Do you eat breakfast? I honestly believe it’s one of the best dietary habits you can form. Not just any old breakfast though. Sugary, processed cereals and cereal bars, fatty, high sodium animal fats like bacon and ham or baked goods like muffins and donuts made from refined flour and sugar are not good options. Starting your day off with those types of foods is setting you up for an energy crash as well as increasing your risk for many diseases like diabetes and obesity.
Here’s the interesting article I came across that got me thinking that I should discuss breakfast:
Many of my clients are not in the habit of eating a nourishing breakfast and some don’t eat breakfast at all. If you can relate and are struggling with weight or health issues, ask yourself if skipping breakfast is working for you. It might be time to work on creating a new habit.
Why do so many people not make the time to have some food in the morning? There are many excuses:
“I’m not hungry in the morning.” The reason you’re not hungry is because you’re not accustomed to eating that early. Once you establish the habit of having food in the morning your body will come to expect that and hunger will naturally develop. Try to have something within an hour or two of waking. Start small. Think about what would appeal to you and go with that– maybe a little bowl of oatmeal with some raspberries and almonds? Choosing a wholesome, plant-strong, fiber-rich meal will start your day off on the right note and keep your blood sugar levels stable. If eating breakfast is something completely foreign to you, start with a mini goal of having it 3X week and then gradually increase it to daily.
“If I eat breakfast, I’m hungrier all day and I can’t stop eating.” This is common with dieters who under-eat or avoid food only to over-consume later. Experiencing the strong desire to overeat can come about from restricting food for too long. This happens when you skip meals; your appetite gets out of whack from not eating regularly. So when you do eat, you overeat because your body has come to learn that it may not get fed again for a long time. You must break this pattern if you want to eat “normally” again. Eating breakfast can actually help you get out of that feast/famine cycle. Try a balanced breakfast consisting of whole grains, protein and fruit. Just having a few egg whites or an orange does not make for a satisfying breakfast and you’re sure to feel hungry too soon. Get back in balance and eat enough.
“I don’t have time for breakfast.” Ahh, the famous excuse of being too busy. I like to remind people that we are all given the same amount of time every day, however what we choose to do with it varies drastically. Breakfast does not have to be something that takes much time at all. I put mine together in less than 5 minutes. Here is what I have been doing lately (see pic below): Mash a banana in a large mug, add 1/3 cup rolled oats, 1/3 cup unsweetened soy milk, 1 tablespoon raisins, a small handful of walnuts and a sprinkling of cinnamon. Stir and eat. Simple. Delicious. Other quick and easy ideas include:
- Bowl of whole grain cereal with unsweetened soy or almond milk and berries
- Overnight oats
- Sprouted grain or whole grain bread, toasted with peanut butter and jam
- A homemade granola bar and some fruit salad or a piece of fruit
- Protein bar like Luna, Clif, Mojo or Organic Food Bar with an apple
- Dinner leftovers
Still think you have no time, even for these ideas? Why not get up 15 minutes earlier?
This literally took less than 5 minutes to assemble. I timed it to make sure. That includes boiling the water for tea. Just because this happens to be one of my favorite breakfasts doesn’t mean it’s right for you too. Figure out what you crave in the morning. I like sweet but many people are drawn more to savory foods for breakfast.
What’s your typical breakfast? Do you feel better when you eat something in the morning? For me, on those rare days when I have tried to get by on just fruit or a smoothie I don’t feel quite the same.