Despite its importance, many of us simply aren’t eating a good breakfast. As the cornerstone of a healthy and productive day, the first meal you have in the morning should be one loaded with the energy and nutrition your body needs to fuel every task and activity until your next meal.
The miniscule amount of time the average person has to make breakfast every morning usually results in a reliance on carbohydrate rich breakfast items and the resulting lack of slow burning energy from protein results in some rough energy spikes and crashes between breakfast and lunch.
Luckily, it doesn’t have to be this way. Whether you’re a passionate breakfast eater or a religious “coffee for breakfast” kind of person, taking back control over your breakfast routine and morning nutrition is easy and inexpensive if you do it right. Here are some tips to help you do just that:
Eat LITE - If you aren’t a regular breakfast eater, or even if you are but are looking for a faster way to fit the meal in, aim for a light meal. A good tip is to shop for foods which are quick to chew and swallow. Things like cereal and bagels take time to chew and can bog down your gut; they’re also high in carbs and empty calories. Fruits, light vegetables like cucumber, dairy products like yogurt, and eggs can all be consumed quickly, and are usually lighter and better for you.
Add PROTEIN - While carbs provide immediate energy for our bodies, it’s the slow burn of protein that helps fuel us for long periods of time, and helps regulate blood sugar to prevent those dreaded mid-day slumps. At the grocery store, adding protein is as easy as buying a few staples. Nut and seed butters like almond or sunflower butter, can be used as a spread on fruits or vegetables, or as an additive to smoothies. Natural, unsweetened yogurts (be they dairy or almond based) are also high in protein and very versatile, pairing well with many kinds of fruit or on top of a light muesli.
Choose FRESH - There simply is no substitute for fresh ingredients. Your body recognizes their quality and unaltered nutritional content, so it’s important to start your day with something fresh. We all crave something sweet in the morning, it’s our bodies way of asking for energy after a long night without sustenance. Sweeten up your meal naturally with fresh fruits, either raw paired with yogurt or nut butters, or frozen in a smoothie. Just leave them whole! The skin and fiber of fruit helps balance out the sugar content. You get bonus points if the ingredients are raw too, since the biological enzymes and gut flora in raw products are also an important part of creating lasting health.
Increase FLAVOUR - We all love things that taste great, and one easy way to both increase the flavour and the nutritional content is to add interesting and tasty ingredients to otherwise plain staples. If you’re a bit picky, or just have a hankering for fruit, add fresh or frozen bananas, strawberries, or blueberries to your oatmeal, yogurt, or smoothie. But if you’re feeling adventurous, try adding in some unique nutrition boosters like avocado, hemp hearts, goji berries, or chia seeds.
Make it CONVENIENT - We all falter sometimes, but you can avoid letting a hectic morning get the best of you with a little preparation. Don’t think you always have to eat at home either, if your work allows, eating a little breakfast at your desk can take some of the pressure off before you leave the house. Pre-freeze yogurt in ice cube trays and portion out with fruit ahead of time for quick blending in the morning, and don’t be afraid to just pour your smoothie into a mason jar or to-go mug so you can drink it on the go. Keep a jar or two of almond or cashew in the cupboard or at your desk and a few stalks of celery or apple slices in the fridge at all times. Paired together, they make for a quick but nutritious snack. Eggs are a great cook-ahead staple. You can scramble, fry, or boil them the night before and reheat with fresh ingredients as a quick morning meal.
With these tips you can take back your morning meal and support your body with natural nutrition.