While you won’t find too many people that argue about breakfast being the most important meal of the day, you won’t find too many people working the morning shift who have the time or the patience to eat it.
When you’re already up and at it by 5:00am, thinking about the extra 30 minutes you’d need to get a good meal in before your shift is excruciating. But the reality is, the energy you get from that early morning meal can be the difference between a zombie shift and a day at work that you actually enjoyed.
It can certainly be tempting to use the extra time to sleep, but what if there were a way to maximize your snooze time without totally sacrificing on that morning energy fix? If you don’t have time to cook yourself an award winning spread, you may still have time to make yourself an amazing breakfast that doesn’t suck up all those precious minutes of sleep.
We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite pre-shift fixes that can help any employee tackle the day. Try a few out for yourself this week, or even make some the night before, and you’ll see what an incredible difference a good meal can make for your time on the clock.
Egg and Cheese Sandwich + Tomato and Avocado
Sometimes a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich can be a belly bomb that still leaves your stomach growling by 10:00am. This new take on an old classic fills the gaps, strips the grease, and saves you extra time.
The night before, slice up some avocado and tomato, and put it aside in a baggie or Tupperware container in the fridge. Then, the next morning, pop some of your favorite bread in the toaster, scramble two eggs and layer on a slice of cheese. Add the tomato and avocado, and suddenly you’ve got a hearty, health and delicious sandwich in less than 10 minutes.
Rice and Beans + An Egg Over-Easy
If you’ve got a rice cooker, then you’ve got more than enough for a breakfast of champions. Rice and beans has been a staple of Latin American cooking for more generations than you can count. The simple combination actually provides all the of the protein and nutrients you need for an energized morning.
What’s more is you can add an over-easy egg to the mix for a diverse flavor packed with extra goodness. It’s simple, delicious, and will leave you will minimal clean up.
Peanut Butter Waffle
Here’s another new take on a breakfast favorite. Sometimes it’s a matter of a small addition that makes a huge difference for your energy levels—and adds almost no effort.
For some, a frozen waffle may be a classic comfort that you’re fine to hold onto. If you can find one that’s healthy, then all the better; but whether you’re making them from scratch or just heating one up, it’s peanut butter than brings it home.
Make a sandwich with two waffles, peanut butter and some fruit, and you’ve got a sweet, salty waffle sandwich that’s sure to put a nice spin on your dark and dreary morning.
If sweet really isn’t your thing, then try taking an oldie and making it savory. Rather than putting sugar and cinnamon into your oatmeal, try using milk or water and salt (just a dash!). Then add an egg, prepared your favorite way, right on top or along side, for a simple and savory meal that will certainly sustain you through those cruel first hours.
While it’s not the flashiest of breakfasts, it’s something that’s easy to bring on the go (even more if you like your eggs hard boiled!), and won’t leave you feeling bloated and heavy.
As they become more and more popular, the recipe for a great breakfast burrito can become more and more obscured. Is it just eggs, cheese and meat? Can I please make it a little healthier? What if I want it to be a little more flashy?
While your eggs or egg whites are cooking, try frying up a little turkey sausage and some fresh veggies. Lay that on a warm flour tortilla with pico de gallo, sliced avocado and shredded cheese. Wrap, scarf, and enjoy the best part of your morning routine.
Apple, Cheese and Turkey Wraps
Understandably, you may not want to cook your way to morning energy. Even lighting the stove seems like too time consuming a task to get your day going on time. If that sounds like your dilemma, then this one is absolutely for you:
When you’re grocery shopping this week, request that the deli slice your honey-maple turkey into extra thin slices. Lay out a number of those slices on your breakfast plate, and cover them with a slice of cheese.
Next, lay out some thin slices of apple in rows on top of the cheese, and then roll each individual slice up, an eat them like little burritos. Breakfast: scarfed.
Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie
Finally, for some, it’s just a matter of getting those solids in the car, bus or train. You can make anything to take on the go, but the hassle of actually eating it on the go can be a bit daunting.
Just have a smoothie! Start with a yogurt base, add ice or simply frozen fruit. Then take it the next step and throw in peanut butter and apple juice. For some added goodness, you can sweeten (if you’re a serious sweet tooth) with agave, and sprinkly coconut flakes for texture.
If you need extra protein, top it off with whey powder and even some dry oatmeal.
There’s nothing standing between you and the breakfast you need, it’s just a matter of taking the time to make it. The reality? That’s only 15 minutes to make your day go from just OK, to energized, positive, and truly productive!