Eggs, avocado or idli? Here’s how to plan your breakfast to stay healthy
If you’ve always heard the age old saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, this is absolutely true. Breakfast gets its name from the words ‘fast’ and ‘break’ as it is the first meal that you eat when you break your fast of the previous night. Therefore, breakfast can be eaten at any time of the day. If you are someone who practises intermittent fasting, then your breakfast may even be eaten at noon!
Remember, when it comes to a meal like breakfast, many things matter. There are certain frameworks that you need to follow when it comes to planning your breakfast. You need to follow these simple principles to make sure that you stay alert, feel full of energy all through the morning, and work towards that big vision which you have for your life.
Breakfast begins with mindfulness!
I have often noticed that people eat mono-diets or single-food diets for breakfast that are sure to create a slump in energy and will prevent optimal brain function through the morning. It can also make you snappy and less resilient to the pressures around you.
Let us create the best breakfast frameworks for you….
What to keep in mind when you think of breakfast
If you want your breakfast to give you more energy and keep you alert, there are some things that need to be put in place to ensure that. Once you create some structure around your breakfast, it can actually make planning, creating and eating this important meal of the day seem simple and it will become an activity that you enjoy.
* How you choose your breakfast really depends on what you ate the night before. It’s common to see high sugar choices if the meal on the previous night ended high on sugars, as you will wake up with low blood sugar levels in your system and your body will crave sugars to regain homeostasis.
*If you had a night of poor sleep, or if you slept late into the night, you will find that there is an increase in ghrelin which is the hunger hormone and lower levels of leptin, which is the satiety hormone, and this will make you hungrier than usual. This isn’t always hunger, but a combination of hormonal disruptions and blood-sugar imbalance will seem like you are famished.
Create a proper breakfast
* 40% of your protein intake should begin at breakfast. This will ensure stable blood sugar balance through the day and optimal focus in the brain.
* While it is difficult to get vegetables onto your plate at breakfast, adding some coloured foods to your one of your breakfast dishes can increase the phytonutrient and antioxidant profile of your first meal and help boost your energy.
* Make sure that you eat fats which you are capable of digesting. Fat does wonders for your brain functions and combines with healthy proteins to stabilise your blood sugar. Make sure that there are simple fats which you can breakdown since many people struggle with fat metabolism.
* Avoid inflammatory foods such as white bread, processed cereals, cheese and processed meats.
* Find ways to bring in the healthy options with flavours and tastes that you love.
* Don’t eat empty sugars that require you to eat a great deal of food to achieve satiety.
Here are some breakfast options...
*Free range eggs, avocado and sweet potato wedges
Prepare your eggs the way you like it best. Make sure that you do not leave out the yolk. The biggest myth is that the yolk of an egg is unhealthy, but the facts is, egg yolk is loaded with nutrients that will improve brain health. Combine the eggs with half an avocado and some sweet potatoes sautéed in ghee or coconut oil, and you’ve got yourself a winning breakfast. Add the right spices to create an Indian or continental breakfast.
* Sprouts salad, idli, sambar and coconut chutney
Idlis are one of the world’s best fermented foods. When they are eaten with sambar that is loaded with vegetables and with coconut chutney that is high in healthy fats and fibre, you have a well-rounded meal. When you add a sprouts salad too, you will have a meal that will stabilise your blood sugar too.
* Kappa and kadala curry
Kadala or black channa, when cooked in Kerala style is wonderful when combined with cooked tapioca. Tapioca is rich in fibre and will cleanse your gastrointestinal tract. When you eat tapioca with black channa curry that is cooked with coconut oil, you will enjoy an immensely flavourful and satiating breakfast. A small quantity of both is enough to keep you full through the morning.
*Gluten free amaranth and buckwheat paratha with green peas filling
Mashing green peas with onions, garlic, coriander, green chillies and salt and filling it within a GF paratha and cooking it in with ghee, is another super-breakfast. Buckwheat is a superfood and green peas are rich in protein and phytonutrients. This one is another winner breakfast for satiety and blood sugar balance.
A smoothie can be a wonderful breakfast option, if it is not loaded in sugar, as most of the ready-made smoothies out there. It can be a great way to add wonderful fats and excellent proteins to your diet. It is also very easy to put together, if you are too busy to cook anything.
Here’s my favourite Nut Butter-Spice Smoothie!
1 Glass Almond Milk (from 20 almonds)
1 Scoop whey or Pea Protein (Vegan)
1 tbsp. Flaxseed Powder
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Ginger powder
1/4 cup Raw Banana Powder
1/4 Tsp Cardamom Powder
Pinch of Vanilla
1 Tbsp Almond Butter
1/4 cup Orange Sweet Potato puree (chilled)
1/2 Tsp. Raw Honey
Using a blender or a food processor, blend all the ingredients together. Serve and consume fresh!
You can get really creative with this smoothie. As long as you use the sweet potato puree and the almond butter, you can play around with the fruit, and substitute the pear for stone fruits like nectarine, peach or apricot. Just stay low on the sugar. If you replace the pear with a peach, and find that it’s too sweet, don’t add the honey. You might also find that on some days you want to skip the spices altogether and just get the flavour of the nut butter.