Breakfast starts your day off right, but not if you’re chowing down on doughnuts, pastries or other unhealthy options. Instead, eat a “clean” breakfast, which is a meal made from ingredients that are as natural as possible, low in calories and sodium and high in nutrients. “Shape” magazine recommends keeping clean-eating meals as simple as possible -- both for your health and to make your busy mornings easier.
Don’t rule out the classic breakfast food, the egg -- it’s highly nutritious and entirely unprocessed. At just 72 calories per large egg, it packs a wallop of nutrition, including more than 6 grams of protein and a bevy of nutrients such as choline and lutein. If you’re concerned about cholesterol or calories, use half whole eggs and half egg whites in your dish. For a breakfast more exciting than scrambled or boiled eggs, whip up a frittata -- “Clean Eating” magazine recommends using cubes of potatoes, onion, garlic, green onion, low-fat cheddar cheese and herbs such as parsley and thyme.
If you like the comfort of carbs in the morning, look beyond the bagel to a bowl of whole grains. Of course, oatmeal is the staple -- combine steel-cut oats with water in the slow-cooker overnight to wake up to a hot breakfast, suggests “Eating Well.” Top it with fresh fruit and nuts. You can also make breakfast bowls out of brown rice or quinoa, spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves and topped with fruit, nuts or seeds and a little bit of nonfat milk.
Fruits and Veggies
If you need to boost your consumption of fruits and vegetables, start with breakfast. Put together a large fruit salad with some unexpected flavors. For example, combine citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruit with refreshing mint, or create a savory salad with strawberries and basil topped with a drizzle of olive oil. If you prefer to focus on veggies, “Clean Eating” recommends a vegetable hash made with potatoes, squash, shallot, broccoli and bell peppers, plus spices and herbs to liven it up. If you want to add some protein, top with an over-easy egg.
Another refreshing way to get in a blend of fruits and vegetables while keeping your meal clean is with a homemade smoothie. Branch out from typical fruit smoothies to incorporate nutrient-rich vegetables, as well. Combine strawberries, bananas and spinach with a little bit of water in a blender; you can add Greek yogurt for protein, if desired, or ground flaxseed for omega-3 fatty acids. “Eating Well” also suggests blending up frozen peaches with carrot and orange juice, ground flaxseed and fresh ginger for a refreshing, nutritious morning beverage.