Why You Should (probably) Eat Breakfast
Admittedly, I am not always good at consistently making time for breakfast. But I am always trying to work on solidifying this habit, and “always trying” to improve anything about ourselves is usually good enough for me.
The research likes to jump around when it comes to whether or not we all should be breakfast eaters. As with anything I teach in my practice, we have to be careful about buying into new research headlines that disengage us from staying curious and in tune with our own bodies and what they ask of us.
If you don’t eat breakfast but your health is soaring and you're positively vibrant and full of life energy, then I probably won't tell you that you need to change anything. However, for most of us this unfortunately isn't the case. Only then is it worth exploring the nature of our day-to-day lives in the hopes of identifying where our health might benefit from some gentle life changes.
If you're like me and ever struggled with overeating in the late afternoon or evening, I would probably argue that incorporating a balanced breakfast into your morning routine can work wonders. A solid breakfast packed with protein, fat and plant food (fruits! veggies!) serves to rev up our metabolism in the morning following the literal "fast" we enter into while we sleep. It's called “BREAK(the)FAST” for a reason!
When we sleep, our metabolism slows WAY down and eating in the morning sends a signal to the body that food is available (yay!), it's ok for our metabolism to rev up again, that our body can stop looking towards our lean muscle as fuel (which is what happens when we sleep), and turn it's attention toward burning fat all day long.
Eating consistently also stabilizes our blood sugar, which stabilizes our mood, which equals you feeling good for your family and coworkers versus showing up to work tired and cranky with that vente four-pump mocha latte in hand. In fact one of the worst things you can do for your metabolism, your energy, your mood, (and ultimately your waist-line), is start your day with sugar (think sweetened coffee beverages, pancakes and syrup, sweet fruit smoothies with added sugar, breakfast cereal…).
My go-to breakfasts are usually very simple, with a focus on protein and fat. Carbohydrates from starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes or fruit are always welcome additions as well. Think eggs with sweet potato hash, or eggs over sautéed greens. Green smoothies with a healthy dose of fat from coconut or nut butters is another staple. I’ve posted my favorite green smoothie recipe below.
To save time I’ll also tend to prepare things like meat patties and boiled eggs before the week starts so there’s always a grab-and-go option available (as pictured in the photo above). Putting your smoothie ingredients in the blender the night before, or having chopped veggies ready to go for a scramble can help too.
And the ultimate easy breakfast…. leftovers. Breakfast can be anything if we redefine what our idea of what “breakfast food” should look like.
Green Breakfast Smoothie
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 medium banana
1/2 cup coconut milk (the full-fat canned version)
1 handful (about 1/2 cup) raw spinach
1 handful (about 1/2 cup) raw kale
1 tablespoon almond butter (look for raw, sprouted)
Throw ingredients in a high-speed blender for about 1 minute, or until smooth. Add a handful of ice cubes for a colder smoothie.
Take the time (if you can) to sit down, relax, breath and enjoy.