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Healthiest Breakfast Possible

Hi everyone,

I'm trying to reform my diet and have been trying to find the healthiest breakfast I can possibly eat. I'm thinking it's a combination of oatmeal/blueberries/nuts/flax but am open to all suggestions. Thank you!

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  1. Jayoss,

    You need to be more specific as to what you mean by "healthiest".

    Not try to engage in wordsmithing, but different people have different notions of healthy.

    To begin with, the fact you are eating breakfast at all is a good healthy sign in my opinion.

    Perhaps you can tell us what goals you are trying to achieve. Lose weight? Gain weight? Lower cholesterol? Etc.

    With some parameters I think we can definitely be of more assistance.

    5 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Hi ipsedixit,

      You're right, healthy can be a bit vague. What I meant by healthy is the most nutrient dense breakfast for about 400 calories. I would like to get the most nutritional bang for my buck first thing in the morning to start the day right. Thanks!

      1. re: Jayoss

        Well, ok, that helps.

        Things I would consider:
        Whole eggs (preferrably boiled, microwaved or poached to reduce the excess calories from cooking oils)
        Whole grains, e.g. quinoa
        Nuts and seeds
        Whole fruits
        Sweet potatoes or yams

        1. re: ipsedixit

          Greek yogurt if you can handle the tang. Higher levels of protein with less carbs. If you want it sweetened, combine some with fruit.

          To top eggs, I like salsa.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            Last weekend I sauteed some beet greens in a little olive oil and garlic, then topped with an egg. Tasty and nutrient dense.

            Honestly, I think the best thing you can do for breakfast is mix it up a bit. One day - eggs and greens, the next, oatmeal with blueberries and a little almond butter, the next a yogurt, fruit and tofu smoothie, after that a turkey, black bean and salsa omelet. I'm of the opinion that we can't measure every health benefit of food, so the best we can do is strive for variety, whole foods, and deliciousness.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              When were were in Mexico, we picked up the happy habit of eggs and beans for breakfast...Making our own, we can have a poached egg and a side of beans, and a little bit of freshly squeezed orange juice, and lower the fat. It's absolutely a powerhouse breakfast, and keeps us going for hours.

        2. Low-fat cottage cheese saved me from my bacon-and-fried-egg habit. I don't care for sweets, so I top it with tomatoes, toasted nuts, fake bacon bits (don't thrash me!), crunchy veggies, herbs, etc. Good protein and filling.

          Fruit, granola, etc. are good, too, and not so sweet. Best to you in the 'reformation'!

          3 Replies
          1. re: southern_expat

            I've never had it for breakfast but we frequently top a baked potato with nonfat cottage cheese. Love it and it's something we always have on hand cause the dogs get a little in their kibble.

            1. re: c oliver

              The baked potato could be a nice non-traditional breakfast -- even better if it's a sweet potato.

              1. re: piccola

                heck yes...think of all the hash browns folks eat. Yes, also to the sweet potato...WITH skin for most nutrition.

          2. To visit the revised food pyramid with suggested menu, see: http://www.mypyramid.gov/ , which includes grains, fruit, calcium, fat (small amount), protein, and vegetables.

            Yogurt (calcium and some fat) with granola (grains, dried fruit, nuts (fats and protein)), Canadian bacon (lean meat protein), and a low-sodium veggie juice would hit all notes.

            1 Reply
            1. re: CocoaNut

              Just me, but I'd avoid eating Canadian Bacon on a regular basis if the OP is striving for a healthy breakfast. Aren't most brands loaded with nitrates?

              An alternative might be to make deli-stlyle meats at home. I've found that a well-brined and roasted turkey breast, cut thin, tastes a lot like lunchmeat...in a good way.

            2. I make a blueberry smoothie that I like to back with nutrients and start with low fat greek yogurt which I think is about 100 calories for the serving. Then the additional fruit etc will bump it up a bit. I use a base of blueberries, banana, almonds, wheat germ and green tea in mine but other variations are certainly possible-especially flax. I go into more detail

              1. I frequently make these breakfast cookies from Ellie Krieger. I like to have a yogurt (usually mid-morning snack) too for calcium. Unfortunately it doesn't give nutritional info, but they look to be very healthy and that is her thing

                37 Replies
                1. re: ChrisKC

                  If I were going for "healthiest breakfast possible" I'd definitely stay away from milk sugar or any other kind of sugar-- you want even blood sugar levels. I'd cut out the blueberries, and add a source of lean protein-- egg whites, soy powder, turkey slices, whatever-- something that's almost 100% protein. Nuts have good fat, but don't pack enough of a protein punch. Without enough protein, you won't feel as full, and will not burn the calories as efficiently. If you want the healthiest/most filling/ most fat burning breakfast possible, don't give any of your calories to sugar-- you want to spend them on whole-grain carbs, lean protein, and unsaturated fat. So something like: plain oatmeal (I think long-cooking steel cut is the healthiest), egg whites, and nuts. Or a whole wheat English muffin with avocado and deli turkey.

                  However, you probably don't want the healthiest breakfast possible. Wouldn't be much fun.

