Although we all like to think we'll wake up hours before work, get in our 30 minutes of yoga, a little meditation and then eat a leisurely breakfast before casually heading out the door, we all know the reality is often very different.
Every minute in the morning counts and sadly breakfast rarely makes it into these precious minutes, so we have all become regular desk diners!
Breakfast is by far my favourite meal of the day, so a simple bowl of cereal at my desk was never going to do the job.
These are my top desk breakfasts, and the best bit is they can all be made the night before so all you need to do it grab it from your fridge in the morning and then enjoy at the office...
1) The ‘Just Add Heat’ Porridge
Porridge at work always seems a bit of a chore and often all you get is a bowl of oats and milk, which isn’t the most inspiring start to the day!
However, there is absolutely no reason all of this can’t be done at home (or even the night before) and then all you have to do it heat them up in the office and you are good to go! It’s actually beneficial for your digestive system to soak oats before you eat them so this method is not only more practical but is actually better for you!
The night before, mix your oats, milk of choice and a range of different toppings/fruits/juices into a jar and then heat in the microwave the next morning for a decadent porridge bowl at work.
My favourite mixes are: banana with raw cacao, orange pulp with walnuts and grated apple with maple syrup.
2) DIY Protein Pots
High street food vendors have all got up to speed on the benefits of having a protein rich breakfast and now offer a range of protein breakfast pots. A high protein breakfast will help give you a stable energy release throughout the morning as well as aiding muscle repair if you’ve managed to fit in the gym before work.
However, why splash out on these little pots when you can so easily make them yourself and ensure they are filled with all of your favourite bits!
All you need to do is buy and prepare a few things in advance and then you can make up little breakfast bowls for the rest of the week.
Here are a few breakfast pot ideas.
- Boiled eggs rolled in sesame seeds with a handful of spinach drizzled in olive/flaxseed oil and a squeeze of lemon
- Smoked salmon and sliced avocado with a squeeze of lemon juice
- Rocket, spinach and half an avocado topped with pumpkin seeds, flaxseed oil and lemon juice
3) Cook Once, Eat all Week Breakfast
Although often viewed as the ultimate ‘grab and go’ breakfast, shop-bought baked goods are loaded with refined sugars which will not only result in a very short lived energy release, but will also contribute to more long term health issues such as heart disease, diabetes and tooth decay. So there really are many reasons to give your morning muffin a miss!
However, if it’s the convenience of a ‘grab and go’ good that you need, then why not try making up your own healthier versions for speedy, guilt free, eating on the go.
If you invest a little time on a Sunday it’s so easy to make up a big batch of breakfast goods all ready for the week ahead.
Some of my favourites are oat packed muffins for a slow energy release or veggie filled mini frittatas for a protein rich breakfast option.
With muffins, look for recipes that only use natural sugars, like these Banana Breakfast Muffins to ensure you don’t get that refined sugar rush first thing in the morning.
With the frittatas you can experiment with different ingredients to find your favourite, just make sure you precook any hard vegetables, such as onions, before you place them into muffin tins and top with whisked eggs.
Some of my favourite flavours are salmon with kale, asparagus with feta or mushrooms with goats cheese.
4) Drink Your Breakfast
The rise of the ‘smoothie breakfast’ has made drinking your breakfast common place. It is also amazingly convenient and the best breakfast to convert anyone who says they don’t like to eat first thing in the morning.
Most importantly it allows you to add a whole load of fruit and veg into your day before you’ve even turned on your computer!
A few key tips to take into consideration when prepping your smoothie:
- Make sure you pack in the veggies. Aim for the contents to be 2/3 vegetables and 1/3 fruit to ensure you're not consuming too much sugar; even natural sugars in excess aren’t good for you.
- Add protein to ensure a stable energy release. Some of my favourites to add are avocado, a natural protein powder or chia seeds.
- If you have them, throw in a superfood powder for an extra burst of nutrients, my favourite are baobab for energy or maca to boost my mood in the morning.
Try preparing all of your fruit, veg and powders into a bowl the night before so all you have to do it pop it in a blender in the morning, add your liquid of choice and then blend!
If like me you prefer to physically ‘eat’ breakfast then why not try having your smoothie in a bowl and topping with some granola or nuts and seeds. I always keep a jar filled with my favourite toppings on my desk so that I can quickly add a mix of toppings to my smoothies, porridge and yogurt.
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5) The Ultimate Friday Breakfast
Fridays always tend to be the ‘treat yourself’ breakfast. You’ve made it through the whole week and it’s so nearly the weekend so why not! But instead of reaching for that greasy bacon sandwich, why don’t you make yourself a treat breakfast that won’t leave you feeling awful afterwards?
Chia puddings are one of my favourite ‘treat’ breakfasts. Not only do they feel like you are having a dessert at 8am, but are actually one of the most nutritious foods to start your day with. Chia seeds are full of antioxidants, fibre, calcium and a large amount of omega 3 fatty acids so are the perfect morning fuel.
They are also amazing as they actually taste better when you prep them in advance, so you can even make up a couple of pots at the same time to enjoy throughout the week.
A good chia pudding base is 3 tablespoons of chia seeds to 1 cup of liquid; use this ratio as a foundation and then experiment with different flavours.
Some of my favourites are almond milk with raw cacao powder, coconut milk with frozen berries and almond milk with beetroot juice.
6) The Healthy ‘No Prep’ Breakfast
There are always those weeks when there's just no time for preparation, so that’s when you need to rely on a few shop brought items which you can throw together at your desk in the morning.
When I’m having one of those weeks, I always buy a few things on my way into work: fresh berries, a tub of yogurt and a small bag of nuts or seed mix.
All you have to do then is add a handful of berries to a bowl, top with the yogurt and nuts or seeds and you are good to go! Add a sprinkle of cinnamon if you want to add a bit of sweetness as well as helping to regulate your blood sugar levels throughout the morning.