Over the years, I’ve experimented with various types of breakfasts, hoping to find the sweet spot between something that tastes good, is easy to make, and gives me the nutrients and energy to start my day off right. In this post, I’ll be sharing my “go-to” breakfast that I eat at least 4-5 times a week.
The Ultimate English Muffin
The centerpiece of my breakfast is the English muffin. My preferred brand of choice is Vermont Bread Company’s Organic & Natural English Muffins. I’ve tried all the different varieties (Whole Wheat, Golden White, Honey Wheat, Multigrain, etc.) and my hands-down favorite is Spelt. Spelt is species of wheat that’s been around for a long time and known for being an excellent source of protein and dietary fiber. Its taste is not as distinctive as whole wheat, so it becomes a nice canvas for whatever I put on top.
The following are the “toppings” for the English muffin and their nutritional qualities:
- peanut butter: I prefer Justin’s Honey Peanut Butter, another great source of protein
- chopped walnuts and pecans: I usually get nuts from Whole Foods or from Nuts.com; a small handful of each is enough; nutritionally, nuts are great for the heart, powerful anti-oxidants, and contain plant-based omega-3 fats, effective as an anti-inflammatory.
- flaxseed: I use Bob’s Red Mill Flaxseed Meal and sprinkle a couple tablespoon’s worth of flaxseed meal on top of the English muffins; flaxseed meal has a nutty taste and is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids as well as lignans, which help regulate hormones and reduce bad cholesterol
- cacao nibs: I use Navitas Naturals Cacao Nibs and sprinkle a bit on top of everything; it’s got a bitter chocolate taste and adds a different flavor to my nut-heavy meal; cacao nibs are a great source of anti-oxidants, iron, and magnesium, necessary for supporting the immune system and regulating blood flow
- honey: I drizzle a touch of honey on top because I have a sweet tooth
This may sound like a lot, but it’s actually quite simple. I’m able to prepare this each morning in less than 6-7 minutes. The longest part is waiting for my toaster to toast the English muffins. While that’s going on, I’ll chop the nuts, take out the other ingredients, and brew myself a cup of tea (usually English breakfast from Rishi Tea or Aged Earl Grey from Numi). If you’re a strict vegan, you can hold off the honey and use regular peanut butter. If you’re a vegan who still likes it sweet, I would recommend adding a touch of maple syrup.
A Side of Fruit
I always make sure to have fruit as a side dish. Depending on my mood, I’ll go between grapefruit, orange, or blueberries. I especially love blueberries because they are also a great source of anti-oxidants and also very, very good for the brain. If blueberries weren’t so darn expensive (usually $4.99-$5.99 for a pint where I live), I’d have more of it. I do stock up on some frozen blueberries to put into my oatmeals as well. Here’s a helpful post on 7 health benefits of blueberries.
Along with fresh fruit, I also try to eat a couple of dried dates. I love dates because they satisfy my sweet tooth and is also a rich source of calcium and iron. My favorite type of dates are of the Medjool variety. I buy mine either from Whole Foods or a local grocery store and keep them refrigerated. I’ve also ordered them in bulk from Nuts.com in the past.
Breakfast as Ritual
I’ve grown used to having a robust breakfast every morning. I used to rely on butter-rich croissants and muffins from local cafes every day. These days, with morning runs and a plant-based diet in the mix, I’ve found it easier to control exactly what I put into my body and to make sure I have all the ingredients necessary. In many ways, eating breakfast like this has become a very important daily ritual. It helps me prepare both physically and mentally for the day ahead while giving me the assurance that I’ll feel energized and nourished until lunchtime.