I used to eat cereals, fruits, yoghurt or an oatmeal porridge in the morning and I was always disappointed how soon I was hungry again. Only after an hour and a half, my stomach started to growl again!
The question I often hear, as a nutritional therapist, is that what do I eat for breakfast. After years of studying nutrition and learning new eating habits (I know it’s not an easy job to change one’s diet!), I would actually argue that if you can only change one thing in your diet, change your breakfast!
Some studies suggest that a breakfast should be eaten within 45 minutes after waking up. That’s when the cortisol level is the highest and we need to drop it down to make sure our adrenals won’t pump out cortisol even more and mess with our blood sugar. What’s even worse, chronically high cortisol levels can mess up our sleeping cycle. Balanced blood sugar, on the other hand, is the key to a steady energy level.
If I only have a chance, I take the time to prepare my healthy breakfast and enjoy it in peace, mindfully present (usually my children and spouse have already eaten when I get to start). Kind of a meditation 😉 I might even eat a full meal in the morning and I don’t mean any carbohydrate-rich pizza, which makes me rather tired than awake, but instead a high-fat meal.
Usually, people can best exploit high-fat consumption in the morning. Then again moderate fat intake during the day and less towards the evening. Protein, in general, can be consumed moderately throughout the morning and day but the carbohydrates should be targeted mostly to the evening. Carbohydrates in the evening can help to gain a better sleep at night.
Sugary carbs won’t keep the hunger away
My breakfast is always rich in healthy fats such as extra virgin coconut oil, MCT-oil, hemp oil, avocado oil, ghee or butter and coconut oil. Also avocados, nuts and seeds are a great source of healthy fats. I might even eat a full meal composed of vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and fish. Not forgetting the gut healer and probiotic super food, sauerkraut, which is often added to my omelettes or as a side dish with fish or vegetables. Kefir or other fermented foods are a great addition to breakfast as well.
A variety of healthy fats and high-fat foods to consume in the morning.
Water with a twist
I always start my day with a big glass of water! That’s the most important macronutrient people need but it is often forgotten. A cup of tea or coffee won’t hydrate but instead, as diuretics do just the opposite. I often add some lime or lemon and even a pinch of raw salt into my morning water to add nutritional
elements and increase the absorption in the body. Lemon water has some great immune boosting, detoxing and energy boosting effects.
If I’m in a hurry I usually choose to prepare a quick smoothie combined with berries, nuts, seeds and a variety of oils. The liquid base that I use for smoothies is either coconut milk or any nut milk, water or kefir. Kefir is packed with probiotics and makes a great smoothie with fruits.
Chia seeds or flax seeds will add a great amount of fibre which is very important for our intestinal health and berries provide the super important antioxidants that we need to prevent free radicals from causing oxidation in our body tissues and cells (ageing process and DNA damage, for example). Berries and fruits are also a rich source of important micronutrients; vitamins and minerals. To make any smoothie even denser in nutrients, I might add some spinach, kale or green superfood powder such as Wheatgrass or Spirulina. Couldn’t get much healthier and easier than this!
Healing Foodie’s Berry Shop
Filling omelette or pancake
An omelette is also a quick breakfast to prepare and can be filled with a variety of healthy stuff such as vegetables, nuts, seeds, grass-fed beef, herbs etc…. Sometimes a sweeter pancake is a nice option for an omelette. To make pancakes I often use almond flour instead of grain flours to avoid gluten and increase the protein intake. To add sweetness, you can smash a banana into the pancake dough. Berries and cashew cream, for example, taste delicious with the protein-rich pancake!
The porridge that I make nowadays is usually made of buckwheat flakes, nuts, seeds, almond milk, coconut oil and berries on the top. So compared to the porridge that didn’t keep the hunger away in the first place, is replaced with protein and fat-rich components. The porridge can be prepared the night before and it’s waiting for you ready in the morning. No heating needed. What’s more fun way to start a day than with a delicious chocolate porridge and get the health benefits of raw cacao in addition to others? Psyllium fibre is a great addition to in any of these breakfast meals.
Intermitted Fasting = skipping breakfast?
Intermitted Fasting means that you are fasting some periods of time such as during the night for 8-12 hours. The studies show that even these short periods of fasting give similar health benefits that longer fasting. Some people choose to skip the breakfast because of this intermitted fasting. It might be healthy option to do every now and then but instead of skipping the most important meal of the day, I would like to challenge you to skip the supper instead of the breakfast. That would mean you don’t eat anything after 7 or 8 pm if you are about to eat the breakfast at 7 am. Doesn’t sound too bad, right? That way you’ll get the health benefits of intermitted fasting, such as weight control, but you don’t need to skip the breakfast!
My breakfast includes:
So in a nutshell, I choose something fatty to eat in the morning to keep me fulfilled and satisfied for longer. Fat also gives me energy for a long period of time and my blood sugar stays more balanced – no cravings! If I need a quick energy load, I choose MCT-oil which is immediately transformed into energy in the liver.