What’s for breakfast?September 22nd, 2012
Every Saturday HSK will again be publishing an article on diet, nutrition and general well-being, written by nutritional consultant and chef, Laura B. Leff. Know why? because a healthy body with a spiritual mind is a blessed soul.
You’ve heard it before, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Imagine; it’s the very first thing you introduce into your body after sleeping for hours. It kick starts your whole day; “waking you up” nutritionally so all of the chemical processes in your body and mind can start to function! Yes, it’s very important!
So, what should you be feeding yourself on a daily basis to get off to a healthy and energized start of the day? Firstly, variety is very important. The more variety in your diet, the more mix of nutrients you feed your body, allowing it to optimally make use of all that goodness.
I understand that we are all very busy and I hear from lots of people that they don’t have time to make breakfast, much less even eat breakfast. This is sad, folks. It is so vital to make yourself a priority. We should all have 20 minutes in the morning to feed ourselves, healthfully. For parents, this is a great way to instill healthy eating habits among your children. With all of that said and done! What’s for breakfast?
Here are 12 healthy breakfast options that are also easy and quick to make:
1) Apple and Nut Butter: 1 organic/pesticide-free apple with 2 tablespoons of raw, almond butter, or any nut butter *Try something different, besides the typical peanut butter, peanuts are the least nutritionally-dense nuts and many people are allergic to them and don’t know it.
2) Eggs and Toast: 1 or 2 free-range eggs cooked any style, served with one piece of sprouted toast topped with a pat of organic butter and a big handful of greens. I love arugula!
*Sprouted bread is best because it’s as if the bread is predigested, making it easier for the body to assimilate, thus allowing nutrients to be delivered efficiently. Ezekial is a great brand and now Trader Joes and Whole Foods have their own label of sprouted breads. Look for stone-ground and sourdough breads, as well. Those are healthy alternatives.
3) Yogurt Bowl: 1 cup of organic greek or whole milk yogurt topped with a handful of low-sugar granola, a handful of raw nuts and a 1/2 of a banana, or any fruit of your choice.
*Getting the full-fat version of dairy products is good to sustain your energy throughout the morning and the fats are good for brain function.
4) Grains and Fruit: A bowl of steel cut oats/quoina/millet topped with any fruit and a handful of raw nuts. Add a teaspoon of chia seeds for added fiber and crunch. You can also add a little raw honey and a pat of butter, if you fancy.
5) Avocado and Egg Sandwich: 1 or 2 pieces of sprouted bread topped with a 1/2 of a small avocado, 1 egg and a big handful of greens.
6) Fiber-rich Cereal: For those of you that can’t do without cereal, the best cereal I have found out on the market is made by Ezekial, and it’s similar in texture and taste to Grape Nuts (if you know that cereal). Each serving has zero grams of sugar. For added sweetness, top it with a little raw honey, or a handful of dried or fresh fruit. Eat your cereal with whole-fat, organic milk. Each serving of cereal should have no more than 6 grams of sugar.
*Healthy Alternatives: Grape Nuts (by Post) , Shredded Wheat-no sugar added (by Post), Fiber One-original-no sugar added (by General Mills), Total-whole grain (by General Mills)
*Most cereals are loaded with sugars, artificial flavorings and unhealthy ingredients, which causes a spike in your blood sugar and later leaves you feeling lethargic and irritated, due to the sudden fall in your blood sugar.
7) Healthy Grilled Cheese: Choose sprouted bread and melt fresh mozzarella, swiss or goat cheese. These cheeses are lower in fat than others. Eat with a large handful of greens on top.
* If you are lactose intolerant, try eating goat cheese, the proteins are smaller and more easily digested than proteins from cow’s milk. Sheep’s milk might be good, too.
8) Veggie Omelette: whip up two eggs with all of your favorite herbs and veggies. Voila!
9) Beef Bacon and Eggs: Three pieces of grass-fed beef bacon and one egg. You can find grass-fed beef bacon at Whole Foods and it’s amazing!
*Grass-fed beef is very lean because the cows have been grazing on grass/greens all day, not grains. Also, the grass is loaded with omega 3s and minerals, delivering that to the cow’s body, which then delivers the nutrients to our bodies when we eat the cow. Which in turn, gives us energy and brain power to get us through our day! An added bonus is grass-fed cows are usually happy cows, treated with kindness. Mooo!!
10) Acai Bowl: 1 frozen pack of acai pulp, blueberries, 1/2 frozen banana, a teaspoon of chia or flax seeds–throw it in the blender and top it with a handful of low sugar granola
*You can now find frozen acai pulp at most grocery stores. The most popular brand is Sambazon. This nutrient-dense berry from the Amazon forests in Brazil is sooo delicious. You’ll love it!
11) Fruit and Protein Shake: Add any frozen fruit, 1/2 cup of organic greek or whole-fat yogurt, 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, 3 heaping tablespoons of hemp or brown rice protein (Whole Foods has their own brand, 365, which is cheaper than most brands on the market), and add enough water or almond milk to get it to blend up. Enjoy!
* Coconut oil has a number of health benefits: great for the skin and hair, balances blood sugar, healthy monounsaturated fats for the brain, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, and the list goes on. You can even eat a teaspoon a day for good health, and no you will not gain weight from it. The body loves it!
12) Banana-Nut Sandwich: 1 piece of sprouted toast topped with 2 tablespoons of raw nut butter and a 1/2 sliced banana
*I would like to note that it’s best to eat every 3-4 hours. If you go beyond this length of time, your blood sugar levels will dip down and you will feel tired and grouchy. Most likely what will happen when you put yourself in this position is you will end up scarfing your food down and overeating. Then causing indigestion and feelings of being too full and uncomfortable. Furthermore, leading to low energy, again. This can become a vicious cycle very easily. Do yourself a favor and eat every 3-4 hours, in small amounts. You’ll be happier, healthier and more energized!
Treat yourself with love and care, in mind, body and spirit.
Laura Leff, MS, HN