I get it. It can be hard to wake up in the morning, allow yourself ample time to make and eat a proper breakfast, while also getting ready for the day in a calm, peaceful manner. This is hard to do for yourself and I bet it only gets harder if you’ve added others to the routine. As a result, people feel pressed for time and the “logical” solution is to get in the car without breakfast or grab a donut or fruit-filled pouch and hit the road.
This time of year is especially hard to ensure that we are getting a proper breakfast. With summer swiftly coming to an close, the mornings get a bit cooler, the sun rises later and for some there is a change in family routines as kids go back to school. This transition can take some time.
Please let this be a reminder to start the day for yourself (and your kids, if you have them) with a quality breakfast that contains fueling, nutritious ingredients. Let’s avoid the following common breakfast traps and set ourselves (and our loved ones) up for success first thing in the morning.
Don’t Skip It!
Many people think that they don’t have time for breakfast and that they will be just fine skipping it. Breakfast is an opportunity (the first of the day, in fact) to gift your body with the nutrients that it needs to perform optimally. Skipping breakfast can give your body the message that you are in a famine state and it doesn’t know when its next meal is coming. This message of “danger” can lead to weight gain, wreak havoc on your hormones and lead to fluctuating blood sugar levels. It can also lead to mid-morning sugar cravings and the inability to focus (for adults and children).
Unless you are fasting for religious purposes or following an intermittent fasting protocol under proper guidance, don’t skip this opportunity to give yourself the calories (energy), healthy fat and protein that your brain and body require to support the day ahead.
If you’re inclined to skip breakfast because you don’t feel hungry, try this Matcha Latte with added fat and protein to transition.
The Grab and Go Approach.
There are times in life where you will need to grab a quick something to eat on the go but it is best to not make this your daily routine. Eating on the go (in your car or while jog walking to work) doesn’t allow your parasympathetic nervous system to settle in. This is the “rest and digest” state that allows you to properly digest your food and absorb its valuable nutrients. When you are eating “on the go” in a hurry then your sympathetic state kicks in, also known as “fight or flight". This can lead to bloating, digestive upset and a missed opportunity to obtain proper nutrients.
If you must eat “on the go” once in awhile, try slowly sipping on a nutrient-rich smoothie, like this Mango Madness blend.
Starting the morning with a breakfast that looks and behaves more like a dessert than a source of slow-burning fuel is a sure way to set yourself up for a crash. A bowl of sugary cereal, donuts, waffles, most muffins or toast with jam sound like a typical American breakfast but these carbohydrate-rich foods are void of proper fibers, vitamins and protein to keep you going throughout your morning. They will typically lead to a crash that only continues the cycle of sugar cravings throughout your day.
Try starting your day with fiber (from fruit or vegetables) combined with healthy fat and protein. This will help satiate you and encourage you to make healthier choices throughout the day.
If you really want a baked good on occasion, try a Cinnamon Flax Muffin with almond butter or grass-fed butter and a side of fresh berries or a hard boiled egg.
What breakfast habit are your trying to change this season?