No matter what time you eat breakfast, this meal will set the “metabolic pace” for the rest of your day, so you want to do it right. You might be surprised to hear that you have most likely been doing it wrong all along.
That’s right – common breakfast foods are the last things you want to eat first thing in the morning. Processed foods high in simple carbohydrates can increase your blood sugar and put you on an energetic roller coaster! You’ll get a quick boost in blood sugar that will perk you up but after a couple of hours leave you dragging and in search of another caffeine or sugar fix.
You need to eat more protein and a little healthy fat too. Eat foods rich in vitamins and high in fiber to get your day started right, not food that is going to weigh you down.
Sure, if you’re starving in the morning it’s natural to want to go for that quick refill or second muffin. While this food might fill you up, it doesn’t energize you and get you ready to take on the day.
12 foods you’ll want to think twice about when you wake up in the morning
Pancakes, waffles, and French toast – Say it ain’t so. Who doesn’t love a big, syrupy pancake breakfast in the morning? Your body, that’s who. Pancakes, waffles, and French toast are not good to have first thing in the morning. All those carbs and sugar are not the way you want to get your day going.
Pastries – Donuts, Danishes and other pastries are not your best friend in the morning. Lots of sugar but little fiber makes for a rapid rise in blood sugar. This is not the way you want to start your day because it won’t be long before you have a sugar crash.
Bagels – What, now we can’t even have a bagel and a schmear in the morning? What is this world coming to? Like the other pastries, bagels will give you that great big high, but a very quick low. Before long you’ll be hungry for more, but you’ll also be bloated and possibly even constipated. So just skip the bagel.
Breakfast smoothies and Juices – Okay, not all breakfast smoothies are created equal. There are some that are a good choice, but you want to stay away from processed ingredients. Breakfast smoothies created with fruit juices, ice cream, chocolate syrups and powders, agave nectar, protein powders, or non-organic peanut butter are not doing you any favors. You need a breakfast smoothie that is going to be rich in nutrients with ingredients like fresh fruits and vegetables, chia seeds, and coconut milk. Juice alone is lacking fiber from the whole fruit and is loaded with sugar. It takes about 4 oranges to make 8 ounces of juice!
Boxed cereals -The problem with most boxed cereals is they are loaded with sugar and artificial flavoring. Cereals like Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Fruit Loops, Lucky Charms, and Honey Nut Cheerios have lots of ingredients listed that just aren’t good for you (even if they say they are gluten-free). If you stick with the organic cereals and ones with a few ingredients (without sugar at the top of the list), then you’re fine.
Muffins (mini cakes)– Usually packed with artificial sweeteners and processed ingredients, these yummy foods will cause a spike in your blood sugar like many of its other pastry-like counterparts. If you can’t do without your muffin then make your own out of gluten free flour, and use applesauce instead of oil and bananas to sweeten them.
Granola bars – Another food that unless you make it yourself you probably want to avoid. Store-bought granola bars might seem healthy, but they are often filled with fats and unhealthy sugars.
Breakfast sandwiches – The pro’s are the protein-packed bacon and eggs. Unfortunately, the muffins or buns are not whole grain or even high in fiber. They also tend to be very high in the unhealthy kind of fat and are loaded with added salt and sugar.
Toast – There just are not enough nutrients to make this a good breakfast food and way to start your day. If you truly cannot do without toast, then opt for a gluten free or whole grain/ high fiber option for your bread and make sure to add some healthy fat and protein like a nut butter.
Instant Oatmeal – This highly processed version of oatmeal is packed with added sugar and flavoring and almost no fiber to get your day started right. Opt for steel cut oats the next time you want oatmeal for breakfast.
So what’s left to eat?
Try eggs, avocados, nut butters, yogurt, quinoa, chia seed pudding, sweet potato, tofu, stele cut oats…
For a great and simple way to make your steel cut oatmeal try using a slow cooker.
Alton’s Overnight Oatmeal (makes 4 servings)
1 cup steel cut oats
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup dried figs
4 cups water
1/2 cup half-and-half
In a slow cooker, combine all ingredients and set to low heat. Cover and let cook for 8 to 9 hours.
Stir and remove to serving bowls. This method works best if started before you go to bed. This way your oatmeal will be ready to eat morning.
You may also want to try Chia Seed Pudding.
Chia Seed Pudding Recipe (serves 1)
The night before, combine 1½ tablespoons of chia seeds with 1 cup of your favorite nondairy milk. Add in some nut butter, vanilla, and a dash of maple syrup and mix well. Then put in the fridge overnight. Top with some berries and enjoy!