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Healthy Eating 101: Best Way to Start the Day

You are gonna love me after watching this week’s video.  Last week we kicked off a series called Healthy Eating 101.  This week’s installment covers the best way to start your day.

I’m talking about things you should NEVER eat for breakfast, the power breakfast I eat almost every single day AND I’m opening up the comments for Q&A.

After you watch the video, let me know what you usually eat for breakfast–especially if you’re answer is, “I’m too busy, I don’t usually eat breakfast” (if your metabolism could talk it would beg you not to do this by the way), and I’ll help you figure out the best breakfast for you.

Watch the video now (and say adios to that mid day energy crash!)

 

Click here for last week’s video in case you missed it: Healthy Eating 101: Once Concept, Lots of Benefits

Don’t forget to comment below with what you usually eat for breakfast so I can either pat you on the back for a job well done or help you figure out a better choice!


 

Healthy Eating 101: Best Way to Start the Day
  • Elle

    A quick and easy Chobani Yogurt 🙂

    • Liz DiAlto

      Hey Elle,
      as long as dairy doesn’t bother you that’s not a bad choice, I’d add some fruit though-the real kind, not the kind that comes on the bottom!

  • Elizabeth

    Hi Liz! I love your website and love watching your videos. You are an inspiration to me. So, going back to the video and commenting on what I eat for breakfast. Because I am living in Spain, this would be 1/2 of a small integral baguette with extra virgen olive oil, fruit (kiwi) or activia 0 percent fat, and fresh squeezed orange juice. Now, I know I should be having a big breakfast but I’m not sure what else to add or take away.

  • Simona

    LOVE. For those who are gluten free and/or staying low on fruit sugars, like myself (although a handful of blueberries is good for ya!) I use quinoa instead of oatmeal. Or you can try millet, rice or potatoes. I agree on the egg whites + spinach = so good. And salsa! YES. I also add lentils to the mix. I’ve also noticed that eating within one hour of wake-up time is key to my energy levels during the day. Loving this post Liz. Keep ’em comin.

    • Liz DiAlto

      Love that you chimed in on some gluten free options, Simona! I actually had quinoa instead of oatmeal a few weeks ago, it was pretty good.

      Oats are technically gluten free, they’re usually just processed in plants with things that have gluten right? or is that inaccurate?

      • Simona

        It’s a hard thing to answer, actually. Technically, oats are gluten-free, however there is a portion of people that have gluten sensitivities that are also are sensitive to oats. For those that are not, the main issue is contamination, so finding oats that are 100% gluten free can be a bit of a challenge. Overall, I’d say if you are trying to keep a gluten free lifestyle I would skip oats all together just to be safe.

  • Elizabeth

    Hi Liz! First, I would like to say that I love your website and your an inspiration to me. I look forward to all of the posts that you make. So, to comment on your latest video, let me share what I eat for breakfast. Since I am living in Spain right now, I normally eat one 1/2 of a small integral baguette drizzled in Extra Virgen Olive Oil,fruit (kiwi, strawberries,etc) or some yogurt like activia 0 percent fat, with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. Since I go to the gym directly after, I try to keep the breakfast a bit smaller because when I come back from the gym I have a snack, which may be another piece of fruit or something healthy. Now, as you mentioned, I should be eating a fairly large breakfast, so I’m not sure what I should take away or add. What should I do since I go to the gym directly following breakfast?Thanks once again Liz!

    • Liz DiAlto

      First off, great name, Elizabeth and thank you for the kind words! I’d ditch the baguette, keep the fruit, add some protein. I’m less concerned with the yogurt being zero fat than I am with the sugar content, if you can take a look at the label and let me know Total Carbs, Fiber and Protein I can give you a better gauge on that choice. Unfortunately-freshly squeezed OJ is straight sugar, so I’d drink a glass of water instead or-keep the juice, ditch the fruit but not both. I’m a huge fan of egg whites for protein in the morning, too. If you’re concerned about going to the gym right after maybe hit the gym first then eat breakfast OR get up a few minutes earlier so you have a little more time to digest before you get there. what do you think?

