5 Breakfast Hacks To Help You Feed Your Busy Morning Self

Not all people are morning people — and I totally get that.

Not all people are breakfast people, either — that one is harder for me to understand, as a lifelong breakfast-lover.

It makes sense to not want to eat in the morning for a variety of reasons: lack of hunger so early in the day, no time to prepare a meal that will actually taste good, simply not liking breakfast foods, etc.

But for those of you who want to be “breakfast people” but haven’t quite found a way to allocate some of their limited morning time to putting food in their belly, I’m here to help. Here are five breakfast-hacks to help you get yourself fed in the early A.M.

1. Keep portable food items at-the-ready.

A cereal bar and an apple is a sufficient breakfast, and it is easy enough to grab and toss into your bag if you’re literally running out the door. I like to buy a big bag of apples, rinse them all, and keep them in a bowl in the refrigerator for easy and quick access on busier mornings.

2. Get a really high-quality travel mug.

Breakfast is nothing without coffee. That is a fact — look it up. (Okay, don’t look it up — I was lying. It is an opinion.) But seriously, if I have a commuter mug full of hot, delicious coffee with me, my sad apple-and-cereal-bar breakfast feels like a fancy luxurious brunch. I mentioned in a post recently that I have my coffee maker set to automatically brew before I wake up. Being able to roll out of bed and pour the contents of the pot into travel mugs and bounce out the door as soon as I please is one of the greatest things that ever happened to my morning schedule. Instead of getting one of those ones that looks like a Starbucks cup and only keeps your drink hot for 20 minutes, try one of these auto-seal, insulated mugs that will keep your coffee hot and fresh until night-time – just in case you don’t find time to finish it early in the day.

3. Meal-prep breakfast.

We often talk about meal prep in terms of filling little Tupperware containers with healthy, protein-packed lunches, or making freezer meals to make dinner time a breeze. But learning how to prep breakfasts ahead of time changed the game for my morning routine when I first started waking up at the crack of dawn in high school. Dice up a ton of veggies and keep them in your refrigerator, then all you need to do in the morning to make an omelettes is put a scoop of your pre-chopped veggies into a pan, then whip up an egg to throw in with them.

Or, make a batch of French toast, pancakes, or muffins, then put them in the freezer. Pull out one or two each morning and pop them in the toaster, and grab a piece of fruit to go with it.

Pro-tip: definitely try doing this with bacon. There is nothing better than waking up on a crappy work morning and remembering that you have already-made bacon waiting for you. Bacon makes every day feel like Sunday.

4. Make hard-boiled eggs in the oven.

This goes along with tip #3, but it deserves its own space to shine. My boyfriend is very obsessed with this tip, even though it makes our home smell like eggs for a full day. Basically, you just need to fill up a muffin tin with whole eggs (still in their shells, obviously), then just put them in the oven at 325-350 (depending on your oven) for about 30 minutes.

It is pretty much the easiest recipe ever, and you’ll end up with 12-24 (depending on whether you use a mini or regular muffin tin) pre-portioned, pre-cooked, healthy-af eggs to grab for on-the-go breakfast-ing.

5. Use your leftovers.

I’m not saying you should eat last night’s pizza for breakfast (although eating cold pizza for breakfast is one of life’s most simple and luxurious pleasures), but using the vegetables from last night’s dinner as mix-ins for your morning eggs is an easy way to pack a little more substance into your meal. I often toss a scoop of leftover rice and beans into one side of my pan, scramble an egg on the other, and put it all into a tortilla for a fast and easy makeshift breakfast burrito. I’ve also been known to scrape sauce and veggies out of my takeout Chinese food containers and make omelettes with them.

6. Get a to-go cereal container.

I love all breakfast foods equally and wholly and try my best not to discriminate, but cereal may be my number one. The problem with cereal is that, while it is a super-simple at-home breakfast, it is one that traditionally hasn’t been able to be enjoyed on the go – until now. Try one of these to-go cereal containers, which has a separate compartment for your milk, so you don’t arrive to your work desk with a soggy mess of Cheerios (okay, Froot Loops) in your Tupperware. Being able to enjoy cereal and milk at work (or anywhere, really) is a game-changer for breakfast lovers and haters alike.

If all else fails, consider some sort of meal replacement bar or drink if you’re the type of person who thinks you perform better in the morning with something in your stomach. If you’re not, power to you! If you are, and you have the time, try a breakfast hack. If you’re looking for something else to help you through your dragging mornings that isn’t food-related, check out my post about how to fake being a morning person.

And always take your vitamins.

Mary writes every day for TFD, and tweets every day for her own personal fulfillment. Talk to her about money and life at mary@thefinancialdiet.com!

Image via Unsplash

In-Post Social Banners-04

  • Sarah Mo

    The only way I can get my act together to make breakfast is to have it ready the night before. 1/4 cup rolled oats + 1/4 cup of milk (or vegan substitute) makes a nice cold oatmeal, then I put on a bit of fruit and granola when I get up. It’s super healthy and I put it together when I’m making dinner the night before.

    • GBee

      This is what I eat every morning. Except I’m too lazy at night to make it, so I quickly throw it together before leaving for work. I eat an apple when I first get to the office so by the time I eat the oats (~10:30) they have soaked up enough milk to be edible.

    • Judith

      Also, 1 minute in the microwave and you can have yourself a warm, cooked breakfast. I used to have it for years every day.

  • Jack

    I make this smoothie which requires no chopping which means I’m not too lazy to make it: spinach, frozen banana, frozen mango, almond milk, water, pumpkin seeds, hemp hearts. Ta da! As soon as I have to chop an apple or something, it could be game over.