The Busy (& Healthy) Girl’s Guide to Breakfast

You already know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but why don’t you make time for it?

Breakfast used to be a meal that I dreaded when I got to college because I couldn’t figure out how to fit it in before my 8 a.m. classes. Now that I’ve been in college for a few years, I’ve cracked the code to cheap and quick breakfast options fit for those with hectic schedules. With a few staple ingredients and a little preparation, you’ll be able to roll out of bed with breakfast in hand that’ll make breakfast-skippers jealous.

Smoothie

There’s no better way to start your morning than with an icy, creamy smoothie. Smoothies are a perfect option for a breakfast on the go because they can be easily prepped the night before.

I like to chop up some fresh strawberries, pineapple chunks, bananas and blueberries and pop them in a plastic bag to keep in the freezer overnight. When I wake up, all I have to do is whip out some almond milk, my favorite vegan protein powder, toss in a handful of baby spinach and dump it all into my blender. After a few quick pulses on the blender, I grab a large reusable cup complete with a lid and a straw like this one and head out of the door. A smoothie is a refreshing breakfast packed with antioxidants and nutrients, and including a dash of protein powder in your recipe will keep you full until lunch.

Avocado toast

Avocado toast is not only one of the most instagrammable breakfast options out there, but it’s also so easy to eat on the go if you sandwich another slice of bread on top.

I like to start by toasting two thick slices of multi-grain bread. My favorite has seven grams of protein per slice and tastes a little sweet, which I love. Sometimes I’ll spread some organic almond butter, top it with avocado slices and drizzle a tiny bit of honey on my toast. On days when I’m craving a more savory breakfast, I’ll smash the avocado slices with a fork on top of a toasted slice of bread and top it with a garlic and herb seasoning and a pinch of alfalfa sprouts. If you’re into spicy, try the savory option with a splash of siracha to kick off your day on the right foot.

Chia Pudding

Chia pudding is one of my all-time favorite breakfasts when I’m running late to school because it’s made overnight in the fridge. Better yet, it’s already in a cup and ready to enjoy as soon as you wake up. Not only is it easy to eat on the go, but you can combine any flavor you like and still have a protein-packed breakfast.

I like to start with about a quarter of a cup of black chia seeds. Then, I’ll add about a cup of coconut milk, a splash of vanilla, a teaspoon of maple syrup and top with some fresh blueberries. This recipe can be duplicated and altered to fit whatever preferences you have. Here’s a list of some of my favorite recipes via A Sweet Pea Chef for chia pudding to get you started.

Bagel

As a native New Yorker, I had a bagel in one tiny hand and a glass of chocolate milk in the other every morning for as long as I can remember. If you’ve ever visited New York, you’d know that bagels are a breakfast staple for a reason: They’re easy to eat on the run. As a college student, I’ve become more health conscious, and part of my diet in college that’s changed since I lived in New York is that I no longer eat dairy.

About a month ago, I was strolling through Publix and mourning over the days when I could eat cream cheese by the brick — until I found Kite Hill Vegan Cream Cheese Style Spread. My hopes and prayers were answered when I spread it onto a protein-packed bagel and took a bite, which transported my taste buds back to my NYC days. Nowadays, I like to take my bagel with me on my way to class and pack a box of Ripple Chocolate Plant Protein Pea Milk to wash it all down.

Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a classic healthy, filling and quick breakfast to take with you during a busy morning. All you need is a package of instant oatmeal (or a cup of raw oats if you have the time) and some almond milk or water.

I love to make Maple Brown Sugar-flavored steel cut oats, which have flax seeds in the mix, keeping me full for a longer amount of time. I top my oatmeal with slices of fresh banana, a handful of walnuts, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a pinch of chia seeds.

You don’t have to sacrifice much of your time to make a breakfast that is healthy, filling and perfect to take on the go. Regardless of which breakfast option you choose, there are so many options that will leave you feeling energized, refreshed and ready to tackle the day with a full, happy stomach. Your body will thank you!