      • Elizabeth

        Thank you so much for your response. I have to say it is very difficult to say goodby to the baguette since that is what everyone eats over here, but I’m going to do it! After all, I have one week until I return to the states and then I can eat eggs for breakfast like a normal American. 🙂 If I eat some Serrano ham for breakfast, could that count as protein? lol. What are some other quick protein options? For the yogurt the protein is 5.1grams, fiber is 0g, and carbs are 5.4g. This one happened to be natural without sugar. (I like to add a little honey) What do you think about the yogurt?

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  • Odetta

    Hi Liz, because of my schedule I have to work out early in am therefore I can’t have a huge meal before the gym. So I just drink a coffee or protein shake. Is that bad? How long should I wait in between a good breakfast and working out?

    • Liz DiAlto

      Hey Odetta, can you work out on an empty stomach and eat after? If not I’d do protein shake over coffee, maybe throw a handful of spinach in the protein shake if you don’t already-to get some green in there 🙂

      As for how long to wait between breakfast and a work out-depends on what you’re doing and your stomach. Technically digestion will take blood away from the muscles if you eat too close to a workout however, unless it’s a really intense workout, I’d say don’t worry about it as long as it won’t make you nauseas or anything. How’s that sound?

      • Odetta

        Thanks, Ure the best!! I’ll try spinach in my shake. 🙂

  • Rachel Luna

    Thanks to you I’ve switched my morning breakfast habits, although I confess I do love a great cup of coffee (usually decaf; on a rough morning full caff). I used to eat a fatty ass breakfast but I’ve traded that in for the following:
    coffee (of course!)
    2 egg whites scrambled w/ diced tomatoes and onions
    avocado
    oatmeal or 1/2 mini whole wheat bagel. <– What can I say, I likes me carbs!
    BUT, this is a big improvement to what I had been eating before and it's thanks to you!!! Keep rocking it girl! xoxox

    • Liz DiAlto

      Rachel, I love to hear this. Notice any difference in your energy levels throughout the day since you made the switch?

  • rachel

    I’m a busy mom on the go and trying to get rid of my baby fat. I adjusted my diet to eating breakfast because it’s my least favorite time to eat. I normally eat oatmeal or cereal (cherrios multigrain) for breakfast, but I’m getting bored what other suggestions do u have? I don’t like eggs, so what can I supplement that protein with?

    • Liz DiAlto

      Hi Rachel-good question. How do you feel about peanut or almond butter?

      Throw that on an apple, some celery or carrots and that’s a good quick option, you could also find a protein bar or powder you like.

      I like Think Thin brand, but Balance and Zone have some good options too. The biggest thing you want to pay attention to is how they effect your energy and how your stomach reacts. Some people don’t do well with fake protein. Let me know!

      Or…like I said in the video-think non traditional breakfast and eat something you’d usually have for lunch or dinner instead.

  • Misty

    I have Hard boiled eggs and Apple because its easy to have on hand and sometimes I have a Luna bar to change it up with fruit…I love reading what others have cuz and ur comments as it gives me more of a variety of things this is great! Also I fell off the face of the earth ill text u tomorrow for a time to talk 🙂

    • Liz DiAlto

      Phew, Misty-I was getting worried but knew you’d resurface when you were ready 😛

      Hard boiled eggs are a great idea that I always forget about-especially for a busy mom like you since you can boil ’em and pack ’em! Which Luna bar? the regular or the protein one? the dark chocolate almond cherry (I may have added an extra word in there) is my favorite-totally delicious.

