I love breakfast. Always have. Always will. It’s the most important meal of the day, right?
But I’m not talking about just a little nibble of something. When I wake up in the morning, I’m ravenous. I need my coffee (black, please) and real, solid food. Otherwise, without fail, I will be hangry by 10 a.m. Plus, sitting down for my first meal sets the tone for my day. It forces me to slow down instead of rushing from the minute I turn off my alarm.
Growing up, my breakfast choices weren’t always the healthiest. A steady rotation of sugary cereals dominated my family’s mornings. It was a quick and easy way to fill our bellies before rushing out to catch the bus. But as I grew up, got a job, and started working out regularly, I realised that my body needed more to start the day than added sugar and syrupy milk.
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These days, my breakfast typically consists of two eggs, spinach, and tomatoes. But recently I started to wonder if I should be mixing up my morning meal a bit more. So when I was tasked with swapping my eggs for Greek yoghurt for a week, I was curious.
After all, Greek yoghurt has been praised over and over again as a healthy food staple. That’s because it’s an excellent source of healthy fat and calcium, and sports one and a half to two time as much protein as regular yoghurt, according to Anita Mirchandani, registered dietitian and spokesperson for the New York State Dietetic Association. “Due to the protein and fat composition, Greek yoghurt has the potency to help you stay full for longer periods of time,” she says.
But how would my body would react to a new routine? Would I feel satisfied? Would my sensitive stomach rebel against the extra dairy? Here’s what happened.
I was full all morning.
I was most concerned about whether or not yogurt for breakfast would keep me full all morning. To my surprise, it did and it didn’t require a huge heaping of yoghurt or a ton of toppings. One cup of yoghurt—sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less—did the trick. The best part was that it didn’t upset my stomach either, which can feel unsettled when I eat too much dairy. Even after a full week of eating yoghurt every morning, I didn’t experience any gas or bloating.
Whole-milk yoghurt is the best.
I used to be a die-hard fat-free yoghurt fiend. While my younger self loved the sweet, flavoured varieties, I know I don’t need all the extra sugar and I’ve learned that fat has an important place in my diet. Plus, the texture and flavour of whole fat yogurt is so much richer. I felt like I was indulging first thing in the morning. My yoghurt-fueled breakfasts were also a good chance to sneak some extra calcium into my day, which I admit I’m not always great about.
It’s all about the toppings.
I know some people don’t like yoghurt because the texture can be a little weird and slimy. But the beauty of it is that it’s a blank canvas. You can flavour it any way you want—sweet or savoury, crunchy or smooth. Adding different toppings and combining various flavours, textures, and colours helped keep my taste buds entertained. While granola is a typical yoghurt go-to topping, it can sometimes be too sweet for me. I usually added a sprinkle of granola or opted for fruit, seeds, and coconut chips instead.
Overnight oats are a God-send.
Especially on super hectic mornings when I was trying to get out of the house for an early morning run or rushing to drop the kids off at school. It requires zero prep in the morning and is super filling and versatile.
Before bed, I assembled the ingredients in a container—old-fashioned oats, Greek yoghurt and milk—and put it in the fridge. The yoghurt “cooked” the oats overnight, softening them so they’re ready to eat in the morning. When I woke up, I added toppings—whatever I was craving that day from apples to berries to pumpkin or hemp seeds. Sometimes I added a touch of maple syrup for a little sweetness.
Seriously, the easiest breakfast ever.
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Yoghurt every day got old, fast.
By time time day six rolled around, I’ll admit I started craving something a little different for breakfast. I wanted something less creamy and with a different texture. To mix things up a bit, I started playing with breakfast smoothies, swapping coconut water for Greek yoghurt for a tart twang. Mirchandani also suggests using Greek yoghurt for traditional Indian lassi. “It’s a shake-like drink that can be made with fruit, spices, and/or herbs,” she says.
While I’m not sure I’ll continue eating Greek yoghurt every day, I’ll definitely keep it in my breakfast and snack rotation.
This article originally appeared on Women's Health