You’ve heard it before, and you’ll hear it again… Breakfast IS the most important meal of the day. We are literally BREAKING the FAST and what we put into our body when we wake up greatly contributes to how we feel the rest of the day.
If you work with me, you also know that I too consider breakfast to be the most important meal of the day. Ironically it’s also the meal that clients tend to skip or pay the least attention to. We are often so busy in the morning and the last thing we want to worry about is what’s on our plate.
Breakfast sets up your energy curve for the entire day. Focusing on a hearty breakfast with PROTEIN, FAT and FIBER will set up your metabolism to burn bright and give you the energy you need to fuel your day.
Many of my clients report drinking coffee with flavored creamer, possibly with a piece of wheat toast or fruit for breakfast. Others choose yogurt and granola in an effort to be healthy or eat a huge bowl of instant oats or Cheerios but rarely eat anything else. These clients are usually the same ones who complain of low-energy, sugar cravings and have difficulty losing weight. Despite their greatest efforts to keep breakfast healthy, their concept of what’s best for their body is likely misguided. A good and nutritious breakfast includes three things, PROTEIN, FAT & FIBER. The examples I gave above have little to none of these components, and instead, are composed of simple or processed carbs that quickly turn to sugar in our body. Without fat and protein, the body will quickly turn these simple carbs into sugar which leads to negative consequences including early hunger or mid-morning sugar cravings, light-headedness and dips in mood or behavior.
So, does this mean I should eat bacon and sausage or an Egg McMuffin as an alternative? No.
Eating healthy sources of protein, fat and fiber at breakfast are key to success for most people. I have listed a few good examples from each category below. You can mix and match to make your own delicious combinations, and if you can’t think of anything, check out my examples at the end.
HEALTHY BREAKFAST PROTEINS
- Organic, free-range eggs
- Pastured Chicken or Pork Sausage
- Left-over beef, bison or lamb
- Nitrate-free, organic bacon
- Smoked salmon
- Other fish
- Nut butters like almond or cashew butter
HEALTHY BREAKFAST FAT
- Grass-fed butter
- Coconut Oil
- Avocado Oil
- Olive Oil
- Nuts & Seeds (especially flax and chia!)
- Whole-fat plain organic yogurt
- Organic cream
HEALTHY BREAKFAST FIBER
- Greens (Spinach, collard greens, kale, swiss chard, etc.)
- Root veggies like potatoes, sweet potatoes, taro, carrots, parsnips or squash
- Chia and Flax (yup it’s a fat and a fiber)
- Fruit in moderation (just don’t make it the main event of the meal)
- Rolled or steel cut oats (not instant)
- Brown rice (1/2 cup portion)
- Kimchi or sauerkraut (raw fermented food is SUPER good for you, but more on that later…)
- Eggs fried in coconut oil with a side of steamed or sauteed greens
- 2-3 pieces of nitrate-free bacon with a side of sauteed Brussels sprouts, topped with an egg over-easy (trust me it’s delish)
- Plantains fried in coconut oil with a side of organic chicken sausage (pictured above)
- Smoked salmon plate with capers, raw almonds, fresh veggies and sauerkraut (this virtually takes no prep if you buy pre-cut veggies at the store)
- Leftover chicken or bison with half an avocado and some baked sweet potato cubes
- Veggie Omelette cooked in avocado oil topped with avocado slices and a side of kimchi
- Chia Breakfast Pudding
- Leftover veggie or beef stew
- No-Bake Protein Granola Bars
- Home-cooked oatmeal can be okay, but pairing it with a hard-boiled egg and topping it with fresh berries and nuts/seeds will help you feel better
- Homemade breakfast casserole
Some of these changes might seem to go against the grain of what you have been taught or it might be completely foreign to you. If this is the case, ask yourself this: “Is what I have been doing working for me? Am I where I want to be with my health?” If the answer is “no” then you have nothing to lose! Changing up breakfast has helped many of my clients as well as helped me personally…
Try it for a week and see how you feel… You have nothing to lose!
In an upcoming post, I will share what I often prepare on Sunday for breakfast that I can eat off all week long.
Now it’s your turn… What do you eat for breakfast that includes protein, fat and fiber? Did you feel better when you made the switch? Tell us about it below! I respond to all “human” comments and posts (no SPAM please).