  • Allison

    So I’ve actually had this question for weeks and am so glad I get to ask it now! Almost every morning I get up pretty early, drive my mom to work, and then go to the gym. I am a big believer and know the benefits of eating breakfast and eating something before you work out, but I just cannot fathom getting up an extra half hour early to make myself an egg white omelete. I usually grab a granola bar and eat it in the car, then eat a bigger breakfast when I get home at like 930 or 10.
    My question is…is that a horrible strategy? The reduced fat granola bar is only like 100 calories, but is that an extra 100 calories that I don’t need? I also don’t love the extra sugar and simple carbs in it too, but I know you’re supposed to eat within roughly a half hour of waking up, hence me always grabbing one on my way out the door.
    Help please!

    • Liz DiAlto

      Swap the granola bar for a protein bar and you’re straight. I’m not into counting calories. If you’re eating well, fruits, veggies, lean protein-which I’m pretty sure you do because I remember talking about this during the semester, you’re automatically eating fewer calories than if you were punishing sandwiches, pizza and etc. I think I listed it in an earlier comment but I like Think Thin and Zone and Balance have some good options also (not my top choice b/c it’s processed, but again-sometimes when you’re busy this is the best choice). Use the ME formula from the book to read the labels and pick a good one 🙂

  • Kelsea

    Liz, what if I am not hungry for breakfast? Will Green juice do?
    thx

    xooxox

    • Liz DiAlto

      Ooh, excellent question Kelsea-I was on a juicing kick for a while-and I still love juice. My issue became that you leave all the fiber behind.

      As long as your juice is mostly veggies and not too many fruits this is totally cool-just curious, how many hours after green juice are you actually hungry for real food? I’d usually eat a “real breakfast” like 1-2 hours later but leave out a heavy carb since the juice was a good amount of sugar. does that make sense?

  • http://www.lapetitemarmoset.com Katherine

    I eat an egg white omelette with one egg mixed with spinach, sprouts, green pepper, tomato, onions, and avocado (I call it the green monster!). As a side i have half a plate of salad and a few blackberries, I used to do a smaller omelette with oatmeal and fruit but I felt like it was too much, my current breakfast definitely fills me up but I’m not sure if I should be getting more carbs.

    • Liz DiAlto

      K- your omelette sounds delicious! The key here is that it fills you up! This is a solid breakfast, right on 🙂

      Just pay attention to if you start to feel hungry or tired a few hours later-then maybe add a carb.

  • http://fortplumleywilson.blogspot.com/ Christine

    Hi Liz!

    My favorite breakfast as of late is a smoothie:

    1 banana
    1/2 cup strawberries
    handful of blueberries
    3/4 cup milk
    1/2 cup yogurt
    2 tbl peanut butter

    This smoothie is great for me because it is easy to make, it fills me up, and it enables me to eat all the fruit I should be eating but don’t really like to…Any way to improve it?

    Keep your knowledge coming! 🙂

    • Liz DiAlto

      I’d be curious to do an experiment if you’re up for it. For 1-2 weeks, try replacing the regular milk with almond or coconut milk and the yogurt with a protein powder or liquid egg whites (sounds gross but you don’t even taste them) to see if eliminating dairy changes the way you feel.

      A chocolate or vanilla protein powder would be delicious with this combo. To 100% eliminate dairy I’d do an egg white, soy or vegan powder.

      Let me know if you’re up for it!

      • Christine

        I’m definitely up for trying it. I’ll probably pick up the stuff this weekend and will hopefully try it out within the next few days…

        Thanks! 🙂

  • http://www.NishaniWellness.com Nisha Moodley

    As a Health Coach, this is one of my fave topics! I’ve been following the Slow-Carb plan, outlined in the book the 4 Hour Body.

    Feeling amazing!

    Breakfast is often eggs + black beans + kale + avocado. I feel totally satisfied and sugar cravings don’t exist.

    Thanks for this great video, Liz! You’re rocking as always, sister! xxo

  • Laurie

    Hey Liz! I normally pick up organic oatmeal (made with water) and have them put some banana, apple, and cinnamon on top.

    That and a coffee does it for me.. any suggestions?

