Start your day the healthy way

Whatever happened to that age-old advice to “start the day with a hearty breakfast?” These days, many of us either don’t eat at all or we grab ‘n’ go: a bagel, donut or a muffin or at best a highly processed protein bar or shake. If we have the time, we may swing by the local fast food joint for a warm breakfast. Is this what our bodies really need to get us going in the morning?
Breakfast is really just that: breaking – the – fast. When you wake up, you’ve been without food for 8-10 hours so you need to power up your body to meet the day. Tempted to skip breakfast? Don’t! You’ll miss out on important nutrients that your body needs to keep you healthy and maintain steady energy and blood sugar. 
Additionally a heart breakfast first thing in the morning cranks up your metabolism and starts you fully burning calories earlier.Want one more good reason? Studies have shown that if you skip breakfast, you may be more likely to make up those missed calories by over-eating later in the day. Not very desirable, right?
Okay, so assuming that I’ve convinced you that breakfast is important, why not grab a pastry , pancakes or protein bar? Several reasons:
  • Eating sweets and refined carbohydrates in the morning can quickly raise and subsequently drop your blood sugar, making you crave more sweets later in the day.
  • When you eat sugary foods, you’re not getting the proteins, fiber and nutrients you need to fuel your body efficiently.
  • Since our bodies are particularly sensitive to sugars, they should be minimized at breakfast unless buffered by sufficient amounts of protein, fiber and fat.
  • Whole real food is preferable to highly refined commercial items with unpronounceable ingredients. 
About now you may be wondering what you should be eating for breakfast. Healthy meals in general need to be balanced with proteins, good carbs and healthy fats – and breakfast is no exception. Here are some ideas for delicious breakfasts, from out-the-door quick to weekend fare, that deliver all the good stuff you need to get going in the morning

  • Blend up a fresh smoothie with yogurt or kefir, you may want to throw in some fresh kale or spinach. Great with a side of whole grain toast and natural peanut butter.
  • Cook up some whole grain oatmeal or other whole grain hot cereal and serve with nuts (I love walnuts) and fruit (try fresh or frozen berries, raisins or sliced banana).
  • Spread natural nut butters (I prefer the kind the grocery or health food store has fresh ground) on a variety of whole grain breads, crackers or bagels.
  • Toast some whole grain waffles and top with nut butter and fresh fruit. 
  • Dress up your favorite yogurt or cottage cheese with almonds and chopped apple, blueberries or dried apricots. Add a whole grain English muffin with cream cheese, if you like.
  • Scramble up some tofu or eggs with veggies, fresh fruit and whole grain crackers.
  • Make a vegan wrap of tempeh “bacon,” tofu scrambled “eggs” and sliced avocado rolled in a whole wheat flour tortilla.
  • Make “cheese toast” by melting cheddar on sprouted wheat bread and serve with an apple or a pear.
  • Try an overnight muesli or other type of grain breakfast. I will e-mail you my favorite breakfast recipe. 

* By the way one of my favorite breakfasts was at my daughter's mother in law's home-warm walnuts with agave nectar and fruit!  MMMMMMMM!

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