What do you eat for breakfast when you don’t have time?

breakfast when you don't have time

Breakfast when you don’t have time?

Breakfast is one of those meals that always seems to be forgotten. Most people value hitting snooze on their alarm over waking up 10 minutes earlier to have a nice balanced breakfast. I can include myself in that category. Let’s face it, breakfast is the red-headed stepchild of your daily meals. Usually completely forgotten about or mistreated.

I know for a fact when I have the time to eat something small and packed with nutrients in the morning, I feel a lot better throughout the day! I don’t feel nearly as groggy like I need another coffee and I’m not wanting a snack a few hours into my morning. I’m not saying you need to go all out like you’re eating at an American style diner. The classic “bacon and eggs” breakfast has been proven to lead to increased risk of heart attacks, with bacon being extremely carcinogenic.

breakfast when you don't have time

The question now becomes, what do you eat for breakfast when you don’t have time? As well as, what foods are going to be beneficial for me throughout my busy workday? In this article I will layout what foods are quick to eat and going to fit into the category of healthy breakfast options. First, I’ll start with some preconceived notions on the breakfast industry.

Breakfast Industry Myths

For decades pre-packaged foods and instant shakes have been a top commodity in the breakfast industry. Why? They’re quick to make and marketable. What we have been told about the breakfast health benefits has been marketed to us for over 150 years, after all the first cold breakfast cereal was invented in 1863. 

“Eat your breakfast it is the most important meal of the day!” I’m positive that everyone has been told that at some time in their life. The facts are, it’s beneficial to not eat breakfast at all, but the industry does not want you to believe that for a second.

Intermittent fasting has been a growing trend in the health and weight loss market. Intermittent fasting is when you have an eating pattern, it’s not about what foods you should be eating but rather when you should be eating. The most popular methods involve daily 16 hour fasts or 24-hour fasts every two days. Many studies show this can help prevent type 2 diabetes and may even help you live longer.

I’m not going too in-depth on this but this is a study done by the US National Library of Medicine on the benefits of fasting, read the introduction and scroll down to the bottom to see their conclusions and recommendations. If you like the read this you can click here.

breakfast when you don't have time

If you are doing daily 16-hour fasts, assuming everyone is sleeping 8 hours a day, that can mean an additional 8 hours every day of no caloric intake. Some people have adopted this diet at night stating, “no food after 5pm.” That would mean most people’s first meal of the day comes around 9am, and they can eat as much as they want until 5pm. 

This seems a little backward to me, as 9-5 seems like most people’s workday. It could be difficult for some to take the time to eat complete meals while they are on the clock. I suggest trying to omit breakfast entirely and fasting while you sleep, fasting from 10pm-2pm the next day. The long-term health benefits for your brain and longevity are astounding. 

Now that being said, a lot of people like having some food to start their day, myself included! Eating something small and nutritious does eliminate cravings for snacking on unhealthy foods later in the day. Let’s move into some quick, easy and nutritious breakfast options.

Best Breakfast Foods

The foods in this list are following two simple guidelines, they must be nutritious for brain activity as well as quick to make. The goal here is to aim for foods that are high in healthy carbohydrates, protein and fiber. Thus, making your brain work more efficiently.


Oats are a good source of glucose, which is the basic fuel for the brain. It is also nutrient-rich, containing a lot of healthy fats and protein than most other grains and is a good source of fiber. Oatmeal is one of the quickest breakfasts you can make and very versatile. I like mine topped with fresh banana and some nuts, or a hard-boiled egg. Make sure you are buying rolled oats with no added flavorings, the “brown sugar maple flavor” isn’t going to do you any favors.


Eggs can be classified as superfoods due to the amounts of nutrients they contain. The most important brain food contained in egg yolks is choline, the incredible substance which improves memory as well as heart health. Egg whites are also well known to be a large source of protein.

They are so fast to make as needed and ahead of time. They cook in just 6 minutes; I make sure to always have a half dozen or so boiled eggs in my fridge ready to go. I peel them and eat them whole with a bit of salt and pepper. Quick, easy and loaded with nutrients.

Nuts and Seeds

If you are in a rush, nuts are the perfect brain food on the go, and they are packed with calories, fat and protein. Effortless to eat in the morning when all there is to do is grab a handful from the bag and walk out the door, no cooking involved!

Healthline has written a great article breaking down different nuts and seeds. For further information on nutrients of the vast varieties of nuts.

Chia Seeds

Chia Seeds have become popular due to their ability to help cope with depression, ADHD symptoms and improve memory. They are perfect thrown into your oatmeal, or even your water bottle. Drink them at work or in the gym, you won’t even notice they’re there.

Two tablespoons of chia seeds provide you with the following nutrients:

  • 41% of your daily fiber.
  • 32% of your daily magnesium.
  • 64% more potassium than in a banana.


Different fruits contain different health benefits. Combining different fresh fruits in a bowl for breakfast can have a variety of outcomes. Cutting them up into a bowl or blending them into a smoothie has never been more delicious.

Healthline has made another fantastic list. They have compiled different fruits into math equations for your health. “Goji Berries + Watermelon + Lemon = Detoxification.” Be sure to click here to see what combination works best for you.

Quick and easy breakfast!

With the 5 examples listed, eating breakfast has never been easier. Every one of these items can be ready and eaten in 5 minutes. Time is no longer be an issue for breakfast. If you’re still struggling to get out the door to make it work in time, I suggest setting your alarm 5-10 minutes earlier or hitting snooze one less time. I encourage you to give intermittent fasting a try to see if it is a good fit for you. There is more research being done every day on the benefits of eating less. But if you must eat breakfast, stick to the simple list provided for the best results. 

I hope this article gave you some inspiration! If you want some great breakfast recipes CLICK HERE for our recipes!

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