Want More Energy? Choose Your Breakfast Wisely - Bruce's Roots
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. As the word breakfast suggests, you’re literally breaking the fast after a night of sleep. I do realize everyone is different and therefore it's important to listen to your body and do what works best for you. If you wait a few hours to have it, or if you wake up and eat first thing like me, this is the first chance to fuel your body with nutritious food.
What we choose to eat for breakfast will impact how we feel for the entire day, it’s true!
Blood Sugar Levels
Most of my clients feel the impact of not eating for long periods of time because their blood sugar levels dip. Common symptoms are being dizzy, shaky, nervous, anxious or getting so hungry you become angry, casually referred to as 'hangry.' How do you feel when you don't eat for 3 hours? If you're experiencing some of the symptoms mentioned then you may be experiencing dysglycemia (blood sugar fluctuation). While sleeping at night, the liver secretes glucose to keep our blood sugar levels stable and continue to give the body carbohydrates. When we wake up in the morning, 60-80% of the liver glycogen has been secreted and used by cells. This is why we need a delicious and nutritious breakfast. I love eating breakfast within an hour of waking since my body thrives from replenishing glycogen stores with complex carbs, fats and protein.
How do you keep your blood sugar levels stable?
A very simple tip I give my nutrition clients, is to ensure you have complex carbs, protein, a little fat and fibre with all your meals, especially breakfast. If we have a breakfast with simple carbohydrates, such as a muffin with coffee, our energy is going to be impacted for the day as our blood sugar levels will fluctuating up and down.
What happens in the body?
All carbohydrates are made up of starch, fibre and sugar. The starch and fibre are complex carbohydrates and the sugar is a simple carbohydrate. The ratio of these 3 components will determine how nutritious the food is. For example, if we consume something high in sugar, such as a sugary cereal without much fibre, the blood sugars will rise so the body tries to help and lowers it with the hormone insulin. It all sounds good, but often what happens is the body releases too much insulin and our blood sugar levels plummet. This directly impacts our energy levels and a good example is to think of the terms ‘sugar high’ and ‘sugar crash.’ This happens because simple carbohydrates are made of up one or two molecules and that body can break down and absorb quickly for energy. Have you ever eaten a bowl of cereal and wondered why your hungry 2 hours later? Complex carbohydrates on the other hand are made up of many sugar molecules strung together in long chains, meaning it takes the body longer to absorb all the sugars and it keeps us energized longer.
Fibre, what’s the deal?
There are more benefits to fibre than having good bowel movements, but that’s very important too. Fibre is great at helping keep our blood sugar levels stable as it slows digestion. This is important for everyone and especially for anyone already dealing with blood sugar fluctuations, low energy or diabetes. Research shows that as fibre intake goes up, the risk of low HDL cholesterol, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, high triglycerides and weight around the stomach (known as metabolic syndrome) goes down. Fibre also helps to reduce overall inflammation in the body, which I believe is linked to most if not all illnesses. When buying more processed foods, such as bread, always look for the word whole. Another strategy is to look at the overall amount of carbohydrates in relation to the fibre, we want a 5:1 ratio or lower. Holos Overnight Oats has 48 grams of carbohydrates and 12 grams of fibre with a ratio of 4, the perfect score.
Protein and healthy fats
There are two hormones involved in hunger, leptin and ghrelin. If we feel very hungry then we likely have more leptin and if we are feeling satiated then we have likely produced more ghrelin. By eating a breakfast with adequate protein levels we produce more ghrelin. I usually recommend my clients aim for 20 grams of protein for breakfast to help them feel full and curve the urge to snack on food that may not be as nutritious. This helps keep weight stable and gives our digestion system time between meals to break down our food. It’s important to include quality foods for breakfast versus just eating for the sake of eating. Research shows having a healthy breakfast leads to less stress, depression and a better quality of life, but only if it’s nutritious.
Did you know our brain is made up of lots of fat? This means it’s a source of energy for us. It also helps us stay full, balance blood sugar levels, regulate hormones and build cell membranes. I love eating plant-based fats which are high in omega 3 and 6’s to reduce inflammation. Animal products, canola and many seed oils can result in an inflammatory response or raise LDL cholesterol.
“Higher intake of the plant-based fats was associated with a 16% lower risk of dying from any cause. In contrast, higher intake of animal-based fats was linked to a 21% higher risk of dying from any cause.”
The study, published in March 2018 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, lends further support to the health benefits of a plant-based diet.
Holos includes several types of plant-based fats such as chia seeds, sunflower seeds and coconut to set ourselves up for our day.
The 12 hour fast
If my client's blood sugar levels are somewhat stable, I recommend having a minimum of a 12 hour fast between dinner and breakfast. This gives the body a break always having to work to break down the food we eat. The majority of the body's energy is actually spent on digestion so if we are always eating we may feel more tired. Another benefit of a short fast, is the migrating motor complex (MMC) starts working. This is especially important for people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) clients. The MMC is basically the intestinal housekeeper that moves undigested matter into the colon every 90-120 minutes. Just note that working out white carb deficit will make it hard to function at the same intensity.
Holos Oatmeal gives me energy & keeps me full
Breakfast is a great opportunity to get the vitamins, minerals and macronutrients your body craves. I love Holos so much because it’s high in brown rice protein, healthy fats, complex carbs, fibre, no refined sugar and contains the adaptogen maca. Holos is organic, gluten-free and vegan, meaning almost everyone can enjoy this delicious breakfast. It’s also a time saver for me as I combine the mix with plant-based milk, shake in a jar, pop it into the fridge overnight and enjoy in the morning. I love setting my nutrition clients and myself up for success as this ensures we aren’t going to a drive through or eating a sugar filled energy bar on the go. For more high fibre plant-based recipes, visit my blog, Bruce’s Roots.
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click here to head to their site. first 25 people qualify so order soon.
You can do a one time order or if you’d like a monthly subscription. My favourite flavours are cacao and chai then I add extra cinnamon. Sometimes, I eat it as is and other times I add fresh or frozen fruit and unsweetened coconut yogurt. You have the option of eating cold or warming after it’s soaked overnight.
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HAPPY EATING FRIENDS
xx Jordan - Bruce’s Roots
*blog post made possible to Holos, I thank them for allowing me to share more content with you and supporting my knowledge as a registered holistic nutritionist