Cocktail Recipes, Spirits, and Local Bars

Build a Better Morning with These Breakfast Products

Build a Better Morning with These Breakfast Products

They're good for so much more than breakfast, too.

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The first meal of the day is having a moment. Whether it's from our Instragram-driven desire for the perfect shot or the need to gather at all times of day, we're collectively crazy for crafting the best breakfast and brunch. Fortunately, all it takes are a few key tools and a little liquid courage (be it in the form of a fresh cup of coffee or a mimosa).

To seek out the gear that speaks to your breakfast needs, we tapped our colleagues at Extra Crispy, your go-to spot for all things breakfast and brunch, including the latest news, trends, and top tips will outfit your kitchen for many morning meals to come.

Struggling to cook healthy? We'll help you prep.

Sign up for our new weekly newsletter, ThePrep, for inspiration and support for all your meal plan struggles.

"It's tempting to invest in the shiniest, most ergonomic thing, but the truth is that you need something that won't stress you out when it gets inevitable scorch marks on it," says Margaret Eby, Extra Crispy's culture editor. "Build from the essentials, like a good pan and a sharp knife."

CRAFT A SERIOUS COFFEE STATION
Experts recommend grinding beans fresh. Then, your options for makers are plentiful: For those who like to control steep time, try Bodum's Chambord Coffee Maker, 17-oz. $37. For serious coffee lovers, a Technivorm Moccamaster extracts a great cup with a taste that's a connoisseur-approved. From $300.

BUILD A BREAKFAST LIBRARY
We asked the Extra Crispy team for their favorite breakfast-themed books, and their picks ranged from the seriously instructional, like Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Bread and Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything, to the seriously adorable, like Pancakes for Breakfast.

Tools That Go Beyond Breakfast

SHARP KNIFE
"Breakfast prep goes so much smoother with a sharp knife," says Kat Kinsman, senior food and drinks editor at Extra Crispy. We like Wusthof's Classic 4 1/2" Cook's Knife, $80.

ELECTRIC CHOPPER
"I whip my eggs in a KitchenAid 3.5 Cup Food Chopper and it makes all the difference in the world for silky omelets," Kinsman says. From $50.

SILICONE SPATULA
"You can scramble, you can scrape—you can do it all," says Meredith Turits, editorial director and general manager of Extra Crispy. Try GIR's Pro Spatula, $22.

CAST-IRON SKILLET
Perfect for bacon, great for eggs, and crisps up toasts in a pinch. Our experts favor pans from Lodge. "It will outlive you if cared for properly," says Extra Crispy site director Ryan Grim. $39.50.

TOASTER OVEN
The right model can perfectly brown batches of toasts or serve as an alternative oven for crowded kitchens. Breville's Smart Oven Pro includes a light to better see what's cooking, $270.

WAFFLE IRON
Our experts sing the praises of classic cast-iron waffle irons, like Nordic Ware's Stovetop Belgian Waffler, which boasts a slimmer profile and comes unhinged when you're ready to clean, $78.

NONSTICK SKILLET
"A nonstick frying pan will get you through just about every breakfast recipe you want to make," Turits says. Kinsman loves her Anolon Advanced 8.5-Inch French Skillet. "It completely changed my omelet game," she says, $25.

Love breakfast as much as we do? Check out our sister site, extracrispy.com.


6 Quick Breakfasts That Are Much Healthier Than an Egg McMuffin

What if we told you that setting aside roughly 10 minutes of meal prep per night is all it takes to make sure you have a quick and healthy breakfast that you can pack for your morning rush-hour commute?

Marie Spano, M.S., R.D., C.S.C.S., sports nutritionist for the Atlanta Hawks, says that&rsquos about all the time you need to prepare one of these options. But instead of calling them breakfast recipes, which she says tend to trigger anxiety among her kitchen-averse male clients, &ldquoI like to call it meal assembly," Spano tells Men's Health . "In just a few minutes, you can put something together. These items have very few ingredients. You can&rsquot mess them up.&rdquo

Plus, Spano vows that you&rsquoll save money and time by taking a few minutes to make these breakfasts.

&ldquoWhen you&rsquore constantly going into a store or a drive-through in the morning, it takes time,&rdquo Spano continues. &ldquoThat time and money add up through the week.&rdquo

Check out these easy breakfast snack options that pack an early morning punch. You won&rsquot be hitting your snooze alarm anymore.

