Confessions of an ex-breakfast skipper here! Admittedly breakfast is NOT one of my most favorite meals of the day and because of that I have a looooong history of doing whatever I could to avoid eating a GOOD breakfast and trying to get through the rest of my day (running on fumes). This ALL changed over a year ago when I discovered MY perfect breakfast after struggling to get through some pretty intense group fitness classes that I had been taking (and loving). Who likes to hear their stomach growl halfway through a class or even feel dizzy, un-focused and flat out TIRED when you are trying to concentrate and CHANGE your body? Little did I know I wasn’t helping to change my body….I was actually harming my body by doing this. WHY is eating breakfast so important? Your brain & central nervous system runs on glucose (that’s the fuel you need to walk, talk, think….etc.)…..sooo, if you’ve not eaten since the day/night before, your brain is surely deprived the next day (going 10-14 hours without), making it harder for your body to break down any carbohydrates and/or turn fats / proteins into a usable form for your brain to function! Eating breakfast has been proven to improve concentration, problem-solving ability, mental performance, memory & mood. FUELING your body first thing is KEY. No wonder I had a hard time figuring out choreography or staying focused enough to memorize those “important” Turbos in class – – my brain just wasn’t functioning at full capacity. IT WAS HUNGRY!
Many people also feel like if they skip breakfast they’ll lose weight…..WRONG! Skipping breakfast actually leads to overeating later in the day. Becoming over-hungry leads to a feeling of lack of control (hello, who hasn’t been HANGRY before?) and distorted satiety signals (meaning it’s harder to determine when you are actually full). This can resort in taking in MORE calories than if one had eaten a appropriate breakfast. In fact, it’s easier to control weight by eating frequent SMALL meals and snacks (healthy of course).
I know, if you’re a fellow busy mom out there or busy professional rushing out the door daily to get to work, breakfast can be tricky! Don’t let time constraints be your excuse – – plan ahead & choose breakfast wisely. For me, personally, time wasn’t a big factor in my “non eating breakfast days” – it was more I was convinced I didn’t like breakfast food & I wasn’t trying to eat the RIGHT things to fuel my body for optimal performance. My own “perfect breakfast” actually turned out to be something I had heard about for months….something I had fought hard about NOT trying or believing in…..yep, the answer was right there compliments of my favorite fitness instructor who SWORE by her “daily dose of dense nutrition” – – Shakeology! At first I hated the idea of a shake – could it REALLY fill me up, not bloat my stomach (yep, all other “protein” shakes had done this in the past) and get me through her TOUGH group fitness classes? After just 4 days of “shake-testing”, I was sold. Now, for me – – my go to, EVERY morning breakfast is a large glass of Shakeology. Simply, it makes me feel amazing…..I crush fitness classes, am satisfied for hours, I can avoid over-eating later, I snack less & let’s be honest, it’s true “Mommy Fuel.”
Of course I realize that this is not the answer for everyone….some people actually like to EAT breakfast, they just don’t do it efficiently. Let’s talk about a few wholesome & healthy breakfast options….
1. Steel cut oats with fruit and nuts – check out this Overnight Oatmeal with Blueberries and Almonds or in honor of fall quickly approaching, how about Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal?
2. Breakfast sandwiches or wraps (I make these often for my kiddies): A whole wheat English muffin, scrambled egg, turkey sausage, a slice of cheese (if that’s your thing) & voila! I also like this idea (but hate the name: The Low Calorie Breakfast Sandwich 0r this one Western Omelet Breakfast Sandwich. You could easily mix and match these types of ingredients, do gluten-free breads & play around with the cheeses, etc.
3. Eggs! The perfect protein! Check out: Mini Egg White Fritatta’s (awesome for on the go), Baked Eggs in Avocados (who doesn’t LOVE avocados?), or if you’re a kale-lover, Sweet Potato & Kale Baked Eggs.
4. HEALTHY muffins (yes, they exist – – so steer clear of the ones that are calling your name from behind the glass at Starbucks – you know they are FILLED with sugar, fat and junk): Pumpkin Protein Muffins, Antioxidant Power Muffins, or for a eggy option in the muffin category Egg and Spinach Fritatta Muffins.
5. Pancakes & Waffles (yep, something that can also be made HEALTHY): Wonderful Waffles, Orange Vanilla Greek Yogurt Pancakes (yum!), and Blueberry Oatmeal Waffles.
Are YOU an everyday breakfast-eater?
What’s your favorite breakfast?