This is not the same morning-meal advice you’ve heard all your life; it’s all about tweaking the way you think.
If you often skip breakfast or consider a morning meal a hassle, try this mindset shift: Think of it instead as an opportunity, a way to jump-start your day in a positive, proactive way. You can use this meal to front-load your waking hours with something your body needs—vegetables, whole grains, fiber, probiotics, calcium, or protein—and head into whatever's next feeling like you have a leg up. You'll be more likely to continue the good vibes with healthier, more nourishing choices as you go through your day. Perhaps you have some leftovers that you need to use up; breakfast offers an easy way to incorporate them.
Photo by Eva Kolenko / Food Styling by Ruth Blackburn / Prop Styling by Mary Clayton Carl
You can also use a brief morning sit-down as a moment of self-care, taking some much-needed time to slow down, enjoy some solitude (if possible), and engage in mindfulness. You only need about 10 minutes to feel the effect. Think you don't have those few minutes to spare? Try prioritizing this time for yourself over checking email or social media in the morning. This moment of calm, this time to truly savor and appreciate the food you're eating, is more than worth the little bit of effort involved.
Easy Breakfast Ideas
Try a Breakfast Salad
For a light, nutrient-packed meal, make a breakfast salad. Go easy on yourself by using packaged salad greens. Whip up a vinaigrette and soft-boil eggs ahead of time for finishing your salad, or quickly fry an egg for a warm topping.
Lean on Leftovers
If you have leftover roasted vegetables, beans, grains, or meat, they're the start of an easy breakfast scramble: Toss them in a skillet with beaten eggs, and they'll reheat as the eggs cook. Or make a solo frittata by heating the leftovers in an 8-inch skillet; pour two beaten eggs on top, add some cheese, and pop it under the broiler to finish. If you have leftover soup, heat it to simmering and plop in an egg to poach for a few minutes.
Prep Grazing Boxes
If you're more of a nibbler, take a few extra minutes to assemble some "snack meals." Example: a hard-cooked egg, a few slices of aged Gouda, prosciutto, some strawberries, a handful of marcona almonds, and a few Castelvetrano olives.
Use Your Appliances
If your rice cooker has a porridge setting, use it to cook steel-cut oats or congee for a hearty, warm breakfast. (See user's manual for recommended water amounts.) Or prepare a slow cooker the night before and set it to cook on low. (Note: Steel-cut oats love to stick to the sides of the slow cooker crock, so it's helpful to use a liner.)
Keep It Simple
You don't have to cook every breakfast. An apple with peanut butter works great. So do whole-grain crackers topped with nut butter or honey-drizzled ricotta. Or try a granola bowl, brimming with More-Savory-Than-Sweet Granola (recipe below; you can add kefir for a bigger probiotic punch than yogurt.