I suffer from breakfast ADD. I read somewhere that a small key to happiness is to always eat the same thing for breakfast because that removes the stress of having to figure out what to fix. Andy is the perfect picture of this axiom. He microwaves a bowl of oatmeal every morning of the world and is perfectly satisfied. That would not work for me at all. I usually wake up hungry, but the whims of my stomach are a mystery to me. Some mornings I wake up and want something sweet; others salty. Some mornings I feel like I could barely stomach a cup of yogurt; others I could eat the whole cow. It’s convenient that I wake up several hours before I’m due at work and that I enjoy cooking, because I’m usually able to indulge my stomach’s fantasies. Oh, I rarely fix anything fancy. But it sets me off on a much better foot if I eat what sounds good in the moment (within reason). If I planned to only eat cereal every morning and woke up one morning mad for an egg, it would make me very sad indeed to have to eat that bowl of cereal. I’m not like this about any other meal–just breakfast. Who knows.

Some of the typical things in rotation on my morning plate are:

  • Hard-boiled egg (which I often cook en masse on the weekends and refrigerate), a serving of nuts, and some fruit
  • Toasted English muffin with melted cheese and turkey or almond butter
  • Greek yogurt with granola and fruit
  • Bowl of cereal with light vanilla soy milk; a banana
  • Oatmeal with brown sugar, walnuts, and a splash of cream (I never have liked oatmeal, but lately I've been trying hard to add it to my repertoire. The cream makes the biggest difference to me, along with cooking it with less water than called for so as to make it thicker.)

I also love a good breakfast sandwich. Nothing says Saturday morning to me like a fried egg sandwich with cheese and ketchup and a big mug of hot tea. (Lately I’ve been throwing a handful of baby spinach leaves on it as well.) I pass by several Starbucks and a Chick Fil A on my way to work, and on the occasional morning I cannot resist the call of the chicken sausage wrap or chicken biscuit and hashbrowns. But for both health and financial reasons I try to keep those mornings to a minimum! Another sometimes-favorite is leftover quiche if I happen to have made one for dinner recently. Tomorrow night I’m planning to make a chicken-apple sausage frittata, and I’m already looking forward to its second life on my breakfast plate.

The main requirement for my breakfast is that it have a fair amount of protein. Sure, I love donuts and pastries–but I’ve gotta have an egg or two with them if that’s my choice. Otherwise I’ll be hungry within the hour! Even with protein I am regularly hungry for my 10:30 or 11:00 mid-morning snack. I’ve decided not to fight my body’s natural hunger rhythms and instead satisfy them with healthy(ish) foods. I figure it’s hopefully a sign that my metabolism is doing well.

Shopping for breakfast foods is the toughest part of grocery shopping for me, because it’s hard to predict what I’ll feel like eating on any given weekday. I try to coupon and shop sales, of course, but I often buy whatever happens to catch my eye, even if it’s bagels and cream cheese. I just read a magazine article suggesting cottage cheese as a healthy snack and I thought, “Oh! I forgot about cottage cheese!” So that will likely make its way into my shopping cart this weekend. But when I might actually get a hankerin’ to eat it I couldn’t tell ya.

What’s your breakfast routine? What are some of your favorite quick and easy breakfasts?

Laura Lindeman

Laura Lindeman