                  1. re: jvanderh

                    I think you meant fresh roasted turkey - most commercial deli meat is loaded with nitrates and other preservatives.....

                    1. re: jvanderh

                      Blueberries have a low-to-moderate glycemic load and have fiber and antioxidants to boot. Some fiber along with the protein would be healthier.

                      1. re: jvanderh

                        I totally stand with nofunlatte here...gently interjecting, I would NOT cut out the blueberries...they are a power house of nutrients and low on the glycemic charts...as long as they are plain blueberries, not in any syrup...wild blueberries seem to offer more fiber (smaller berries, more skins...those skins, or musts, are the important part!) Blueberries and other berries are your friends...here's a link:

                        1. re: Val

                          Well, I guess it really depends on your goals. I'm answering from a weight loss perspective-- for the most efficient use of your calories from a weight loss perspective, I wouldn't eat fruit. (I eat lots of fruit, however, if I wanted to use every calorie the most efficient way for weight loss, I would not eat it unless I had low blood sugar).

                          If you're answering from a not-getting-cancer perspective, I could see the benefits of blueberries. And I have to concede the fresh roasted turkey in either case. Although I imagine there's some nitrate-free, free-range, antibiotic and hormone-free, gluten free, no salt added, organic sliced turkey floating around at a whole foods somewhere. . .

                          1. re: jvanderh

                            "Well, I guess it really depends on your goals. I'm answering from a weight loss perspective-- for the most efficient use of your calories from a weight loss perspective, I wouldn't eat fruit."

                            The OP is not trying to lose weight.

                            Per the OP: "What I meant by healthy is the most nutrient dense breakfast for about 400 calories. I would like to get the most nutritional bang for my buck first thing in the morning to start the day right."

                        2. re: jvanderh

                          The idea that a person needs to "stay away from sugar" to maintain even blood sugar levels needs some clarification. Any source of carbohydrate is going to affect blood sugar levels (not just those from milk....those from plain oatmeal, nuts, whole wheat English muffin.....)

                          However, the sources of carbohydrate that naturally contain protein, fat, and/or fiber(or those eaten in combination with sources of protein and fat)- they will allow blood sugar to rise more evenly than eating 'straight carbohydrates' (e.g. handfuls of a low-fiber sugary cereal). That's why your suggestions work- they are a combination of macronutrients (carbohydrate, fat and protein, plus fiber to boot!), even though there are carbohydrates in them that more readily raise blood sugar.

                          1. re: 4Snisl

                            I imagine people already understand this. Yes, any carbohydrate affects blood sugar (and all carbohydrates can be referred to colloquially as 'sugars' which is a bit confusing), but carbohydrates don't all affect blood sugar the same amount. If I were eating with the purpose of losing weight, I would avoid high glycemic index carbs, like table sugar, lactose, and fructose, and stick to low glycemic index carbs, like whole wheat bread and slow-cooked oatmeal. While the blood-sugar-moderating effects of fat and protein may be interesting, they are completely unrelated to this point.

                            1. re: jvanderh

                              My experience in community nutrition education does lead me to believe that the points I am making are relevant and clarifying, especially when it comes to assumptions about what people do or do not understand. Your posts do highlight colloquialisms that are confusing and common, like all carbohydrates being "sugars", or that choosing sources of carbohydrates ("carbs") low in glycemic index will promote weight loss. Is your meaning that choosing carbohydrate sources high in fiber will promote weight loss because of effects on satiety? If not, I'm curious what your meaning is....

                              Bringing glycemic index into the picture further indicates the disconnect between how a food affects blood sugar when considered as an individual intake, eaten in isolation after fasting (which is how GI is determined) vs. in combination with other foods as part of a meal (where the combination will affect glycemic load) For example, I usually think of lactose as a sugar that is consumed in dairy products, where it is naturally "packaged" with protein (and perhaps fat) that moderate glycemic effects. How often is lactose consumed as a sugar on its own? Carbohydrates don't affect blood sugars in the same way, I agree....but it is often due to its existence in foods in combination with fat and protein. The whole reason I even went down this road of the "blood-sugar-moderating effects of fat and protein" is to reflect what you indicated is a marker of a healthy breakfast...."even blood sugar levels".

                              I'm not putting this out there for the purpose of discrediting what you are saying, jvanderh....and I recognize that some of the information I am offering mirrors what you probably already know (.g. how GI for a food is determined.... combination of lactose, fat and protein in milk, etc.). I just want to ensure that the information I present is clear, and does not perpetuate misconceptions that I see every day. I recognize this is a tangent that is leading away from the OP's question, but it may be helpful as base information for making decisions about what to eat.

                              1. re: 4Snisl

                                Do you have reason to believe that the blood-sugar moderating effects of fat and protein affect different carbohydrates disproportionally? As in, lactose will spike your blood sugar less than whole grain bread if you eat it in the form of whole milk? Because if this is not the case, again, it's irrelevant. I am not familiar with this concept and would be interested to read your sources.

                                Jayoss, are you trying to lose weight? If you're taking about nutrient dense as in vitamins and antioxidants, we can stop arguing about this on your thread.

