Most of the time, I try to eat using the Precision Nutrition hand-sized portion guide. For women, each meal should have:
1-2 fist-sized portions of veggies
1-2 palm-sized portions of protein
1-2 cupped handfuls of carbs
1-2 thumb-sized portions of fats
Original photo and more information here: https://www.precisionnutrition.com/calorie-control-guide
When you eat this way, you get balanced macronutrients (carbs, fats, and proteins) and lots of micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, etc.). For me, a former vegetarian and current pescetarian, I have no trouble eating lots of veggies. I know that’s not the case for everyone. Many of my nutrition clients tell me that they have trouble eating their daily veggies and that they almost never eat veggies at breakfast. For those people, a quick pre-work breakfast means oatmeal, a granola bar, a muffin, or cereal (which covers carbs and maybe fats if using whole milk or nuts/seeds). For others, breakfast on the go just means coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.
So how do you switch to a nutrient-packed breakfast? Let me tell you what works for me. Every morning before work, I microwave some spinach and eggs. Seriously, that’s my secret to a quick and nutritious breakfast. It takes about 5 minutes and I only have to wash 1 bowl and 1 fork. I HATE washing dishes, so for me, that’s a huge bonus.
Now, some of you might be skeptical of microwaving eggs,* but it’s not the same as when you get a pre-formed patty fresh-from-frozen at your little neighborhood coffee chain. If it weren’t mixed in with veggies, the eggs would probably be a little rubbery. But for some reason the magic of spinach mitigates that.
You can add other veggies too, but they should be those that can quickly cook in the microwave (think cauliflower rather than broccoli). I include a little cheese or avocado for fat, plus sauerkraut to add a delicious tanginess with a bonus of naturally occurring probiotics. Thanks, fermenting process!
If you need to eat this in the car or on your walk to work, throw it in a tortilla and omit the fruit.
*Are you living a microwave-free life? Throw the spinach in a pan, crack the eggs on top, and put the lid on. Cook until desired firmness or scramble the eggs up. Note: this method will take a little longer and will have more clean up.
Spinach and Eggs
Cooking spray or oil
1-2 fist-sized portions of Spinach
1-2 palm-sized portions of eggs (I usually use 2 eggs)
1-2 thumb-sized portions of shredded/crumbled cheese or avocado
1-2 Tbsp of sauerkraut
1-2 cupped handfuls of fruit
Optional, extra veggies, chopped (I’ve used cauliflower, mushrooms, tomato, cabbage; anything that cooks quickly)
Prep and cooking
Lightly coat a microwave-safe bowl in cooking spray or oil. Add spinach (and any other veggies you’d like) to bowl and crack eggs on top.
Microwave on high for 1.5-2 minutes, then flip the spinach/eggs (or stir if the eggs are still watery).**
Cook for an additional 30 seconds to 2 minutes, until eggs are cooked through. Check on them periodically. (More veggies equals more cooking time.)
When eggs are cooked to your liking, remove bowl from microwave. Sprinkle with 1-2 thumb-sized portions of cheese or avocado. Scoop a tablespoon or 2 of sauerkraut on top.
Serve with fruit on the side.
**If you let the eggs cook for too long without stirring or flipping, the yolks will explode. Which is zero fun at 5 am.