If I was going to say the most common thing moms answer for why they don’t eat a healthy breakfast, it’s this:
I don’t have the time to make a healthy option!
I get it. 99% of the time in the mornings, we are so busy making sure the kids eat, finding a missing sock, packing a lunch, getting our work bag ready, and remembering the school popsicle stick project is due today, we don’t have a second to stop in the chaos.
I’ve been experimenting with grab and go options. These Maple Pecan Breakfast Muffins were inspired by my Perfect Breakfast Muffins and an extra Costco sized bag of pecans that I had in the pantry. They are super satisfying, low on sugar and carbs, and delicious!
And what’s even better, you make them in a blender so they’re super easy to make and clean up.
These Maple Pecan Breakfast Muffins have become a new staple for us. When you try them, let me know how much you love them!
3 cups of pecan halves
1/2 cup of dates
1 cup of plain greek yogurt
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp baking powder
1.5 tsp baking soda
Optional Ingredients (for Protein Boost)
1 additional egg
1 cup collagen powder (unflavored)
Preheat oven to 400F and lightly grease a cupcake pan using coconut oil.
In a blender, add the pecan halves. You can pulse the blender a few times to turn them into a “flour” (optional, this step depend on how powerful your blender is). Add the remaining ingredients to the blender.
Blend on high speed until everything is combined into a smooth batter. If the batter is too think, you can add a few tablespoons of water.
Separate the mix into the cupcake tins. Bake at 400F for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
It’s no secret that breakfast can be a struggle with new moms. (Heck, its a struggle for MOST people.) In pregnancy, you may be dealing with morning sickness. When the baby is finally here, you may be so sleep deprived that you can’t remember if you ate or not. You only have one hand to make something with anyway, since the other arm is home to a new (and totally adorable) little resident. So maybe you grab something prepackaged to eat with one had (pop tarts anyone?) or maybe you get a few sips of (now cold) coffee down.
Once the baby turns into a little human, aka toddler, you’re trying to keep them from dumping out the cat food while rushing around getting yourself ready and packing their bag. Or maybe you’re making them whatever they loved yesterday, only to watch it end up on the floor because clearly they wanted the thing they hated yesterday instead. ::cue tantrum::
Although we “know” that breakfast is the most important meal of the day (because they keep saying it, right?) all of the stress in a busy morning combined with not enough sleep (there will come a day when night waking is in the past, but today is not that day) causes us to either skip it entirely or rely on whatever we can grab from the pantry (hello GoGurt and cookies) or the drive through (come to me you beautiful venti caramel macchiato). Breakfast for a new mom is often an afterthought. And by letting it stay this way, we are setting ourselves up for a day of hunger, cravings, mood swings, and the like thanks to imbalanced blood sugar.
The thing is, you don’t have to go from eating a stale doughnut from the break room at work on the regular to organic, pasture raised egg frittatas with a side of heritage pork sausage (nitrate free, of course) over night. There are plenty of small and sustainable changes you can make wherever you are along the spectrum to make breakfast a better meal for you overall. Once you’ve mastered one change (swap out that doughnut for a greek yogurt), you move on to the next step (swap the yogurt for eggs). Through step wise implementation like this, you will be able to make long and lasting changes.
Even with a minor swap, you can begin to feel the benefits of a good breakfast right away. Getting great nutrients into your body for your first meal sets up your body chemistry to either support you or fight against you for the remainder of the day. Solid nutritional breakfasts can help you control cravings all day long, prevent that 2pm slump, and even help you get to sleep better at bedtime. With that in mind, here are the top 3 things to be working towards for a great breakfast:
Make sure there is a balance of protein and fat in the meal
If you are going to be reducing sugar in any place in your life, breakfast is the place where you will get the most “bang for your buck” When you have a lot of sugar at breakfast, you start the day off pumping a ton of insulin into your body to metabolize all the sugar you just ate. This creates a chain reaction where you have blood sugar highs and lows throughout the day. This also stops you from burning any stored fat for energy and can mess with the hormones that tell you if you are hungry or full.