Beat a desired amount of eggs, while adding everything from cheese to bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, jalapeno peppers, mint, or garlic &mdash whatever you like, suggests Spano. Now, spray down a muffin pan with some PAM, add the egg mix and stick in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes at 350F. Remove from the oven, let them cool down, put them in a Ziploc bag and stick your bites in the freezer. Now, they can be packed for your rush hour commute and you can heat them up for 10 seconds in the microwave at the office. Done.

If you hate getting the cutting boards out to chop or don't have greens in the fridge, Spano suggests buying already-diced veggies at Whole Foods or even using simple seasoning, such as garlic, Italian, or even just salt and pepper. Simple and delicious.

You can spend the time mixing up your own pancake batter, or you can simply purchase a ready-made mix. Spano suggests protein-packed pancake mixes by Kodiak Cakes or About Time. Just add water to either mix, stir and make. You&rsquoll be able to grab your pancakes as you&rsquore running out of the door. Spano likes to eat them with a glass of Kefir on the side. Sounds good to us.

The best part of preparing oats the night before? It doesn&rsquot involve any cooking at all, Spano says. You&rsquore literally pouring milk into a bowl or cup of steel-cut oats and letting them soak in the fridge overnight. Why steel-cut over processed? Spano says they stay more firm and pack a nuttier taste. Add in some fresh fruit or chopped nuts to round this one out.

For these bran muffins, you can opt for a Kodiak Cakes or About Time mix as you did with the pancakes. But Spano&rsquos trick is to add Kefir to that mix.

&ldquoIt&rsquos a little bit higher in protein and it's thick, so it&rsquos a little bit more filling, plus it&rsquos a good source of probiotics, which is good for gut health,&rdquo she says of the benefits of adding the cultured milk. &ldquoI think Kefir is excellent.&rdquo Add a protein shake for an extra healthy kick.

Yes, hard-boiled eggs might be boring, but preparing a dozen on Sunday night and rationing them throughout the week is a time-tested breakfast hack for the ages. With an inch of water over them in a pot, cook the eggs to a rolling boil. Shut off the gas and let them soak for 10 minutes before pouring the hot water out and giving them a quick ice bath. Then stick them in the fridge, peel, and enjoy throughout the week.

Power mix a ½ cup peanut butter with a ¼ cup honey, ½ cup whey protein and one cup of Old Fashioned oats. Shape into bars and bake at 320F for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. These can also be refrigerated if you want. &ldquoThey have a good amount of protein, which will help satisfy your appetite,&rdquo Spano promises.


Cereals

Catalina Crunch

This cereal tastes like &ldquokid&rdquo cereal, but for adults. It&rsquos sturdy and stands up to any plant milk you down it in, so while you may have to rush out the door, you don&rsquot have to worry about scarfing down your cereal for fear of it getting soggy. The Dark Chocolate is a staple in our cupboards. Bonus: just a half cup contains 11 grams of plant-based protein.

Puffins

If there&rsquos a child in the house, you&rsquoll be fighting over this cereal. Sure, the adorable puffin is marketed toward kids, but there is no age limit to the satisfaction Peanut Butter Puffins provide.

Purely Elizabeth Granola

Embrace the vegan hippie stereotype and pour yourself a satisfying bowl of granola. Any brand will do, but before you buy, check the ingredients to ensure the mix is honey-free. We love Purely Elizabeth&rsquos Blueberry Hemp flavor over vegan yogurt or straight from the bag.


Build a Better Breakfast

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The alarm rings and you press &ldquosnooze&rdquo one time too many. By the time you roll out of bed, you think it&rsquos too late for breakfast. Estimates vary, but around 25% of the population skips breakfast on a regular basis (Cho et al. 2003). The potential perils can include a more sluggish metabolism as the body shifts into starvation-response mode. And coupled with a tendency to become ravenous and binge later: weight gain. Cognitive abilities can also suffer: you may get headaches, feel fatigued and be less able to concentrate.

Yet plenty of people bypass breakfast and don&rsquot seem to suffer. Many&mdashperhaps your clients&mdashsay they aren&rsquot hungry. And some even rev up by working out without fueling first in the belief that they&rsquoll burn more fat that way.

