If you are or have ever been one of my clients (or friend or family member), and you tell me you don’t usually eat breakfast, chances are I’ve given you a lecture. I pause, I take a deep breath, and I start ranting about why you should eat breakfast and easy ideas of things you can eat and so on. Most people hang their head and say “I know, I know,” but do they really know? Why is it that breakfast is “the most important meal of the day?” Let’s discuss:
Why Should I Eat Breakfast?
This is where I get all science-y in explaining why your body loves breakfast. I’m going to explain this very simply and if you need more information, just Google it. Your body has many mechanisms in place to keep you alive when you’re sleeping (and not eating). One of these mechanisms is your liver releasing stored sugar to stabilize your blood sugar and keep your brain functioning while you’re off in dreamland. Unfortunately, your liver doesn’t have a high, medium, or low switch which means that it’s pumpin’ sugar with all its might, slowly but surely raising your blood sugar. When you wake up, since we can’t say, “Okay liver, I’m good, you can stop producing sugar now,” it’ll just keep going and going until… you eat breakfast! Wow, what?! It’s that easy? Yes! When you eat breakfast, specifically a breakfast with carbohydrates, you’re telling your body that you can now control your own blood sugar. In this article, which happens to be another easy breakfast option, I talk about why you want a stable blood sugar.
Who is Breakfast a Non-Negotiable Meal for?
You must eat breakfast if you have diabetes, (including gestational diabetes and type 2 diabetes both taking medication/insulin and diet-controlled, as well as type 1 diabetes), Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), have ever experienced “hanger,” feel like your mood fluctuates throughout the day, battle with fatigue, are thin, are overweight, are pregnant, are an active person, are a woman, are a child.. you catch my drift?
Reasons People Don’t eat Breakfast:
- I don’t have enough time in the morning. If you feel like you can’t spare 10 minutes in the morning to make or eat breakfast, your only option (other than grabbing fast food) is to make your breakfast ahead of time. I might be foreshadowing here…
- I’m just not hungry. I’d encourage you to still eat breakfast. First, ask yourself how late you’re typically eating at night. If a late dinner time or evening snacks are hindering your morning hunger, I suggest you adjust/eliminate that. Otherwise, start eating breakfast consistently and I guarantee you will start to wake up hungry. It just might take a few weeks.
- I’m trying to lose weight or cut calories. Remember how I mentioned that your liver produces sugar until you eat in the morning? Well, a high blood sugar level causes your body to release that hormone insulin which, in excessive amounts, can lead to weight gain. Bottom line: Skipping breakfast to lose weight is counter-productive.
- When I eat breakfast, I get hungry again sooner than normal. Good news, that’s your metabolism working for you! Two suggestions: 1. Make sure your breakfast has adequate amounts of carbohydrates, fiber, and protein to keep you satiated longer. 2. Plan to have a snack between breakfast and lunch, such as an apple with a small handful of almonds.
All of this brings me to why I started making these burritos in the first place. My adorable husband often skips breakfast, gasp. Well I should say, he used to skip breakfast until these burritos came into the picture. His excuse was that he wakes up super early to go exercise and doesn’t come home afterward so would have to buy something which is either unhealthy or expensive and blah blah blah. He’s not immune to my lectures so he’s heard my “why you should eat breakfast” speech a time or two. I eventually figured, as his loving and concerned wife, I should help him out. I wanted to make him something hearty enough to fill him up and keep him full until lunch. For an active guy with a big appetite, a breakfast burrito is not only hearty and filling, but delicious as well. The beauty of these is that they are also completely customizable.
I found these humongous tortillas at the commissary on post one day and I knew they were a winner. With a whole wheat option that provides a few grams of fiber, contains no shortening or partially hydrogenated oils, and a whopping 9 grams of protein, these were a no brainer. I chose an all-natural, uncured sausage to add protein and flavor but not a ton of sodium and preservatives. For the herbs, feel free to add any herbs you like, fresh or dried!
