How many times have you skipped breakfast because you just didn't have enough time to make it happen before dashing out the door?
And how many times has that led you to being famished by 10:00am and seeking out whatever is close, convenient, cheap, fast or some combination of all of those just to avoid passing out? How many times has that been a trip to the office candy drawer, or perhaps just a really big Starbucks coffee?
I hear you. Busy nights = busy mornings = no time to prepare food = unpredictable swings in blood sugar and mood = reaching for something that will quickly fix the immediate ickniness, but not actually address the fact your body is craving nutrients and fuel.
It boils down to: being short on time doesn't set you up for a well-fueled day, and without a good dose of good fuel, all of our other plans to take care of ourselves can fly out the window. (Forget going to the gym or being nice to people when we're super low-energy and extra cranky, right?)
Simple solution! Make ahead breakfasts. Invest ten minutes one evening (which is the equivalent of the commercial breaks in one episode of Scandal) and your mornings will be supercharged all week.
This Vegan Gluten-free Bircher Muesli is one of my favorites. I wrote about my first introduction to real muesli when we were in Europe last fall, and since then, I've been working on perfecting an at-home, veganized, low-sugar version. I love that all it takes is throwing things in a bowl, soaking them in yummy non-dairy yogurt and rolling out of bed to a quick breakfast (one that can be made perfectly portable if you prep it in single mason jars).
To keep the cereal from getting too soggy throughout the week, mix up the dry ingredients (oats, seeds, coconut, etc) and store in an airtight container. (Keep it in the fridge for good measure: nuts and seeds have a tendency to go rancid quickly, and the cool temperature will slow this process considerably.) When you're getting ready for bed, place 1/2 cup to 1 cup of cereal + 1/2 cup of yogurt in a separate smaller container, mix it up and let it sit overnight. Repeat each night for the next morning's breakfast.
Plus, it's super versatile. While this recipe below reflects my current favorite combination of chia, sesame, coconut, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, you can use whatever you have on hand. I use a little bit of green apple as a little hat-tip to the traditional European recipe, along with some (optional) apricots, which you can omit if you're not digging the extra fruit sugar. Look for unsulphured apricots and unsweetened yogurt to make this a fueling - but not energy interrupting - meal.
Have you considered using muesli for cookies? I'm thinking about it. What else do you throw into your cereal mixes?
- 2 cups gluten-free oats
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup white sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1/2 green apple, grated (optional)
- 6 dried Turkish apricots, thinly sliced (optional)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened vegan yogurt, like coconut yogurt, per serving
- Combine all cereal ingredients in a bowl and mix. For each serving, portion out 1/2 cup of cereal + 1/2 cup of yogurt and mix into a mason jar or bowl with a lid. Place, covered, into the fridge overnight and serve.
- You can make individual, portable portions in separate mason jars if you wish.