Last time I wrote about the benefits of breakfast and why we want to be good role models for our children by starting the day with a healthy meal. I offered some non-conventional breakfast choices that were even kid-friendly. Now I want to discuss some typical breakfast choices and how they rate. Then I will share what I eat in the morning.
Excellent: Eggs. Although there was a period of time when eggs were demonized for containing too much cholesterol, the tide is shifting and I am on board. The biggest problem is when the yolk is discarded. If you don’t eat the yolk you miss out on the entire serving of the vitamins A, B, D (eggs are one of the only natural food sources of vitamin D), E, iron, and all of the omega-3’s. Isn’t that a shame when so many people pay more for eggs that are omega 3 enriched?!? I do think that eggs are one of those things best consumed in your own home, otherwise they are usually scrambled or fried using inferior oils, commercial butter, etc. If I am out for breakfast and wanting eggs, I order them poached since this method only uses water. At home I scramble eggs in ghee or organic, grass-fed butter.
Average: Oatmeal. Most of the oatmeal people consume is of the quick-cooking variety. Most likely sugar has been added along with other sweeteners. The oats have undergone a lot of processing so that they can cook quickly in your microwave. The more processed a food is the less nutrients it contains. Steel cut oats or slow cook oatmeal are the best choices for this reason. Add your own natural sweetener such as raw honey, fresh fruit, and/or nuts to increase the nutritional impact.
Average: Yogurt. The first rule of thumb for me with yogurt (and all dairy) is to seek out organic varieties to minimize hormone and antibiotic exposure. I also caution clients against non-fat or low fat versions. Often these are higher in sugar and/or made with artificial sweeteners to make up for the loss of fat. These versions are also more processed since the fat is being removed; therefore, plain, full-fat versions are best. My clients often hesitate when I make this suggestion but I ask them to trust me. Every time they are amazed that an hour later they are not hungry and can cut out their morning snack from their routine.
Poor: Cold cereal. Even if it is “multi-grain” chances are the list of ingredients on the side panel is long, sugar has been added, and it has gone through much processing to be shaped like an “O” or a “cornflake,” thus leaving you with very few naturally occurring vitamins and minerals. Because of the processing, most cereals are fortified with synthetic vitamins and minerals, which your body might not absorb like it would a food-based vitamin. If you are attached to your bowl of cereal in the morning, seek out varieties with less than 7 grams of sugar and at least 5 grams of fiber per serving. It is challenging but can be done. And the shorter the list of ingredients, the better.
What do I eat for breakfast every morning?
As soon as I wake up, I start the day with hot lemon water for cleansing and detoxifying (see blog post here for more information about the benefits of this drink). Then I make an energizing green smoothie. I chop the veggies and fruit the night before so it is easy to prepare during the morning rush to get the kiddos off to school. One batch is enough for an entire family or yourself for the next two mornings, just keep it cold in the fridge.
Energizing Green Smoothie
2 celery stalks
Large handful of romaine
Large handful of kale (or spinach)
½ pear, chopped
½ apple, chopped
2 tbsp hemp protein powder
2 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp green superfoods (such as the Amazing Grass brand available in supplement section of health food stores)
14 oz + coconut water
Water, as needed to fill blender
Place all ingredients in blender. Blend and enjoy!
*Don’t like an ingredient? This recipe is easily adaptable. Feel free to add or omit ingredients as desired.