Looking for super fast, super easy anti-anxiety and anti-depression breakfasts?
Breakfasts to improve your mood, give you steady energy, and keep you full until lunch?
Look no further!
I’ve got the four fastest and easiest breakfast ideas for you- meals that will supercharge your mental health and get your day started just right!
What Makes a Great Anti-Anxiety & Depression Breakfast?
Well, it’s a breakfast that is:
- Low in sugar
- High in protein
- Contains low-GI, gluten-free, complex carbohydrates
- Super easy and fast to prepare
- Can be prepared and kept on hand in advance
Yes, I want you to prioritize protein and low-GI/complex carbs (like oats) for breakfast.
For good mental health and a good mood, we need stable energy, and we need to stay full until lunch.
(You can concentrate on vegetables later in the day. You can also eat low-carb later, if you like.)
We also want predictability and reliability. Find some meals that work for you and stick with them. You shouldn’t miss breakfast because you didn’t have something on hand for those low energy or low mood days.
So, let’s get started with the breakfast ideas!
(1) Oatmeal for super-steady energy
Here’s exactly why oatmeal makes a great anxiety and depression-fighting breakfast:
- Oatmeal, especially steel-cut oats, are high in protein and low-GI. They’ll keep you full and energized all morning! (Let’s face it, low energy is a huge problem with depression…)
- Low-GI oatmeal also gives you stable energy- so important for our moods! No high-and-crash; you’ll have steady energy until lunch.
- Oatmeal is gluten-free. For some people, avoiding gluten makes a real difference to to their mental health.
- It’s easy to add different flavors to oatmeal for variation. So, you can have a steady oatmeal routine without boredom. I like adding cacao powder and cinnamon!
TIPS & IDEAS:
Try steel-cut oats. They take longer to cook, but are higher in protein- to keep you fuller for longer. They also have a delicious nutty flavor.
Make a big batch of oatmeal on the weekend, store in individual containers, and heat during the week for breakfast. Add extra milk if dry.
Avoid those little individual packets of “microwave” oatmeal, or “instant” oatmeal. It’s usually packed with sugar and artificial flavorings, and has less nutritional value.
Experiment with different recipes and flavor combinations to mix it up. You’ll soon discover your favorites!
(2) Yogurt for great gut health
Why is yogurt such a “good mood” food?
- As a fermented food, yogurt is high in probiotics; great for gut health, and therefore great for depression and anxiety!
- Most yogurts, if dairy-based, are high in protein, which will keep you fuller for longer. (Sorry, coconut yogurt doesn’t count!)
- Individually-packed yogurts have a long used-by date, so are easy to keep on hand.
- The different flavorings and add-ins make for good variety. No boring breakfasts!
- It’s easy to add other mental-health-friendly foods such as nuts and cinnamon.
TIPS & IDEAS:
Choose a yogurt low in sugar & high in protein! My favorite is Chobani plain greek yogurt, which is super creamy and delicious.
We know that sugar is very bad for mental illness, so check the nutrition label. Yogurt sweetened with fruit is better, but go easy. Even the sugar in fruit can hurt your anxiety and depression.
Find the highest protein yogurt you can, to stay fuller for longer. Natural greek yogurt is ideal. Some yogurts have added, extra protein. This is a marketing gimmick, but as long as these are low in sugar, try them out!
Be careful: if you’re sensitive to dairy, this may not be a good choice!
(3) Nutty Granola for a great mood
Let’s make a clear distinction here between fruity, grainy granola and nutty granola.
For granola to be a great anti-anxiety and anti-depression breakfast, it needs to be high in protein, low in sugar, and low GI.
So, choose a nutty, fruit-free, gluten-free granola, with lots of different nuts & seeds, coconut, flax seeds, oats, etc.
- Nuts are high in protein and healthy fats: amazing for brain health!! They’ll keep you fuller for longer, too.
- It’s easy to find granola with added “superfoods” such as chia and flax seeds which also help with mental illness.
- Experimenting with your own custom granola recipes is really fun and easy!
- Granola that’s stored properly can last for ages, making it a great and reliable staple to keep around.
TIPS & IDEAS:
Shop around for the right granola! I found my dream granola and I’ve stuck with it.
Read the nutrition label and ingredient list super carefully. Nuts are a must. Dried fruit and added sugar are a no-no!
You can eat granola with yogurt for even more protein, with different types of milk, or even dry.
Keep little packets of granola around as an emergency snacks.
