Eat your breakfast!
So breakfast is actually the breaking of your fast. Your body is in need of sustenance because it has been hours since it was fed. Fasting is very stressful for your body so not eating when you wake up amplifies the stress.
That strain on your body, of not breaking your fast, can lead to insulin resistance (in other words Type II Diabetes). Eating breakfast helps restore glycogen and stabilizes your insulin levels. If you don’t restock your glucose stores in the morning, you’re likely to feel overly hungry, cranky and fatigued.
Now picture your body eating your muscles to get the fuel it needs. Yep, when you don’t eat breakfast, your metabolism slows and your body turns the glucose stored in your muscles into a fuel source. While you’re sleeping, your body uses the fuel in your liver to drive your body but your liver isn’t a significant source of glucose. When you get up and skip breakfast, your body snacks on your muscles as a source of fuel. To make matters worse, when you take too long to break your fast, your body goes into protection mode and will store up as many calories as it can as an emergency pantry. Not eating breakfast isn’t a weight loss tactic; it’s quite the opposite.
Skipping breakfast can also contribute to migraines. Skipping meals can trigger a massive dip in sugar levels. This prompts the release of hormones to compensate for the low glucose levels which can increase blood pressure and produce migraines and headaches.
A high protein breakfast can, believe it or not, also contribute to beautiful, lush hair. Low levels of protein in the opening meal of your day can affect your levels of keratin, averting hair growth and triggering hair loss. If you wish to enjoy a lush, strong hair with zero hair loss, then you ought to indulge in a protein-rich breakfast daily.
Don’t make poor choices for your breakfast however. You could still be burdening your health when you eat breakfast if you make poor choices. Most ‘breakfast food’ on the market is packed with sugars – some have as much sugar as a dessert. Breakfast cereals often fall into this category, including ‘healthy’ versions (the ones that don’t have cartoon characters on the package). Starting your morning off with a sugary or refined sugar product will leave you with a crash in your blood sugar and energy level.
Choosing a high protein, high fibre breakfast keeps you feeling full longer while boosting your metabolism. Studies show having a protein-rich breakfast versus a high carbohydrate breakfast can help reduce food cravings and overeating by reducing your hunger hormone Ghrelin.
High protein options could include eggs, nut butters, or nuts/seeds. High fibre options could include oatmeal and berries or vegetables added to your smoothie or omelette. If your body has adjusted to not eating breakfast and you’re simply not that hungry in the morning, start with a light snack or a smoothie. But still think high-protein and avoid sugary items.
Check out this great make-ahead option for your healthy breakfast, courtesy of Desiree Nielsen RD, the Urban Vegetarian
- ¼ cup (60 ml) Brazil nuts or your favourite tree nut
- 1 cup (240 ml) rolled oats
- ¾ cup (180 ml) oat flour
- ¼ cup (60 ml) hemp hearts
- ¼ cup (60 ml) raisins
- 1 cup (240 ml) unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) ground flaxseed
- 1 tsp (5 ml) cinnamon
- 1 tsp (5 ml) baking powder
- 1/3 tsp (2 ml) salt
- 3 ripe bananas, mashed
- ¼ cup (60 ml) coconut oil, melted
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) honey
- Preheat oven to 350F (180C).
- Place Brazil or other tree nuts in a Ziploc bag. Hit with a rolling pin to break into pieces. Or quickly buzz in the food processor making sure to process as little as possible to break into pieces.
- Pour crushed nuts into bowl. Add oats, oat flour, hemp hearts, raisins, shredded coconut, ground flaxseed, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.
- Peel and break up bananas and add to a second bowl. Mash with a fork. Pour in honey and melted coconut oil, and mix together.
- Pour wet ingredients into dry, and stir to combine.
- Spoon onto a baking sheet.
- Back for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
- Cool on a wire rack.