I've been told all my life that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I didn't really believe it, though, until I started a weight-loss regimen last year. After months of hard work, I dropped two dress sizes and lost nearly 20 pounds — and I couldn't have done it without starting off every single day with a hearty breakfast.
I started intermittent fasting several months ago, and I chose to make my eating window between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Since I lift weights first thing in the morning, it made sense for me to eat right after I left the gym so I could replenish my body after a tough session. Going from vegan to plant-based also made a huge impact on my weight-loss journey. These are the four plant-based breakfasts I rotate through each morning and why they were so crucial to my weight loss.
Acai Protein Smoothie
Smoothies are an easy, convenient thing to make when you're short on time. Because I go straight to work from the gym, I brought and stored a blender at my office (I'm head over heels for the the NutriBullet Balance), which makes it easy to whip up a protein smoothie. I use Vega Chocolate Sport Protein, a Sambazon Protein Performance pack, and almond milk. This gives me over 40 grams of protein, is less than 400 calories, and keeps me full all the way until lunch.
Tofu Scramble With Vegemite Toast
I used to eat a lot of eggs before I went vegan, so I love making myself a hearty tofu scramble. I use organic tofu from Trader Joe's, spinach, mushrooms, onions, and whatever spices I feel like. I make a big batch on Sunday and take a little container to the office every morning. To get my fill of complex carbs, I also make a piece of toast with a little coconut oil and Vegemite on top. Vegemite is a yeasty spread from Australia that is packed with vitamin B, and I love the salty, fermented flavor it offers.
Even easier than smoothies, overnight oats are the ultimate lazy girl's breakfast. This breakfast offers a lot of energy, fiber, and complex carbs. You'll likely stay full until lunchtime rolls around! Admittedly, I used to despise overnight oats — until I found Picky Bars Performance Oatmeal ($3). It has 10 grams of protein and is USDA-certified gluten-free, organic, and vegan. My favorite flavor is Can't Beet Chocolate, but the others are just as tasty: How 'Bout Dem Apples and Game, Set, Matcha!
A Big Salad
I know this sounds weird and borderline gross, but eating a salad for breakfast is one of the greatest weight-loss hacks. If you think about the traditional breakfast, there aren't many vegetables in sight, but vegetables are the very thing we should be eating at every single meal if you want to shed fat and get healthy. If you want some inspiration, here's a how-to on making mason jar salads that can last you throughout the week.