I always cook the eggs first then let them sit to cool. Cooking eggs is so easy that maybe I just want to get that out of the way first. I usually crack my eggs straight into the pan so I don’t dirty a separate bowl in the process. While the sausage is in the oven, I then start on the potatoes. It takes a little practice to get the potatoes perfectly fork tender, while allowing them to sear long enough to develop that golden brown crust. They’ll taste delicious whether they’re perfectly cooked or not, so don’t worry.
I add spinach to anything I can since it adds so much nutritious fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. Spinach pairs so perfectly with eggs, especially in a quiche, yum!
Allowing all of the ingredients to cool before assembling is crucial. You don’t want your tortilla getting soggy from the steam accumulating inside your burrito.
Assembling these burritos makes me so hungry, it’s hard not to shove one in my mouth right then. With all the vibrant colors, tastes, and smells, this is a breakfast that’s sure to provide you with the energy you need to have a productive morning.
Rolling the tortilla into a burrito takes practice, I’ll be honest. You can probably find some YouTube videos on how to do it but for me it just took patience. Once you get the technique down, you’re golden. The key is to fold the bottom over the ingredients and squeeze everything together firmly. Then you fold in the sides, then the upper edges, then roll until closed. Do the same thing when you wrap it in the aluminum foil.
After the burritos are rolled and nicely stacked, I’ll put them into a bag and label the bag with the instructions: Remove foil before microwaving. Trust me, sometimes we all need a little reminding, especially if you’re eating this before you’ve had your morning coffee.
Freezer Breakfast Burritos
- 5 large tortillas, preferably whole grain
- 12-15 eggs
- 6-7 red potatoes, skin on (or one large sweet potato)
- 1/2 large onion
- 1/2 cup water
- 6-8 oz shredded cheese, I use cheddar
- 2 large handfuls fresh spinach
- 1 Tbsp butter (or canola oil or avocado oil)
- 1/2 tsp rosemary
- 1/4 tsp parsley
- 1/4 tsp thyme
- Pinch of salt and pepper, plus more to taste
- *Optional: 2 sausage links, preferably all natural/no preservatives, low-sodium
Other optional additions: mushrooms, tofu, zucchini, kale, feta cheese, black beans
- Cook eggs in pan on medium heat. Let cool completely.
- *Cook the meat according to package directions. Let cool completely. Cut into bite-sized pieces.
- Mince the onion and add to a pan (a separate pan from the eggs) on medium heat with the butter or oil. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook 1-2 minutes.
- Chop the potatoes into small bite-sized pieces and add to the pan with the onions. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir to coat the potatoes in the butter/oil.
- Let the potato/onion mixture cook for about 2 minutes then stir again and cook another 2 minutes. Add the herbs and stir to coat. Let cook another 1-2 minutes until the potatoes are golden brown.
- Add water to pan and cover with lid to steam the potatoes for about 5-7 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender. If you notice the water evaporate and the potatoes are still hard, add another 1/4 cup water and steam until soft.
- Add spinach and replace lid for 1 minute then stir the mixture until the spinach is wilted throughout. Let cool completely.
- Place each tortilla on a separate sheet of aluminum foil. Once all the ingredients have cooled, start to assemble your burritos.
- Place equal amounts of cheese on each tortilla.
- Place equal amounts of eggs on each tortilla.
- Place equal amounts of potato/onion/spinach mixture on each tortilla.
- Place equal amounts of meat on each tortilla.
- Fold and roll each tortilla firmly to keep all ingredients tightly packed inside.
- Wrap each burrito in aluminum foil for freezing.*
- When ready to eat, remove the aluminum foil and place your burrito on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave for 3-6 minutes, flipping over halfway through.
*If you plan to store these burritos for longer than one week, wrap the burrito in plastic wrap before wrapping in foil, to help prevent freezer burn.