Thursday, 19 March 2015

Good Starts

People skip breakfast for a variety of reasons. Some of us start work really early (professionals, shift workers, farmers). Some of us exercise in the morning before the day gets crazy. Others are busy with kids. Kids are apparently busy....being kids. Whatever the reason it's easy to get rolling with your day only to find by lunch time that you haven't eaten.

We've all heard the saying "breakfast is the most important meal of the day". But the jury is out on this one. There are a number of eating programs that advocate fasting, reducing the number of meals per day, or narrowing feeding times (only eating within certain times). If you are currently using a nutrition plan like this and its working for you (you feel energized and healthy and aren't hungry) then great! Read no further. 

If on the other hand you don't have a plan and you roll from one day to the next in the warm fuzzy haze of erratic blood on. Because if your "fast" is unplanned and unintentional and you get to lunch time (or yes, even dinner) and you haven't eaten chances are that two things are happening. 

The first is that without fuel your brain and body aren't performing very well. You go through the entire list of children and pet names before you get your spouses name right. You drop the keys three times before you can finally unlock the car door. Instead of deleting the inappropriate joke your brother-in-law sent you, you forward it to everyone in your email address book including your boss. You pour yourself a coffee then put the cup of coffee in the fridge and the cream in the cupboard and go back to your desk empty handed. Things are not going smoothly.

Second is that by the time you finally eat you are ravenous and "make poor choices". That's polite speak for eating everything that isn't furniture. You likely drink a pot or two of coffee in an attempt to wake yourself up. You over consume high calorie nutritionally devoid food. And then you feel like crap. Your mood through this blood glucose roller coaster makes you look like Jim Carrey on an acid trip. People are standing further and further away from you. Your kids have stopped texting.

Stop the Madness. Eat breakfast. 

Now I realize that we are all busy and some of us just don't wake up hungry. It's not necessary to eat a massive multi-course breakfast. In fact starting with a small nutritious snack is very effective and can be repeated throughout the day to suit your schedule and tastes.  Do yourself a favour and skip the calorie heavy sugary treats. Cereal, muffins, and granola bars are just candy in a different dress. Remember to consume 16 oz (2 cups) of water with whatever you eat. Many people are fatigued and mentally fogged because they are chronically dehydrated. 

Here are some of my suggestions for quick nutritious breakfasts (or snacks) to get your body and brain working first thing.

  1. Egg, cheese, n' tomato: 2 hard boiled eggs, an ounce of cheddar, tomato cut into slices. Can be prepped the night before and eaten on the way to or at work.  
  2. Egg & Avocado: 2 hard boiled eggs with 1/2 avocado mashed if you're on the go. If at home make the eggs soft boiled (4 minutes) and let the runny yolks smother the avocado.
  3. Smoothies: Crazy easy. There are lots of recipes on line. You can whip these up on the spot in seconds or prep them the night before & then blend or shake them when you are ready. I recommend you include some protein (protein powder), some healthy fat (avocado or nut butters) & keep it low sugar (1/2 cup berries or less). 
  4. Apple or Banana & Peanut Butter: House favourite. Cut the apple or banana into slices spread natural peanut butter or almond butter on top and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds or chia. Mwah!
  5. Instant oats: plain oats with chia, flax, walnuts, and hemp. Add hot water and let sit for a few minutes. Top with almond milk or cream. Can be made at home or work. Can be prepped the night before. For my oatmeal recipes please click here.
  6. Leftovers: cook extra meat & veggies at dinner & prep some for breakfast the next day. I know it sounds gross but it's actually very tasty and quite easy. My favourite is grilled chicken breast with pan friend kale & almonds in coconut oil. Yum!
  7. Hummus & veggies: a variety of veggies (tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers, carrots, zucchini) with a large dollop of hummus. Easy peazey lemon squeezey. 
  8. Greek Yogourt: plain regular fat greek yogourt (I like Athentikos by Astro) with chia, raw almonds, flax & a clementine or blueberries. Can be prepped the night before. Keep dry ingredients separate from the yogourt until you are ready to eat. 
  9. Brazil Nuts & Oranges: 6 Brazil nuts, 1 orange, 2 ounces of cheese. Boom!
  10. Scrambled to go: chopped veggies (leftovers or fresh), 2-3 eggs, 1 ounce of cheese. Put veggies and whipped eggs in a glass bowl top with cheese (sliced or grated) and microwave until firm. 

Thanks for reading Getting Healthy With NP Sam. Comments welcome. Please click the pencil icon below. 

No comments: