Fill Up Early: Ways to Get Protein at Breakfast
Want to start your day off right? Add some protein to your morning meal. Research shows that getting plenty of this nutrient first thing helps you stay full and satisfied longer. It may even help you eat less throughout the day.
Greek Yogurt Parfait
Thicker than the regular kind, Greek yogurt packs in more protein: One cup delivers 23 grams. It’s also high in bone-building calcium and potassium. For a filling breakfast, layer the creamy stuff with fruit and a high-fiber cereal. Tip: Before serving, stir in that liquid sitting on top of the yogurt. That’s whey, and it has protein.
Chia Seed Pudding
Remember Chia Pets — clay sculptures with the green sprouts? Turns out, the seeds of those plants are loaded with nutrition. Around 2 tablespoons — serves up 5 grams of protein and 10 grams of fiber. When soaked in liquid, chia seeds turn into a thick pudding: Stir 2 tablespoons chia seeds with half a cup of milk, and put it in the fridge overnight. Have it in the morning with fruit and honey.
With 6 grams of protein each, eggs are a smart way to start the day. For an easy one-dish breakfast, whip up a frittata: Beat eggs with salt and pepper. Mix in fillings, like sautéed veggies. Pour it in an oven-safe skillet, and cook over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes. Then put it in the oven, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes.
Yes, fish for breakfast. Smoked salmon is a morning staple in Scandinavian countries, and for good reason: A serving has 20 grams of protein, plus heart-healthy omega-3 fats. You can add it to omelets and frittatas.
Cottage Cheese With Fruit
There’s a reason cottage cheese is thought of as a slim-down staple: A half-cup delivers 12 grams of protein. It’s a source of leucine, an amino acid that’s an important building block for muscles. Choose a low-fat, no-sodium-added version, and pair it with fruit, or add it to your morning smoothie or oatmeal.
This whole grain is actually a tiny seed, and it’s packed with protein. One cup delivers 8 grams. For breakfast, serve quinoa as a delicious oatmeal-like porridge, and add your favorite toppings, like cinnamon, fresh fruit, and nuts.
Sip servings of fruit and protein in your morning smoothie. Start with fruit, such as banana or berries; a cup of milk; and a few ice cubes. For extra protein, add some Greek yogurt or whey protein powder. You can toss in a spoonful of cocoa powder to make it a chocolate treat.
Overnight Oats with Nuts
No time to simmer oatmeal on the stove? No problem. You can make a no-cook version in seconds. Mix equal parts oatmeal with milk. Pop it in the fridge, and the oats will soften overnight. In the morning, top it with cinnamon or, for extra protein, nuts or ground flaxseed. You can warm it up in the microwave or enjoy it cold.
The morning is the perfect time to polish off some protein-rich leftovers. Dice last night’s chicken, steak, or pork, and add it to a scrambled egg. Put the filling in a whole-wheat tortilla, along with salsa and a few avocado slices for a quick breakfast. In a rush? Wrap the burrito in aluminum foil for an on-the-go meal.