6 Healthy Hacks on Your Favorite Breakfast Sweets
What to do when confronted with a croissant
Pop Tarts. Doughnuts. Frosted Flakes. We read these and automatically categorize them as breakfast foods, but your body? It recognizes them as just…sugar.
While we're not saying you can't enjoy a bowl of your favorite cereal or a frosted doughnut (or two) once in a while, it's about time to dispel the notion that these are the right foods to start your day. The truth is, as tempting as those oh-so-yummy waffles, pancakes and scones are, they aren't setting your body up to have the productive, energized day you need.
In fact, nutritionist Jill Weisenberger, MS, RDN, CDE, FAND, CHWC, author of The Overworked Person's Guide to Better Nutrition, says having too much added sugar in the morning can do the complete opposite, and that foods like these are "linked to weight gain and less nutrient dense foods overall." She let us in on a few secrets on how to hack your sugary breakfast, so put down that pastry and listen up. Your mornings are about to get a whole lot sweeter.
Whole grain cereal
We already know to watch our labels, but when it comes to so-called "healthy cereals," it's time to take a closer look. Sugary cereals don't really do much for our body (besides causing that mid-morning crash), but that doesn't mean we should stay away from them all. Whole grain cereals can provide both fiber and energy-filled carbs, which can be a great start to your day. If you find it hard to put down the box of Cocoa Puffs, though, Weisenberger suggests starting out slowly. "Mix your candy cereal with a low-sugar whole grain cereal in whatever proportion you like. Bit by bit, drop more of the sugary stuff in favor of a larger portion of the low-sugar cereal." That way, you can slowly reduce your added sugar intake without giving it up all at once.
Yogurt with fruit
Filled with vitamins and probiotics, yogurt is a nutritional favorite. But if you have a serious sweet tooth, adding some fruit or honey into the mix can help you get that sugar you're craving. There's nothing wrong with a little sugar if it makes your meal a bit more appetizing, but artificial sugars should still be avoided.
Toast and peanut butter
Calling all cinnamon bun lovers! No, this isn't a healthy dessert (sigh), but if you're a cinnamon fan, you may have just found a new breakfast that's just as sweet. Weisenberger recommends toasting some whole wheat cinnamon raisin bread and spreading it with peanut butter. Full of flavor, this one's hard to get bored of. And if you're really craving some sweets, top it with slices of banana or strawberries for a bit of a sugary kick.
Cottage cheese with raisins
We need to get in our breakfast, but eating oatmeal and cereal daily? It just gets boring. For a low-sugar and healthy option, Weisenberger recommends this unique but tasty dish of low-fat cottage cheese with a small bit of sugar, cinnamon, raisins and muesli. Not only will it spice up your morning palette, but it'll actually keep you satisfied all the way til lunch.
You've been seeing this favorite breakfast treat in mason jars everywhere these days, and for good reason. These easy-to-prep meals can be made before you sleep and are ready to go even when running out the door. Weisenberger suggests making some with milk, yogurt, fruit and nuts for a wholesome and tasty treat.
We know what you're thinking: muffins?! They're sure to be packed with sugar. And you'd be right-unless, you make them yourself using your ingredients of choice! Luckily for us carb fans, there are tons of low-sugar muffin recipes out there that are both easy to make and delicious to eat. Recipes such as this one use only a few ingredients, getting the sweetness you crave only from fruit only. Bake a batch on the weekends and you have healthy breakfast set for the whole week. Getting rid of sugar never sounded so sweet.
Written by Stephanie Limiti. This post was originally published on ClassPass's blog, The Warm Up. ClassPass is a monthly membership that connects you to more than 8,500 of the best fitness studios worldwide. Have you been thinking about trying it? Start now on the Base Plan and get five classes for your first month for only $19.