I’m not sure how breakfast became controversial. For me, it has always been, and continues to be, the most important meal of the day. A morning meal literally “breaks the fast” of not eating for the 7 to 8 hours while asleep—or more like 12 if you’ve skipped a bedtime snack.
Research shows that eating breakfast plays a crucial role in how we perform physically and mentally for the remainder of the day. Breakfast restores blood glucose levels to normal, providing energy; helps to lower the morning peak of stress hormone, cortisol; and is satiating, which curbs hunger and helps to manage calorie intake throughout the day.
Yet, a surprising, 31 million Americans (about 1 in 10) skip breakfast, according to a frequently quoted study by NPD.
No matter how busy you are, or how little experience you have in the kitchen, you can commit to trying one of these 2-minute breakfasts. Numerous reports cite “lack of convenience” as a top reason why people skip breakfast or hit a drive-thru. Both choices leave you sluggish, drained, and often hangry by mid-morning. That’s a high price to pay for convenience.
Tested on my teenage boys, these four lightning-fast recipes prove that anyone can create a super-fit, super-fast meal to start off the day right. Each idea is takes just around 2 minutes (give or take), has between 200 and 400 calories, is packed with at least 20 grams of protein for long-lasting energy and muscle management. Plus, they taste fantastic too!
2-Egg & Beef Microwave Mug Omelet
240 calories, 14g fat, 1 total carb (0.2g fiber, 0.4g sugar) 24g protein
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons water
2 ounces leftover taco meat, or steak or brisket cut in bits
¼ cup chopped fresh spinach
Salt pepper to taste
Optional: green onions, cheddar cheese
Spray large coffee mug with cooking spray. Whisk together eggs, water, spinach and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in leftover beef. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Remove to “scramble” by stirring. Return to microwave and cook on high for an additional 30 seconds or until cooked through. Top with green onions and cheddar, if desired.
Mocha Protein Oats
220 calories, 3.5g total fat, 20g protein, 28g total carb (4g fiber, 2g sugar)
½ cup quick-cooking oats
1 scoop chocolate protein powder (about 1/3 cup)
1 cup brewed coffee
Optional: Stevia drops, to taste
Add oats and protein powder to 2-cup bowl or mug. Stir in 2 cups coffee. Microwave on high for 1½ to 2 minutes, until desired consistency is achieved. If desired, add a few drops of liquid stevia to make sweeter.
Egg, Avocado & Sriracha Sandwich
*374 calories, 17g total fat, 35 total carb (8.5g fiber, 3.5g sugar), 21g protein *
Salt and pepper to taste
2 slice sprouted multi-grain bread
¼ medium avocado, smashed
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon Sriracha chile sauce
Mash avocado in bowl with salt and pepper to taste. Toast bread. Meanwhile, whisk eggs with water in 2-cup bowl or mug. Microwave on high for 60 to 90 seconds, stirring halfway between. Spread avocado on warm toast, top with eggs, drizzle with Sriracha and top with remaining piece of toast.
Banana “Bread” Protein Smoothie
400 calories, 8g total fat, 58 total carb (8 fiber, 35g sugar), 30g protein
1 cup light soy milk (unsweetened, if possible)
1 pitted Medjool date
⅔ cup banana slices
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (about 1/3 cup)
Ice, as needed
Add all ingredients and blend, adding ice as desired, until smooth at desired consistency. Pour into tall glass and enjoy.
- Exact nutritional information of the Mocha Protein Oats will vary slightly based on the protein powder used.
- While the Banana Bread Protein Smoothie appears high sugar, there is no added refined sugar. All the sugars are found naturally in the dates and bananas, making this recipe a great energy source for days when you need extra energy for a longer run or endurance activity.
Take your breakfast up a notch. Download the free Spartan Meal Plan.