3 Breakfast Recipes To Start Your Day Off Right
Breakfast is one of the most misunderstood meals of the day. You have so many people weighing in with opinions ranging from very specific rules of what to eat, all the way to skip breakfast altogether.
You’re being told to eat carbs in the morning so you can “burn them off” during the day. Hotels provide a “light and healthy” menu consisting of berries and yogurt. As of late, you are hearing all sorts of influential podcasters and fitpros telling you intermittent fasting is the key to losing weight and living to be one-hundred.
So what are you supposed to believe?
First off, when it comes to any and all nutrition advice, you have to know if it is grounded in science. I am talking tried and true, proven outside a handful of studies, information that is based on physiology. Don’t take advice from someone because they are a celebrity. Or trust someone’s opinion because they have a great body, or worse yet, something that “worked for them and will therefore certainly work for you”. Take advice backed by science and proven effective on mass numbers of people in the real world. We are talking about your health; be selective about where you are getting your information!
Here is some very basic science that will help make sense of why it is important to eat breakfast and exactly what foods are best.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day but most people consume for breakfast is a travesty. What you eat for breakfast sets up your entire neurotransmitter production. High-quality protein and naturally occurring fats should, therefore, be the center of your breakfast. Protein’s thermogenic effect means you actually burn calories digesting it. It provides satiety and does not cause an insulin surge. All of which we want at the start of our day to keep cravings at bay, feel full longer (ultimately leading to less overeating) and improve body composition. Fat is essential in that helps regulate hunger and blood sugar, as well as helps with mental clarity.
“The first thing you put in your mouth in the morning…provided it is food…dictates all neurotransmitters for the whole day.” ~Coach Charles R. Poliquin
In my practice for nearly a decade, I have helped people achieve optimal energy, lose body fat and eliminate food sensitivities by prescribing a meat and fat breakfast. I also encourage the addition of low-glycemic green vegetables simply because nobody eats enough veggies and I hate to encourage yet another meal without vegetables.
“I used to have several boxes of cereal in the pantry at all times. It was an easy, mindless choice each morning. After an eye-opening conversation with Evie, I realized I was setting myself up for a nutritional failure each day. I cut the hangry out of my day when I stopped eating cereal and started eating real food.” ~Becky Stafford, Entrepreneur
But what about eating carbs early in the day so you can burn them off? Complete and utter nonsense! I have no idea where this information ever originated (maybe some product manufacturer pedaling shakes for breakfast). This is not a matter of opinion, it is basic human science. First off, we do not want blood sugar elevated in the morning. Blood sugar goes up, insulin kicks in (insulin is a storage hormone and we want it managed carefully for weight loss weight and avoiding disease) and we feel hungry, tired and we overeat. As far as using the carbs during the day, I don’t want to lose you with a long drawn out physiology lesson so I’ll leave it at this: carbohydrates are eventually broken down into glucose. That glucose is stored in the liver and muscles in the form of glycogen. If your glycogen stores are “topped off”, the excess is stored as fat. These stores are more likely to be full in the morning than at night. *For those sedentary individuals, this is where too many carbs lead to more and more fat gain.
The use of carbohydrates at breakfast varies greatly from individual to individual. A basic rule of thumb would be if you’re mainly sedentary, you don’t need the carbs in the a.m. If you are an athlete, or highly active, you can probably get away with them and you may actually need them for fueling your strenuous activity.
The EAT plans have a wide variety of breakfast options mainly consisting of meat, fat, and vegetables for breakfast. Every now and then a starchier carb or splurge is included. This is what I have seen work most effectively for the general population, who want to look and feel better.