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Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Shamera Robinson knows how hard it can be to eat a healthy breakfast on a busy morning.

“Growing up as an Army brat, I was forced to move to a new state or country every three years,” says Robinson.

But despite always being on the go, Robinson was determined to reach her healthiest self. Here she shares her expert advice on how you can make the best decisions for your health too. Robinson encourages choosing from a list of healthy ingredients to build the perfect healthy breakfast that meets your needs.

Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day?

“We often hear breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but for some reason, breakfast is also the first thing skipped when we’re running late.

Eating a balanced meal in the morning can increase energy, enhance memory, and help improve attention span. Adding that morning meal can also keep your appetite steady through the day, making it easier to monitor your portions at lunch or say no to those strong midday cravings.”

What’s your take on intermittent fasting?

“It’s tricky. Intermittent fasting can be done in many ways. Typically it involves reducing the amount of food you eat or the window of time you allow yourself to eat. This type of calorie restriction can help with weight loss for some people, but there are important things to consider before skipping your next meal.

Restricting the foods that provide your body with nutrients may cause headaches and low energy throughout the day. Limiting food intake could also lead to overly restrictive habits during fasting hours or binge eating during feasting hours, which may fuel disordered eating behaviors.

Being healthy is about more than the scale, it is about your relationship with food and your relationship with self. If you believe you can approach intermittent fasting in a healthy way, then partner with a dietitian to build a strategy that best fits your needs. If fasting isn’t your speed, then you can focus on small changes like monitoring your portion sizes and adding more non-starchy veggies to your plate as a place to start.”

What should we avoid at breakfast?

“The only thing we should avoid at breakfast is the idea that it needs to be a big meal. Feeling the need to prepare a five-course breakfast is intimidating and often keeps us from believing we have time to eat a balanced meal on busy mornings.

To start your day in a balanced way, all you need to do is pair unrefined carbohydrates with protein. Adding carbs to your morning routine will give you a boost of energy and the protein will help you stay full until your next meal. This carb and protein pair can be as simple as grabbing a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts on your way out the door.”

[List] Healthy breakfast ideas that are healthy, filling, and quick:

Some ideas for quick and easy ingredient combos to keep you focused and full through the morning include:

– Toast + Almond Butter

Granola + Plain Greek Yogurt 

Oatmeal + Peaches + Almonds

– Veggie + Egg (turn it into a frittata, muffin, or scramble)

– English Muffin + Sliced Turkey + Avocado

– Oranges + Cottage Cheese

– Banana + Peanut Butter

Whole-Grain Cereal + Milk