By Skylar Tatu, CHC
We have all been told at some point in our lives that ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You have probably heard this saying many times and brushed it off in favor of a quick cup of coffee to-go or a grab and go muffin from the convenience store. However, this saying is not just a myth. There are very good reasons to make sure you have a good, nutritious breakfast every day that is also low in sugar.
When we eat foods like pastries, muffins and biscuits for breakfast we are setting ourselves up for a sugar crash my mid-morning. These foods are referred to as refined carbohydrates, meaning the grains have been processed and there is little to no fiber or protein left in the flour. When we eat these refined carbohydrates our blood sugar level spikes and rapidly drops. When our blood sugar level dips, our brain signals to us that we need to eat again. This is because sugar (or glucose) is the primary fuel for the brain. When we experience these sugar crashes our brains are ‘starving’ for energy, we can experience irritability, fatigue and ‘brain fog’ as well as other symptoms. This mid-morning slump is the brains’ way of telling us that it is hungry. Our willpower is no match when our brain is telling us that it needs fuel. This is usually when we reach for another high sugar, low nutrient snack… And the cycle continues throughout the day.
One of the best things you can do for yourself and for your health is to eat a balanced breakfast and stop this cycle in its tracks. Although many people dread the idea of waking up earlier, the best way to ensure you are getting a balanced breakfast is to wake up a little early and prepare it at home. A balanced breakfast contains a healthy mix of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats. When you eat a balanced breakfast, you are giving your body the fuel it needs to get you through the first part of the day. A balanced breakfast will get your metabolism revved up, it will give your body energy and it will give you brain the fuel it needs to function properly!
Here are a couple of examples of balanced breakfasts:
-2 scrambled eggs cooked in olive oil
– A piece of whole grain toast topped with peanut butter
– A piece of fruit
Or you can go with an even quicker option and make a delicious smoothie:
Banana Raspberry Smoothie
– 1 medium banana
– 1 cup frozen raspberries
– 1 medium orange
– 1 cup almond milk, unsweetened
– 1 – 2 Scoops of your favorite vanilla protein powder (optional)
- Place all ingredients in blender.
- Process at high speed until well combined.
- You may want to add ice (or cold water),depending on how cold and thick you like your smoothie.
There are plenty of options for a balanced breakfast, it is definitely worth it to wake up a few minutes early to fuel your body (although it may take some getting used to if you aren’t already a morning person). Trust me, you will feel better and it will be a major step towards creating a healthy lifestyle.
Looking for more breakfast ideas?
Here is a great tool that will help you come up with no-added sugar recipes that will work for you based on your own personal preferences: https://www.yummly.com/recipes/healthy-sugar-free-breakfast.