    • Liz DiAlto

      you need some protein in there somewhere mama, maybe throw some almonds in there too. I remember a while back we talked about trying to go without yogurt and seeing if it made a difference, notice anything?

  • Liz DiAlto

    Thank you Miss Nisha, I am also a fan of slow carb. I started eating more beans after I read 4HB, especially lentils-yum!

    Next week the topic is lunch, please come back and let us know your ideas 🙂
    xo

  • Shawn S

    -1 egg + egg whites (2-3 servings) fried in canola oil.
    -As much spinach as I can fit into the omelet
    -Homemade salsa
    -Some combination of fruit (usually banana, apple, or fresh pineapple) and mixed nuts.
    -Water

    • Liz DiAlto

      question on this one-how soon after are you hungry again? Sounds like a power energy breakfast!

  • Karina

    Hi Liz,
    My mornings are very rushed and a lot of the times I have a shake with whey protein powder, almond milk, 1 banana, and some frozen berries. I also have a cup of coffee . . . I know I shouldn’t but I really NEED it!! 🙂

    Thanks so much for all of your wonderful information!!

  • Nicole Neglia

    Hi Liz,

    I love this video! I’m a HUGE fan of the eggwhites + a whole egg. Still healthy but gives it a bit more substance. I usually add salse and a bit of weight watchers cheese. Just a couple sprinkles. I do that every other day. And the other days I usually do an instant oatmeal but I think I’m going to try the real stuff. Thanks again for the great post!

    • Liz DiAlto

      Yes, go for the real deal Nicole. I’ve also switched from oats to quinoa as Simona suggested above the last few days and it’s not as heavy. I really like it…I cooked up a bunch at once and put it in a tupperware so I can just add the almond milk, berries and cinnamon or just some almond milk & a scoop of almond butter and cinnamon and pop in it the microwave in the morning. Let me know how it goes!

  • http://nicholekellerman.com Nichole Kellerman

    Love this post, especially the extremely effective call to action 🙂

    BTW you look hott!

    • Liz DiAlto

      thank you on all accounts, Nichole!

  • Abuelita

    Hi!

    I have a 1/2 cup of oj,1/2 cuo of cornflakes. Cup of coffe w/ skim milk. How Am I doing? Love,

    Abuelita

    • Liz DiAlto

      Abuelita, I never understand how you and Patsy can do coffee and orange juice at the same time! I’d do eggs and some of that delicious fruit you have in Puerto Rico instead of the cornflakes. Love you too!

  • Mary Katherine

    Lately I have been eating fruit salad which often includes strawberries, blueberries, a banana, and an apple. Some other fruits here and there. And sometimes I add in a half of a greek yogurt. I feel like I need variety or something. Any advice?

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  • Jenn

    Hi, I usually have a gluten-free waffle with peanut butter and apple slices on top. I have a severe allergy to eggs, dairy, and red meat, so any suggestions?

    • Liz DiAlto

      do you ever eat quinoa Jenn? Treating it like oats and adding a little almond milk, some cinnamon and berries could be a better choice than the gluten free waffle-it also offers a bit more protein.

  • Carolyn

    I love making hard boiled eggs and egg white omelets. But, my big question is – I am a spice NUT. LOVE pepper, garlic, chilli powder, etc. What do the spices do to the nutrition of a breakfast?

    Currently my breakfast is Kashi Lean – fruit and sometimes yogurt and of course coffee

  • http://www.seekingsynergy.wordpress.com nmaha

    Hi, I just found your website today, so I’m not sure if you are still replying. I’m going to try anyway.
    I usually start with a glass of warm water with some lemon and honey. An hour and a half later I have a banana and a glass of buttermilk.

    • Liz DiAlto

      Ooh, I’ve recently been starting my morning with a glass of warm water with lemon too. I’d skip the honey-unnecessary sugar. Closer to 30 minutes or an hour later I’d have a better breakfast with a solid protein source like eggs, greek yogurt or etc and a banana is fine or some other kind of complex carb meaning a fruit, veggie or grain. Thanks for all your comments!

