Balanced Breakfast = Brain Power
By Suzy Lewis, MA, MCHC
Do you wonder what to eat for breakfast that is simple, delicious, and will set you up for success during your busy day?
“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!” – Moms Everywhere
Yes, mom was right. Breakfast is an important way to start the day, for kids and adults alike. Skipping breakfast can lead to erratic eating patterns throughout the day, indulgence in more junk food and ultimately, weight gain. Here are three benefits of eating breakfast:
1. Breakfast Jump-Starts the Gut: Studies show that people who begin the day with a balanced breakfast of protein, carbs, and fiber tend to eat less junk food during the day because it primes the brain and gut to expect (and crave) nutritious food for the rest of the day.
2. Breakfast Jump-Starts the Brain: When you sleep, you’re fasting. Breaking your fast revs up your metabolism, and perks up the brain. Eating a nutritious breakfast and feeding your neurotransmitters, the neurochemical messengers that rev up your brain and steady your moods, will help you feel energized and relaxed during the day.
3. Breakfast Keeps You Lean: Skipping breakfast will not help you lose weight! Studies show that breakfast eaters are leaner because by “front-loading,” they prepare their bodies for the rest of the day.
Before you reach for the coffee and donut and call it “breakfast,” it’s important to understand that all breakfasts are not created equal! A coffee and donut, or even a bowl of many popular cereals, does not fit the bill for a balanced, brainy breakfast.
I like to plan using PFF as a guidepost, that stands for
Protein, a macronutrient that every cell of your body needs, is an essential part of a healthy diet. There are both animal and plant sources of protein, and protein intake should be measured daily, not necessarily on a per-meal basis. Growing kids need about 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight and adults need about ½ a gram of protein per pound of body weight. This isn’t difficult, as protein is found in many foods and can add up quickly! Some of my favorite breakfast sources of protein are:
· Pasture Raised Eggs 3 eggs add 18g of protein
· Organic Soy protein adds 13g per 3.5oz serving
· Skyr Yogurt adds 17g per cup serving
Fiber, the stringy stuff that holds fruits and vegetables together, is also found in seeds and in the outer covering of grain, called bran. Bran is the part of the grain that is ground up and used in whole wheat flour and whole grain cereal but is removed from white flour. Simply put, fiber is found in the flesh of fresh, whole, natural foods and plays an important role in the overall health of your body.
Here are some great sources of fiber…
A – apricots, apples, avocados, artichokes
B – beans, bran, berries
C – cereals (with 3 grams of fiber per serving)
S – salads and raw veggies
According to the Institute of Medicine, women should be eating 25 grams of fiber per day and men should be eating 38 grams of fiber per day. These amounts decrease to 30 grams per day and 21 grams per day, respectively, for adults over 50 years old.
Fat is a necessary nutrient for your body even though some people think that fat is a bad word. We need a right fat diet, not a non-fat one! By adding in the right proteins and fiber rich food you will naturally be adding in healthy fat. Some of my go to fat friendly breakfast foods are…
· Nuts and seeds
· Pasture Raised eggs
Smoothie bowls are a creative and clean way to put together a PFF brainy breakfast like the one pictured here. One of the simplest breakfasts is pulling out leftovers from dinner last night like veggies and grilled salmon. Another idea is to make your own egg bites with sauteed veggies, parmesan cheese, and pasture-raised eggs in a muffin tin, just assemble and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. They come out perfect and store easily. Something just as simple as Skyr yogurt, blueberries, and almonds is a balanced option also.
What do you have in your fridge that can become your next power breakfast?
Bam! It’s that easy to jumpstart your day with a healthy PFF breakfast, go get 'em!
For more nutritional tips and coaching visit Suzy's website here.
FitPros offers a variety of activities for physical and mental wellbeing for your employees.
Contact FitPros today for more information on how to diversify your company’s wellness offerings to help employees meet their health and fitness goals.
Visit FitPros.com to schedule a wellness workshop or find additional activities.