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The Best Breakfast For Staying Laser-Focused All Day (VIDEO)

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You've got a big day coming up. Whether you're facing down a deadline or going on an important interview, you're feeling prepared: You've already done your homework, come up with a thoughtful plan and vowed to get a good night's rest before the sun comes up. But you still haven't done everything to make sure you'll be mentally sharp throughout the day.

According to registered dietitian Lauren Schmitt, your path to maintaining laser-sharp focus begins in the kitchen. She tells the web series #OWNSHOW that eating certain foods at breakfast will boost that mental energy you need throughout the day.

"You really need a combination at breakfast time. So, if you could create a meal that has a balance of essential fatty acids and protein, and also a complex carb for fiber, you're well on your way," Schmitt says.

And what does that ideal breakfast look like? A meal that's as simple as it is powerful.

"An example would be Greek yogurt for the protein, but then throw in some oats or high-fiber cereal. Top that with some flax seeds, and that would be a great thing to start with," Schmitt suggests. "If you really want to get more benefit, you could even put berries on top for the antioxidants."

Each element in that particular breakfast, she adds, plays an important role in helping you stay sharp and focused.

"The antioxidants, specifically, will reduce inflammation, which... could be the cause of 'brain fog,'" Schmitt explains. "The complex carbs... it takes your body longer to digest them, so it's a slow release of energy, unlike a quick sugar rush. And those essential fats, they are great for keeping the nerve impulses firing strong in the brain."

If you're looking for something a little more substantial, think breakfast sandwich.

"You could get a whole wheat English muffin or some sprouted bread, and you could top that with eggs and avocado," Schmitt says. "If you want even more benefit, I would say pay the extra dollar and get the eggs that are fortified with the Omega-3 fats."

Worried about maintaining your energy in the afternoon? Schmitt also reveals the pick-me-up that's better than coffee.

Before You Go

The 3-Minute Burrito That'll Keep You Going For Hours
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While so many breakfast wraps include eggs, this one relies on black beans for protein. Fill a whole wheat tortilla with a half-cup each of cooked black beans and sliced, roasted peppers, along with a sprinkling of shredded cheese, salsa and chopped cilantro. Roll up and store in the freezer, wrapped in plastic. In the morning, remove plastic, wrap loosely in a damp paper towel and microwave 3 minutes.
The All-In-One Rev-Er-Upper
Sang An
Get your caffeine fix and your morning meal all in one with this frothy smoothie, which incorporates a double shot of espresso, vanilla soy milk, cashew butter and a frozen banana. The shake contains 6 grams of protein, which is about the same amount you'll find in 1 egg. Get the recipe: Get-Up-and-Go Protein Smoothie
A Savory Mix You Can Nibble On All Morning
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Trail mix can be healthy -- if you make it yourself and keep the portions reasonable. This combo is packed with good-for-you ingredients, and will keep your energy up until lunch. Mix together a cup each of unfrosted, shredded Mini-Wheats and popcorn, and an eighth-cup each of toasted pumpkin seeds and cashews (plain are fine, but Trader Joe's Thai Lime & Chili Cashews are even better).
The Veggie Scramble That's As Hearty As Any Blue-Plate Special
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Vegan and vegetarian cooking instructor Colleen Patrick-Goudreau knows that preparing tofu can be tricky -- especially with the dizzying range of textures and styles available at supermarkets -- but she promises that if you start with the right kind, you'll get delicious results. The secret to making a perfectly fluffy, non-watery scramble, Patrick-Goudreau says, is using extra-firm tofu (and squeezing out some of the water before you begin cooking). It's perfect in a tortilla with salsa, or topped with fresh herbs. Get the recipe: Tofu Scramble
A Sandwich With Some Heft
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Instead of making a traditional peanut butter and jelly sandwich, try apple slices and almond butter on a toasted whole wheat English muffin or flat bagel. The fruit contains less added sugar than jelly -- and it also provides a nice crunch to contrast the smooth nut butter.
The Brunchy, Meaty -- And Healthy! -- Casserole
Ben Fink
This big breakfast bake is made from grits, instead of the usual cheese, but it's no less comforting. It'll energize you, too, since it includes turkey kielbasa, which is lower in calories and saturated fat than pork sausage yet still high in protein. You can make a batch, and when it's cool, cut it into individual portions and refrigerate to eat later, either at room temperature or reheated. Get the recipe: Tomato Grits and Sausage
A Dessert-Inspired Way To Start Your Day (With No Sugar Crash)
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We're all for indulging in cheesecake for breakfast, if only it didn't come with a sugar high, and then hunger pangs an hour later. Not this tasty meal: It delivers creaminess and a sweet hit, thanks to skim ricotta cheese and sliced strawberries. Spread a few spoonfuls of cheese on large fiber crispbreads, add fresh mint leaves if you like, top with the fruit and you'll stay sated all morning.

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