                                1. re: jvanderh

                                  In terms of irrelevance, I think it's foolhardy to talk about whether lactose in milk is going to affect glycemic response any more/less than the carbohydrate in whole grain bread, unless you are taking into account 1. an individual's metabolic idiosyncrasies, and 2. whether they are eating that food in combination with other sources of fat, carbohydrate and protein (e.g. other foods).

                                  I agree, Jayoss's goals/markers for a "heatlhy breakfast" may be different. I believe the idea of ."even blood sugar levels" as an indicator of a healthy breakfast was actually introduced to this thread by you, jvanderh. But to recommend choosing INDIVIDUAL FOODS based on glycemic index is perpetuating a practice that is not necessarily "healthy"- the whole diet, and how macronutrients are eaten together, is the key to moderating even blood sugar levels, which is, again, I think a concept you introduced as a marker of a healthy breakfast. Notable articles in the field of nutrition:

                                  Should glycemic index and glycemic load be considered in dietary recommendations?

                                  Glycemic response and health--a systematic review and meta-analysis: the database, study characteristics, and macronutrient intakes.

                                  And yes, fats and proteins will affect glycemic effects of carbohydrates differently, though the differentiation of their effects towards the metabolism of certain types of carbohydrate isn't delineated in the regard you are asking . I recognize that it is an ongoing area of research, but here are some of the articles I've been reading recently, mix of older and more recent research, on subjects who do not have blood sugar control issues (like those with diabetes and pre-diabetes):

                                  The effects of fat and protein on glycemic responses in nondiabetic humans vary with waist circumference, fasting plasma insulin, and dietary fiber intake:

                                  Plasma glucose and insulin profiles in normal subjects ingesting diets of varying carbohydrate, fat, and protein content.

                                  1. re: 4Snisl

                                    Hi guys, I'm not trying to lose weight, but your discussion has been interesting, feel free to continue it here :)

                                    1. re: Jayoss

                                      That was an extremely tactful response, Jayoss :-) I don't have much to contribute to a discussion about general health-- I think my philosophy begins and ends at "uh, things that come out of the ground are usually a good thing . . . "

                                      4Snisl, the Livsey study you linked to concludes that fiber is a confounding variable in determining GI-- about half of the GI difference between two foods can be explained by fiber content of the foods. The other half, presumably, is a fundamental characteristic of the foods. The Moghaddam study you linked showed that in a study of glucose intake, protein moderated blood sugar levels when taken with the glucose, and fat did as well, to a lesser extent. The investigators didn't give any indication that protein and fat affect one kind of carbohydrate more than another. Since both of the examples I gave include fat, carbs, and protein, I'm not sure what point you're disputing.

                                      1. re: jvanderh

                                        I was simply providing sources of information that are part of the basis for the information I am providing. I didn't realize that you meant this request for sources only with regards to how fats and protein affect the metabolism of specific types of carbohydrates. I tried to express, though perhaps not clearly enough, that I know of no research that shows how proteins and fats affect metabolism of a specific kind of carbohydrate, like lactose, sucrose or fructose....and am not sure why that is important to know? Especially since most foods we eat naturally have a combination of different sugars (or more broadly, carbohydrates) in them? So researching how fat or protein affects the metabolism of a single type of cartbohydrate might be interesting, but not sure how if translates to picking foods to eat. I truly do not mean this in a contentious way- I simply don't understand what the purpose would be if trying to translate to research into practice.

                                        Your summary of the articles sounds great. Yet they do not support simply choosing of foods that are low GI. They support eating a diets with moderated glycemic load, which is different than choosing low GI foods. They way I'll often see people "use GI" to eat healthy is to pick foods off of a GI chart with a "low" number- without taking into consideration how eating other foods (aka other sources of fat, protein, carbohydrate and/or fiber) will regulate effects on blood sugar.

                                        If I am expressing a difference in opinion about anything, it is the the idea of avoiding all "high glycemic index carbs, like table sugar, lactose, and fructose" for reasons related to blood sugar. If these sugars are consumed as part of "whole foods" (e.g. lactose being part of milk....which is in turn used to prepare oatmeal....or fructose being part of a pear) then they are naturally being eaten with macronutrients (protein and fats) and components like fiber that regulate their glycemic effects. In other words, the glycemic load of what one eats is not a simple translation from the GI number for a food. This is why I asked you to further define what you mean by a "low GI carb". I suspect we're talking about the similar concepts- choosing foods that are low in added sugar and high in fiber- and just calling them by different names.

                                        Jayoss, I'm glad you're finding this discussion interesting! Since your goal is to eat a breakfast that is nutrient dense and about 400 kcal, I'm not sure if you'll find any of this particularly helpful for how you make decisions on a daily basis....but a theme I am seeing in many wonderful suggestions on this thread do relate back to the idea that many breakfasts that are considered healthy are dishes/meals that combine fat, protein and carbohydrate such that blood sugar is brought up in an even, sustained way upon "breaking fast"....which translates to feeling well-nourished and energized in the morning.

