Ask Dr. V: How To Manage A Healthy Breakfast

How To Manage A Healthy Breakfast

I get it ladies, you only have five or 10 minutes in the morning to find something to eat, and get out the door in time for work. Most days by 5 AM, out the door an hour later, and at the hospital ready to go into the Operating Room by 7 AM. You may be in a hurry, but one thing I never do before leaving the house is skip breakfast.

I have breakfast everyday, because as a physician, I understand that it really is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast is necessary to break your overnight fast and get fuel into your body, so you can be ready to take on the world. Don’t forget, though you may have been sleeping all night your body was working away internally and it needs you to replenish it.

For those who don’t have time to sit and enjoy breakfast a leisurely breakfast, I’m virtually opening up my kitchen for you to share a few ideas for healthy and quick breakfasts that are nutritious and even portable:

1. Go green! I love a green smoothie to start my day. My favorite ingredients include: strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries. To cut down on prep time, I frequently use Trader Joes’ or Costco’s frozen mixed berries, a scoop of hemp protein powder, water, spinach or kale – what ever I have in the fridge – and one tablespoon of flaxseed oil. I mix everything in my Vitamix and let it run while I brush my teeth.

yogurtIf you don’t have time to prep everything in the morning, why not put your smoothie together the night before and leave it in the blender in the fridge, and then blend it all up in the morning. Pour it in your fab to-go cup and you are on your way!

2. Toss some chia seeds into your yogurt:
Packed with fiber, protein, and omega-3 essential fatty acids, they will keep you feeling fuller longer. They also have antioxidants, and minerals like calcium, magnesium and iron. Due to their gelatinous nature they will make that 6 oz. of Greek yogurt you may have for breakfast seem more satisfying and keep you fuller longer.

3. Add flaxseed oil to your AM glass of water or juice: Flax helps the stomach retain food longer and release energy slower in your body. This slows digestion and helps regulate your insulin levels so you feel full but not bloated, and most importantly you have continued energy after you eat. The omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseeds help increase your metabolism and help you burn excess body fat. Flax seeds have a nutty flavor, so start with just one tablespoon a day and you’ll be good to go.

4. Keep your breakfast bar under 300 calories and low on fillers: I know they are handy and easy on the go, but so many of them are basically cloaked morning candy bars and have tons of sugar, carbohydrates, and calories—not to mention other additives that cause digestive issues like bloating and gas. Recently I found a few new bars I love by Quest Protein Bar. They have very few net carbs, are gluten-free, soy-free, and wheat-free with all organic ingredients. Many of their bars have up to 20 gram of protein with only 170 calories. They also use high quality ingredients like almonds, coconut, sea salt, and whey protein isolate – which is really important to keep you fuller longer.healthy rice cakes

5. Almond or peanut butter on brown rice cakes: 
I’ve always been a fan of rice cakes, yes plain salt free rice cakes, but have transitioned to brown rice cakes. The great thing about them is that, at 30 calories per cake, you’re skipping a ton of empty carbs from bread yet you’re getting fiber with the brown rice. For a quick breakfast sometimes I have two rice cakes each with a tablespoon of all natural organic almond butter. Regardless if you like peanut butter or almond butter remember to try and stick to one serving which is 2 tablespoons.

Try working these into your breakfast schedule this week, and you’ll feel more energized and productive all day long!

Dr. V at workDr. Yael “Dr. V” Varnado  is a Cornell-educated physician and a medical and health expert, known for her ability to deliver straight, relatable and relevant information on timely topics that matter most.

She is passionate about women’s health issues and teaching all those she reaches about preventative care, helping to stop heath problems before they start.  Dr. V is the creator of the Live Right at Night Campaign focusing on women’s sexual and physical health and safety between the hours of 5 pm and 9 am.

She is also the founder of the Get Checked for Life non-profit that assists members of underserved communities, improving their quality of life by educating and giving them access to the necessary tools and medical resources. You can find Dr. V on Facebook and Twitter via @AskDrV and online at

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