Breakfast can be a tough one for many bleary-eyed, sleepy headed, non-morning people. Often half awake, fumbling to exit dreamland, the morning strugglers feel assaulted by the all-consuming morning routine. Between waking up the littles, rushing to find clothing, pack lunches, wash, brush, and warm up the car, putting effort into a balanced and delicious breakfast has just lost its priority.
In this busy life, it is incredibly easy to rely on boxed breakfast or grab’n go baked goods to get us through the early morning scramble. But its far from ideal. We are doing the body a great disservice by starting our day on overly processed, refined-sugar sweetened, nutritionally deficient, non-food stuffs. The morning’s intake is crucial in setting up our metabolic system for the day. By starting our day with the wrong stuff, we set ourselves up for mood swings, poor focus, crashing energy, and bad food-choice making for the rest of the day.
What are our bodies really asking for in the morning?
What The Body Needs At Breakfast Time
Fuel: If we think of nutrient intake as fuel, then our tanks are running on empty in the morning. The body is looking to fuel up and re-stock its nutrient and energy supplies. By tanking up on coffee, sugar, and processed ingredients, we are setting ourselves up for quick energy spikes, followed by drastic blood sugar crashes. It’s like filling up with rocket fuel and, simultaneously, putting a hole in your tank. If we fuel-up with good-quality, nutrient-dense foods, our tank will drive us longer and steadier throughout the rest of the day.
A Break In The Fast: Hence the name breakfast, our body has been resting all night long (8-10hrs let’s say) and has been taking a break from digestion. During the night, the body relaxes into its parasympathetic nervous system, slowly breaking down the leftover foodstuffs from the day and restoring and repairing at a cellular level. To break the fast with stimulants and sugar is shocking to the system and will thrust us into our sympathetic nervous system, inducing stress. Introducing whole foods in the morning, eating slowly and intuitively, allows us to stay in the parasympathetic NS, remain calm, and increase capacity for proper nutrient assimilation and absorption.
Hydration: Your body is 60% water. It is needed for every bodily system, imperative for proper immune, kidney, liver, and bowel function. Overnight, the body has gone many hours without water and is slightly dehydrated by morning. Drinking water (room temperature with lemon is best) first thing, will replenish fluids used up and lost throughout the night, rejuvenate organs, revitalize cells, and prevent dehydration throughout the day.
Revamping the Breakfast Routine
Plan Ahead: I know, I say this a lot, but it’s of absolute, utmost importance. If you do not have a breakfast plan, breakfast will be whatever you can grab the fastest (path of least resistance, right sleepy head?) Start with a week’s worth of breakfast ideas, a shopping list, and do a little prep the night before.
Think Outside the Box: Ditch the boxed cereals! There is absolutely zero nutritional benefit to boxed cereals, they are laden with sugars, overly processed and hard to digest grains, and are full of old and rancid oils. Not only does your body deserve better, but boxed cereals are likely to contribute to the development of many degenerative diseases, obesity, ADHD, and nervous system disorders.
Collect Some New Digs: Get out there and ask some friends for recipes, search the net, try my suggestions below, buy a new recipe book, or simply get back to basics. It’s only as difficult as you make it and change comes easier with a little motivation.
My Favourite Regular Breakfasts
Eggs + Avocado + Kimchi: This is numero uno for a BIG reason…it’s my absolute favourite! Quick & easy, high in protein and good quality fats, and made even better with gut-loving, probiotic-rich, fermented super powers. I will usually use a rice cake or a piece of spelt bread and top this baby with sprouts. Yum!
Almond Butter Banana Oatmeal: This recipe is bomb proof, thanks to Angela Liddon from Oh She Glows. I use Almond instead of Peanut butter because I don’t trust the oil stability and mould potential in peanut butter, but you could use any nut or seed butter of your liking. Find the recipe here.
Homemade Granola & Chia Pudding: Making your own granola is super easy and, depending on how many granola munchers you have living with you, a recipe’s worth can last up to a month. There are plenty of lovely granola recipes online, though make sure to pick one with whole foods, minimal sugar, and store it in a large glass jar. Make some overnight chia pudding the night before, add a little fruit, and you are set! Find my Simple Chia Pudding recipe here.
Overnight Oats: This one is great for SO many reasons! First of all, you make it the night before and it takes about 5 minutes. Second, it can be whipped up with a variety of ingredients most of us have on hand and can easily be modified depending on what’s in your fridge. And lastly, it’s just really delicious! Here’s a good basic recipe you can modify to your liking.
The Go-To Smoothie: Most days, I get up before the sun and get in a workout before my family is out of bed. I find the quickest and most effective way to recover from my workout, get ready for the day, and nourish my cells, is a crammed-full-of-awesome-stuff-and-whatever-else-you-have smoothie. Check out My Go-To Smoothie recipe below.
Breakfast Bars: These are the ultimate breakfast rescue for the guy or gal that rolls out of bed and is out the door minutes later. Make a batch on the weekend and you’re armed for the whole week. Try my Banana Oat Bars.
My Go-To Smoothie Recipe
½ cup frozen blueberries
2 Tbsp tahini or 1 scoop protein powder
1 scoop greens powder
1 probiotic capsule
1 cup coconut water/almond milk/water
1 tsp maca powder
1 tsp ashwaghanda root powder
½ tsp spirulina
Blend until smooth.
Ever heard of a smoothie bowl? Pour your smoothie into a bowl, sprinkle it with a little love, call it a smoothie bowl!!
Now get to it and Make Breakfast Awesome!!