My private clients and class members often ask me what they should eat in the morning. People also wonder whether they should eat before a morning workout and if so, what is best?
Starting your day with a healthy breakfast is important. This doesn't have to be complicated or time consuming but I do believe that certain components are integral to give your body the fuel it needs to thrive.
All too often the go to for breakfast is simple carbohydrates. Pastries, bagels, fruit juice, pancakes and some cereals all fall into this category. These types of food spike the blood sugar and while this can give you a burst of energy first thing in the morning it is a recipe for an energy crash later. Put very simply, over time this cycle can disrupt your body's natural ability to regulate blood sugar levels. This potentially causes insulin resistance and makes weight loss difficult.
What's the alternative? I recommend always including protein in your breakfast. I get up and go first thing in the morning so I need something quick. Most days I have a smoothie that includes protein powder. I resisted using protein powders for a long time and thought I didn't need supplements to get the nutrients I need. While that might be true, I found that adding protein powder to my morning smoothie kept me full much longer. Here's one of my favorite go to smoothie recipes:
organic frozen Cherries (about 1 cup)
2 tbsp ground flax
Arbonne chocolate protein powder
large handful baby spinach
unsweetened vanilla almond milk
Just like any meal of the the day, keep it balanced. Include some healthy fat and complex carbohydrates like whole grains or vegetables and you are good to go. As to the question of what/if you should eat before morning exercise, I think this is an individual thing. Some days I wake up hungry and know I want to practice yoga or run in first thing. On these days I have a banana or a couple of mandarins and save my main breakfast for after exercise.
The body digests fruit quickly so it will give you energy more quickly without spiking the blood sugar like fruit juice does on an empty stomach. Most of the time I just have some water or a cup of tea before morning exercise and I have plenty of energy. If you are exercising in the morning and feel weak or get light headed, this is a good indicator that you should eat before exercise.
Another great breakfast that is easy to make and grab n' go is the omlette muffin. This recipe is grain free and dairy free. Make a batch and they are ready to go for busy mornings. You could heat them up but I thing they are great cold too.
8 ounces organic sausage
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1 cup diced onion
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. While oven is preheating, brown sausage. Line muffin tin with paper liners. Beat eggs together in a large bowl. Mix cooked sausage, bell pepper, onion, salt, black pepper, and water into the beaten eggs. Pour egg mixture evenly into prepared muffin cups. Bake in the preheated oven until muffins are set in the middle, 18 to 20 minutes.
Enjoy! I'd love to hear your feedback. And feel free to reach out if you have questions about other healthy breakfast options (or any other meal for that matter)