Hello again. For the past few blogs posts we’ve talked about how to create a morning routine that will set you up for success every day. In this final post of this series let’s discuss breakfast.
Most of us have very full mornings and the idea of taking time to prepare breakfast can seem overwhelming. It can also feel unnecessary. You may say to yourself “I’m not even hungry in the mornings. Why add those calories into my diet?” Or “I don’t get hungry until 11am so I can easily wait until lunch to eat.” The biggest issue is that people believe that cutting breakfast out of their day will allow them to maintain or lose weight, because they aren’t adding calories to their day.
However, the fact is that the opposite is true. It’s actually important to feed your body’s thirst and hunger to help replenish and energize it first thing in the morning. Eating breakfast also gives you an increased feeling of fullness, a reduced desire to eat, and lower levels of ghrelin (a hunger-stimulating hormone) throughout. And having a high protein breakfast will also allow you to enjoy these benefits through your entire day. It helps reduce “cravings-related” brain activity, and increases levels of the hormone leptin, which is associated with the feeling of satiety. A high protein breakfast also helps you to snack less. And you will crave fewer fatty foods in the evening.
If you have a diet low in protein you can suffer from fatigue, weakness, and muscle loss. Your metabolism will slow down and you may actually gain weight. Your immune system is also weakened.
That’s why everyone should have at least 25 grams of protein at every meal. That’s 75 grams per day. Protein can only be used by your body for about 4 hours, so if you try to eat a lot of protein at one meal you won’t reap the benefits we discussed above. Your body will use whatever protein it is given, and then when it has no more it will start to use your muscle protein. That’s why it is important to feed it protein throughout your day, starting with breakfast.
Having a healthy breakfast doesn’t need to be time consuming or hard. I personally find that having a healthy protein shake in the morning is quick and easy.
This is my favorite breakfast drink recipe.
I start with I cup of brewed green tea. As long as I don’t let it get too strong, it doesn’t change the taste of my smoothie, but I still reap all the wonderful health benefits of green tea. There is a lot of info on the benefits of green tea. I don’t want to do a full dissertation in this post, but here are a few of the benefits that I think are very interesting.
– Promotes fat loss
– Protects against a myriad of cancers
– Helps you stay mentally sharp while also protecting against age related – mental diseases
– Fights the flu
– Lowers blood pressure
– Improves insulin sensitivity in type-2 diabetes
– Helps build strong bones
– Protects the liver
– Improves endurance
If you decide you want to do this, brew a batch of green tea and keep it in the fridge for several days so you don’t have to keep brewing it every day.
If you decide you don’t want to use green tea, try using coconut water as your base. It has many health benefits also.
Green Tea Smoothie Recipe
1 cup brewed green tea, cooled (or coconut water)
1 medium banana
1 cup baby spinach, kale, or any other leafy greens
1/2 medium size cucumber (I like this because it improves skin elasticity)
1 teaspoon coconut oil or flaxseed oil
1 teaspoon agave, honey, or stevia to taste
1/2 cup fresh or frozen berries of your choice (optional)
1/3 cup yogurt or 1 serving of your favorite protein powder (I like plant based protein powders but stay away from soy and whey. My current favorite is pea protein.)
Put everything listed into your blender and blend on high until you get the consistency you like. I also add ice in the blender.
Whether you decide to do a protein drink or not, make having breakfast one of your morning rituals. It will have a huge impact on your mental clarity, productivity and general feeling of happiness and well-being during your day.
I hope you have enjoyed this series of articles. If you have some morning ritual that you find particularly helpful to you, please post them in the comments section. It’s always nice to pick up some good tips from each other about what is working.