                                        1. re: 4Snisl

                                          "If I am expressing a difference in opinion about anything, it is the the idea of avoiding all "high glycemic index carbs, like table sugar, lactose, and fructose" for reasons related to blood sugar. If these sugars are consumed as part of "whole foods" (e.g. lactose being part of milk....which is in turn used to prepare oatmeal....or fructose being part of a pear) then they are naturally being eaten with macronutrients (protein and fats) and components like fiber that regulate their glycemic effects."

                                          Speaking as one who tests blood glucose response to mixed meals, I have to disagree with the word "regulate." I could agree to "sometimes influences, but in a highly individual and unpredictable manner."

                                          Those of us who test our blood glucose before eating and at one and two hours post prandial often find that GI and GL have no bearing on how high the post meal glycemic spike is. That said, protein, not so much fat, has a much stronger insulinogenic effect, a slower and longer lasting one than carbs, so can reduce the post meal glycemic rise by that mechanism.

                                          Fat does not stimulate insulin, and usually does little, IME, to reduce post prandial glycemia. Fat also does not stimulate glucagon, so does not raise serum glucose or insulin; this factor probably explains why cultures with the highest fat and even saturated fat consumption often have the least cardiovascular disease.

                                          Lactose is so highly glycemic that milk, similar to OJ, is recommended as a quick antidote to a hypoglycemic episode. Fructose induces insulin resistance more efficiently than other sugars, despite its low GI and GL in a mixed meal. That's why it's used to induce diabetes in experimental lab rats. Small servings of high fiber, colorful fruits have many nutrients the OP probably wants, but better not to have them in the morning.

                                          Back to the OP: Morning is a terrible time to eat grains and fruit for this reason: diurnal rhythm of cortisol peaks in the a.m. and tapers down toward zero by midnight. Cortisol pushes up blood sugar to its highest levels of the day in the morning. For this reason, high carb foods will cause a higher glycemic reaction in the morning than in the evening. I know many diabetics who can't eat any carbs before 4 p.m. but tolerate some cereal or bread after 4 p.m., when cortisol begins a steep daily drop.

                                          For reasons above, I think the healthiest breakfast is one that supplies energy without causing high glucose or insulin spikes, so that would be centered on proteins, with carbs included later on in the day, as desired.

                                          1. re: mcf

                                            Thanks mcf.... I agree that the substitution of the word "regulate" is a good one!

                                            1. re: mcf

                                              Not to incite this discussion further, but the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion would disagree, notwithstanding medical issues which prevent or limit specific food groups.


                                              Of course, any amount of sugar (including those produced from a carb intake) should be curbed to a degree, avoiding any sugar high followed by the subsequent slump. That said, everything in balance and moderation for the end result of a "healthy" diet, not a weight loss diet.

                                              1. re: CocoaNut

                                                You should go back and read news accounts of the lobbying by the sugar industry during the pyramid revision. It's so wrong.

                                                1. re: mcf

                                                  Do you think the fruit and vegetable farmers were not lobbying?

                                                  Or the dairy farm industry was entirely silent during the process?

                                                  Don't even get me started on America's infatuation with milk, and how "healthy" it is to consume milk.

                                                  1. re: mcf

                                                    The OP asked for healthy "suggestions". The pyramid is a healthy, starting point; ie, a suggested "guide".

                                                    Ultimately, common sense should prevail. If your body/mind does not tolerate something, act accordingly.

                                                    1. re: CocoaNut

                                                      That's your opinion. Mine differs. Belief is no subsitute for science. Leaving it at that.

                                                      1. re: mcf

                                                        That's funny. So we should give credence to an anonymous poster on a message board over documented information ..... albeit, a government source. interesting.

                                                        1. re: CocoaNut

                                                          Not at all. I never accord credence to any source without doing my own, extensive research, and I don't think anyone else should, either.

                                                          1. re: mcf

                                                            WOW! you missed the "That's funny" part ...... That's funnier!

                                                            1. re: CocoaNut

                                                              I chose to ignore the sarcasm and address the underlying assumption. I don't miss much.

                                                              1. re: mcf

                                                                That's appreciated. It's easy for these things to disintegrate into petty, ego-driven personal attacks.

                                                                I've been reading a bit about this dawn phenomenon. I have read that the blood sugar spike is less pronounced in non-diabetics than in diabetics. I couldn't find any actual numbers, so if you can refer me to an article that has some, I'd be interested to read it. I also think I read that it is the intake of carbohydrates that causes the cortisol to finally return to resting levels (although I forgot to bookmark the article). I can understand how, with dangerously high blood sugar levels, it might be necessary to delay carbohydrate intake, but I am not convinced for a non-diabetic. It seems like delaying carbohydrate intake would lead to exhaustion of glucose/glycogen stores, which causes sugar cravings, bad mood, etc. Without a medical necessity, why do it? This glucose mobilization by the body is really an attempt to keep the body going until we can eat again. Also, in my subjective experience, the combination of fat, protein, and carbohydrate in the morning produces subjective feelings of satiety, which decreases daily caloric intake. This study shows the same thing:


                                                                In a nutshell, that high morning carbohydrate intake was associated with lower overall calorie intake for the day.

