The great conundrum of breakfast is that while you get to eat the most delicious foods available to you in the world (hello, waffles and lattes!), you also have to, you know, wake up and get out of bed to enjoy them. And, so often, you’re so busy getting ready to run out the door that you sacrifice deliciousness for convenience. Luckily, your trials and tribulations have come to an end, as there are plenty of healthy hacks to ensure you’re able to have the tastiest of breakfasts without sacrificing speed, or subsisting on just a dry old granola bar you found in the bottom of your bag.
Take your cereal to go
Let’s say you’re not one of the millennials who can’t be bothered to do dishes and still loves a good bowl of cereal. If you’re still hoping to get a heaping serving of Cocoa Puffs and still be on time to work, may we present one of the more ingenious ways to make it happen—a container that holds both your milk and your cereal that offers separate compartments so there’s no sogginess to deal with. And, unlike the single-serving cereal cups you can find at the grocery store, this option is not only budget friendly, but good for the environment, too. Yes, you’ll have to wash the container eventually, but that’s a small price to pay for having your cereal and eating it, too.
Martha Stewart Collection Breakfast-to-Go Container, ($7.95 at Macy’s)
Pack a breakfast Bento box
Think Bento boxes are only for lunch and dinner? Think again! These handy containers are divided into multiple sizes, meaning you can pack a healthy breakfast the night before and enjoy it (mess-free) the next day, without any cross-contamination. Try a protein-packed box of hardboiled eggs, grapes, turkey breast, and cheese, or one with yogurt, fresh fruit, granola, and nuts. You’re only limited by your imagination here, so go crazy!
Bento Box, ($21.30 at Black + Blum)
Learn to love overnight oats
In terms of the easiest, tastiest, and most fail-safe options, overnight oats is the top contender. All you need is rolled oats (rolled spelt can work, too, but steel-cut oats are generally better for traditional porridge), plus milk or a milk alternative, and whatever other delectable things you want to throw in there, like nuts, berries, and flax. Just make sure to add double the amount of liquid to the oats so you’re not dealing with dried-out, lumpy oats. Et voila! The closest thing you’ll come to an instant breakfast.
Organic Regular Rolled Oats, ($4.59 at Bob’s Red Mill)
Keep your coffee hot hot hot
There’s nothing worse than going for that life-affirming first sip of coffee in the morning only to find out that your brew has gone from the temperature of magma to something colder than the Arctic Circle. The answer? Investing in a high-quality thermos that will keep your hot coffee hot and your iced coffee chill. Some of the best thermoses can even keep your daily grind piping hot overnight, meaning you could even brew your coffee the night before for the ultimate grab-and-go situation. Hey, dare to dream, right?
Zojirushi Stainless Steel Mug in Champagne Gold, ($26.99 at Wayfair)
Brew on the go
If you’re not into playing Russian Roulette with your office’s decades-old Mr. Coffee (seriously, what is that fishy aftertaste, anyway?) why not save yourself the hassle of making a run to the local coffeeshop and brew your own cuppa at your desk? A French press that doubles as a mug isn’t only brilliant, but is eco-friendly, and perfect not only for the office but when you’re on the road.
Presse, ($29.99 at Bobble)
Up your smoothie game
Yes, juice has been having quite the moment over the last few years, but we’re much more into its older, more substantial cousin, the smoothie. It’s not just about being able to throw things like a banana, some protein powder, ice, and whatever else you like into a blender and having an instant breakfast of Herculean proportions, but you have the added benefit of getting a serious kick of fiber, which is mostly lacking when you juice. Try being creative with your smoothies and experiment with sneakily healthy ingredients (hello, kale!) or nutritional supplements. And for extra credit, why not try making pre-packed smoothie kits that are so easy, you can press the snooze button at least twice before starting your day. Or, you can always use a blender that doubles as a to-go mug. Either way, you’re winning the day.
Smoothie booster pack, ($29.90 for six at Aloha)
Treat your eggs like muffins
If you have to have your morning eggs but can’t find the time—or energy—to fry them up on the daily, consider this: Make a whole batch of mini frittatas in muffin tins before the work week starts (some delicious options here, here, and here. Try baking at 350 for about 10 or 12 minutes, or until the eggs have set) That way, you can heat them up in the microwave (try popping them in for about 30 to 45 seconds) without the pan to clean.
Nonstick Muffin Tin, ($10.30 at Amazon)
Keep hot sauce in your bag
Beyoncé was onto something when she revealed to the world that she carries around hot sauce in her bag. When you’re on the road, take a leaf out of Queen Bey’s book with your own swag, because as we all know, hot sauce has been scientifically proven to not only spice up your dishes, but improve your mood. The next time you need a boost at breakfast, try packing a travel-size bottle of your favorite fiery condiment (we’re partial to mini Sriracha, which is not only awesome for breakfast, but every other meal, too) and applying liberally to everything from eggs to grits to savory breads.
Cholula Hot Sauce 2-oz Bottles, ($14.99 for 4-pack at Amazon)
Stock up on nonperishable staples
In a perfect world, we’d all have refrigerators overflowing with the latest farm-fresh produce and eat organic berries atop our locally sourced flax and oats while being serenaded by a Viennese string player. But let’s be real, life is far from perfect, meaning that sometimes, cold pizza while you’re running out the door with dirty socks is as good as it’s going to get. But by keeping staples with a long shelf life, you can at least pretend you’ve got it together. Items like rice cakes and travel packets of your favorite almond or peanut butter go a long way, and, as an added bonus, taste great together. It won’t clean your socks, but it will keep your hunger at bay. Baby steps, folks.
Honey Almond Butter Packets, ($13.90 for ten at Justin’s)