They say breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day for a reason. I always tell my clients, it's your first opportunity to decide what goes into your body. You have so many choices with breakfast! A high protein breakfast like eggs and turkey bacon will help build muscle and strength, while an oatmeal and fruit rich bowl may provide the necessary energy for a long endurance run. Whatever your goal is, breakfast should help you achieve it!
I wanted to compile recipes and show you how different ingredients and macros can help you achieve your physical goals. Below are some of my favorite products using Purely Elizabeth .
To build muscle and strength requires both adequate protein intake and a strength training program. You must strength train, and replenish with protein, to see these results. Many times, I find that clients think they can solely workout in the gym without paying attention to their diet. They can do this, however they will waste a lot of time if they neglect increasing their protein intake. They may see results, but it is going to take a lot longer and will require more effort. Instead, pairing a high protein diet with a well programed strength routine, with adequate recovery, will indeed put on muscle.
How much protein should I consume to build strength and muscle?
I coach my clients to aim for a gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. If they are simultaneously trying to lose weight, the range can fluctuate to .7-1 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. That is a lot of protein, I know! It's not easy but that is why we don't see many people will killer strong, lean physiques in our world today. Think about the pre-historic times when humans had to hunt for food. They were strong, lean, fast and athletic in their own way. This is because they had no processed food options and ate straight from the earth. Animals and fish provided the protein, and fresh fruits and vegetables were grown for carbohydrates. In today's world, it may take effort to plan a high protein diet but it is a whole lot easier with the supplements available to us.
How do I consume more protein?
The easiest way to increase your protein intake is to start your day with no less than 30 grams. If you begin your day eating a small protein meal, such as a bagel and cream cheese or special k cereal, you will have to play "catch up" later that day. This can be challenging because protein is extremely satiating. You probably wouldn't like it if I told you that your snack before bed needed to be a chicken breast. Therefore, aiming to consume protein early will help you achieve your protein goals by the end of the day.
I don't have time to cook in the morning, so how do I consume more protein when I am rushing out the door?
Meal prepping breakfast is very simple. Below, I have provided overnight protein oats that can be easily prepped and ready for a busy morning.
CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY OVERNIGHT PROATS
I love this overnight oats recipe! The superfood oatmeal contains both flax and chia seeds contain fiber! This helps support a healthy digestive system. It also contains quinoa, which increases the protein intake! Traditionally, oatmeal has zero protein so this option is incredible for those trying to shoot for 30 grams at breakfast.
Purely Elizabeth Original Superfood Oatmeal (code fitandfearlessamanda)
Legion Whey+ Cocoa Cereal (code FitFearless)
BLUEBERRY CHIA GREEK YOGURT PARFAIT
I have many clients who ask about yogurt. Unfortunately, many yogurts contain added sugar and ingredients to make it more sweet. However, when you chose an unsweetened, plain greek yogurt.. you have a fabulous protein option! All yogurt will have some natural form of sugar (lactose is the dairy-sugar), but decreasing the added sugars is the name of the game. I used Maple Almond Butter granola to sweeten up this bowl and it pairs nicely with blueberries!
Purely Elizabeth Maple Almond Butter Granola (Code: fitandfearlessamanda)
Endurance goals may include a variety of sports such as running, biking, swimming, rec league recreation sports, tennis and even snow boarding. The needs of these athletes differ slightly from the person who is looking to build strength. Endurance athletes require energy for long periods of time, therefore the easiest macronutrient to break down is carbs. Carbs and fat are both use asa energy, however carbs are the preferred source.
When preparing for your sport or workout, you will want to have a high carb breakfast. This will ensure you'll have energy to last the duration of the workout and won't leave you feeling famished.
How many carbs do I need before an endurance based workout?
