Eat This: Why bother with breakfast?

The alarm clock goes off, you get up, out of bed and what unfolds next? Shower, workout, meditation, hot water and lemon, coffee is a no brainer for most, then I’m sure checking your phone for updates falls in there somewhere, but then what about breakfast? You’ve had it ingrained in us that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and yet there are people who don’t eat breakfast ever, or they don’t eat it first thing because they’re not hungry, or too busy or they are intermittent fasting, like me, so it’s by choice that breakfast doesn’t happen at the usual 7 to 8 am. If you have a family, there’s something on the table before everyone heads out, but if that’s you, do you pay attention to what you’re eating, or just serve enough for the fam jam? For those out there who are a coffee and a piece of toast kinda breakfast eater, well they’ve reached out and I’ve had a few questions in recently that fall into why bother with breakfast category. Someone said that what they are eating isn’t keeping them going, and another loyal listener wondered if what she’s eating at breakfast is making her MORE hungry and snack more in the afternoon.

So it’s time, it’s time to break down the whole breakfast thing. So today on EAT THIS with Lianne – Why bother, what is breakfast doing for you, what to eat to set yourself up for the day, even if you’re not hungry. 

With all the diets out there, what to eat for breakfast can be a minefield to figure out. Don’t eat too many eggs is one that comes up all the time, then what about the latest smoothie addition, or breakfast cereal that will give you wings – you know, marketing. Intermittent Fasting is likely one of the main ways of eating that could nix breakfast, then there was the bulletproof phase where coffee and MCT oil mixed was breaky being on trend for a while. As Chris and I are always asking you for what you want to know more about, today is driven by you, my loyal listener. As I said off the top, questions about what to put in a smoothie to feel fuller, but not change the taste dramatically, what to eat that’s fast and easy to make when you don’t have time, and overall what on earth are you supposed to eat that ticks all the boxes? I know that the typical bowl of cereal is the norm for most, but how about something else that’s actually going to max out on nutrients than a box of something. You know me, that super processed foods are not on my to-buy list. The processed, white and nutrient deficient Rice Krispies, or even more protein and fibre rich cereals are heavily processed. 

First let’s talk about why bother. If you’re not hungry in the morning, should you eat anyway? I’m going to lean towards YES on this one. The most common reasons people skip breakfast are they aren’t hungry, don’t feel like eating, or they are too busy, or they think that it’s going to help them lose weight. This is when the fact that 30% of your daily calorie and nutrient intake needs to come from this meal. And studies show the difference, certainly in school age kids and I’d say most adults, that they are more productive, have a better attention span and focus, more balanced energy, when breakfast is consumed within two hours of waking. Most people who don’t feel hungry, would be at least peckish after two hours. 

What do you need to focus on when planning your breakfast – what is going to keep you full enough and not start you on a roller coaster of highs and lows? Well, for the coffee only people out there like Lana who said “Coffee with a side of 5% cream. (Coffee is a bean, right?!)”, then Sarah chimed in with “It’s basically a vegetable.” Um, not sure I’d go that far about coffee, but nice try ladies. Lana still thought so though and said that with dairy on the side, it seems right. 

I did read a lot of toast happening on Facebook – and I wonder how bloated people are later in the day. Something to note if you’re an avid toast eater as a note to self. 

Although all the meals are important, let’s breakdown breakfast and what happens next, and how to structure your day, week and plan ahead. This is going to be a practical guide as well as a know-how-to-do. 

  • Smart choices for breakfast include fibre, protein, and fats. Some wholegrains fall into this too as they contain essential B vitamins for energy. When you add fat in, like whole milk plain or Greek yogurt for instance, it can help you stay energized and full longer too. 
  • Fibre in fruit is a no-brainer, and again adding in fat from a nut butter, or throwing it into a smoothie with whole milk – whether it’s A2 milk that I talked about in Episode 63, kefir or yogurt these work to balance up the carbs that you get from the fruit and help the balance your day and keep you feeling fuller for longer, easing that afternoon snack attack. 
  • There are different quality proteins, just as fats – you’ve heard me talk about essential fats from nuts, seeds, and fish before, and that’s in comparison to saturated fats from meat and other animal products. Good quality protein means that it contains the most amount of amino acids – the building blocks or bricks that make protein what it is. Aiming for foods that offer the widest array of protein helps your focus, energy and concentration be more stable; that’s where eggs come in as a fast protein hit, as well as all the dairy products too, so milk, plain yogurt, greek yogurt, kefir, cottage cheese, cheese and ricotta. Each of them have slightly different profiles, but overall you’re going to get a good hit. Adding in seeds like hemp, chia, sunflower and pumpkin seeds in either a powder or handful gives fats, nutrients and fibre too. 
  • In the vain of keeping local, I do look out for where I can get dairy from Ontario farmers, because it’s always better from closer to home. You can ensure it’s a locally made product by looking for the little blue cow logo. 
  • Oatmeal is another high fiber choice, and when you soak it overnight in the fridge in milk, it actually aids in digestion, so often a better choice if you feel that what you’re doing right now doesn’t have the staying power. Are you getting the theme here? Carbs from whole grains, mixed with protein from milk, even some added seeds have way more staying power. And once you soak a big batch, it’s super speedy to heat up in the morning so one batch can last a few days. 
  • Breakfast foods don’t have to be traditional. I also love having my Apple Crumble recipe (recipe below) as a make once and eat for a few days breakfast. The oats, seeds, fruit, butter, and with an added dollop of plain greek yogurt, you’ll tick all the boxes with this one.
  • Boil up a bunch of eggs to grab on the go with a piece of fruit, if you’re super busy as the day starts. On Facebook, Samantha, JT and Leigh are all about the EGGS in any form. I do love poached, but if fried or scrambled make it onto my plate, I’m game because in any way eggs are a great and fast protein hit. 
  • Breakfast doesn’t have to be the full-course meal but on weekends, go for it. Craig on Facebook replied that Steak and eggs coffee juice hash browns and slices of tomato. That may not be for everyone with the time that they have available, so sometimes on the weekend you can go for it! Paul on FB has a full english fry up on the weekend and having lived in England for 15 years and had my fair share of fry ups, I’m not sure if I ever needed lunch after that! 

