Breakfast by Liz Dunn


Pushing Healthy with Liz Dunn, Graduate Student, Coordinated Master in Nutrition and Dietetics

Save Time and Stay on Track with These Three Quick Breakfast Ideas

Breakfast is unofficially called the most important meal of the day. Recent studies published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics discussed the need for a better definition of a healthful breakfast. It states that “breakfast is the first meal of the day that breaks the fast after the longest period of sleep and is consumed within 2 to 3 hours of waking; it is comprised of food or beverage from at least one food group, and may be consumed at any location”. 1 This definition is incredibly vague and does not give a good idea of what breakfast is actually comprised of. As you can imagine, not all breakfasts are created equally. Here are three ideas for quick, nutrient packed breakfasts.

Yogurt parfait: This may be one of the easiest breakfasts to grab and go. Many yogurts come in single serving containers in a variety of options. The only thing to be careful of is added sugars. One way to avoid this is to purchase plain yogurt and add your own fruit. My favorite combination is 6 oz. plain non-fat Greek yogurt and ½ cup fresh or frozen berries topped with a tablespoon of sliced almonds or ¼ cup granola.

Smoothies: If you do not like eating breakfast and prefer to drink something, smoothies may be a good option. One thing to keep in mind is that calories can add up, particularly when making fruit smoothies. Frozen banana pieces are often a good base to create a smooth texture. Another type of fruit such as apples or berries can add some sweetness. Finally, you want a source of protein. Some options for protein are milk, yogurt, kefir, soy milk, almond milk, nut butter, or protein powder. If you are willing to try a green smoothie, mix a cup of spinach or kale with water or milk before adding the other ingredients.

Eggs: Whether they are hard boiled, scrambled, over easy or however you prefer, eggs can be incorporated into a nutritious breakfast. Also, don’t ditch the yolks. In fact, the yolks contain many of the important nutrients your body needs. Whole eggs, eaten in moderation, are a great source of complete protein and good for you fats. Adding vegetables to your eggs is another way to nourish your body. To save time in the morning, cut and wash any vegetables the night before or earlier in the week. If you prefer not to eat eggs, scrambled tofu is a good substitute.

While these still require a little preparation, they are not too involved. Many dishes can also be adapted to be made ahead of time. A small amount of planning and preparation can go a long way.


O’Neil CE, Byrd-Bredbenner C, Hayes D, Jana L, Klinger SE, Stephenson-Martin S. The Role of Breakfast in Health:
Definition and Criteria for a Quality Breakfast. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2014. 109(12):S8-S26. 

Introducing Liz Dunn, Future Registered Dietician

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PushLiving is pleased to introduce our newest contributor, Liz Dunn!

Liz is currently in her first year in the Coordinated Master in Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Pittsburgh. She graduated in spring 2014 with a Bachelor’s in Nutrition and Dietetics, also from the University of Pittsburgh. Her ultimate goal is to become a Registered Dietitian and work with others with spinal cord injuries to not only reach or maintain a healthy body weight, but also understand the role proper nutrition plays in the body.

While Liz has always been interested in nutrition and exercise, she never considered it as a major until after her accident. She was injured four years ago at 20 via a car accident and is a quadriplegic. She was into sports before her injury with soccer and snowboarding and recently joined her local quad rugby team. She also participates in other sports like sit skiing, hand cycling, and rowing.

“I’m very passionate about helping people to eat well and find ways to incorporate healthy choices into their lifestyle. I realized just how important it was not only in the healing process, but also in prevention of other conditions or problems. In addition to eating well, I also believe in the benefits of exercise.

That being said, I cannot wait to begin this new journey with Push Living!”



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