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Start the Day Right – 5 Healthy, Easy Breakfasts

Studies have found that around 31 million people in the United States choose to skip breakfast every day, and it's easy to understand why. The ideas of spending a few more minutes in bed, taking more time putting on your makeup or sitting on the sofa just relaxing can all be more appealing than spending time making breakfast. Skipping breakfast does have some consequences, though, particularly if you're watching your weight, as the morning meal gives you a chance to jump start your metabolism and help fight hunger all day long.

Fortunately, you can enjoy a healthy breakfast without adding a lot of extra work to your morning routine. Try the following five quick breakfasts to get your morning off to a more delicious and healthier start.

1. Dinner for Breakfast. Rich in all nine essential amino acids, quinoa packs all the benefits of a whole grain, yet comes in an easy-to-cook seed form. While most people think of quinoa as a dinner food, it can be just as tasty for breakfast. Just mix 1 part plain or vanilla soy milk with 1/2 part quinoa and boil until the milk is absorbed (roughly 15 minutes). Then, mix in a pinch of brown sugar and your favorite oatmeal fixings like raisins or berries.

2. Layer It. Greek yogurt is an excellent choice for breakfast because it contains 2 times the protein of ordinary yogurt. For a quick and colorful breakfast, layer your favorite plain or flavored variety between fresh fruit like pineapple chunks, mandarin oranges, raspberries or blueberries. You can opt for one type of fruit or mix things up for more variety. On the top, sprinkle granola or crushed cornflakes like a crunchy dessert topping.

3. Microwave Mug. Scrambled eggs is a breakfast classic, but many people dread the thought of creating a dirty pan before they've even officially started their day. By making your scrambled eggs in the microwave, you can cut down on cleaning time and eliminate some fat. For the perfect microwave scramble, spray a microwave-safe coffee mug with nonfat cooking spray. Scramble your eggs as usual with milk or water and then pour them into the mug. Microwave on high for 40 seconds. Take the mug out and stir, breaking up the egg inside, and then microwave for another 30 seconds. You can eat the eggs right out of the cup with a slice of whole grain toast and a piece of fruit on the side.

4. South of the Border. You can give your breakfast a spicy touch by wrapping your scrambled egg in a wheat tortilla and topping it with your favorite salsa and one serving of low-fat shredded cheddar cheese.

5. Sweet Treat. In moderation, dark chocolate can be a healthy treat, as it's rich in antioxidants. To get your morning off to a sweet start, mix 1-1/2 Tablespoons of dark chocolate cocoa powder with a bowl of cooked, plain oatmeal. Then, you can mix in a 1/4-cup of dates and walnuts or raspberries.

If you're still not convinced that you can manage a quick and easy breakfast, try thinking outside the box. No one says that you have to eat cereal, eggs or other traditional fare for breakfast. Provided you aim to include protein, whole grains and at least one serving of fruit or veggies, you can even reheat and enjoy leftovers from the night before. Be creative, and eat the healthy things that you enjoy.

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