It’s a well-known fact that breakfast is touted as the most important meal of the day. And while this may be so, if there’s one subject I continually find my patients scratching their heads with, it’s how to create healthy recipe and meal ideas.
They search for a simple and tangible starting point when embarking on the (at times confusing) journey of changing their diet and lifestyle in the name of their health and healing.
And breakfast is certainly no exception. The time of the day where our bodies require nutrients the most, is also quite often our busiest (and hence most time poor) part of the day.
But with the nutrient density of our breakfast literally setting the tone for how our body will handle the day ahead, this meal is just too important to forget, ignore or put in the too hard basket.
So to really make breakfast count, and allow you to reap the reward of starting the day with a bang, here is my confusion-halting method for building an energy sustaining, concentration-boosting and blood sugar level balancing breakfast:
1. Start it with veggies
The cornerstone of our vitamin and mineral intake, banishing inflammation, alkalizing the body and proving plenty of fiber, we should aim for veggies to take pride of place on our breakfast plate. (Bonus points if they’re green!)
Wilted spinach with sautéed tomato and red onion with poached eggs
Cucumber, mint and handful of baby spinach in a smoothie
Capsicum, zucchini and kale in an omelette
Fresh-pressed vegetable juice with muesli
2. Include some protein
The true key to strong energy levels and super concentration once you hit your desk, protein is needed to power our muscles, but also brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) that keep our brain engaged and firing on all cylinders.
Eggs – poached, scrambled, frittata or omelette-style
Paleo-style nut and seed based granola
Pastured sausages or bacon
Plant-based protein powder in a smoothie
3. Add in some good fats
To keep those blood sugar levels balanced, use healthy fats as your ally. The last to leave our stomach and hence enter the bloodstream, fat is a slow release energy that keeps us full for hours. Goodbye hunting down a sweet snack come 10am!
Avocado with eggs or in a smoothie
Coconut or full fat dairy/sheep/goats yoghurt with granola
Coconut milk in a smoothie
Chia seed pudding with coconut milk
4. Support with carbohydrates
iew carbs as being an important part of each meal, but belonging to the chorus rather than the main cast. If you’re headed to the gym or walk to work, consuming a form of carbohydrate will be important to restore blood sugar levels and keep your energy high. Consume enough to help you feel full, without throwing your blood sugar levels into swings of peaks and troughs that will leave you craving sugar by mid-morning.
A piece of gluten free toast or beans with eggs
Sweet potato, potato or pumpkin in a frittata
Oats in a smoothie or granola
Moving beyond breakfast, this is an incredibly simple formula to keep in mind for building all of your meals and snacks to be nutrient dense, energy sustaining, and most of all healing.
By understanding what constitutes a protein, good fat and carbohydrate, create your own nutrient dense meals one step at a time with the ingredients that sit in your pantry and fridge. Nothing complicated, fancy or expensive needed!
Food is where our best medicine lies, and you have the power to make breakfast one of your most nourishing meals of the day using this easy method.
About Claire Murray
Claire Murray is a naturopath, food and nutrition coach, co-author of The Medicinal Meal Plans and creator of the health-fuelled online space Claire's Holistic Pursuits.
Via her naturopathic consulting, media contributions and blog, Claire works with women wanting to conquer their health complaints, so they may accelerate their healing, restore their vitality and uncover what their body optimally needs to thrive.
Melbourne foodie and nutrition student Hannah Noonan decided to change things up by taking up a challenge with a difference – to create a healthy pancake every day for 100 days. She shares with us how the challenge is going so far.
Wholefoods blogger Kate Cook turned the social media phenomenon surrounding freakshakes on its head with a wholefoods version with an 88 per cent lower sugar count, melting the internet in the process. Here she tells us her story.