Breakfast

By Milos

Healthy OatmealHow do you feel in the morning? Are you ready to head straight to work or do you feel lightheaded and lazy until midday? If you are not “a 100%” in the morning hours, consider adjusting your breakfast food & drink intake.

When we feel well and are able to perform at our best, it is because our body is comfortable and well nourished. In the our western culture, most of us have this experience sometime between lunch and dinner and it comes as a consequence of a good meal. Even U.S. Food and Drug Administration, known for being too lenient when it comes to US Food Industry and their sometimes low quality fares, makes this recommendation:

Eat a nutrient-dense breakfast. Not eating
breakfast has been associated with excess body
weight, especially among children and adolescents.
Consuming breakfast also has been associated
with weight loss and weight loss maintenance, as
well as improved nutrient intake.

Unfortunately, in the morning, we often tend to replace real meals with a cup of coffee – a stimulant meant to give us a benefit of a meal without having to spend the time. We may add a pastry or a sandwich but the idea is just the same – we “cheat” the body and the brain into working as soon as possible. “We’ll eat later…” But our bodies are not meant to operate like that. “Break-fast” is supposed to be a big meal. In Asian cultures, it is often the biggest meal of the day, providing lots of steady, “even” energy to last into the afternoon and sometimes all the way to the evening.

A good breakfast should provide all the energy, nutrients and liquid we’ll need to perform our daily activity. The stronger our activity is, the stronger our breakfast should be. At minimum, we should consume a healthy balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat, preferably from whole, “non processed” foods. Breakfast is best when made of simple ingredients that are not “processed” in factories. Look for stuff that did not have to be steamed, diced, mixed or filled with preservatives before it found its way to the store. Think whole foods like: whole wheat breads, greens, potatoes, eggs, butter, oatmeal, dried fruits, cooked beans, bacon, ham…

The second guideline is that breakfast should not make us pant and look for a place to lay down. It should not be packed with high calorie ingredients that spike our blood sugar and make us “crash” an hour or two later. Those are not just sugar but also caffeinated drinks, strong teas, or too much fruit. Instead, go for grains like Oatmeal with walnuts, dried cranberries or raisins. or whole wheat bread to give you a steady supply of energy.

Finally, try to keep Nature in mind when choosing ingredients for your meals. What are the things that Naturally grow in your area / region? What are the foods to eat in this particular season? Those are the questions we should ask now that our factories and farms grow everything “year round”. It is not necessarily healthy to have strawberries or oranges in the winter… Ask yourself: What is locally grown and available? What foods can I fetch that are not processed, infused with preservatives (chemicals or salt), what stuff will not make you feel heavy and sleepy? Try to avoid too much oil, salt, sugar.

The choices you make will not just affect your day, they will determine how well and how long is your life. Those are the questions and decisions we should address wisely every day.

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