  • http://www.courtneyaaron.com Courtney Wilson Aaron

    Liz! I’m an huge fan of oatmeal! Since we’re always on-the-go, I’m loving this baked oatmeal recipe that you can make in individual jars and enjoy later. Thought your readers might enjoy!

    http://sproutedkitchen.com/?p=2829

  • Nats

    I am trying to use Whey (shakes) to cut out a vast amount of crap from my eating regimen. I usually eat toast and Tea – I have replaced this with a shake: 1 Scoop Whey, cup of Blueberries, 1/2 Banana, water and 2 spoons of Activia Yoghurt.

    It tastes absolutely devine but I wonder if it is a good way to start the day – is it healthy? I haven’t eaten alot of fruit in my diet and wonder if the natural sugars are going to impede weightloss?………..THANKS! Nats

    • Liz DiAlto

      Sounds like a pretty solid breakfast, but like anything else I say try it for a while and see how you feel/what kind of results you get. Maybe go 1/2 cup blueberries instead of a whole cup and if you’re feeling brave throw a handful of spinach in there to get some green and add fiber which will help your body with the regulation of the sugar in your bloodstream. Also check the label on the activia, plain is your best choice because the sugar content will be lower-alternatively, 0% fat greek yogurt has even less sugar/more protein. Either way it’s definitely better than toast and tea 🙂

  • Jenny

    Hi Liz =)

    my current breakfast is a bowl of oatmeal with 98% fat free milk, quinoa, LSA mix and honey. Also a boiled egg.

    Do you have any suggestions and improvements??

    Thanks

    • Liz DiAlto

      Hi Jenny…sorry for the tardy response, been working away on Tighter in 10 Days! What is LSA mix? At first glance, I’d say skip the honey only because there’s already so many carbs in the oats and quinoa-I’m also curious how you combine the two? Ever try cinnamon in your oats-great for flavor!

      Thanks for the comment 🙂

  • Heidi

    Love your web-site and all the information you provide on here. So for breakfast I usually have 1 banana with 1 table spoon of Adams All Natural Crunchy Peanut Butter. It fills me up for about 3 hours. Thanks!

    • Liz DiAlto

      Heidi, I’m so glad to hear you love the info here!

      If that fills you up, and you have energy to go for 3 whole hours I’d say stick with it and make sure there’s more protein at your next meal since I’m guessing max there’s only about 6g in the one scoop of PB right?

  • Elizabeth

    Hi Liz! For breakfast I make an oatbran pancake which consists of (2 tbsp oat bran, 2 tbsp wheat bran, 1 tbsp ground flax, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 whole egg, 1 tbsp water, 1 tsp splenda) and I have a light and fit yogurt. Some days I will also have a piece of fruit as well. I would love your feed back. This breakfast typically keeps me going till 1pm and I eat it around 8-9am.

    • Liz DiAlto

      Elizabeth-first, awesome name 😛

      Your oatbran pancake sounds delicious the only thing I’d sub out is splenda for something more natural like raw honey, agave or my personal preference which is stevia. I’d also go greek yogurt over light and fit (I like the protein/sugar ratio better in greek yogurt) and since you already have so much starch with the oat bran and wheat bran-if you go for a piece of fruit too, something low glycemic like berries, melon or an apple is best as opposed to bananas, mangos, pineapple or grapes which have more sugar.

  • Jen

    I eat a protein shake with some type of fruit and ice and a splash of almond milk. Sometimes I don’t even have time for that being a busy mom, so what type of protein bar is a good choice any time of the day? I LOVE supreme protein. Are they any good?

  • http://www.hip2bhol.com Hadley Gustin

    My typical breakfast is green juice.  However, I don't have access to a juicer right now, so I have a hemp protein shake which is a great alternative.  Both of these options are raw, low-glycemic and alkaline.  Can't get much better than that!