I’m usually hungry before my feet hit the floor every morning. Sometimes, as I’m falling asleep at night, I plan (and look forward to) what I will make for breakfast the next day. Breakfast has always been my favorite meal…maybe because my body’s been in a fasting state for about twelve hours, or maybe because I like the sound of an egg sizzling in a hot cast iron skillet, or maybe it’s because coffee is arguably the best. smell. ever.
When I begin working with a client, one of the first questions I ask is: “Do you eat breakfast every morning?” Truly, everybody is different, and has different needs/preferences; however, I urge (no, I insist) that, within about an hour of waking, each client eats something. Here’s why: Breakfast tells our bodies that last night’s fast is over. Eating breakfast sets a healthy intention for the day: it’s the beginning of self-care, of nurturing our beautiful bodies and providing them with needed fuel. Breakfast provides energy to perform, satiety to concentrate, nutrients for good health, and it wakes up our metabolism so that we begin burning calories. Breakfast is our first interval of eating: come lunch time, we are not so famished that we jump into the drive-thru line at the first fast food restaurant we see.
But….not all breakfast choices will give our bodies what they need. I like to see my clients get equal portions of unrefined, unprocessed carbohydrates, healthy fat, and protein. On your plate or in your bowl, this might look something like:
Protein Oats: Cook 1/3 cup oats with 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk. Once cooked, add 1 scoop of plant based protein powder (chocolate or vanilla), 1/4 cup berries, about 8 chopped nuts, and a small drizzle of maple syrup if needed….I sometimes sprinkle hemp or flaxseed over top.
Avocado Toast: Toast a slice of Dave’s or Ezekiel Bread. Top with 1/4 mashed avocado and a gently fried egg. Drizzle with hot sauce for a little kick. Serve alongside 1/2 c. berries
Yogurt bowl: Icelandic or greek yogurt, berries, nuts of choice, ground flaxseed, cinnamon and a dash of maple syrup if needed.
Scrambled eggs: in coconut oil with feta cheese and wilted arugula.
The carbohydrates in the above options provide energy, the protein and fat keeps us full, and each of the 3 components are loaded with nutrient density that set us up for continued success throughout a busy, likely stress-filled day. Where breakfast is concerned there’s no arguing with the results of research. Just one of the studies, called the National Weight Control Registry, was created to find out what it takes to lose weight-permanently. Four out of five participants in the registry (people who have managed to lose and keep off a significant amount of weight) say they eat breakfast every day. Studies show that breakfast helps keep blood sugar stable and helps people eat fewer calories in the meals that follow.
I do have clients who simply cannot tolerate a complete meal so early in the morning, so I have them “build” the breakfast. Meaning, she might have1/2 tablespoon of nut butter and half an apple upon waking, and then a hard-boiled egg and a piece of whole grain toast an hour later. When you look at the 2 halves as a whole, it’s a complete breakfast and mission accomplished: metabolism gets stoked, blood sugar is stabilized, client’s stomach can handle the division of the meal, and the rest of the day goes more smoothly.
This morning, bon appetite.