                                                                1. re: jvanderh

                                                                  I'm not sure what articles you need to understand that the ability to secrete enough insulin to control glucose spikes is what distinguishes diabetics from non diabetics, so I'm kind of scratching my head over that? I don't mean to sound snarky, but diabetes by definition is hyperglycemia.

                                                                  I also know that CH mods don't want medical discussion on the chow boards, so I hesitate to answer in any depth.

                                                                  I can tell you that most studies find that higher carbs in the a.m. lead to increased hunger and larger meals later on ad libitum. That's on topic since that means longer energy from protein, not carbs, and less reactive low glucose and overeating later after a protein based breakfast.

                                                                  If you want to email about it, let me know and I'll keep the relavent studies off the chow boards and share them with you.

                                                                  Here's one citation that's on topic here:

                                                                  : Pediatrics 1999 Mar;103(3):E26 Related Articles, Books, LinkOut

                                                                  High glycemic index foods, overeating, and obesity.

                                                                  Ludwig DS, Majzoub JA, Al-Zahrani A, Dallal GE, Blanco I, Roberts SB.

                                                                  Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, Children's Hospital,Boston, 300 Longwood Ave, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

                                                                  1. re: mcf

                                                                    I was asking whether you have read any research on the dawn phenomenon in non-diabetics.

                                                                    Do you have any sources for studies that find that high carb intake in the morning leads to higher caloric intake? I read just the opposite, per the study I linked above.

                                                                    1. re: jvanderh

                                                                      "I was asking whether you have read any research on the dawn phenomenon in non-diabetics."

                                                                      If a person has dawn phenomenon, assuming you mean high fasting glucose, that person *is* diabetic.

                                                                      The CH mods have asked that discussions on these boards not be medical, hence my offer to email, not post medical studies here. This thread is about information on "healthy" breakfasts.

                                                                      1. re: mcf

                                                                        I think this discussion may be of interest to others-- I think it's completely appropriate to a food board, but if the moderators disagree, hopefully they will let us know.

                                                                        The dawn phenomenon (ie, a blood sugar spike in the early morning before eating) is present in both diabetics and non-diabetics, although it is less pronounced in non-diabetics (and it isn't dangerous). To my knowledge, Jayoss isn't diabetic-- and you recommended against carbs in the morning anyway. I'm inferring that you're recommending against carbs in the morning in general, for non-diabetics-- hence the questions, and discussion about the differences in morning carbs for diabetics and morning carbs for non-diabetics. Did I misunderstand you?

                                                                        1. re: jvanderh

                                                                          You did not misunderstand me, and discussing breakfast is on topic here.
                                                                          The mods HAVE let us know in Site Talk not to engage in medical discussion:

                                                                          "We're neither a diet nor a medical site. We do allow some discussions around following diets, especially in the 'I need low fat/low carb/low salt/gluten free' recipes vein, but when they venture into the territory of medical advice, please do report the threads so we can take a look."

                                                                          Permalink | Report | Reply
                                                                          The Chowhound Team Feb 13, 2010 11:59PM

                                                                          The reason I stated that morning is the worst time to eat carbs is that whether bg spikes high or not is not the only disadvantage; the hyperinsulinemia required to prevent the spike in a non diabetic is also deleterious, as compared to the stronger, but slower insulin release that protein elicits without causing pancreatic beta cell stress and loss. This helps to prevent the damage that leads to diabetes and other endocrine dysregulation, hence my suggestion that carbs are a much less than ideal breakfast food.

                                                                          I think I've said about all I can without wandering too far from the OP's breakfast question into metabolism and endocrinology, which are not appropriate here. I hope that's enough info to explain why I made the statement about breakfast composition.

                                                                          1. re: mcf

                                                                            Yes, obviously protein spikes blood sugar less than carbohydrates, but that's true at any time of day. The insulin release information above indicates that you're giving very good advice for someone at risk of diabetes (family history, overweight, and/or pre-diabetic), but it doesn't seem like good general advice-- even ignoring the general subjective preference for carb-heavy breakfast foods, the decreased calorie intake associated with morning carbs is a huge benefit for most people. We all make health decisions based on probability-- for someone with no family history, who isn't overweight, the risk of diabetes is remote.

                                                                            I have enjoyed the discussion.

                                                                            1. re: jvanderh

                                                                              Protein doesn't spike or even slightly raise blood sugar *at all* even in type 2, only in type 1 with zero insulin production. It never raises it in normies because it is so slow to digest and only up to 58% of it converts to glucose ultimately.

                                                                              I have enjoyed the discussion, too, particularly for its civility despite such opposite views. In that vein, I disagree with your assertions above, but think enough has been said on the topic by each of us. Have you read research by Gannon and Nutall? My last recco. And a note that dawn phenomenon has nothing to do with food, but with waking fbg, particularly during the early dawn/a.m.

                                                                              1. re: mcf

                                                                                I turned up 83 results-- if you'd like to direct me to specific articles, my email address is 002753@gmail.com.

