It’s important to start your day with protein at breakfast. It promotes fullness, helping you last until lunch without any cravings, and it kickstarts your metabolism. Protein is also essential for building muscle, and the more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn throughout the day. Here are a few of our favorite ways to get protein into that first meal of the day.
Greek Yogurt and Berries
Any type of yogurt is a fast, healthy grab-and-go meal. But if you are looking to amp up your protein consumption, look to Greek varieties. A typical 6-ounce serving of Greek yogurt contains 15 to 20 grams of protein—about double the amount found in a serving of plain yogurt, and the same amount as 2 to 3 ounces of lean meat.
One of the fastest meals is a simple bowl of plain Greek yogurt topped with your favorite fruit and a sprinkling of nuts or seeds. Just be sure to read the label and avoid any flavored varieties of yogurt—they’re full of sugar. Instead, add your own fresh or frozen berries or sliced fruit to add fiber and sweetness, then amp up the crunch and flavor factor with chia seeds, hemp hearts or some slivered almonds. Don’t like Greek yogurt? You may be interested in trying skyr—an Icelandic strained cheese that is slightly thicker and less tangy than yogurt, but still high in protein and non-fat.
Veggie Hash with Tilapia
If savory is more your style for breakfast, a veggie hash topped with eggs and protein may fit the bill. It’s an incredibly versatile meal. You can select your favorite root veggies or simply scour your fridge for leftover vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, zucchini or peppers. Sauté them in olive oil with garlic and thyme, starting with the items that take longer to cook (like potatoes), then adding the faster-cooking ones.
Once the veggies are done, top the mixture with fried or poached eggs. If you don’t like eggs or want even more protein, try adding a filet of Tilapia. Simply cook the fish in a skillet three to four minutes per side, or until the fish flakes. Then add to your veggie hash for a protein punch that will keep you full right into the lunch hour.
Protein Shakes and Smoothies
In a rush and looking to make something a bit faster? You can’t beat a simple protein shake or smoothie. Depending on your personal preference, you can get the protein portion through whole foods (like natural peanut butter, almond butter, Greek yogurt or eggs). If you opt to purchase protein powder instead, read the ingredients and watch out for artificial flavors. Whip up your selected ingredients in the blender with ice, pour into a to-go cup and head out the door.
Are omelets your thing? Then try whipping up a seafood omelet, like this one from Better Homes and Gardens. On their own, eggs contain about 6 grams of high-quality protein and they’re a great source of other essential vitamins such as vitamin D and choline. But when you add seafood, whether it’s crab like the recipe suggests, or Tilapia, which is one of our favorites, you get an extra punch of protein—22 grams per 3-ounce Tilapia filet, to be exact.
You can cook the fish up with vegetables, like onion and bell pepper, and then wrap the mixture in your egg. Garnish with a delicious avocado salsa like in the recipe, and you’ll feel satiated for hours.