5 Simple Healthy Breakfast Swaps
If your biggest struggle is consistency and finding the motivation to eat properly, I totally get it.
You’re probably really busy, working full time and because of that you tend to skip meals.
95% of my clients struggle with the same exact thing.
They tend to skip breakfast because they’re so used to being “on the go” or they:
forget to eat all together
meal prep and forget to take their food with them to work
have such a busy schedule that they just don't feel hungry in the morning
are so used to eating heavily processed foods like cereal, granola bars and bagels that they aren't sure what else they can eat
So, instead of eating healthy and meal prepping they end up eating something quick and junky late in the day.
This is good for your busy schedule but not for your weight loss goals.
What you do and eat in the morning sets the tone for everything else in your day.
Our first meal helps our brains and bodies function properly for the remainder of the day.
If you skip breakfast, you’re going to be pushing back lunch/dinner and you’re not allowing your body to work the way it’s supposed to.
To tackle breakfast, you’ll need to start meal planning help you master consistency.
I encourage you today to start your journey by swapping instead of eliminating.
Don’t say to yourself, “damn I can never have cereal again”… change your perspective.
“ I know I can find several high protein/high fiber alternatives that I can swap a few times a week.”
The same goes for our cultural food.
Instead of giving up plantains for the rest of your life, learn more about they’re nutritional content, how it can help you gain muscle/burn fat and having it 2x a week during leg day to help your body use it for energy.
Catch my drift?
I’m going to assume you’ve nodded your head yes.
I’m also going to remind you of two things before we continue:
You can't burn belly fat if you're skipping meals
You can't lose weight (overall) fat if you're not eating proper balanced meals
Get it? Got it? Good.
Back to the advice I want to give you before we get to the recipes:
#1. Start Mastering 1 Meal at a Time
When you were a baby you didn’t go from crawling on the floor to running. You had to bust your *ss a few times first, while trying to gain the balance to slush your body from one side of the floor to the other.
Then used furniture, brothers/sisters or parents as props.
Then fell a few times.
But eventually you got your balance and learned how to walk.
After a few months, or maybe years (I don’t have kids so have no idea how long it takes them to learn how to run lol) you were running around like a chicken with your head cut of playing tag.
Do not despise small beginnings.
#2: Do Not Make Too Many Changes at Once
^ Doing that is a recipe for:
Many women do this at first because we get excited.
New year - new month - new week = new me.
However, being team #DTM ( doing too much as my bestie Felicia says) can cause you to feel overwhelmed and make you give up before you’ve even given anything a real chance to happen. Here are the 5 Simple Healthy Breakfast Swaps you came here for today:
Swap #1. Kashi’s Go Lean Crunch vs. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Confession: I used to eat captain crunch, raisin bran or frosted flakes every single day for breakfast.
It was a part of my routine and I liked it because it was crunchy, sweet, quick, cheap and familiar.
& then when I started going to the gym again I switched over to a “healthier version” of cereal called special K (it had strawberries in it so it had to be healthy.) - and I would add a banana to it to make it extra healthy with my 2% milk.
What I didn’t know was that eating all that sugar for breakfast was causing my weight to stay stagnant.
In general, cereal isn’t the healthiest breakfast option for us because it’s highly processed and has a crap ton of added sugar in it.
However, if you want to lose weight eliminating a particular food is unrealistic and often sets us up to binge eat in the future.
(I know because I tried it.)
I tried to cut out cereal completely but then when I got stressed I would binge eat and have an entire box in 1 or 2 days.
So instead of stressing myself out, I started the method of swapping.
I swapped my frosted flakes and special K with some other conscious alternatives.
Then I slowly (key word here is SLOWLY) began to incorporate other healthy food swaps into my breakfast as time went on.
If you eat cinnamon toast crunch, frosted flakes, fruit loops or any other popular breakfast cereal for breakfast I feel you sis - however making a switch doesn’t have to be miserable when you start small.
A cereal that I would highly recommend is the Kashi Brand. Their cereals are made with multi-grain clusters, nuts, seeds and are naturally sweetened. (p.s. this isn't a sponsored post, I just really like this cereal. If you know someone that works at Kashi tell 'em to hit me up! LOL)
So back to the cereal:
The Kashi, Go Lean brand typically has an average 10–15g of plant protein per serving which is optimal for building muscle and burning fat.