                                                                                1. re: jvanderh

                                                                                  Done, wrt protein reducing hunger and later in the day meal size.

                              2. re: jvanderh

                                Yeah, the blueberries are tremendously healthy. As are WHOLE eggs, not just the whites.

                                1. re: jvanderh

                                  I agree with sandylc -- the egg yolk is actually the most nutrient dense part of the egg, and despite what some people decided a few decades ago, is NOT bad for you.

                              3. I think my 3 choices of breakfast are pretty healthy (I do well at lunch, go downhill at dinner):
                                1) cottage cheese with flax sprinkled on top and agave nector
                                2) soft taco (i use a low carb pita that really doen'st work as a pocket but great for what I call soft taco) with peanut butter and sliced bananas
                                3) i do love the fiber one cerials (usually have 3 diff types on hand) but with vanilla soy milk.

                                1. It doesn't get much healthier than bircher müsli. You soak oatmeal in fruit juice overnight, then add in grated apple, nuts and yogurt, plus any extra fruit, seeds or other ingredients you like in the morning.

                                  1. I have a minimal weekday breakfast: one slice of whole wheat toast with peanut butter, then maybe a mid-morning fruit break.

                                    But some good choices would definitely be oatmeal (or other whole grain hot cereal), with some selection of fruit, nuts, milk. I also like yogurt (I eat a really good plain, whole fat version (sorry, I am currently of the opinion that fat is not so bad for you, but this is the subject of some debate these days), also with fruit and/or nuts, and some honey. (have to live a little) I think eggs are a great breakfast, but you probably wouldn't want to have them every day. When I cook them (scrambled frequently), I throw in as many vegetables as possible (some favorites are cooked spinach or other greens, mushrooms, brussels sprouts, onions). I've also enjoyed a pseudo Japanese breakfast, consisting of a whole grain like brown rice, topped with some selection of vegetables (like cooked spinach or brussels sprouts, or mushrooms or anything), maybe a little scrambled egg, sliced scallions, a splash of soy sauce. Japanese pickles are great on it, but not so easy to find. I guess a real Japanese breakfast might have some fish, too.

                                    I've always wanted to try making my own bircher musli, thank you dmd for reminding me.

                                    Or you could just have an authentic unhealthy Greek breakfast: coffee and a cigarette.

                                    1. I'm not one for breakfast, usually; I seldom get hungry within the first few hours of waking. But I have begun to make my own granola, which is actually a lot easier than you might think. It consists of 6 c. rolled oats to 2 c. assorted chopped nuts (in my case, usually walnuts, almonds and peanuts) and seeds (usually pumpkin and sesame), plus a little salt. I bind the whole thing into clusters with a warmed mixture of about 1/4 c. each -- maybe a little more -- honey and almond or peanut butter. Then I spread the whole thing on a pair of cookie sheets and bake it at 300, stirring and turning every 10 minutes, until it's slightly golden-brown, about half an hour. (Be careful browning it, because it can burn easily and quickly -- and it's gross once burnt.)

                                      Feel free to add dried fruit (I'm partial to currants and cranberries) once it's cooled, too, but be warned that the fruit tends to get rock-hard the longer it sits in the granola; you're better off sprinkling fruit over the granola just before eating it. I usually eat the granola with defrosted mixed berries and plain nonfat yogurt, although often I'll make a batch of granola bars from it as well.

                                      Or, you know, you could just eat savory dinner-type stuff for breakfast; it's likely less full of sugar. I'm a big fan of leftovers for breakfast, especially soups and cooked greens.

                                      1. I go back and forth between "good carbs" / soluble fiber breakfasts like oatmeal, and egg white omelets with various combinations of vegetables. My favorite veg additions are spinach, mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes.

                                        1. My two favorite breakfasts recently (haven't checked the calorie count on the first):
                                          -Peanut butter and banana smoothie. Blend a couple TB of PB with 2/3 a cup of skim milk, 1 TBS of honey, and a scoop or two of protein powder. Add a frozen banana, blend. Add 4-6 ice cubes, blend again. Fabulous.
                                          -Ellie Krieger's breakfast quinoa with dried fruit and toasted walnuts. Filling, has what I find to be a much more appealing texture than oatmeal, and can make endless variations. I don't add the extra milk or the butter at the end. We most recently made it with a pear and dried cranberries. The toasted nuts are essential, I think. Oh, and I cut it in half for two people (my kids don't like it): http://www.choosecherries.com/recipes...

                                          1. This is what I like:

                                            Irish (steel cut oatmeal) cooked with water splashed with milk and oodles of blueberries
                                            Toasted whole grain bread with low fat ricotta and dried apricots & glass of milk
                                            "Healthy" egg mcmuffin - toasted whole grain english muffin with egg white & low fat cheese

                                            1. My brother (doctor) is one of the healthiest people I know. 6'5" weighs about 195 and he's almost 60. His breakfasts during the week are always some combo of fresh fruit, non-sugared cereal (hot or cold, often granola or oatmeal) and 2% milk, or just fruit and yogurt. No artificial sweeteners on the cereal, keeps sugar to a minimum and often uses honey. In a real hurry, whole grain toast and peanut butter to eat in the car. No matter what other fruit always at least a small glass of oj or a fresh orange for potassium.

