Beyond Toast and Cereal: How to Improve your Mornings!
Most of us grew up eating bowls of sugary cereal, slices of toast, and stacks of pancakes for breakfast. Unfortunately, those bad habits may have followed us into adulthood and make it hard to imagine enjoying a morning meal without a grain or bread of some sort. Now you might be looking for a morning makeover and trying to figure out how to get all the way to lunch feeling full and energetic. Creating a healthy breakfast can be easy once you stop thinking about certain foods as only for breakfast, and just as, well, food.
What’s So Bad About Bread?
When you gorge on refined carbohydrates in the morning, particularly gluten-filled ones, your brain receives a surge of serotonin and your blood sugar skyrockets (which feels especially great after fasting all night). But an hour later, your energy levels crash and you’re ravenous. Your body screams for more bread—and you board the blood sugar roller coaster once again.
And if you have discovered that you don’t feel well after you eat wheat and gluten, replacing all your old breakfast foods with the gluten-free version isn’t really helping you create a healthier way of eating. Those gluten free breads and muffins are still pretty processed and may create blood sugar crashes.
A Better Way to Start Your Day
Rather than loading up on carbs in the morning, switch your focus to getting a sizeable portion of quality fat and protein into that first meal. You can even include vegetables on your morning plate, which will keep you fuller longer. The most common thing I eat for breakfast is a combination of foods leftover from dinner, with a fried egg or bacon added. This is what I call a breakfast skillet or “hash”.
Check out this recipe for a Breakfast Hash that was inspired by a client I was cooking for using the Wahls Protocol Diet. It combines a bunch of sauteed veggies, roasted potatoes and some bacon, so it “feels” like breakfast! On most mornings, it doesn’t take me more than half an hour to prepare and enjoy a breakfast skillet. And the best part is that I don’t get hungry again until several hours later.
Healthy Breakfast Hacks
Here’s how you can make sure to get a hearty, nourishing start to your day:
- Keep the fridge stocked. You won’t have time to run to the grocery store in the morning, so make sure you always have plenty of eggs and veggies on hand. Chop up a few veggies, saute’ them in a cast iron skillet with a little bacon fat or olive oil, and then add eggs.
- Make extra at dinner. Make extra vegetables for dinner and save the leftovers for the morning. You can cut down on chopping and cook time this way and simply throw in an egg or two for protein. Or, skip the eggs and add leftover chicken, meat or salmon as your protein source.
- Add starchy veggies. If you’re missing toast, try including white potatoes, sweet potatoes or squash in your veggie mix. These are more nutrient-dense sources of carbohydrates that won’t make you tired or grumpy—provided you enjoy them in moderate amounts and pair them with other vegetables like asparagus or spinach.
- Make bacon once. Rather than spending 20 minutes making a few slices of bacon every morning, cook the entire package. That means you’ll only have to clean up the grease mess once, and then you’ll have leftovers to crumble into your breakfast skillets or over salads for the rest of the week.
Here are some Healthy Breakfast Recipes to Try Out
Pre-make some protein for your breakfast with a ground Chicken and Zucchini Fritter. Easy to heat up or eat cold in the morning. Make a big batch and have it all week.
These Chicken and Sweet Potato Fritters feel and taste like starchy hashbrowns, but the added protein helps make you feel full and more satisfied.
Make a Gluten and Dairy Free Frittata over the weekend and then have it as a quick and easy breakfast during the week.
I just love Spoon With Me’s Vegan Indian Breakfast Hash recipe. She uses all the same principles I have mentioned about about combining some “breakfasty” foods with good ol’ veggies and greens. So it will feel like eating hashbrown, but also be a savory bowl of goodness to fill you up.
Soup for Breakfast. I know this might sound strange, but I do this all the time, especially in the cooler months. Talk about an easy breakfast that is already put together for you and all you have to do it heat it up. If you have a favorite recipe, great, if you need some inspiration, I put together this post about Soups and a few of these could be great for breakfast.
Get More Ways to Hack Your Morning Routine
Getting used to a grain-free breakfast may take a little while, but you’ll quickly notice how much better you feel by enjoying a well-rounded hash or skillet instead of a bagel. For more fast breakfast hacks, schedule a nutrition consultation with me and break the bread habit! My Wellness Sessions are where I can take a deep dive into your health history and what you have already tried. I will give you my recommendations for where to start so that you get quick results and start feeling better. No one diet is perfect for everyone, let’s figure out what works for YOU.