Eating a balanced, healthy breakfast is probably one of the easiest ways to feel better on a daily basis and improve your performance or output throughout your busy days (whether at work, with your family or to pursue recreational activities). After sleep, your body needs nourishment, and before expecting our body vessel to behave properly moving swiftly from one task to another over a span of some 16-18 hours, it needs fuel. Eating a quick bowl of sugary cereal with a giant cup of coffee is like adding water to your gasoline and expecting your car not to notice while cruising at 80 miles an hour on the freeways surrounding Los Angeles. Too much sugar, not enough good fats, too much caffeine, not enough slow-burning carbs, not enough protein…these are obvious recipes for feeling blaaaa some 45 minutes after consumption, not to mention the lack of vitamins and minerals. Where are you 45 minutes after breakfast? And what are you expecting from your body at that point?
Before living in Spain, fat at breakfast meant bacon or fried eggs or butter, all of which were off-limits in my “healthy” diet. I ate oatmeal or homemade yogurt shakes with fresh fruit, or my dad’s famous homemade multi-grain bread with peanut butter. Not bad. However, I still felt hungry or sluggish soon after eating. Since I’ve been here, I’ve found that incorporating good fats and less to no sugar (including that from fruit) makes me feel better for longer in the morning. My all-time favorite is a good, freshly baked “heavy” multi-grain bread (with visible seeds and nuts) topped with olive oil and avocado slices with 6-8 walnut halves on the side and a large half-caffeine soy latte (no sugar). When it’s not avocado season, I have tomato slices. The “good” fats from the olive oil, avocado and the walnuts (and the seeds/nuts in the bread) keep me going for hours and the lack of anything sweet helps me to avoid any sugar cravings later in the day. The slow-burning carbs from the multi-grain bread also propel me through my activities without any glucose peaks and valleys. The walnuts, the seeds and the soy milk provide proteins, and the avocado and the seeds provide essential vitamins and minerals.
I used to fear fat in all its forms, but following Spanish traditions, I’ve learned that olive oil dripping from anything is a good thing (extra virgin please).
What do you have for breakfast? Would you try my breakfast? Does your breakfast make you feel full for various hours after eating it? Do you feel light and energetic and ready to face your day? What do you give your children for breakfast?