We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We hear it over and over again. But exactly why is it so important? Well here are a few key points:
- Nourish your neurons – You just spent 7 – 8 hours fasting while you were asleep and now your body and brain need fuel to function for the day ahead. So you gotta ‘break the fast’! Eating breakfast kicks starts your day by boosting your metabolism, supplying your brain with glucose, and balancing your hormones.
- Boost your performance – Your brain needs a steady stream of glucose for optimal performance, so eating breakfast is crucial. In his book, The 150 Most Effective Ways to Boost Your Energy, Dr Jonny Bowden says “ Studies show that teens who eat breakfast score higher on tests, are better able to concentrate, and exhibit greater overall mental performance than those who don’t.”
- Keep your weight in check – In a 20 year study published by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was found that breakfast patterns in childhood and adulthood affected several markers of health. “The study participants who reported skipping breakfast both as children and adults were heavier and had larger waists, higher LDL cholesterol levels, and less healthful diets than those who reported eating breakfast at both times in their lives” (Source)
I personally love breakfast. But I tend to eat the same things over and over again. Boring!
A few of my breakfast items were doing me no favours health wise, and I was also lacking in the protein and healthy fats department too. Lets be honest here people, I was eating a big bowl of carbs most mornings, and feeling pretty hungry soon after. In an effort to break out of my breakfast rut, I challenged myself to build a better breakfast.
I put together a few criteria of what I thought would be a better breakfast for me:
- NO MORE SOY! I’ve been downing this stuff like it’s going out of style, and while I’m not getting into the whole ‘soy controversy’, I do think my body needs a break from it.
- UP THE PROTEIN Protein is derived from the Greek word proteios, which means ‘primary’ or ‘of first importance’. My usual breakfasts were pretty much devoid of this essential nutrient, leaving me hungry soon after I’d eaten.
- GET FAT Another missing ingredient in my breakfast was healthy fats. I was having some, but not nearly enough.
- BE TASTY Of course the taste factor is essential. I do want a nutritionally more balanced breakfast, but not at the cost of eating bland food.
- BE EASY I also don’t want to spend a long time preparing my food, so the breakfasts needed to be quick and easy to prepare.
I’ve spent the last week experimenting with different things for breakfast. A few of my eats have included:
Blueberry Rosemary chicken with extra blueberries and walnuts
Scrambled eggs with Paleo banana bread
Leftover Ginger & Lime Ocean Trout with sweet potato
And oats made with almond milk and protein powder
Most of the new eats have a lot more protein and I’ve noticed my energy and concentration have both improved considerably. I’ve also starting taking a liquid fish oil supplement, and eating more nuts to up the healthy fats in my diet.
Overall I think my body is happy it’s getting more variety, and I definitely know my taste buds appreciate the extra effort I’ve been making! I’d like to kick my boring breakfast habit, so I’ve made a goal of trying at least one new breakfast every week for the rest of January, and February.
But I’m not stopping there!!! I’d like you, my lovely readers, to build yourself a better breakfast too! Of course your criteria may be completely different, which is cool. But starting tomorrow I want you to make an effort to improve your breakfast in some way, shape or form. Maybe it means actually EATING breakfast, having an egg with your usual toast, or opting for a higher fibre cereal. Whatever it is, just do it! Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Elena’s Pantry Silver Dollar Pancakes – A great treat to make on the weekends.
And if you’re on the run why not grab a piece of Banana Oat Protein Cake
Or maybe a classic Green Monster smoothie
- How will you make your breakfast better?
- What is your favourite breakfast recipe?
I can’t wait to hear about the changes you are going to make, or the yummy recipes you’ve tried.