Hello again. For the past few weeks we’ve been exploring ways to create a morning routine that will set you up for success every single day. In this final article in this series I’d like to discuss breakfast.
Most of us have very full lives and the idea of having to take time prepare breakfast in the morning can seem daunting. It also may feel unnecessary. You may think to yourself “I’m not even hungry in the mornings. Why add those calories into my diet?” Or “I don’t get hungry until 11am so I can easily wait until lunch to eat.” The biggest issue I find is that people feel like cutting breakfast out of their day will help them to maintain a healthy weight, or lose weight, because they aren’t adding unnecessary calories to their day.
In fact the opposite is actually true. When you wake up in the morning your body is dehydrated and starving. Feeding its thirst and hunger will help to replenish it and energize it. Eating any breakfast gives you an increased feeling of fullness, a reduced desire to eat, and lower levels of ghrelin (a hunger-stimulating hormone) throughout the morning. But having a high protein breakfast will allow you to enjoy these benefits over the course of your entire day. It will also help reduce “cravings-related” brain activity, and increased levels of the hormone leptin associated with satiety. A high protein breakfast will help you to snack less and crave fewer fatty foods in the evening.
If you get too little protein, you can suffer from fatigue, weakness or muscle loss. Your metabolism slows down and you put yourself at risk of gaining weight. It also weakens your immune system.
That’s why everyone should have at least 25 grams of protein at every meal. That’s 75 grams per day. Protein can only be used by your body for 4 hours, so if you try to eat a lot of protein at one meal so you don’t have to think about it at other meals, you won’t reap the benefits we discussed above. Your body will use whatever protein it is given, and then when it has no more it will start to use your muscle protein. That’s why it’s good to feed it protein throughout your day, starting with breakfast.
Having a healthy breakfast does not need to take a lot of your time. I personally find that having a yummy protein shake or smoothie in the morning is quick, easy, and gives me all the benefits I am seeking.
Here is my favorite breakfast smoothie recipe.
I use I cup of brewed green tea as my base. As long as you don’t let it get too strong, it won’t change the taste of your smoothie, but you will still reap all the wonderful health benefits of green tea. There is so much info on the benefits of green tea, I don’t want to do a full dissertation here, but let me give you a few of the benefits that I think are very interesting.
– Promotes fat loss
– Protects against a myriad of cancers
– Cardiovascular system “caretaker”
– Helps you stay mentally sharp while also protecting against age related – mental diseases
– Fights the flu
– Lowers blood pressure
– Improves insulin sensitivity in type-2 diabetes
– Helps build strong bones
– Protects the liver
– Improves endurance
If you decide you want to try this, brew a batch of green tea and keep it in the fridge for several days so you don’t need to keep brewing it every morning.
If you decide you don’t want to bother with brewing green tea, try using coconut water as your base. It too has many health benefits.
Green Tea Smoothie Recipe
1 cup brewed green tea, cooled
1 fresh or frozen medium banana
1 cup baby spinach, kale, or any other leafy greens
¼ medium size cucumber (I like this because it improves skin elasticity)
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon honey or stevia to taste
1/2 cup fresh or frozen berries of your choice (optional)
1/3 cup yogurt or 1 serving of your preferred protein powder (I use plant based protein powders but try to stay away from soy and whey. My current favorite is pea protein.)
Place all of the ingredients into your blender and blend on high until the desired consistency is reached. I also add ice in the blender to give it more of a smoothie consistency.
No matter whether you decide to do a smoothie or not, make having breakfast one of your morning rituals. It will have a huge impact on your productivity, mental clarity, and general feeling of well-being during your day.
I hope you have enjoyed this series of articles. I hope they will help you to have your best year ever!