Back when I was young, I’d spend quite a bit of time watching my favorite shows on t.v. Mostly this included now foreign titles like Rescue Rangers, Talespin, and of course, Pokemon. That last one probably deserves a groan, but the worst part is I still don’t feel much shame for it. I’m secretly a nerd at heart. These shows were frequently interrupted with flashy ads for toys, games, sinfully tasty sugary treats, and “meals” that promised happiness. I was too young to realize it back then, but at the end of each sugary breakfast cereal ad, there always stood a disclaimer: “This is part of a complete breakfast!” Keyword: Part. The truth is, I often only ate a bowl of sugary processed cereal for breakfast and missed out on most of the nutrients my body was craving.
Let’s take the word breakfast and dissect it: Break and Fast. At breakfast, you are literally breaking the fast that your body has undergone overnight. When you skip the first meal, indulge in empty sweets, or just go straight for the coffee instead, your body looks for real fuel elsewhere. Your body can end up mining minerals and nutrients straight from your own body, depleting you of energy and vitamins. While some think this is a way to lose weight, studies show the exact opposite happens. Those who regularly eat a complete breakfast actually tend to weigh less than those who skip out. One reason could be overeating later as a result of missing out earlier.
Kick starting your day with several different whole, healthy foods makes a big difference in mental performance, behavior in children, and overall healthy weight.
Here’s a quick example of how I start my days on any given day of the week:
- 1 glass of hot water with juice of one lemon – detoxes the body and kick starts the metabolism.
- 1 cup green tea or herbal tea
- A few small pieces of fruit, or a veggie and fruit smoothie with almond milk
- Complex carbohydrates – these keep you feeling full longer than simple carbs that quickly turn to sugar in the body. Examples: Brown rice pancakes, buckwheat, or quinoa porridge.
- Grain-free options such as sugar free paleo muffins are a great boost in plant protein.
- Once or twice a week, lean chicken sausage adds some protein to my routine. Sometimes I’ll opt for local soy-free eggs instead. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, try adding some cooked kale, spinach or leafy greens for a boost in protein and calcium.
- Brown rice protein smoothies or raw food smoothies are great if I’m on the go.
One of my favorite tips is to quickly whip up your breakfast the night before so you’re not spending too much time cooking in the morning. Here’s a few of my favorite gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, processed sugar-free recipes to get you going in the morning:
- Rustic Apple & Blackberry Tart, Grain-free
- Soft Baked Pretzels, Grain-free
- Paleo Almond Orange Vanilla Cake, Grain-free
- Savory Belarusian Kapusta (Eastern European sauteed cabbage), Vegan
- Breakfast Stuffed Tomatoes
- Flax & Almond Paleo Pancakes, Grain-free
- Hazelnut Buckwheat Pancakes