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Quick & Healthy Breakfast Ideas for Work Newbies {and a few more tips}

June 23, 2014

It’s only been a few weeks since I started working full-time and my mornings are already chaotic in between getting ready for work, going to the gym, prepping breakfast and getting to work on time. Luckily for me, we have flexible working hours which means I can basically come and go as I please, as long as I get my work done. If you ask me, it’s pure luxury, especially during the warmer summer months when absolutely nobody has the desire to stay at the office until 7pm. However, to be able to leave work at a decent time I need to arrive early, which means my morning has to  be somewhat organized.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve discovered that, in order to be able to head to the gym before work, my breakfast needs a bit of thought and prep. At 5.30 in the morning every minute is valuable and of course I’d rather get an extra few minutes of much needed beauty sleep than having to wake up early. On the other hand, I don’t always want to spend my whole evening prepping food, clothes, make-up, work stuff, etc. for the next day. That’s why I’ve gathered a few ideas on prepping for work and healthy, quick and on-the-go breakfast ideas for those who, like me, are new to the hectic world of having a 9-5 job and  are pressed for time in the early morning hours.

Save time where you can

I tend to be most forgetful in the mornings and there have been times when in the midst of my morning haze, I have  forgotten to pack parts of my work outfit or shoes in my gym bag. That’s why I now make it a rule to prepare my work clothes {this includes jewelry and shoes} the night before. I pack everything directly into my gym bag. In the mornings when I get dressed, I immediately wear my workout clothes and only need to grab my prepared gym bag.

Buy makeup and shower essentials twice

If you’re like me and you’re used to living out of your suitcase {#storyofmylife} then it shouldn’t be a problem to have all your makeup and beauty essentials in on-the-go makeup bags. I simply take what I have and throw it into my gym bag. However, if you like having your makeup and perfume collection neatly arranged on your makeup table at home {how I wish I had such a thing!} then it might be handy to have an extra set of essentials that you simply can’t live without: shower gel, shampoo, perhaps your favorite foundation or tinted moisturizer, mascara and eyeliner and perfume. If you have a small “gym-only” makeup bag, you’re less likely to forget things at home and it prevents additional hassle in the morning.

Refueling the energy tank

No matter if I head out for an early morning run or stop by the gym before work, I make sure to have breakfast as soon I get to work. If I feel hungry before my workout I might have half a banana, but no matter what, when I arrive at work, which usually is sometime between 8.15 and 8.30am I need a proper breakfast and coffee.

I’m lucky that there’s an “all you can drink” coffee machine at work so I don’t have to grab a coffee-to-go on the way, but I still have to think about breakfast. Here’s some ideas of things I’ve been loving lately.

  • Oat So Simple: I know instant oatmeal isn’t the healthiest options out there, but considering the little time it requires to prepare, it’s actually a decent and filling option. The unflavored variety only contains oats and usually one stabilizer which helps prevent the porridge from over-boiling. I’m not the biggest fan of the flavored varieties, so I add the flavor myself by bringing a small container of berries or keeping honey or maple syrup in my desk drawer at work.
  • Homemade Cereal: If you have a few minutes to spare in the morning and want something filling, healthy and delicious then this healthy breakfast might be something for you. I’ve already tried a few variations of this homemade cereal and it requires only a few seconds of pulsing in the food processor. Definitely a healthy option for everyone who wants maximum nutrition with little active cooking time. For additional recipes and healthy living tips be sure to check out Natural Balance Foods {this avocado chocolate mousse is calling my name!}
  • Banana with nut butters: This is one of my favorite pre-workout snacks, and I love it just as much as a post-workout breakfast. It’s not quite as filling as oatmeal, but will do the job of tiding me over till lunch just fine. Again, all you need to bring is a banana, and you can keep a small jar of nut butter in the office.

Favorite products 2

  • Energy bars: When you’re really pressed for time and don’t have a second to sit down because of meetings, appointments, etc. then healthy breakfast bars might be an option for you. Try not to go for the super-sugary kinds, but rather for something that’s well balanced. My favorite energy bars are Nakd bars, LarabarsClif and Luna bars.
  • Overnight oats: This is an oldie but goodie. I don’t think this needs a lot explanation. It’s basically overnight-soaked oats with yoghurt and fruit. This can be prepared in a small plastic container or glass jar at night and can be thrown into your gym bag before you head out in the morning. Apart from it being super delicious, there are an endless amount of flavor variations you can try out so things will never get boring. For recipe inspiration check out Kath’s recipe roundup {accompanied by mouthwatering pictures}.

I’m definitely looking forward to trying out a few new recipes for quick on-the-go breakfasts, but for now, I hope this post was helpful.

Just out of curiosity, what kind of breakfast do you bring to work after a trip to the gym?

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1 Comment

  • Reply Katie (The Muffin Myth) June 24, 2014 at 9:13 am

    My office actually provides breakfast. There is fresh bread delivered every day, lots of different cheeses, peanut butter, jam, yoghurt, muesli, and huge baskets of fruit. I still usually pack my own because it isn’t exactly what I want (I had to train myself to stay away from the bread basket!) but it’s good to know there is food available if I’m having a lazy morning. My husband and I usually pack our breakfasts and lunches for the week on Sunday, so in the mornings it’s just grab and go. I also keep a second set of shower stuff at the office because I usually go for a swim on my lunch hour, but I really can’t be bothered with makeup, it’s just not my thing!

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