So what&rsquos the truth? Is skipping breakfast harmful, or have the dangers been overhyped?

Some studies have shown that breakfast-skippers, including kids and adolescents, are more likely to be overweight or obese (Cho et al. 2003). But most of these studies are only observational, so it&rsquos hard to know for sure. Researchers look for patterns in a snapshot of data gathered from people at one point in time, or over several years: Are certain eating behaviors more likely to be associated with specific outcomes, like how much people weigh?

Even if associations are identified, this type of research isn&rsquot foolproof. Often it relies on self-reporting, and some people portray a rosier picture of their habits than is accurate. Plus, a different habit could be responsible. If breakfast-skippers also did little exercise and activity was not accounted for, it might be that people who don&rsquot exercise are more likely to gain weight, regardless of whether or not they eat breakfast. Only a well-designed experimental trial can show that something causes something else, and few long-term experimental trials have studied eating breakfast.

&ldquoThis kind of data is very hard to collect,&rdquo says Melinda Manore, PhD, RD, nutrition professor at Oregon State University, Corvallis, and author of several textbooks, including Nutrition for Life (Benjamin Cummings 2006). Ideally, you would need to follow a large number of people&mdashone group who ate breakfast and one group who didn&rsquot. Since weight is gained gradually, a study must last for years to properly assess an effect. As with exercise studies, it&rsquos tough to ensure that people stick to the program. And efforts must be made to make sure the nonbreakfast eaters don&rsquot start eating and that the breakfast eaters don&rsquot start skipping. Enough people need to be enrolled to make up for dropouts, and subjects need to be discouraged from dieting or overeating&mdashboth of which could influence the results.

So far, no major study has done this. That is why the 2010 Dietary Guidelines committee concluded there is inconsistent evidence that adults who miss a morning meal are upping their chances of becoming overweight or obese (Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee 2010). It might be true that skipping breakfast leads to weight gain, but there are not enough studies to prove it.

Even if there is an increased risk, that&rsquos no guarantee that you will put on weight, since weight gain also depends on how much you eat all day. &ldquoTo assess the power of breakfast, you have to look at overall eating patterns,&rdquo says Enette Larson-Meyer, PhD, RD, FACSM, nutrition professor at the University of Wyoming and author of Vegetarian Sports Nutrition (Human Kinetics 2007). &ldquoIt&rsquos hard to argue that someone at a healthy body weight with an overall healthy eating pattern of nutritious foods spaced out throughout the day should be forced to eat when they don&rsquot feel hungry first thing in the morning.

&ldquoOn the other hand, not eating may provoke unhealthy eating patterns,&rdquo she explains. &ldquoA person might get so hungry later that they start craving chocolate and chips and end up overeating because they started the day with too little energy.&rdquo

Some people opt to skip food and go for coffee to rev up lagging energy levels. But this doesn&rsquot change the physiological need for calories, and it may lead to more extreme hunger later&mdashand to overeating. Most people perform better, mentally and physically, when they have eaten breakfast&mdashespecially if they are physically active. &ldquoIn the few studies conducted in athletes, lack of food prior to exercise decreases performance. That&rsquos why the recommendation is to consume some food and/or beverages prior to exercise,&rdquo says Marie Dunford, PhD, RD, author of the textbook Nutrition for Sport and Exercise (Cengage Learning 2007). &ldquoOf course, the intensity and duration of the workout must be considered when deciding how much and when to eat.&rdquo

What many people fail to consider is that the body awakes in an energy-deprived state. Depending upon when dinner or the last evening snack was consumed, a person may have gone 10&ndash15 hours without food. Normally, the body gets energy from fat and carbohydrates. Glucose, or sugar from carbohydrates, is needed to metabolize fat and is the exclusive fuel source for the brain and red blood cells. The liver&rsquos stored glycogen supplies the body with glucose throughout the night. &ldquoWhen you wake up, blood sugar may be low and the liver may be running low in glycogen,&rdquo says Larson-Meyer. &ldquoThis limits the glucose that is available for the energy needs of the brain and body.&rdquo

Though some have demonized sugar and other carbs, Larson-Meyer says, &ldquoYou do need glucose for brain function and&mdashif you exercise in the morning&mdashas a substrate for muscles so that you can get an intense workout in and recover well afterward. Studies in children have shown that a little sugar helps them think better and not be so sluggish.&rdquo

Breakfast not only provides readily available calories for morning activity (Marangoni et al. 2009) it is also integral to obtaining essential nutrients. Protein is needed for muscle building and repair, as well as for other functions, including maintenance of hormones and enzymes.

