Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We’ve all heard it before, but so few of us actually act on it. What you feed your body in the morning can be the difference between staying alert and energized throughout the day, or feeling tired and lazy. It can be the difference between staying focused at work, or finding yourself mentally drifting off not able to concentrate on the job at hand. It could be the difference between staying full until lunch, or constantly snacking throughout the day. Studies show that those who eat a healthy breakfast not only snack less, are more focused, and have more energy throughout the day, but also tend to be thinner than those eat an unhealthy breakfast (or skip it all together). It can literally be the difference between good health and poor health, and should definitely be taken seriously.
Never skip breakfast; in fact you should eat within an hour of getting up, that’s when your body needs refueling. When you wake up your body will have gone 8 to 10 hours without food (give or take depending on how long you slept), and it’s running on reserves. The body uses stored fat as energy when it’s not getting this energy source from outside sources, and if the body knows it will be a long time before it gets refueled, then it will store extra fat as reserves for a later time.
So what’s secret to a healthy breakfast? There are three main ingredients to this recipe; a desire to be healthy, healthy food on hand (whole grains, organic fruit, nuts…), and an appetite. It’s that simple!
The first thing to remember is forget everything you thought you knew, or shall I say everything you’ve been made to believe. The typical American breakfast consists of foods loaded with fat, refined sugars and flowers, and artificial preservatives (chemicals); processed cereals, breakfast treats, bagels, toast, pastries, donuts, just to name a few. Although some of these products are marketed as healthy they are quite the opposite, and one of the leading causes of obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease in this country. The truth is these processed foods have become nothing more than science experiments by food manufacturers to see how cheaply they can produce and sell a product with a long shelf life, using the most readily available resources as possible. With the help of clever marketing such as “fat free” (which really means high in calories and sugar), “sugar free” (which really means high in fat, and calories), or “low in calories” (which means high in everything else), these highly processed nutrient deficient fake foods are loaded with artificial dyes and flavors and fortified with vitamins and minerals (all of which are lost during processing) and advertised as “part of a healthy breakfast”; all at our expense.
Instead, give your body what it really wants. The key here is eating a healthy breakfast, in order to give your body the nutrients it needs to function properly. Try fresh organic fruit, and some mixed nuts. The fruits will give your body the vitamins and minerals it needs, not to mention a healthy serving of flavonoids (which have been shown to have antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antitumor and antioxidant qualities), while the nuts provide a good source of protein, omega-3, and healthy fat (all crucial elements to a healthy diet). Another great breakfast choice is whole grains. Stick with the organic minimally processed grains; these tiny seeds have everything necessary for creating life and are just what your body needs for maintaining yours. Try organic oat groats or hulless barley for a healthy and tasty breakfast.
Last but not least enjoy. Not only will you be laying the foundation for a healthy day by eating a healthy breakfast, you may actually just start looking forward it.