5 Breakfasts to Change Your Workweek

Nutrition pro Tamar Genger starts your day right.

Growing up in a family obsessed with healthy eating, Tamar Genger was destined to become a nutritionist. She earned degrees from the University of Maryland and the University of Alabama, specializing in kosher health and nutrition. Today, the mom of three is the Director of Digital Media for Kosher Media Network and Executive Editor of the JOY of KOSHER website, where part of her job description includes cooking up new health-conscious recipes for her readers. 5 Breakfasts to Change Your Workweek When it comes to keeping healthy during the workweek, Tamar believes it’s about more than watching your weight. “It’s not only good for your body overall, but it makes you feel better,” she says. Breakfast, in particular, is essential. For busy women, it is often the most neglected meal of the day. “Eating within an hour or so after you wake up will jumpstart your metabolism and provide the energy you need for the day,” she says. “Studies show children who eat breakfast perform better in school and adults who do the same have improved cognition.” When Tamar developed the 28 Day Challenge ebook, a month-long meal plan with over 75 fast and fresh family recipes and shopping lists, she received the most feedback on her 200-calorie breakfasts. According to Tamar, followers loved how her breakfasts got them out of the cereal-and-milk habit and helped them stick to the plan for the rest of the day. We asked Tamar to share her tips for staying healthy during the workweek and she did us one better by also giving us five easy breakfasts from her 28 Day Challenge—enjoy!

1. Find what works best for you

Every person is different. Not all healthy foods have the same effect on everyone. Keep a food diary where you can track what you’re eating and how you feel after. If you have a stomachache, are drowsy or have increased energy after eating a particular item, it will show up as part of a pattern that emerges over time, helping you pinpoint your body's unique reactions.

2. Think about your meals

If you’re a foodie, you’re already thinking about food all the time. Some people don’t think about their next meals in advance, but you have to if you want to be healthy. If you don’t plan ahead, you might not eat enough or you'll be so hungry, you eat the wrong thing.

3. Aim for protein-rich options

It’s important to have good, lean protein. Dairy products, yogurts and cheeses are good options. Nuts are high in protein and vitamins, but they can be high in calories, so be careful of how much you’re eating. They make a great snack in the middle of the day when you need something to tide you over and keep you full longer by increasing your satiety.

4. Avoid the sugar

Stay away from processed sugar. Even fruits, which are healthy, need to be paired with something like a protein. Fruit fills the need for something sweet and the simple sugar will go straight to your bloodstream for a quick boost. Protein and fat in nuts will keep your blood sugar steady and keep you satiated longer. Often, I’ll have a fruit with a couple of walnuts to balance my blood sugar. If you are going to have chocolate, it has to be 70 percent or more cacao and pair it with a few nuts so sugar isn’t the only thing going into your system.

5. Have a few go-tos on deck

Find one to three options that fit with your lifestyle and rotate them throughout the week. Some things, like fruit, expire quickly and will need to be bought more frequently. Add them to your weekly shopping list. Other items, like oatmeal, can be purchased less often. Keep your pantry stocked so it's easy to grab them and go.

6. Focus on variety

Some people eat the same thing everyday, but it can get boring and may make you want to grab a doughnut one day instead. That’s why I plan for variety. If you like bowls, switch it up between oatmeal, yogurt and chia. Even quinoa and rice make a great base for your favorite toppings, which you can serve up on Sunday into individual portions. Smoothies can be prepped the night before and placed in a travel cup in the fridge, so all you have to do is add some ice, nuts for satiety and blend. Everyone loves avocado toast, but if you don’t have ripe avocados, ricotta cheese is delicious and high in protein.

5 Breakfasts to Change Your Workweek

Ricotta Spring Toast

By Tamar Genger from the 28 Day Joy of Kosher Challenge

Ricotta is an excellent protein source—in just 1⁄4 cup, there are seven grams, more than in an egg.

  • 1⁄4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 slice whole-grain bread, toasted
  • 1 radish, thinly sliced
  • 1⁄2 Persian cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1⁄2 tablespoon pistachios, chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
1. Spread ricotta on toast.
2. Top with radishes, cucumbers, scallions and pistachios.
3. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Nutritional Information / Per Serving 210 calories, 10g fat, 19mg cholesterol, 357mg sodium, 25g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 5g sugar, 14g protein

5 Breakfasts to Change Your Workweek

Spring Green Smoothie

By Tamar Genger from the 28 Day Joy of Kosher Challenge

Kiwi is an excellent source of vitamin C and provides a nice balance of sweet and tart to this super green smoothie. Add more or less lime to taste.

  • 1 cup honeydew, chopped
  • 1 kiwi, peeled and chopped
  • 1⁄2 cup spinach
  • 1 green apple or pear
  • Juice of 1 lime

1. Puree honeydew, kiwi, spinach, apple (or pear) and lime juice in a blender until smooth.
Nutritional Information / Per Serving 210 calories, 1g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 48mg sodium, 53g carbs, 9g fiber, 37g sugar, 3g protein
5 Breakfasts to Change Your Workweek

Breakfast Basmati Rice Bowl

By Tamar Genger from the 28 Day Joy of Kosher Challenge

Most people in America don’t think of eating rice for breakfast, but it’s quite common in other countries. The rice in this recipe has a nice cinnamony flavor and is topped with fruit and yogurt.

  •  1⁄2 teaspoon baharat or ground cinnamon
  • 3⁄4 cup cooked brown basmati rice
  • 2 tablespoons diced pear
  • 1 tablespoon dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon honey

1. Sprinkle baharat (or cinnamon) over basmati. Heat rice in the microwave until warm, about 1 minute.
2. Top with pears, cranberries, yogurt and honey.
Nutritional Information / Per Serving 220 calories, 1g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 13mg sodium, 58g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 19g sugar, 4g protein


5 Breakfasts to Change Your Workweek

Halva Yogurt Bowl

By Tamar Genger from the 28 Day Joy of Kosher Challenge This yogurt bowl with tahini, almonds and dates is filled with protein and vitamins to keep you going all day.

  • 3⁄4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons raw 100% tahini
  • 1 teaspoon date honey
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped strawberries or blueberries
  • 1 date, pitted, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon slivered almonds
1. Place yogurt in a bowl.
2. Drizzle with tahini and date honey.
3. Top with berries, date and almonds.

Nutritional Information / Per Serving 210 calories, 6g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 117mg sodium, 42g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 36g sugar, 11g protein

5 Breakfasts to Change Your Workweek

Breakfast Portobello Egg

By Tamar Genger from the 28 Day Joy of Kosher Challenge

This calls for a sunny-side up or over-easy egg but if you prefer scrambled, go for it.

  • 1 portobello mushroom cap
  • 1 large egg
  • 1⁄3 avocado, mashed
  • Kosher salt
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Cooking spray

1. Spray a large sauté pan with cooking spray and heat over medium-high.
2. Add portobello mushroom and cook, gill side up, for about 7 minutes, then flip.
3. Add egg to the pan and cook as desired.
4. Place portobello on a plate, gill side up.
5. Fill with avocado, top with egg and season to taste with salt and red pepper flakes.
Nutritional Information / Per Serving 170 calories, 13g fat, 186mg cholesterol, 235mg sodium, 7g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 2g sugar, 9g protein



Image courtesy of Ivanka Trump Illustration by Jonny Ruzzo