                                              Sundays, moderate portions of eggs and bacon or sausage, or pancakes or waffles with butter and maple syrup. But always the fruit and orange juice.

                                              1. An egg white omelette with garlic, spinach, mushrooms, tomato, and a little feta if desired. Bluberries, kiwi, acai berries, and some sliced almonds tossed with a little greek non-fat yogurt.

                                                Oatmeal mixed with oat bran, flax seeds, blueberries, cinnamon and a little skim ricotta cheese.

                                                Whole wheat tortilla, filled with egg whites scrambled with lox, tomatoes and red onions, then rolled up with chopped raw cucumber.

                                                Sweet potato, baked, halved, scooped and mixed with cottage cheese (non or low fat) and cinnamon and vanilla, returned to shells and broiled til gooey

                                                Quinoa and Lentils - i love to stew up with onions, celery, carrots, cumin and coriander

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: Emme

                                                  Include the egg yolk for a more nutrient dense meal, not a problem on a 400 calorie budget!

                                                  1. re: Emme

                                                    Yes, please include the yolks....

                                                  2. 1 PowerBar ProteinPlus (270 calories, 22 g protein, 30 g carb / 2 g fiber, 9 g fat)
                                                    1 cup nonfat yogurt (140 calories, 14 g protein, 19 g carb, <1 g fat)
                                                    1 Tb toasted wheat germ (in the yogurt) (50 calories, 4g protein, 6 g carb / 2 g fiber, 1 g fat)
                                                    1 cup black coffee (2 calories, 0 g protein / carb / fat). may use skim milk & splenda

                                                    462 calories
                                                    40 g protein
                                                    55 g carbohydrates
                                                    4 g fiber
                                                    11 g fat

                                                    1. I mix up a huge container of homemade meusli. 675 grams oats, 100 grams chopped nuts (I like pecans), 600 grams dried fruit (I use any combination of cranberries, raisins, pineapple, cherries, papaya).

                                                      I'll have about 80 grams of that with milk in the morning, 25 grams of whey protein isolate, and usually one piece of whole fruit.

                                                      The meusli is super-convenient and really tasty.

                                                      6 Replies
                                                      1. re: jeremyn

                                                        I've been toying around with this for some time. I'm no nutritional expert, but take my cues from menshealth's abs diet.

                                                        In a blender:
                                                        Two handfuls quaker old fashioned oats
                                                        1 Scoop whey protein powder (i have ON Whey chocolate flavor)
                                                        1 tablespoon unmilled flax seed (kept in freezer)
                                                        1 tablespoon peanut butter or handful dry roasted unsalted peanuts (or almonds/almond butter)
                                                        1 frozen banana, cut into 1 inch chunks
                                                        2 handfuls frozen berries (blueberry, cranberry, unsweetened acai pulp)
                                                        1 multivitamin
                                                        unsweetened green tea (i like teas tea) or 100% pomegranate juice to desired consistency

                                                        Other potential entries depending on what's in the fridge:
                                                        skim milk / cottage cheese / nonfat greek yogurt / tofu / avocado

                                                        Blend until very smooth (chunky raw oatmeal is no good) and enjoy. The finished product tastes something like a PB&J and keeps you full of energy all morning. I actually got off coffee with this.

                                                        Definitely invite suggestions or critiques!

                                                        1. re: bigbear32

                                                          I do this often as well. Its only downside is that you have to clean the blender jar before you go to work, as it's like scraping wallpaper if you leave it till evening. But yes, this is a standby and extremely filling and quick to drink.

                                                          1. re: dmd_kc

                                                            Can't you just fill it with hot sudsy water and leave it in the sink?

                                                            1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                                                              Um, not if you have borderline OCD about cleaning stuff as I do. But yes, normal people could do that! What I meant to say is that protein powder left to dry is one of the hardest things to remove I've ever come across.

                                                              1. re: dmd_kc

                                                                Ha! The worst is accidentally letting a little flour from a mixing bowl or something get splashed with water. Once that mixture dries you d*mn near need a putty knife to remove it.

                                                          2. re: bigbear32

                                                            I love smoothies. I invested in a Blendtec blender about a year ago and I use it almost every day. Here's my favorite: grind up about a tablespoon of flax seeds in the blender, add a banana, greek yogurt, blueberries, fresh spinach, a scoop of protein powder, and some ice and let 'er rip. I vary it with whatever fruit is handy, but I like to keep blueberries for sure. I've also found that when I need an eye opener, throwing in a whole jalapeno pepper is fantastic, but I like spicy things. I think the combination of heat with the cold in that smoothie texture is amazing. Also have put in half of an avocado - makes it real creamy. Occasionally a bit of almond butter. I gotta admit, it kind of looks like radioactive pond scum, but it tastes really good, and has a lot of good nutritional benefits.

