are roughly 220 calories, from which around 100 are coming from fats. There are 11 g of fats (2 g saturated fats). Carbs are roughly 25 grams and there are 6 grams of protein. In terms of vitamins there is a lot of iron, Calcium, and Vitamin A among others.
You can see why many people in the fitness industry prefer them for a healthy afternoon snack or a delicious breakfast. Waffles are made of:
- 2 eggs
- 1 and a half cups of whole milk
- 1/3 cup butter (melted)
- 2 spoons white sugar (optional)
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. In the meantime preheat your waffle maker. In another bowl beat your eggs and stir them with the milk, butter (and an optional vanilla extract). Pour the milk and egg mixture into the flour and baking powder one and beat them until they blend perfectly. Cook your waffles until they are golden in color and have a crisp texture.
Egg Based Breakfast Ideas
Who doesn’t love a nice egg omelette for breakfast, right? Well, as it also turns out it is a very healthy way to start your day. Eggs are rich on protein, fats, Vit. A, Iron, Vit. B-6, Magnesium, Cobalamin (vit. B12), Calcium, and Vit. D.
The simplest way to cook them is to scramble them in a bowl with vegetable oil and grated cheese. Once you have fully mixed things up, pour them on a pre-heated pan and stir until they get slightly roasted. In fact, this is entirely up to you. Some people like them a bit roasted, while others more raw. Add peppers, black pepper, onion, or garlic for extra taste.
A huge benefit of any egg-based breakfast is that it provides you with a lot of calories which won’t burn out in the first few hours. If you have a long day ahead of you and won’t be able to have a good lunch in a few hours, then eggs are an excellent breakfast choice. They will keep you full and energized for some good 4-6 hours.
Smoothies are a great start of the day thanks to their delicious and nutritious nature. Still, they are very easily absorbed by our digestive system and are good only if you know that you will have access to food in 2-3 hours. They are a good choice for people that don’t usually eat breakfast. Take it as a fresh and tasteful drink at the start of your day that also brings quite a lot of benefits to your body, apart from initial hydration.
Some of our favorite breakfast smoothies are:
- Strawberry/Blueberry/Banana smoothie
- Strawberry/Mango/Banana smoothie
- Strawberry/Pineapple smoothie
Oatmeal is a food that comes from oat grains, called groats. They can be milled, rolled, or steel-cut, and upon that depends the way you prepare them. The standard white-oats are ground oats. The steel-cut kind is also called “coarse oatmeal”.
Apart from being incredibly nutritious, oats are rich on complex carbohydrates, antioxidants, and fiber (soluble). They lower the overall cholesterol levels and keep LDL cholesterol in healthy limits. Oats also help our body regulate its blood sugar levels better.
The basic kind, rolled oats, are cooked by mixing them with water or milk (or both) and bringing the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to simmer and cover the oats for 5 minutes. Once the time is up, remove the pan from the heat source and let it stand for a few minutes before serving it.
What can I eat for breakfast that is not processed?
Some of our favorite non-processed breakfasts are:
- Any quinoa recipe
- Sweet potato hash browns
- Home-made cookies and waffles
Do crunches burn belly fat?
Crunches create a stronger core and help strengthen the muscles in that region. Still, they do very little in terms of fat reduction in that region. For that, you will need to do full-body cardio exercises.
Having a rich list of clean eating breakfast ideas will ensure that you never have a boring start of the day culinary-wise and you will always head out for work with a smile. The important thing is to realise that breakfast is as important as any other meal and skipping it shouldn’t become a habit. Try mixing up complex carbs with protein and fats for the best result!