Breakfast may very well be my favorite meal of the day. This is one part due to loving eggs so much, and one part due to loving the feeling of fueling up for the day. I feel like the meal I fill myself with in the morning sets the tone for how energetic I will or will not feel for the rest of the day. I’ve only skipped breakfast a handful of times in my life, and the results were no good. I truly can’t imagine starting my day without a generous portion of nutritious foods.
Many people struggle with eating breakfast. I witnessed this a lot when I was working in New York City. I felt like so many coworkers claimed to not have time for breakfast, especially given we arrived to work around 6:40 AM. BLASPHEMY, I thought. How could there not be enough time to nourish yourself?! Now I’m not saying everyone needs to eat a large and elaborate breakfast, but not eating even a little bit and then claiming to be exhausted a few hours later — & then just slugging down coffee — may not be the best choice for long-term health.
If you’re hungry, eat… a lot, if you must. If you’re not hungry in the AM and truly don’t feel hungry until lunchtime or later, then I guess by all means skip breakfast, but I do question your superhuman abilities.
Morning schedules look different for all. Even my own mornings have varied and changed over the years, but one thing I have never sacrificed, except for maybe during freshman and sophomore years of college, is breakfast. I must give credit to my mother for never letting us out the door without eating breakfast from childhood through my teens, because I know that not everyone is so fortunate. And maybe that’s part of people’s breakfast habits as an adult: If you never witnessed your parents needing breakfast on a regular basis, or were not encouraged to eat breakfast as a teenager I could see where it may be a little more difficult to see it as a necessity.
These days I wake up around 6:45 AM, and usually within about 45 minutes I am hungry and ready for breakfast. In my current job position, I am so gratuitous for my ability to have slow mornings and sit down breakfasts. I haven’t always been so fortunate. When I was living and working in NYC, There were 3 mornings a week that I had to leave for the subway at 5:50. Truly, as awful as it sounds. I couldn’t stomach a large breakfast, so I usually opted for a smoothie on the train, or right when I got work, and would save eggs or yogurt for a mid morning snack. The days that I worked a little later, I would enjoy more of a larger breakfast.
The main takeaway here is that everyone is different and has a different schedule, so breakfast habits will not look the same for all, so find what works best for you and just remember how important it is to properly fuel and nourish your body! Look at self-nourishment as a form of self-care: another way you listen and give your body what it needs. Breakfast will help you power through that morning to-do list, help keep you blood sugar stable and help keep that pesky stress hormone, cortisol, at bay — because remember, not fueling yourself can put stress on your body and who really has room for added stress in their lives?
Some Breakfast Go-To’s
Personally, I believe one can never really go wrong with a couple of eggs, some toast (usually w/ avocado or peanut butter) and fruit. I think many people believe eggs to be a time-consuming dish, but truly I make scrambled eggs in about 4 minutes start to finish, which isn’t any longer than it takes to boil water for instant oatmeal. A meal like this is versatile, as you can either make it really basic and just use regular butter for the toast, or you can really spice it up and throw avocado and spinach onto the toast and top it all off with over easy eggs instead. WHATEVER your heart desires! Either way, it’s an excellent way to hit all the macro nutrients and will keep you feeling full!
Another simple breakfast, and an easy one for taking to work, is a yogurt and granola bowl. I use yogurt bowls as an opportunity to be a maximalist — the more toppings the better! My standard topping arsenal is usually an array of nuts, seeds, shredded coconut, granola (shout out to the queen, Purely Elizabeth), almond butter, and sometimes fruit. All of these nutrient dense toppings take a cup of yogurt from being a small snack to being a nourishing and delicious AF breakfast.
Lastly, there is oatmeal — which I prefer in the mode of overnight oats as opposed to making in the AM. Overnight oats are such a great way to prepare a nutritious breakfast ahead of time, perfect for the early morning commuter. I used to love making oats in a mason jar when getting ready for bed and then just popping the jar into my bag as I headed out the door for the subway. Simply: mix 1/2 cup of oats with 1 cup milk (dairy or non) of choice, cinnamon, 1 scoop nut butter, 1/2 banana cut into pieces, optional: coconut, seeds, nuts, other fruits. This breakfast may also be the most practical for people who are in a hurry, are preparing breakfasts for others or looking to prepare days worth of meals at a time.
But alas, the reason I have brought you here today is to share my new favorite breakfast. One that is simple enough to make on a weekday but also makes a perfect choice for weekend brunch. Sweet Potato Nests & Eggs. I couldn’t for the life of me remember that they were called nests, and am so gratuitous to my IG friends who reminded me!
Depending on your spiralizer sitch, this will either be easier or more difficult. If you are so blessed to have a Vitamix or Ninja system with the spiralizer attachment: this will be an absolute breeze, if you are like me and have a 10 dollar “Veghetti” spiraler, well..may the odds be in your favor. Mostly kidding, but I do suggest you maybe do one half spirals and one half shredded with a cheese grater. Now if you A) don’t have a spiralizer and/or B) have no time or energy for turning potatoes into tendrils, then I advise taking the miraculous modern-day short cut of buying pre-spiraled sweet potatoes. These are definitely available at Whole Foods and Wegmans, and becoming increasingly easier to find in stores like Hannaford, Price Chopper and maybe even Trader Joe’s.
Okay, spiraling aside, the rest of this recipe is beyond simple and requires very little ingredients. I simply mixed the potatoes with some olive oil and seasonings then got cooking. Keep scrolling down for the full recipe!
Ingredients (for 2 servings):
- 1 sweet potato
- 4 eggs
- olive oil
- sea salt
- black pepper
- cayenne or crushed red pepper (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Spiralize or shred the sweet potato into a mixing bowl.
- Add olive oil, and seasonings and mix well to evenly coat the potatoes.
- Heat an oven safe skillet on the stove top with olive oil or non stick spray.
- In the skillet, form 4 nests with the sweet potato mixture, leaving a small dip in the center.
- Crack an egg into the center of each nest and let cook on stove top for about 1 minute, lightly guiding any flowing egg whites closer to the nest.
- Place skillet in oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, until eggs whites are set and yolks are done to desired firmness – I took mine out of the oven at 12 minutes for slightly runny yolks.
You’ll certainly want to give this recipe a try! Easy enough for a weekday breakfast, but also perfect for weekend brunch. Jazz it up by throwing some avocado on top, or serving this on a bed of spinach or micro greens!
If you do try this, comment and let me know how it went! Better yet, snap a pic and tag me on Instagram, @mindingmysoul.
Happily & Healthily, Megan