A healthy breakfast kick-starts your metabolism so aim to eat breakfast within two hours of waking, and remember to eat around 20% to 35% of our recommended daily calorie intake – this equates to between 500 and 875 calories for men and between 400 and 700 calories for women. Yes, the breakfast of champions needn’t always be bacon, sausage, eggs, beans, tomatoes, mushrooms etc. What is needed is the balance of fibre, protein and fats with that touch of carb to set you off on your day. I’ve shared some recipes below that are packed with protein and fibre to help you feel full. 

 

I start my day with my Kid Boost SuperFood powder, Alka C and Liposome B Complex to get me going then move onto a variety of foods that have been mentioned here, but if you want to share in the conversation, let us know what your favourite breakfast is and what keeps you full and energized during the day. We’d love to hear over on liannephillipson or sproutright’s social pages of Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, or leave a comment under the show notes. 

So let’s see how you do with these ideas and please remember to EAT THIS, one mouthful at a time.

Breakfast Ideas

All recipes and so many more can be found in my Sprout Right Family Food cookbook.

Apple Crumble

Egg-free ~ Gluten-free ~ Vegetarian ~ Wheat-free

Serves 6 to 8

Fruit Filling

3 cups (750 mL) sliced fresh fruit (apples, peaches, pears, or a combination)

1 cup (250 mL) fresh or frozen wild blueberries or other berries

¼ cup (60 mL) pure fruit juice, such as apple juice 

1 teaspoon (5 mL) ground cinnamon  

Crumble Topping

1½ cups (375 mL) old-fashioned rolled oats

¼ cup (60 mL) pure maple syrup

¼ cup (60 mL) sunflower seeds, chopped

¼ cup (60 mL) walnuts, chopped (optional) 

¼ cup (60 mL) unsalted butter 

1 teaspoon (5 mL) ground cinnamon

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC).
  2. In a medium bowl, toss the sliced fruit, blueberries, fruit juice, and cinnamon.
  3. In another medium bowl, mix the oats, maple syrup, sunflower seeds, walnuts (if using), butter, and cinnamon. Combine by squeezing the ingredients between your fingers to create a soft, coarse crumble.
  4. Spoon the fruit mixture and its liquid into a 9-inch (23 cm) pie plate. Top with the crumble mixture. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until the fruit is fork-tender, the filling is bubbling and thickened, and the topping is golden brown. Cool slightly on a wire rack before serving warm or at room temperature. 
  5. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer before or after cooking for up to 1 month.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

This crumble is rich in vitamin C, fibre, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, trace minerals, and complex carbohydrates.

 

Chia Pudding

Makes 1½ cups (375 mL)

INGREDIENTS

⅓ cup (75 mL) white chia seeds

1½ cups (375 mL) milk 

2 tablespoons (30 mL) pure maple syrup

½ teaspoon (2 mL) pure vanilla extract

For serving (optional):

Fresh blueberries

Fresh strawberries

Fresh raspberries

Fresh grated pear

DIRECTIONS

  1. Add the chia seeds, milk, maple syrup, and vanilla to a 16-ounce (475 mL) airtight jar. Secure the lid and shake to combine.
  2. Store in the fridge for 1 hour. Shake the mixture again or stir, then return it to the fridge with the lid on and let sit overnight.
  3. In the morning, pour about 1 cup (250 mL) of chia pudding into a serving bowl and top with fruit, if desired.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Be sure to drink a lot today, as these seeds are a fantastic source of fibre.

 

Overnight French Toast 

 Serves 4 to 8

 INGREDIENTS

¼ cup (60 mL) pure maple syrup

1 teaspoon (5 mL) ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons (30 mL) butter, melted

8 slices bread

1 cup (250 mL) fresh or frozen blueberries

4 eggs

1 cup (250 mL) milk

1 teaspoon (5 mL) pure vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

  1. Mix the maple syrup, cinnamon, and melted butter in a small bowl.
  2. Pour a third of the maple syrup mixture evenly over the bottom of an 8-inch (20 cm) square pan. Cover with 4 slices of bread.  
  3. Scatter the blueberries on top of the bread and cover with the remaining 4 slices of bread. Pour the remaining maple syrup mixture overtop. 
  4. Beat the eggs, milk, vanilla, and salt together in a medium bowl. Pour evenly over the bread and press down lightly. The bread will soak up the liquid, so make sure that the entire top layer of bread is dampened with the egg mixture. 
  5. Cover and refrigerate overnight or let stand for 2 hours.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°F). Bake uncovered for 40 to 45 minutes until puffed and golden brown. 
  7. Store the French toast in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat any leftovers in an oven set at 200°F (100°C) for 10 minutes. 

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

This French toast is a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, selenium, choline, and fibre.

 

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