Breakfast can be tricky for a lot of folks. Sure, you know it is wise to each a healthy and balanced breakfast. You have more than likely heard the statistics implying that people who eat breakfast, weight less. You may be hearing it everywhere and you get it, but you simply can’t find the time when you are sleepwalking through your morning to make a healthy and satisfying breakfast. Maybe you rarely eat it at all. Maybe you are one of the many people who just aren’t hungry in the morning. While I rarely advocate eating when you aren’t feeling any sort of hunger, making sure you eat breakfast is key.
You may not feel hungry when you first wake up, but you could very well be starving an hour an hour later when you stuck in a meeting and by the time lunch comes, you have turned into the Incredible Hulk and could pretty much eat an entire horse.
Here’s my two cents. You don’t have to eat as soon as you get up. Listen to your body. If you want to wait a couple hours, that is fine. However, that means you must plan ahead, rather than skipping breakfast altogether. If you aren’t hungry in the morning, it would behoove you to eat something very small, like a small piece of fruit, and bring a packed breakfast for when you start to feel the rumble. Regardless of when, it is definitely important to eat breakfast for a couple of reasons.
1. It jumpstarts your metabolism. While we are sleeping, our metabolism slows. Makes sense, right? Unless you have a severe sleep disorder, you are mostly likely not jumping, running, or walking long distances in your sleep. You need the most energy during your waking hours and while you are sleeping the body needs to slow the metabolism in order to have energy to repair and rejuvenate your body. After all, we grow and heal while we sleep. Our body needs to conserve the energy to serve us best. When we wake up, breakfast is a sure fire way to tell our body; we are awake, we are eating, time to return to normal metabolism. Boom.
2.It helps you to make better food choices throughout the day. If you get so hungry you want to eat a horse, and since you can’t literally eat a horse, you may go for some pretty unhealthy choices. Oftentimes, people overeat at lunch and wind up eating a lot more than they should with breakfast and lunch combined.
—Do swap out coffee for green tea. Green tea contains ECGC, a powerful antioxidant, which revs up the metabolism, protects against cancer and boosts immunity.
—Do include protein, fiber and fruit. For an added nutrition bonus, add greens a few times a week.
—Do hard-boil 6-12 eggs ahead of time and keep them in the fridge. If you are on the go, they come in an edible little package or you can take them to work with you with an apple, orange or peach.
—Do choose whole grains over flour-containing products (even wheat flour). Flour containing products, even whole-wheat bread or whole-grain cereals metabolize faster than whole grains themselves. Whenever possible, choose steel-cut over quick oats and choose grains over flour.
—Do have a plan. Don’t leave breakfast up to the fates. Choose three different breakfasts that are ready and available. Rotate the three, or choose depending on what you feel like that day.
Breakfast Don’t Meals
1. Special K with a banana and milk. Special K–toted as a diet food is extremely high-glycemic and rips through you like sugar. A banana is also a high-glycemic fruit, and milk has lactose (milk sugar). There is little protein to slow down the rise of blood sugar.
2. Bagel and cream cheese. Bagels are high-calorie and turn to sugar very quickly. Cream cheese is high in saturated fat but doens’t quite have the protein hit to make it worth it.
3. Flavored yogurt and granola. Flavored yogurt is often full of sugar and combined with high-sugar granola and the refined grains in granola, the combination is a poor choice for satiety. Your blood sugar will spike and you will be hungry soon afterwards.
4. Diet Meal-Replacement Bar– If it is self-proclaimed health food, be skeptical. Check the ingredients. If there are more than five ingredients and you can’t pronounce even a few of them…this is a bad idea. When you are in a dire rush, choose lara or kind bars (the Nut & Spice variety). They contain protein, fiber and healthy fats. They do contain sugar, but a small amount compared to other protein bars.
5. Bacon and cheese omelette with home fries. This is an obvious bad choice, and should be reserved for very special treats. There is no fruit, very little fiber if any, and both cheese and bacon are very high in saturated-fat. Then, the saturated fat is being combined with potatoes (that turn into sugar quickly). So, while fat in and of itself won’t make you fat, combining it will sugar will. If you are choosing healthy fats (which can be awesome), you want to focus on mono-unsaturated first (like avocados and nuts) before the cheese and the bacon. They are not as beneficial to the system.
Breakfast Do Meals
1. Ezekial Bread with natural almond-butter, sliced apple and cinnamon. Ezekial bread is a flour-less sprouted grain bread and contains fiber, so metabolizes at a slower rate than regular bread (even whole wheat). One slice should be sufficient alongside the apple for your carb source. Almond butter provides protein and healthy fats and an apple provides a fiber and vitamins and minerals. Cinnamon is a natural anti-inflammatory. If you are still hungry, add in protein, not more carbs.
2. Steel-cut oatmeal with fresh or frozen blueberries (thawed), slivered almonds, nut milk and a smidge of maple syrup. Lots of fiber in the oatmeal and berries and protein in the almonds. Unsweetened almond milk or cashew milk has less sugar than milk. I would add a hard-boiled egg or two for some extra fat and protein for satiety. You really only need 1/2 cup of cooked oatmeal to get the carbs you need, especially combined with the blueberries.
3. Green Smoothie (kale, frozen banana, strawberries, blueberries, water) with a scoop of whey or hemp protein for protein. Add some protein like unsweetened Greek yogurt for satiety. Or add on a couple of eggs or turkey bacon if you don’t want to add Greek yogurt to the smoothie.
4. 1 egg/ 1 egg white scrambled with salsa, spinach and half an avocado on top. Add a half a grapefruit. Mixing 1 egg with one egg white is awesome. It provides lots of protein and half of the fat of two eggs. Egg yolks are the bomb diggity. They contain tons of vitamin D and they are delicious and satisfying, but by only having one, you are cutting your fat and calories in half. Add in that spinach for fiber.
I would add in 1/2 grapefruit or a 1/2 a banana to give you some healthy carbs.
5. Sautéed turkey bacon and kale. Add a side of fresh berries for some healthy carbs. Protein, fiber, fruit. Booyah.
Remember. When shopping, choose a few solid options, get the ingredients and rotate. You may not want to think that hard when you are tired. If it helps, pre-cut some veggies, pre-wash kale and spinach for easy accessibility, and keep lara and kind bars stocked for an emergency late-to-work option.
Take it. Use it. Love it.
Rock On and Be Well,