&ldquoMost people get plenty of protein each day but tend to consume it later in the day,&rdquo Manore says. &ldquoNew research is showing that it is better absorbed and utilized if intake is spread throughout the day.&rdquo One reason why the body doesn&rsquot function optimally on one meal a day is that the body usually doesn&rsquot absorb 100% of a nutrient when it is consumed. So eating several meals can help the body use more of the nutrients it gets from food.

Protein is a blanket term for the many types of amino acids found in foods. &ldquoWhen you eat a lot of protein at one time, there may be excess amino acids that are not needed to replenish the body&rsquos pool. There is nowhere to store them, so they are converted to nitrogen and lost through urine,&rdquo Manore says. &ldquoSpreading smaller amounts out to constantly give muscles and the body protein throughout the day can not only help maintain lean muscle mass but also help it to function better.&rdquo

Additionally, breakfast can ensure an adequate day&rsquos supply of fiber, as well as vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients. &ldquoIt&rsquos an important way to kick-start your day and start taking in the nutrients you need,&rdquo Larson-Meyer says.

Some people assume that not feeling hungry is an intuitive signal not to eat. &ldquoJust because you don&rsquot feel hungry doesn&rsquot mean that you don&rsquot need calories. It might mean you need them more than you think,&rdquo says Larson-Meyer. Diminished appetite is thought to be a protective adaptation when the body is having a starvation response. One theory is that this is an evolutionary adaptation: while experiencing a huge energy deficit, the body can conserve energy if it doesn&rsquot react by getting famished, which would drive up the energy used to look for food when none was available.

Dan Benardot, PhD, RD, FACSM, professor and head of nutrition at Georgia State University, Atlanta, has studied how large energy deficits, such as those that can be created by skipping breakfast, affect athletes. In his book Advanced Sports Nutrition (Human Kinetics 2005), he explains that even if body weight stays stable because a person doesn&rsquot eat more calories over the whole day, an athlete may have less lean body mass and higher body fat levels as a result. Both the low blood sugar in the long periods of not eating and the overly large meals that follow can lead to surges of excess insulin, an effect that encourages extra body fat. Benardot&rsquos online food log helps track hourly energy fluctuations (http://nutritiming.com) to show when and how much to eat to maintain good energy balance.

Even if hunger diminishes once you start working out, if your fuel tank is on empty and you rev up the engine, your body will demand more fuel in the form of glucose and fatty acids from the blood. If more fuel is not available, the body will break down muscle proteins. What&rsquos more, by driving your body into an even deeper energy deficit, you&rsquoll be more likely to get famished and binge later.

And if you think you&rsquoll burn more body fat exercising on an empty stomach, think again. If the body burns a higher percentage of fat while exercising on no breakfast in the morning (and study results are mixed), that doesn&rsquot mean metabolism&mdashor total calorie burn&mdashis speeding up. &ldquoIf you&rsquore going to do a long or strenuous workout on an empty stomach, you may not have adequate carbs to power your workout and so you won&rsquot be able to work out as long or as hard,&rdquo Larson-Meyer says. &ldquoEven if you are burning a slightly higher ratio of fat, with impaired performance you may not be burning as many total calories or total calories of fat as you could if you were well-fueled.&rdquo

Some studies have suggested that there is an increase in fat loss. &ldquoBut if you measure the amount of fat that&rsquos burned, it&rsquos a miniscule amount,&rdquo Manore says. And there&rsquos little evidence that it results in long-term weight loss. A recent study in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism measured men who used the treadmill at a moderate intensity for around 35 minutes both before and after eating breakfast. Those who ate first burned significantly more calories and burned a significantly higher percentage of fat 12 and 24 hours after the workout, compared with those who worked out without eating. There appeared to be an enhanced utilization of fat when exercising after eating (Paoli et al. 2011).

Does a black coffee with 1 teaspoon of sugar (15 calories) count? What about a 50-calorie apple? Is a doughnut okay? Is eating at 10:00 am as nourishing as eating at 7:00 am?