This is very dependent on the intensity and the duration of the workout. Typically, my rule of thumb is as follows:
For a runner who is training to run for long periods of time (let's say, a half marathon):
- less than 45 minutes: 15-30 grams of carbs
- 45-75 minutes: .5 grams per pound of bodyweight (135 lb person should consume 67.5 grams)
- 75 minutes + 1 gram per pound of bodyweight (135 lb person should consume 135grams)
However, I'd tell a hiker who is hiking for longer than 75 minutes might not need that much carbohydrates. Where as, an elite athlete might need 1.5 grams per pound of body weight. You get the picture; it is very dependent on the person and their training needs.
What about fat and protein?
When consuming carbs before an endurance event, you want to make sure no other macros slow the digestion and breakdown of your fuel source. Therefore, you'll want to consume little fat and little to moderate protein. Protein tends to be a bit more important because it aids so heavily in recovery. However, consuming high fat foods can hinder performance and make you feel sluggish.
APPLE CINNAMON RAISIN OATMEAL
Oatmeal is my go-to before a long run. It sits nicely and provides really good energy! Sometimes I am in a hurry and don't want to cook it stove top, so I love keeping Purely Elizabeth oatmeal cups in my pantry at all times. This recipe is super simple; heat the oatmeal in a dairy free milk and chop up an apple. Stir and go!
Purely Elizabeth Apple Cinnamon Pecan Oatmeal Cup (Code: FITANDFEARLESSAMANDA)
CEREAL AND BERRIES
Another simple recipe that gets the job done. I enjoy a simple dry cereal, berry and honey mix before a run when I am not hungry. This also sits in my stomach nicely! I find if I add too much liquid, like milk, it will jump around in my stomach while running.
Purely Elizabeth Honey Peanut Butter Cereal (Code: FITANDFEARLESSAMANDA)
Health + Vitality
I have many clients who don't have large strength goals or endurance goals. These clients simply want to workout, eat healthy, and live long. They don't need to eat as much protein as the bodybuilder needs nor carb load for long endurance bouts. While working with clients like this, I coach the whole, real foods approach. Foods with added sugars, preservatives, chemicals and pesticides have proven to increase cravings and lead to over consuming calories. Think about it; it's much easier to consume a whole family sized bag of potato chips compared to eating 5 whole potatoes. Well, 5 whole potatoes are needed to make the bag of potato chips along with oils, added fats and sugars. Opting to eat whole unprocessed foods will lead to healthier behaviors along with naturally eating less calories and fat.
Clients who approach health in this realm should have a high protein, vegetable heavy, and healthy fat plate. You'll still need to find ranges that work for your macro breakdown; typically, 30-40% of calories from protein, 30-40% from carbs, and 20-30% from fat works well.
EGG & POTATO BOWL
When eating for health and vitality, I almost always incorporate eggs into my breakfast. Eggs provide incredible nutrients, are relatively high in protein, and include healthy fats to keep you full.
BACON FETA + EGG WHITE OMELET
Simple swaps like turkey bacon and egg whites can decrease saturated fats and calories! This omelet is made with healthier alternatives and cuts at least 300 calories from fat by making these simple changes.
I hope these recipes help you plan your next breakfast staple! I find myself returning to these tried and true combinations time and time again. Always remember, your goals will change throughout the year and throughout your life. For instance, in the winter I prioritize eating whole, unprocessed foods and eliminate packaged ingredients. Winter brings cold and flu season, so eating fresh and simple foods will give me adequate nutrients to boost my immunity. During this time, I'll consume breakfasts that look like the egg and potato bowl or the omelet with real food ingredients. In the summer, I want to look good while wearing less clothes so I am focused on building muscle and lifting weights. I make more overnight protein oats and protein smoothies to boost my protein intake. In the fall, I am typically training for a half marathon. During this season, I'll consume more oatmeals, cereals, fruits and higher sugar products. My diet is changing based on the physical goals I have before me.
If you need a plan that will work with you instead of against you, email email@example.com to set up your nutrition consultations. These consultations are customized to your needs and involve both education and implementation.