THIS is the exact granola I eat almost EVERY. SINGLE. MORNING and it will CHANGE YOUR LIFE:
(I’m making it BIG because it is seriously the most amazing thing ever)
(4) Eggs for turbo-charged brain health
Wow, eggs are so good for mental health! Here’s why:
- Eggs are INCREDIBLY healthy and have an amazingly wide range of vitamins: B vitamins like folate, Vitamins A & E, calcium, selenium, and magnesium.
- Eggs are one of the only foods that contain Vitamin D, so important for fighting depression and anxiety (especially in winter or if you don’t get much sun).
- You can eat eggs in so many ways! Enough ways that you’ll never get bored.
- Eggs are super high in protein, to keep you full and energized all morning.
TIPS & IDEAS:
Eat the yolks AND the whites for better mental health. Don’t be sucked into the “egg-white omelette” craze! The yolks are incredibly nutritious and full of healthy fats- vital for brain health and healing.
It’s perfectly safe to eat more than two eggs every day. Don’t believe the old wives’ tales you grew up with.
Free-range eggs are a better choice, nutritionally and ethically, but if you can’t get reasonably priced free-range eggs, choose barn-laid.
My Favorite Fast & Easy Breakfasts for Depression & Anxiety
See my collection of recipes here- including breakfast & smoothie ideas!
I’m a creature of habit and really lazy, so I tend to rotate through the same 3 meals for weekday mornings.
I can prepare all of these in bulk, ahead of time, and relatively cheaply. Tick, tick, tick!
For variety, I treat myself on the weekend to things like poached eggs or omelettes, or protein pancakes. But for weekdays? Nothing beats these three choices!!
High-Protein Yogurt & Nutty, Sugar-Free Granola
This is my go-to breakfast on work days. I eat at about 8:30/9am at work. I keep granola at my desk and a few individual yogurts in the fridge.
I eat Dorset Simply Nutty Granola and (usually) Chobani Greek Yogurt.
I’m a little sensitive to dairy, as many of us with depression or anxiety are. But I tolerate it well in yogurt form, so I still get to enjoy the benefits!
Bacon & Veggie Crustless Quiche
After a life of being a quiche failure I’ve finally learned how to make it properly. The secret seems to be adding milk and/or cream and cheese. This even adds extra protein and healthy fats and also makes the quiche soooo tasty!
Eggs are already high in protein, but adding bacon, chorizo, cut-up chicken, or even mince turbo-charges it and adds flavor.
(Also, everything is better with bacon- and makes up with the lack of pastry!)
Oh, and my number-one quiche tip? Don’t overcook it. Take it out of the oven when it’s still a little wiggly and leave it to rest.
Chocolate Steel-Cut Oats
I like to make a big batch of steel-cut oats and then heat individual serves during the week as needed.
I fry steel-cut oats with a little butter, then boil with half water and half milk. Then, I add cinnamon, high-quality superfood cacao powder (NOT cocoa), and a little stevia.
The chocolate, guys!! It’s incredible. Almost like eating rich chocolate pudding for breakfast. And yet, it’s super healthy and incredible for your mental health!
Pro-tip: customise your oatmeal to your own “sweetness” tastes. I have a crazy sweet tooth, but the savory edge to these oats really does it for me.
What If You Don’t Like Breakfast?
Not a breakfast person? Never hungry in the mornings? Resent the time and effort that breakfast takes?
I get it. Believe me, I do.
I’ve been anti-breakfast my whole life. Like, hardcore dedicated anti-breakfast.
My stomach does not like eating for at least an hour after waking, and eating breakfast made me starving by 10am. Besides, not eating breakfast didn’t seem to affect my energy or concentration, so what was the point?
If that’s you, I’d encourage you to still give breakfast a proper go.
Dedicate yourself to healthy, high-protein, low-GI breakfast every single day for at least three months.
The research into the importance of breakfast is just too strong, guys! It raises and stabilizes your energy and mood levels, makes you more productive, helps your brain, and adds more nutrition to your day.
Eating breakfast most mornings has been a revelation for me. Yes, I still have mornings when I just can’t stomach breakfast, or don’t eat it until 10am. But it has made a massive difference to my daily mental health.
If, after three months, you still think that breakfast is not for you, you have my permission to quit!
What to Do Next
Well, it’s over to you guys! Here’s your challenge:
- Don’t eat breakfast at all? Try the above meals every morning for three months.
- You can explore more breakfast and other meal ideas in my recipe collection!
- Don’t eat breakfast regularly? Check out my hacks above for making breakfast lazy-friendly and effort-free.
- Eat breakfast, but it’s packed with sugar and low in protein? Read the above again, and re-consider your breakfast habits.