9 Sneaky Ways to Slip More Protein Into Your Breakfast
Set yourself up for success by making sure your breakfast leaves you energized for the day.
- I’m not typically one for New Year’s resolutions, but as 2019 approached I started thinking about one simple daily action I could commit to that would have a powerful effect on my overall quality of life.
- Making lifestyle changes can sometimes seem overwhelming, but after many (failed) attempts at grand dietary overhauls, I’ve come to learn that choosing one small action that I can take consistently is my best bet for reaching my nutrition and overall health goals. The action of making one choice into a daily habit is much more effective than, say, declaring you’re giving up all sugar and processed carbohydrates on January 1, only to end up face-deep in a pile of doughnuts by mid-February.
- Breakfast is an exceptionally good place to make a small but meaningful change since what you eat in the morning can set the tone for the rest of your day. When it came to my daily shift for 2019, it was a no brainer: adding more protein into my breakfasts. Having a protein-packed breakfast helps me feel full and satisfied until lunch, allowing me to effortlessly bypass the muffins on my 10 a.m. coffee run. A breakfast higher in protein also helps stabilize blood sugar and control cravings throughout the entire day.
- Breakfast is usually pretty rushed for me, though, so I needed to come up with a few easy ways to incorporate more protein into my morning meals without adding any more time to my routine. Here are nine hacks I'm using to make breakfasts in 2019 easier, healthier, and more delicious.
Smoothies are my favorite way to sneak in a big hit of nutrients in the morning. The combinations are endless and, depending on your mood, you can go for a tropical flavor profile or an indulgent-feeling chocolate shake. An easy way to make your smoothie carry a little more heft is to add a high protein powder–like Carnation Breakfast Essentials High Protein Powder Drink Mix, which has 18 grams of protein per serving–to any smoothie recipe. Get inspiration for healthy and delicious smoothie recipes here.
When you’re in the mood for a smoothie but don’t have access to a blender, like on a trip or at the office, pack a shaker cup and single-serve protein packet to go. Simply mix the powder with water or almond milk for a quick hit of protein that travels.
For those days when you accidentally set your alarm for PM instead of AM and have 5 minutes before you have to run out the door (which definitely did not happen to me this morning), stash protein bars in your car, purse, and office drawer. Look for bars with more grams of protein than of sugar to avoid a mid-morning crash and have minimal amounts of processed ingredients. Tip: If you can’t pronounce the ingredient, in doesn’t belong in your food!
People often think of eggs as the obvious choice for a breakfast protein, and for good reason. They are inexpensive, easy to prepare, pack 6 grams of protein each, and lend themselves to endless preparations. Hard boiled eggs are great to take on the go. I’ll often throw two into a container with half of an avocado and a sprinkle of sea salt and pepper for a delicious combination of protein and healthy fat that’s guaranteed to power me through my morning. If you have a little more time, omelets and frittatas are delicious ways to incorporate both protein and vegetables into a hearty morning meal.
Yogurt, especially the Greek variety, and cottage cheese are easy ways to incorporate protein into your morning. Add berries like blueberries or raspberries for an added hit of fiber and a sprinkle of cinnamon for some additional blood sugar balancing benefits. Really short on time (and groceries)? Grab a cheese stick as you run out the door.
On everything–toast, oatmeal, smoothies, your kids’ heads… OK, maybe there are few things nut butter shouldn’t go on (but not many). Choose between peanut, almond, cashew, or sunflower if you’re dealing with nut allergies, and use liberally. One of my favorite morning combos is a steamed sweet potato with a generous slathering of salted almond butter–yum!
Mix protein powder into classic pancake and waffle recipes for an easy and undetectable way to sneak in protein for yourself or picky little eaters, whose growing brains greatly benefit from a morning dose of protein.