Nutrient-Dense Breakfast Ideas; A Smoothie, Pudding and Parfait

I firmly believe the old adage that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. For me, eating a nutritious one is key as it sets the tone for my whole day.

According to nutritionists, skipping your morning meal affects your mood and energy, and can lead to weight gain. Seems counterintuitive, but studies show that people who skip breakfast tend to overeat the rest of the day.
Here are a few nutrient-dense breakfast ideas that I like eating when I wake up. I hope you will, too!

Green Smoothie

  • 3-4 pieces kale (I typically use Lacinato Kale, but if the flavor is too strong and overpowering for your taste buds, try a lighter colored kale that tends to not have such a strong flavor)
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • 1/2 cup romaine lettuce (equivalent of about one handful)
  • 1/3 cup cucumber
  • 1/2 banana (frozen or unfrozen)
  • 1/3 cup avocado
  • 1 tsp hemp seeds
  • 1 tsp spirulina
  • 1/2 or 1 scoop protein powder (for this recipe, I use Vega Sport)
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • 1 cup water (add more if it’s not blending smoothly)
Directions: using a good blender, add ice and water first, then add other ingredients and blend at a low speed until everything is broken down. Then move to higher speeds.
  • A note on kale: this vegetable is packed with phytochemicals, fiber and chlorophyll…stuff that’s good for your body inside and out 🙂
  • A note on avocado: this addition is optional, but if you add it to your smoothie, it will make it thicker and smoother. Plus, avocados are full of the good fats — monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats — that help lower cholesterol, as long as you eat them in moderation. They’re also chock-full of vitamins (like B vitamins) and minerals, including potassium (helps to control blood pressure), lutein (good for your eyes), and folate (crucial for cell repair and necessary during pregnancy).

Coconut Chia Pudding

If you haven’t tried chia seeds, I encourage you to start incorporating them into your diet. They’re loaded with nutrients, including fiber and protein, and have a mild taste so you can add them to pretty much anything.

  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • Cinnamon (to taste)

Directions: pour coconut milk into bowl, add chia seeds, vanilla extract, and maple syrup and whisk together. Add a dash of cinnamon and divide into small mason jars. Place mason jars in fridge overnight. Enjoy in the morning. If you want to sweeten it up, add a tablespoon of coconut creamer (So Delicious Dairy Free Coconut milk coffee creamer is super tasty).

  • A note on chia seeds: chia seeds have a ton of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber. They’re also the perfect balance of essential fatty acids: 30% is Omega 3 and 40% is Omega-6. If you’ve never used chia seeds, keep in mind they absorb liquid quickly and turn into a gel-like substance, similar to tapioca pudding.

 Greek Yogurt Parfait

  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup granola
  • 6-8 strawberries
  • 8-10 blueberries
  • 5-6 mulberries
  • 8-10 goji berries
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • Garnish with pecans or nut of your choice

Directions: Take a mason jar or any clear container and put a dollop of greek yogurt on the bottom. Add strawberries and then a second dollop of greek yogurt. Add granola, blueberries, mulberries and goji berries and top with chia seeds and a couple of pecans or nuts of your choice.

  • A note on parfaits: make a couple the night before so you can grab one in the morning!
Here’s the video of my FB Live with Health and Fitness expert, Brett Hoebel #wellnesswednesday

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