I like this sentiment, because I believe what most Americans eat in the morning is a recipe for poor health. What do we eat? It seems like the most popular choices consist of foods like frozen waffles, cold cereal, granola bars or toast. The other breakfast of choice that I often hear is "nothing." Eating no breakfast isn't a good idea on so many levels and most people know it.
When we use nutrition and food as medicine, there are a few key foundations we are working with to bring about the best health possible. One of these is regulating the blood sugar. In order to feel healthy, energetic and clear headed we need to have stable blood sugar throughout the day. By eating a good breakfast with protein and also some healthy fats, we ensure that we are starting the day off on the right foot. When we start off with high carbohydrate breakfasts we run the risk of having our blood sugar spike too high early in the day, which results in it dipping too low later. This sets us up for energy dips and the results are usually sugar cravings. In the long term this can lead to weight gain and metabolic problems.
So what are some better choices? Well, some protein, healthy fats and a portion of some type of complex carbohydrate (either unlimited non-starchy veggies or a small portion of a whole grains, starchy veggies or beans) would be a good place to start.
Here are a few meal ideas:
- 2 eggs cooked any style with spinach, olives and tomatoes with 1/4-1/2 cup cooked oatmeal with 1/2 tbl butter
- 2 pieces of bacon with 1 hard-boiled egg and 1/2 cup sweet potato hash browns
- Smoothie with full-fat yogurt or full-fat coconut milk (other milks of choice are fine too, I just don't recommend skim milk), 1/2 cup berries, chia or flax seeds and protein powder or nut butter
- Full-fat yogurt with berries and nuts, you can add a scoop of protein powder for added blood sugar stabilization
- Pancakes, muffins or waffles made with high protein almond flour, topped with blueberries. If you've never cooked with almond flour before, try Googling a recipe like "almond flour pancakes" or "almond flour muffins"
- 1/2 an avocado and sauteed veggies of choice
- Leftover roasted veggies with breakfast sausage
- Smoked salmon on high protein, high fiber crackers, with some avocado and veggies on top
- Finally, don't be afraid to have dinner for breakfast! Breakfast is a great time to sneak in a few servings of veggies. Eat a salad for breakfast in the summer, have some nourishing veggie soup in the winter or have leftovers from the night before. Leftovers are often one of the quickest choices because it only requires reheating.
What are your favorite healthy breakfast foods?