1. Your toast lacks B vitamins.
Most bread lacks adequate levels of the B vitamins you need (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and folic acid) to build serotonin, the neurotransmitter that keeps you calm and happy.
Bitch-proof your breakfast:
Your breakfast should deliver 10 percent of the daily value of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and folic acid, says dietitian Lisa Dorfman, R.D., a food and mood expert. The amounts of these B vitamins vary by brand, so look carefully at labels. Some breads containing nuts are higher in Bs, as are some that list "whole grain" in the ingredients. If your bread doesn't supply enough Bs, chase your toast with fortified orange juice or switch to fortified cereal - many provide at least 25 percent of these B vitamins.
2. You rely on "low-fat" foods.
Typical low-fat muffins and pastries contain corn and safflower oils. They also often contain unhealthy trans fats. The problem? The wrong type of fat can leave you sluggish and grumpy.
Bitch-proof your breakfast: Some research suggests that people with low levels of the right type of fat - omega-3 fatty acids - are more short-tempered, says Wendy Kohatsu, M.D., assistant professor at Oregon Health Sciences University. Omega-3 fatty acids help form the membranes of your nerve cells, allowing them to function better. Find good fats in walnuts or flaxseed, which you can stir into your cereal or yogurt.
3. You eat fruit by itself.
Fruit has valuable fiber and numerous nutrients, but it leaves you short on magnesium, a nutrient that can ease the symptoms of depression - which include having a super-short fuse.
Bitch-proof your breakfast: Add almonds, soy milk or cereals such as Whole Grain Total, which are all rich in magnesium.
4. You love pancakes and pastries.
"When you're eating only refined carbohydrates such as these, your blood-sugar levels can drop below normal 90 minutes later, making you feel irritable and edgy," says Dr. Kohatsu.
Bitch-proof your breakfast: Add protein, which makes you feel less sluggish and gives your brain the energy to handle daily stress. Think peanut butter, almond butter, eggs, yogurt or cereal with added protein. Sustain that energy by having at least 5 grams of fiber each morning, too. On average, a serving of peanut butter delivers 2 grams of fiber, so you'll want to supplement with an apple or a banana (about 3 grams each).
5. You skip your coffee.
Drinking less than your usual daily dose of caffeine can leave you cranky.
Bitch-proof your breakfast: If you're trying to trim your intake, drink only 10 percent less caffeine a day. Note: This doesn't mean more coffee is better! Drinking more than your usual amount can make you jumpy and nasty, too.
Eat Yourself Happy
Eat your way to a tranquil and productive day with these easy food swaps from Miami-based food and mood expert Lisa Dorfman, R.D.
Instead of: A ready-to-eat breakfast cereal bar
Try: A half-cup of trail mix with peanuts, walnuts and dried cranberries or raisins
Why: Most breakfast bars are high in sugar and low in fiber. Trail mix lets you avoid the post-sugar crash that leaves you energyless and irritable.
Instead of: Fruit-flavored yogurt
Try: Plain, low-fat yogurt with fresh fruit and flaxseed or walnuts
Why: Some yogurts contain huge amounts of sugar (Dannon Blueberry Fruit on the Bottom has 25 grams). Aim for less than 10 grams and add walnuts or flaxseed for mood-stabilizing omega-3s.
Instead of: Kids' cereals ‑- even ones made with whole grains
Try: Cereal containing B vitamins, fiber and protein, such as Total Protein or Fiber One
Why: Numerous kids' cereals have gotten "whole grain" makeovers, but it barely changes their nutritional profiles. The ideal cereal has 5 or fewer grams of sugar and more than 5 grams of fiber.
Instead of: A doughnut
Try: High-fiber, low-sugar waffles (such as Van's Organic) with almond butter
Why: Waffles plus almond butter gives you a total package of omega-3s, fiber, protein and B vitamins.
Stay In The Know
Marie Claire email subscribers get intel on fashion and beauty trends, hot-off-the-press celebrity news, and more. Sign up here.
Khloé Kardashian Apparently Gave Kim Kardashian Her Blessing to Date Her Ex, Odell Beckham Jr.
Khloé Kardashian and Kim Kardashian glammed up at the 2022 CFDA Fashion Awards.
By Fleurine Tideman
Malia Obama Drops Her Famous Last Name Professionally, Opting to Go by This Moniker Instead
She clearly wants to set herself apart from her powerhouse parents as she forges a career in Hollywood.
By Rachel Burchfield
Wait, Is Taylor Swift Brunette Now?
Swifties have questions after photos of an apparent hair change surfaced.
By Sophia Vilensky
Senator Klobuchar: "Early Detection Saves Lives. It Saved Mine"
Senator and breast cancer survivor Amy Klobuchar is encouraging women not to put off preventative care any longer.
By Senator Amy Klobuchar
How Being a Plus-Size Nude Model Made Me Finally Love My Body
I'm plus size, but after I decided to pose nude for photos, I suddenly felt more body positive.
By Kelly Burch
I'm an Egg Donor. Why Was It So Difficult for Me to Tell People That?
Much like abortion, surrogacy, and IVF, becoming an egg donor was a reproductive choice that felt unfit for society’s standards of womanhood.
By Lauryn Chamberlain
The 20 Best Probiotics to Keep Your Gut in Check
Gut health = wealth.
By Julia Marzovilla
Simone Biles Is Out of the Team Final at the Tokyo Olympics
She withdrew from the event due to a medical issue, according to USA Gymnastics.
By Rachel Epstein
The Truth About Thigh Gaps
We're going to need you to stop right there.
By Kenny Thapoung
3 Women On What It’s Like Living With An “Invisible” Condition
Despite having no outward signs, they can be brutal on the body and the mind. Here’s how each woman deals with having illnesses others often don’t understand.
By Emily Shiffer
The High Price of Living With Chronic Pain
Three women open up about how their conditions impact their bodies—and their wallets.
By Alice Oglethorpe