Did you know that September is Better Breakfast Month? There’s always some kind of foodie holiday each month and I thought this one was a good one to write about. Breakfast is often regarded as the most important meal of the day. While I agree it’s important, the other meals and snacks are important too!
Breakfast is not just about breaking the fast that our bodies go through while they’re sleeping. It’s about getting your metabolism moving in the morning. I like to compare metabolism to a bonfire. It will burn low and slow without fuel or it will produce constant flames if we add fuel to it (just like logs on a bonfire). It burns down overnight, like low embers at the end of the bonfire. By morning, we want to add fuel/wood to the fire helps it gets going again.
Feeling hungry is a good (but sometimes scary) thing!
Something interesting happens when I encourage people to eat something for breakfast. This has happened with many people I’ve worked with. Once they start eating breakfast, they feel hungrier by mid-morning or by lunch. This can either empower us, scare us, or something in between. What’s happening is our metabolism is saying, thank you for feeding me – more please! It’s a good thing to be hungry but many of us are out of touch with this. Check out my post on the hunger/fullness scale to learn more.
So what do we eat for breakfast? It could be traditional breakfast foods but it doesn’t have to be! If you need help getting started I’ve got an acronym for you!
Add some SASS to your breakfast!
Let’s break it down…
START your breakfast with a complex carbohydrate, protein or a fat.
Carbohydrates: Sweet potato, oatmeal, whole grain English muffin, or cereal (many others out there!)
Protein: eggs, sausage (turkey or chicken will have less saturated fat), fish, lentils, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt.
Fat: Avocado, cheese, cream cheese, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt or nuts/nut butter.
ADD another food group or color to your starter.
Examples: Sweet potato + sautéed spinach + eggs + whole grain toast + avocado (WOO powerhouse!)
SPRINKLE on a little something extra such as hemp hearts, chia seeds, flax meal, or some extra flavor/spices.
Choosing one of these can add healthy fats, fiber, protein and/or antioxidants. Why not sprinkle in a little more flavor and nutrition? I find that spices are mostly in our dinner recipes but they can drastically change our breakfasts as well. For example:
Sweet potato and toast with eggs, spinach and avocado could have hemp hearts sprinkled on top, cinnamon on our sweet potato, and everything but bagel seasoning on the toast.
Finally…SIT DOWN to enjoy your meal mindfully.
Mindful eating does not have to occur at every meal/snack. Heck, sometimes all I have time for is one good mindful bite and I’m off! In our society we are often encouraged to rush from one meeting to the next so if you can, use breakfast as your chance to slow down and embrace the morning. It’s a chance to breathe, get your head in a positive space, and think through the day.
I like to use this time to check out my meal plan for the week. That way if I need to take something out of the freezer or pick-up a missing ingredient, I’m covered! I also like to use the morning to take some deep breaths. Because our society is rush, rush, rush…breathing is an excellent tool to slow ourselves down. It’s also free and readily available to us. Deep breathing, however, takes practice so every once in a while give this a try:
Breath in for four counts, hold it for four counts, and breath out for four counts.
There’s plenty of Youtube videos and apps out there (my favorite is Headspace) if you want to walk through a whole guided breathing or meditation session.
So try adding some SASS to your breakfasts and report back to me! Oh, you want to make your meal SASSY? Make sure the last thing you add is to make it YUMMY! If your food doesn’t taste yummy we should chat! I’d love to see what you come up with 😊 If you need some inspiration, here are a few of my recipes to get you started:
Need just a list of ideas? Here are a few of my favorite combinations:
Cereal + milk + fruit mixed in or on the side
Maple Banana Nut Muffins + Peanut Butter + Yogurt
Yogurt + granola + fruit
Oatmeal + roasted sweet potato + soft boiled egg + chicken sausage
Bagel + cream cheese + Mashed berries (or frozen berries heated in the microwave, mashed and mixed in with the cream cheese)