When I was obese, I never paid much attention to breakfast, because I would eat snacks after dinner which made me less hungry in the morning. I never took the time to eat breakfast at home and didn’t bother buying eggs.
I often took a container of fresh fruit, yogurt, and what I thought was a “good” cereal (such as Fiber One) to work. Although many nutritionists recommend this type of breakfast, it never satisfied me. In fact, it made me hungrier. Was there something wrong with me? I couldn’t maintain a healthy weight doing what I thought was healthy.
Now I realize that eggs, a slice of seven grain toast, and drinking a homemade, vegetable-based green drink for breakfast is what healthy eating is all about. My nonfat vanilla yogurt was full of artificial sugars to make it taste better. The good cereal was heavily processed, which was why it had a shelf life of over a year. Although the fresh fruit contained natural sugars, it was not healthy for me. I now know that heavily processed foods, sugars, and artificial sweeteners can cause sluggishness, make a person cranky, anxious, or depressed.
Adele Davis originated the phrase: “Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dine like a pauper” in 1954. Back then, she was considered a radical nutritionist, but I think she was simply ahead of her time. When she talked about breakfast, she didn’t mean large and caloric, she meant nutritious, and substantial enough to get through the morning without craving sugary carbs and other foods that will spike blood sugar. Eating this foods in the morning could lead to a tired, jittery feeling and a need for more food at lunchtime.
Adele believed that the body needs to replenish its glucose levels after eight to twelve hours of fasting. Glucose is vital for the brain, and is the main energy that fuels our muscles for physical activity throughout the day. By skipping breakfast or making it less nutritional, you will have a shorter attention span, be less alert and reactive and have lower blood sugar. This decreases productivity, and leads to compensating with more calories throughout the day.
Grabbing an energy drink, or bar, or a commercial protein shake is better than eating muffins, donuts and fast food sandwiches on English muffins, bu even these drinks have hidden sugars and calories.
I have lost 115 lbs. since 2013, and have been at my goal weight since August 2015. What I eat, especially for breakfast, has helped me maintain my new weight. By basing breakfast around a protein source, it will be easy to maintain a healthy weight.
Some examples for good breakfasts include:
-Fried eggs, Trader Joe’s seven grain bread, and a green blender drink which consists of frozen fruit without sugar, celery, and either kale or spinach, and water. Google “green drinks” for recipes
-Scrambled eggs, or an omelet with vegetables and cheese, toast, and an orange
-Egg frittata, or vegetable casserole made with eggs in advance, and toast
-Two hard-boiled eggs, with sliced ham, toast
-Whole wheat tortillas stuffed with scrambled eggs, cheese, and salsa
-Marinated salmon on toast, spread with Laughing Cow soft cheese
-Open-faced chicken sandwich topped with a few chunks of blue cheese or greek yogurt
-Grilled cheese sandwich with tomatoes
-Smashed avocado on toast, with or without cheese
-Peanut butter on toast with a banana
-Leftover salad with meat, cheese, or fish added, especially good in summer
-Hot soup, especially with chicken and vegetables
-Turkey chili with cheese, will give you energy to shovel
-Cantaloupe wrapped in prosciutto, and toast
-Honeydew melon with cottage cheese, and toast
-Greek yogurt parfait with berries, and topped with nuts & seeds
-Homemade bran muffins, or banana bread with nuts
-Watermelon salad with feta, mint, and oil and vinegar
-A shake consisting of cold coffee with unsweetened almond milk, a frozen banana and a teaspoon of any nut butter.
BREAKFASTS TO GO:
-Two hard-boiled eggs, cherry tomatoes, and bread sticks
-Muffin cups, which are scrambled eggs with vegetables, baked into a muffin tin, (hot or cold)
-Homemade vegetable quiche
-Cheese, or nut butter with whole grain crackers, or flat bread
-Greek yogurt, or cottage cheese with fresh fruit, and a handful of unsalted nuts
-A banana spread with nut butter
-An apple with cheese, and/or a handful of unsalted nuts
These breakfasts are well worth the time it takes to prepare them, and many can be made in advance. They will bring energy, the calm mood, and take away that desire for a mid-morning junk snack.