I do advise that you also measure your cereal intake.
For example, on the side of the box under the nutrition label, it will list out what the serving size is and how many servings are inside the container (i.e, the box). Don't go crazy and eat the whole box in one day (I've done this before, smh.)
Only eat one serving and drink it with your favorite nut milk! (I like to eat this with non-sweetened Vanilla Almond milk.)
Here's the Macro count per serving:
My favorite flavor is Cinnamon Crumble because it has a similar taste to cinnamon toast crunch. :) Hello! Do I really need to say more?
Swap #2. Ezekial Bread vs White Bread
White bread has NO PLACE IN YOUR HOME (& yes, I’m yelling!)
A.) It has very little nutritional value
B.) You digest white bread quickly and it often leaves you feeling hungry shortly after.
The refining process, strips away most of the fiber and other vital nutrients your body needs to be at optimal health.
The process of refining also gives the bread a longer shelf life.
A longer shelf life means it can live on your counter or in any store for weeks without getting moldy (which if you think about it is NASTY!)
Eating whole grains or flourless options like Ezekial bread will give you a bigger nutritional bang for your buck and will keep you fuller longer.
Ezekial bread is my favorite "bread" to have in my healthy eating arsenal because it's made with organic sprouted ingredients and has dense nutritional value.
My favorite to use as toast or as french toast from my cookbook is the cinnamon raison brand below.
Swap #3. Regular Pancakes vs Protein Pancakes
If you don’t like pancakes, I need you to exit this post right now because pancakes are LIFE! However, as we all know regular pancakes aren’t that healthy for us.
“Typical pancakes are made with white flour, which is low in fiber and, thus, less filling. Pancakes are also not particularly high in protein—another food component that helps you feel fuller longer. Add to that maple syrup—or worse, a maple syrup knock-off!—which just adds more sugar (i.e., empty calories) to your meal, and we’re looking at a breakfast that might be tasty, but doesn’t power you through the morning.” - Kerri-Ann Jennings, M.S., R.D.
When you’re trying to lose weight, the best kinds of breakfast have high protein foods.
& instead of getting rid of pancakes, I’ve turned my regular, shmegular pancakes into protein packed pancakes! I have my protein pancake recipe here in my cookbook.
Some tips on cooking your protein pancakes:
Use coconut oil/coconut oil spray
Use maple syrup vs fat free or zero sugar (aka highly processed) syrup
Add in other raw ingredients like cinnamon or cacao to spice up your flavors
P.S. Protein pancakes pretty much look the same as regular pancakes :)
swap # 4. Greek Yogurt w|Granola vs Flavored Yogurt with fruit-on-the-bottom
I want to help you start moving away from sugar bombs for breakfast and instead opt for protein-rich meals.
Instead of fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt, try plain Greek yogurt (it's going to be a little bitter at first but you'll get used to it) and add fresh berries, nuts, seeds or homemade granola.
Surprise! The “fruit” on the bottom of that pre-packaged yogurt is more sugar than fruit.
Reduce the sugar content by adding fresh, seasonal fruit and then top with crunchy nuts (walnuts, almonds, etc.) or seeds (chia, ground flax or hemp) for added fiber and healthy fats.
If you've dialed in on your macros, are going to the gym more and lifting more weights - the extra carbs will help satisfy your sweet tooth.
Swap #5. Natural Juice vs Store Bought
Mi Abuelo José used to sit on a little chair in front of his house in the Dominican Republic selling chinas (oranges). My cousins and I would sit at my grandparents marqesina (porch) to sip on the fresh juice and enjoy the beautiful weather.
Have y’all ever had REAL orange juice?
If you have, you know it doesn’t taste like the one you buy from Simply Orange or any one of those other brands. Most store bought juices typically have a significant amount of added sugar.
What many women don’t realize is that they can’t lose that extra weight because they’re drinking half of their daily caloric intake with these “additive filled” drinks. For example, a small Simply Orange juice for one person has about 10 teaspoons of sugar. Is that a lot you may ask me? I’ll provide the photo and you be the judge. Rethink your drink!
Don’t drink your calories.
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Did you learn anything new from this post? If so, please let me know in the comment box below. I'd love to hear from you!
Your Virtual Fitness Coach - Masiel Encarnación