                                                        2. 1/2 c. plain yogurt with 1/4 c. Grape Nuts or something similar every morning for years. Sometimes I'll stir in dried or fresh berries. Depending on how much time I have I'll also either squeeze a 4 oz. glass of fresh orange juice or just eat a pear or apple out of hand while making myself handsome. Black coffee and water. Anything heavier or using any kind of fat (butter, olive oil) on a weekday and I feel sluggish and kinda gross all morning. Don't know if that is "the healthiest breakfast possible," but it's pretty good.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                                                            We're big fans of Paula Wolfert's Biblical Breakfast Burrito. I think it's in her Med. Greens and Grains cookbook.

                                                            It's a mixture of green onions, tomatoes (at this time we get the cherry or Romanita tomatoes which are very good even in winter), Italian parsley, any color peppers, and any other raw veg you'd like to add (we've used chopped raw turnips, radishes, celery, arugula, etc.) tossed together with olive oil and feta cheese (I like Bulgarian and it's the cheapest). Sprinkle on some hot pepper flates. No need for sald because of feta. Add black pepper if you want. Stir it all together and stuff into whole wheat pita halves. I like to toast them first, but not until crisp or they're too hard to eat due to cracking.

                                                            The most amazing thing is that it actually tastes great with coffee and cream. My husband drinks Splenda in his coffee and says it tastes good with that, too.

                                                          2. Thank you so much for all the responses! You have given me some great suggestions :)

                                                            1. I love grated apple (with peel), raw organic rolled oats (not quick or instant), a little raw, local honey, and plain yogurt. You can mix it up with fresh berries, chopped nuts, and dried fruit. It's addictive. fayefood.com

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: fayehess

                                                                Raw oats are SO good in yogurt!!!! Who would've thunk it?

                                                              2. Cold applesauce makes a darned good topping on hot oatmeal. Fruit and grains all together, and very filling.

                                                                1. I just made the "Wilted Greens with Balsamic Fried Eggs Recipe" on CHOW and it was very good. I used chard and beet greens in place of dandelion because that's what I have in my garden. I think this recipe will be added to our list of regulars.


                                                                  1. what about oatmeal cooked with low/nonfat milk, with a tbsp peanut butter and half a banana mashed in. have some berries on the side

                                                                    1. This is what I usually have for breakfast. It's healthy, under 400 calories, tastes great, easy to make, and easily keeps me satisfied past lunch time. One banana, 1 tablespoon ground flax seed, 1 scoop protein powder (chocolate or vanilla), 1 tablespoon peanut butter, a handful of ice: add to blender, fill the rest of the blender (up to about 8 cups) with water. Blend on ice crush for about 2 minutes. It will give you two full glasses of smoothie with a lot of water to start the day off right. Good luck.

                                                                      1. Hi,

                                                                        Haven't read the whole thread, so forgive me if this is redundant, but I thought I'd toss my go-to breakfast into the ring: A mixed fruit and yogurt smoothie and two slices of Ezekiel toast with 2 tsp flax seed oil. It's a great, super easy breakfast for about 380 calories (less if you use low or non-fat yogurt -- I use goat milk yogurt) .

                                                                        SMOOTHIE = 2 oz frozen blueberries + 2 oz frozen raspberries + 1/2 banana + 1 orange + 1/4 c yogurt

                                                                        The whole breakfast's got 13 g of fiber (I might have underestimated that), 15 g of protein and less than 10% calories from fat.

                                                                        I like this combination because all it's nutritive value comes from food rather than supplements.

                                                                        1. for my breakfast that I'm eating right now this is what's on the menu:
                                                                          1/2 cup Millville's Crunchy Granola raisin brand cereal with 1/2 cup skim milk
                                                                          1 really small yellow apple cut up
                                                                          1 really small red apple cut up
                                                                          1 slice of watermelon cut into cubes

                                                                          I'm not sure what the calorie count is but it's satisfying and hits the spot

                                                                          1. I think people could do a lot worse than a glass of V8 Fusion juice and 2 bananas. Most people need more potassium.. both have it. All by itself, this only costs about 50 cents.

                                                                            You could add toast, granola or oatmeal if you wanted. It would still be cheap, filling and quick.

                                                                            I suppose it could tiring eating 2 bananas every day but I don't think it would bother me. Besides, things come up where you never quite have the same thing every day.

                                                                            1. I am curious about two trends that I see here in the responses:

                                                                              One, the large number of people using non- or low-fat dairy products.

                                                                              Two, the large number of people using protein powders.

                                                                              These things bother me because I try very hard to eat whole foods, and neither of these things strike me as whole, REAL, foods - just manufactured (processed) items.

                                                                              What do you all think about that?

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                                I agree... I view healthy = real food, not processed or stripped of natural fats.

                                                                              2. I'm surprised nobody's mentioned soup! I love soup for breakfast -- French onion, pea soup, vegetable soup, navy bean, avgolemeno... It's fast, it's warm and heats up in the micro, it's got veggies and sometimes protein (or you can add in) and the liquid is also a filler-upper. Plus if you're on the run you can drink from a coffee container.