Breakfast means literally breaking the food fast that has occurred since the last evening meal. But how many calories are needed to qualify as &ldquobreakfast&rdquo and exactly when they are required are debatable questions. &ldquoThere is no standardized definition,&rdquo Manore admits. Some studies measure breakfast as an absolute calorie amount. Others quantify it by describing the percentage of breakfast calories compared to the total day&rsquos intake.

&ldquoUsually we aim for breakfast providing 25%&ndash30% of the calories for the day, so the amount will depend on a person&rsquos daily energy expenditure,&rdquo says Larson-Meyer. A highly active female who eats 2,500 or more calories per day might have a breakfast of at least 600 calories, and an active male might have more. A lower-calorie breakfast, such as a few egg whites or a piece of fruit, might suffice, but more energy may be needed sooner, especially if a workout is imminent.

Ideally, the morning meal should provide carbohydrates and fiber from fruits, vegetables and/or beans, as well as protein from low-fat milk or yogurt, eggs or plant sources such as nuts, beans and whole grains.

While fruit is generally recommended over juice because fruit contains more fiber and fewer calories, a lean exerciser need not fear juice. &ldquoMost people should avoid drinking their calories, but if juice is an easy energy source before your workout in the morning, go ahead and drink it,&rdquo Larson-Meyer says.

As for a doughnut, Sunday-morning pancakes or the omnipresent pastries at breakfast work events, they may be acceptable under certain circumstances.

&ldquoSomething is better than nothing, and if you&rsquore in the woods starving, a doughnut is okay,&rdquo Manore says. But keeping a stash of easy breakfast backups, like breakfast bars, nuts or even cold leftovers, can give you more nutritious choices and save you from filling up on empty calories. You can also enhance no-no foods. &ldquoMake whole-grain pancakes, or eat fruit with your doughnut,&rdquo Manore advises. Don&rsquot be afraid to get creative: some cultures eat soups for breakfast, others eat beans (on toast or in bean burritos). Aim for a breakfast that provides energy and nutrients and that helps you feel satiated.


Don’t Eat These for Breakfast!

A lot of money is spent on ads for so-called healthy breakfast foods, but don’t believe the hype. Breakfast cereals can contain shocking amounts of sugar (eat those, and you get that old familiar let-down: a quick energy high, followed by a slump right in the middle of your morning) ditto many granola bars, and sugary yogurts (more on that below). Scarf a standard muffin or a slice of banana bread and you’re basically eating cake—sugar, fat, and a ton of calories. The average slice of banana bread contains 400 calories, with precious little nutrition to show for it. (Our Healthy Banana Muffins recipe is a better alternative for breakfast.)


Try These IBS-Friendly Breakfast Recipes

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day but if you have IBS, you may find yourself skipping it because there aren’t many IBS-friendly options. With Schär Gluten Free you can enjoy breakfast staples without triggering symptoms.

Here are 8 IBS breakfast recipes to try out:

1. Open-Faced Smoked Salmon and Egg Sandwich

Scrambled eggs are a simple IBS-friendly breakfast, but they can get boring if you always prepare them the same way. In this recipe, they’re made with smoked salmon and paired with dairy-free cream cheese and fresh dill over toasted Schär Gluten Free Bread.

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 8 large eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 ounces smoked salmon, chopped
  • 2 to 3 ounces dairy-free cream cheese
  • Fresh chopped dill
  • 2 slices of Schär Deli Style Sourdough Bread, sliced and toasted

Instructions:

  1. Whisk the eggs well in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Melt the butter in a large nonstick pan over medium-low heat, swirling to coat the pan.
  3. Pour in the eggs and cook for a minute or two.
  4. Use a spatula to bring the edges in toward the center as they start to set.
  5. Sprinkle chopped salmon, cream cheese, and dill over the eggs.
  6. Continue to scramble the eggs as they cook to your liking.
  7. Serve over toasted gluten free bread halves.

2. Overnight Chia Pudding

If you love a bowl of porridge in the morning but you’re looking to avoid grains, chia pudding is the perfect alternative. Use a bit of your favorite natural sweetener and serve with fresh fruit and nuts.

