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Breakfast Solutions – Breaking Out of the Cereal Box

Posted Sep 14 2009 9:49am

Just to see what kinds of photos would come up around “breakfast”, I typed it into my image library.

What do you think I got? Did I struggle with having to decide between all the great shots of good quality protein, green smoothies, mineral broths, poached eggs, whole grain porridge and green tea?

Of course not. Instead, I found these:

  • Pancakes with drizzling maple syrup
  • Boxed cereals posed to look healthy
  • Waffles with pats of butter (and more syrup drizzling)
  • Toast and jam
  • Croissants
  • Steaming cups of coffee
  • Eggs with hash browns, buttered toast and sausage links
  • Bagels and cream cheese
  • Breakfast muffins
  • Melons, grapes and bananas
  • And of course… a tall glass of orange juice

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It’s hard to get away from the feeling that we need to have carbohydrates in the morning, as if it’s the way it’s “supposed” to be. In all actuality, most popular breakfast foods (even “healthy” boxed cereals) should be considered dessert.

Eating too many carbs in the morning without some protein can be a set up for failure for the rest of the day. Carbs tend to provide instant energy that doesn’t last. Before we know it, we are on a carbohydrate roller coaster, needing more to lift us back up. The goal is to start off better, so we have a better day and keep blood sugar balanced.

Tips for a Healthy, Lasting Breakfast

Retrain your brain. Why not eat leftover dinner? Chicken legs, vegetable soup, fish pie… What’s in your fridge? Get it out of your head that you can’t eat lunch or dinner foods for breakfast.

Stop buying boxed cereals. If it’s not in the cupboard, you can’t eat it. This will enable you to get creative fast and try new things.

Eat a little fat with breakfast. Good fats preserve the feeling of fullness. Blend ¼ cup of coconut milk or 1-2 teaspoons coconut oil into a smoothie or hot cereal. A serving of fish oil in the morning can also do the trick.

It doesn’t have to be “low-carb” or “no-carb”. A serving of unprocessed complex carbohydrate at breakfast (sweet potato, organic berries, gluten-free whole grain) might give you energy and help you feel satisfied.

Be careful with vegetable juicing. Popular juicing veggies (carrots, beets, apples) contain a lot of sugar. When you extract the juice, you essentially leave the fiber and protein behind. Instead of juicing, put them in a blender with water and drink the whole food.

Eat protein for dinner. Eating protein the night before maintains balanced blood sugar throughout the night and into the morning. If you wake up feeling “crashed out”, this tip is particularly important.

Eat within one hour of rising. If you don’t wake up hungry and ready to eat, there could be an imbalance of blood sugar and adrenal hormones at play. Nudge your body back into balance by eating soon after rising.

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