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Healthy Oatmeal Breakfast Boosters

by Edward Habat

Now that the new year is upon us, many of us resolve to improve our overall wellness with healthier eating habits. But our good intentions often fall short due to lack of good recipes or willpower.

Take your bowl of ordinary oatmeal, for example. While a popular breakfast substitute for pancakes and waffles, it can be hard to eat plain oatmeal for more than a few days before getting bored and switching back to sugary alternatives. Brown sugar and chocolate chips might make that bland bowl bearable, but only at the expense of the low-calorie, energy-boosting benefits you may have sought in the first place.

We asked Amie Valpone, bestselling author of Eating Clean: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation, and Reset Your Body, to share ideas for delicious, satisfying and healthy oatmeal boosters.

Ground flaxseeds, sliced pears and almond butter

Ground flax seeds are certainly a better alternative to a helping of chocolate chips. Add sliced pears and a drizzle of almond butter for sweetness, and you're on your way to an omega-3 and protein-rich breakfast that leaves you energized. Be sure to use ground flax seeds to get the full benefits.

Chopped walnuts, lemon zest and sea salt

For a tangy boost, try adding chopped walnuts, lemon zest and a pinch of sea salt. The delicate mix of citrus and sea salt does the heavy lifting for flavor here, while the walnuts feature omega-3s to help ease inflammation. Make sure to use raw walnuts, and avoid roasted or salted brands, as they're often full of inflammation-causing ingredients like canola oil and table salt.

Toasted sunflower seeds, unsweetened coconut flakes and ground cinnamon

Looking for a natural way to sweeten those oats? Try adding roasted sunflower seeds, a pinch of cinnamon, and unsweetened coconut flakes to your bowl. The cinnamon and coconut flakes are naturally sweet, so you won't have to worry about excessive blood sugar spikes you can expect from refined sugar.

Check out these creamy porridge toss-ins for even more wholesome breakfast ideas from Amie.

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