Part of the new habits I had to develop to lose weight included revamping my breakfast routine. Though I thought the standard breakfasts I had eaten for years were pretty healthy — a bowl of Cheerios, avocado toast, greek yogurt with fruit — I learned that they contained lots of carbs and sugar that slowly translated to my pants not fitting. When I worked out with a trainer, the first question she always asked me before our early am weight training sessions was "What did you eat for breakfast?" She and I worked together to come up with this breakfast that I could quickly assemble and consume at the crack of dawn before hitting the gym.
To this day, the combo we created is still my go-to. High in protein and healthy fats and low in sugar and carbs, this breakfast keeps me full for hours and best of all, fuels me for a strong workout with minimal DOMS. When eating this exact breakfast three days a week (on my weight-training days), I could lift more almost every session and yet never felt so sore that I needed to resort to Advil. Talk about a win-win!
- Tea: I kicked my coffee habit entirely. I transitioned from regular to decaf and then turned to loose-leaf jasmine green tea. I tend to be anxious-prone and coffee tends to leave jittery, but I find that drinking green tea (one bag, re-seeped several times for about two to three cups total) regularly in the morning helps give me calming energy. When I'm on my cycle, I kick caffeine entirely and drink roasted dandelion tea, a digestion and weight-loss aid.
- Four ounces of smoked salmon: My absolute favorite source of protein in the morning is smoked salmon. The saltiness offers a much needed boost in electrolytes pre-workout and bonus, I load up on essential omega-3 fats.
- Four strawberries: My trainer told me I can't exceed five grams of sugar at any meal, and fruit is one of those secret, sugary foods. Believe it or not, each large strawberry contains about one gram of sugar. That said, she encouraged me to surround my carb intake around my workouts, but I personally felt stronger if I limited myself prior and instead saved the bowl of oatmeal for after my workout.
- 1/2 avocado: Rich in cholesterol-fighting monosaturated fats, avocados are said to help combat belly flat. A typical serving of avocado is 1/5 of the whole fruit, though some nutritionists say it's OK to have 1/2 an avocado per day if you're subbing it out for carbs. Since I'm doing just that, my trainer OKed that portion.