Servings: 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • ½ cup almond milk (or other dairy-free milk)
  • 1 teaspoon glucose syrup
  • Fresh fruit (such as oranges or strawberries) and nuts

Instructions:

  1. Place the chia seeds in 1-cup jar.
  2. Add the almond milk and stir well.
  3. Sweeten with glucose syrup if desired.
  4. Let the mixture set for 2 to 3 minutes then stir again.
  5. Cover and refrigerate overnight to thicken.
  6. Serve with fresh fruit and nuts.

3. BLT Toast Points

You’ve heard of the classic BLT, but you’ve probably had to avoid it because of the bread. This IBS-friendly recipe features Schär Gluten Free bread.

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 8 slices Schär Gluten Free Deli Style Seeded Bread
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh green leaf lettuce
  • Fresh sliced tomato

Instructions:

  1. Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp.
  2. Drain the bacon on paper towel then chop into 1-inch pieces when cool enough to handle.
  3. Preheat the broiler in your oven and line a baking sheet with parchment.
  4. Cut the slices of Schär Gluten Free Bread in half diagonally to form triangles.
  5. Arrange the slices on the baking sheet and brush lightly with olive oil.
  6. Broil the slices until just toasted then remove from the oven.
  7. Top the toast points with lettuce and tomato then finish with chopped bacon to serve.

4. Baked Eggs with Spinach

Many people with IBS find they can tolerate small servings of ricotta cheese better than other forms of dairy. This recipe for baked eggs features ricotta and spinach, served with toasted gluten-free bread.

Servings: 1

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup fresh chopped spinach
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (extra for drizzling)
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 to 2 slices Schär Gluten Free Deli Style Seeded Bread

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and grease a small baking dish.
  2. Whisk together the ricotta, spinach, olive oil, lemon zest, thyme, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
  3. Spoon the mixture into the baking dish.
  4. Make two wells in the mixture and crack an egg into each.
  5. Drizzle with olive oil then bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the whites are set.
  6. Dip into the baked eggs with pieces of toasted Schär Gluten Free Bread.

5. Potato Rosti with Poached Eggs

When cooking breakfast for the whole family, this potato rosti will become a go-to. It fries up golden and crispy, making it the perfect foundation for a nicely poached egg. You can also serve the rosti as a side with scrambled eggs, if you prefer.


Thai French Toast

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3. Cranberry Cream of Wheat

Make a double batch&mdashthis will keep well in the fridge. Eat it hot or cold.

What You&rsquoll Need:

½ cup frozen cranberries
1 Tbsp maple syrup
3 Tbsp Cream of Wheat
2 Tbsp chopped toasted pecans
2 Tbsp half and half

How to Make It:

In a pan, add the berries, 1 cup water, and a little salt. Boil until the berries burst, 8 minutes. Stir in the syrup and Cream of Wheat and cook per package directions. Turn off the heat stir till fluffy. Serve in a bowl with pecans and half and half.

327 calories, 6g protein, 47g carbs (5g fiber), 14g fat


If you love oatmeal, you’ll want to try this riff on the warming morning meal that uses quinoa instead. The ancient is a fantastic protein option for the morning, as it’s one of the few plant-based complete proteins. Plus, it's a good source of fiber, so it’ll hold you over until lunch. Top it with fruit—and don’t forget the cinnamon for healthy, calorie-free extra flavor.

TO MAKE: In a saucepan, combine 3/4 cup low-fat or almond milk, 1/4 cup quinoa, and 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, until liquid is mostly absorbed and quinoa is fluffy, 12 to 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork, transfer to a bowl, and top with 1/2 sliced banana and a pinch of ground cinnamon.


Eat for Your Goals

Including breakfast in your muscle-building plan is essential for muscle growth and repair. Balanced breakfast meals containing whole food sources of carbohydrates and about 30 grams of lean protein will help fuel your workouts and muscle gains. Nutrition alone doesn't lead to hypertrophy.

Strength training and a calorie surplus are needed to create new muscle tissue. Simple muscle-building breakfast ideas include: overnight oats with Greek yogurt, egg omelet with low-fat cheese and fruit and, when pressed for time, adding whey protein to coffee and having some fruit is a great option.

Filling up on leucine-rich sources of protein like beef, tuna, pork, canned navy beans, milk and eggs will help maximize your gains. A Greek yogurt parfait or an egg omelet will cover your leucine needs.

It's also important to check with a doctor or registered dietitian before making any changes to your diet or exercise routine. A dietician can help you develop a meal plan that aligns with your goals and meets your individual needs.