We’ve all heard the arguments for breakfast being the most important meal of the day. But can having it (or not having it) really make or break the rest of your day? As someone who skipped breakfast for years upon years, and relied heavily on coffee as go-to fuel, only to eventually crash and burn, I now say, yes. It holds the power to make or break more than just your day.

Beginning the year welcoming breakfast back into my life, this time with a full commitment and arms wide open, has been one of the best decisions I could have ever made. My energy level thanks me. My blood sugar thanks me. My metabolism thanks me. And even my psyche thanks me.

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The important part of breakfast is not simply having it, but rather, making it count. Regardless of whether you have five minutes to spend on breakfast, or 50 minutes each day, here are 5 ways to make it count.

1. Be Picky

When it comes to the nutritional value of your breakfast, and its ability to add pep in your step, some breakfasts rank higher than others. The ideal plant-based breakfast is one that gives you ample fuel, without weighing you down on account of density, portion size, or even greasiness. If you are new to breakfast, ease into things with a lighter selection that is easy for your body to digest, such as a smoothie. Try this chai-chocolate green smoothie for a daily dose of green and an energizing boost, rolled into a super-food infused meal in itself, one that warrants not simply being sipped, but savored. For a berry-filled alternative, try this blueberry acai super smoothie.

2. Think Ahead

Thinking ahead to breakfast the night before you wake, allows you to avoid a mad dash in the morning and keeps you from finding yourself settling for anything you can put your hands on in the cupboard, or eating something you later come to regret. If you are someone who enjoys thinking several days ahead, making something such as muffins in bulk at the beginning of the week will allow you to have something on hand and eliminate any extra prep time the morning of. If you prefer something a bit sweeter, try this recipe for vegan chocolate peanut butter and jelly muffins, or quinoa, apricot and oat muffin clusters. If you prefer savory, consider these whole grain spinach biscuit muffins.

3. Adapt To Your Routine

Not everyone has the luxury of sitting and savoring their time in the mornings, but there is something to be said for at least carving out a few minutes to allow yourself time to breathe, eat, and digest before the day gets underway. If breakfast absolutely must be taken on the go or consumed at your computer, so be it. It’s better than skipping it entirely, but save this as a last resort. On the other hand, if you happen to find yourself with ample time in the mornings, try using the time to recreate a classic dish with a vegan spin, like these vegan bananaberry pancakes or get creative by whipping up your own entirely plant-based version of your favorite omelet.

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4. Mix Things Up

Mix things up depending on how your body is feeling and the amount of time you have on any given day, so you don’t find yourself falling into repetitive breakfast motions. If you are a seasoned breakfast enthusiast and are simply looking for something different than your usual picks, here are some quick healthy breakfast ideas that taste amazing. Not only are they quick, healthy and tasteful, they take things over to the raw side. If you’d rather dress up a classic favorite, like oatmeal, here are some oatmeal-based recipes that take a different spin on this classic breakfast staple.

5. Remember The Value…and Share the Breakfast Love!

The most important part of breakfast is remembering that you are doing your body right by giving it ample plant-based fuel first thing in the day, and as a result, will be able to better serve yourself, your job, family, friends, and the world at large for all of the hours that follow.

If you are looking to share your love for breakfast with others, trying taking some time (perhaps on a weekend) to show that even entire brunch ensembles can be made vegan. Here’s a look at a decadent brunch without eggs. If you’d rather spend the weekend in your bathrobe, here are some ideas that are ideal if you are looking to take breakfast to the bedroom with you.

Image source: Quinoa, Apricot, and Oat Muffin Clusters

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