Upon pulling yourself out from under your sheets, you might seem tired and unmotivated to get a jumpstart on the day. That’s why eating a breakfast high in protein will provide you with the much needed energy and mental alertness to get down to work. While a bowl of cereal or a good old-fashioned doughnut might seem appetizing, the lack of protein will hinder appetite suppression, satiety, and stable energy and mood levels. So, unless you add a dose of protein powder to your bready breakfast foods, you might want to change it up and try having a breakfast with protein.

Lauren Blake, registered dietician at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Matt LaCasse, CEO and co-founder of Birch Benders, weigh in on their go-to breakfasts that are packed with protein and many nutrients to tide you over until lunchtime.

Protein Pancakes 

These are great for people who love waking up to a fluffy stack of pancakes, but need protein pancakes or a protein-rich counterpart to fill them up. “Protein pancakes are as versatile as they are delicious; I prefer topping mine with bacon and maple syrup, while others opt to throw fresh fruit and almond butter in for a satisfying, protein-packed breakfast. The mix itself contains 16 grams of protein per serving,” LaCasse says.

Avocado Toast 

Good news! The avocado toast craze is still alive and kicking. Preparing avocado toast in the morning is easy, simple, and extremely versatile, as there’s ample opportunity to experiment with toppings. Blake recommends including one or two medium eggs on top of whole grain toast and mashed avocado. 

Non-Sugary Cereal 

Not all cereal is bad, as long as it is low in sugar, high in fiber, and paired with substantial protein to round out the meal, advises Blake. A cereal like Kashi GoLean Original topped with chopped nuts and hemp or flaxseed would be a balanced, nutritious breakfast.  

Peanut Butter Sandwich

A childhood staple, one can never tire of the classic PB sandwich, especially when there are so many awesome ways to upgrade your peanut butter sandwich. Blake recommends eating two slices of whole grain toast with two tablespoons of either peanut or almond butter.

Oatmeal

Oatmeal is high in fiber, promoting fullness and appetite regulation. Without spiking your blood sugar, oatmeal elevates your energy, advises Blake. She recommends making your oatmeal with old fashioned oats, your choice of milk, and sprinkling it with nuts on top. 

Smoothie

Sometimes drinking your breakfast is just as good as eating it, and it can be a lot faster or more convenient when you’re rushing out the door. Having a breakfast smoothie in the morning can be both delicious and a major time saver. Blake suggests a breakfast smoothie made with kefir, fruit, spinach, and peanut butter or almond butter.  

Cottage Cheese

While most people look to Greek yogurt for a dairy fix, as Greek yogurt boasts probiotic benefits and a great source of protein and calcium, cottage cheese is often the underrated breakfast food worthy of recognition. Cottage cheese with sliced pineapple and chopped nuts will do the trick for a protein-packed breakfast, Blake advises.