Here are examples of typical grab-and-go items that are often used for breakfast that have a ton of extra sugar in them: nonfat flavored yogurt, granola, granola bars, cereal with nonfat milk, instant oatmeal packets (flavored), premade meal replacement drinks (think carnation instant breakfast or slim fast), a special k bar or similar, etc.
Do not feel bad if these are your staples! But do try one or two of the healthier options on this list: full fat greek yogurt (vanilla if you need a flavor), plain full fat yogurt (better choice than flavored, add frozen berries), plain instant oatmeal (again add berries), Kind bars (the ones that are 5g of sugar or less per bar), a protein shake, a green smoothie, hard boiled eggs, and/or a piece of whole fruit.
Once you have swapped to the healthier items above or if you are ready to take your breakfast nutrition even further try some of my favorite #momlife breakfasts listed below. These all meet my personal breakfast criteria: they can be made in advance in a batch for the week or can be made in less than 5 minutes (including dish cleanup), they can be eaten with one hand, they are a great balance of nutritionally dense food and will keep you full, they taste amazing, and they have no added sugar.
So go ahead and try some (or one) or these for a week (or day). Pay attention to how you feel after a few days. Do you have fewer cravings? Are you full for longer? Do you have more energy? If you experiment let me know how it goes!
*to make the Paleo Protien Pancakes, we use this pancake mix and add one scoop of this protein powder. You get 10g of protien per pancake, and they are delicious! I like to make a large batch on Sundays so I can give the kids 2 cakes (no syrup) during the week for an easy breakfast for all of us.
This is one of our favorite easy breakfasts to make for those days when you need to be up and out of the house quickly. By preparing everything the night before, you will only need to eat and go in the morning. It’s also a great breakfast to make when you have relatives or house guests staying with you, because everyone can wake up on their own schedule and serve themselves. These overnight oats have staying power to keep you satisfied until lunch, especially if you add in some healthy fats or protein.
Chop the apples into cubes and place them into a 6qt crock pot. You do not have to peel them! Sprinkle the cinnamon over the top of the apples. Set the crock pot on HIGH for 1-2 hours.
Once the apples have softened, pour the oats over the apples. Add in the 3 cups (or 2 cans) of coconut milk and the 3 cups of water. If you decide to include the protein powder, mix it with 1 cup of additional water and add to the crock pot. Gently stir the crock pot mixture together.
Turn the crock pot to the KEEP WARM setting. Cover and leave overnight (8-10 hours).
In the morning, serve and enjoy! You can add additional coconut milk (or your milk of choice), chia seeds, almonds, pecans, walnuts, and/or berries.
It was quite a process to find a “perfect” breakfast muffin. I had some pretty strict criteria: it had to be simple to make, easy to cleanup, gluten free, be nutrient dense and keep you full, no extra sugars, taste amazing, and be toddler approved. Could such a unicorn muffin exist???
In short: yes! I started with this basic recipe. After much experimentation, I give you my “Prefect Breakfast Muffin” recipe below. One of my favorite things about this recipe is that you can easily change out the “add-in” for variety. My personal favorite here is 1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes and 3 TBSP of chia seeds. We also love 1 cup of wild blueberries and lemon zest. This is your chance to get creative, which is half the fun of cooking. Enjoy!
2 C rolled oats
2 extra large eggs (or 2 large eggs plus one egg white)
1 1/2 C FULL FAT plain Greek yogurt
3 scoops Sunwarrior Classic Plus protein powder (side note: this brand is the BEST out there, and the classic plus powder is amazing for adding into baking recipes as a substitute for some of the flour)
1.5 tsp baking powder
0.5 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1/2-1 C add-ins (like blueberries, cacao nibs or chocolate chips, flax seed, coconut flakes, etc)
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Combine all of the ingredients EXCEPT the add-ins in a blender (or food processor). Blend on high speed until the batter is smooth (about 1-2 minutes).
Add the add-in to the batter and pulse the blender to mix them in.
Grease a 12 muffin baking pan using coconut oil. Pour the batter into equal portions in each muffin cup.
Bake for 15 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pan.