Recommendations for a Healthier Breakfast
Some of us are athletes, some are trainers, some are weekend warriors. Whoever you are, we all must understand the importance of good nutrition: what constitutes a balanced diet and how to eat to make each day count.
If not fueled properly, our bodies will not benefit from training as well we would like. As the saying goes, we are what we eat!
We often hear that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and one that we should never go without. I do not feel it is necessary to eat first thing in the morning, if time is of the essence. Most of my clients struggle with getting kids off to school and there is never enough time for a sit down quality breakfast. I recommend either waiting until they get to the office, or when time allows. This can either be later in the morning, after a workout, or simply when things are calm.
A bowl of fresh fruit should be the first thing that you eat to start your day. Fresh fruit gives adequate fiber, vitamins and enzymes so badly needed for proper digestion and absorption. It is ironic that most clients are concerned about getting adequate protein in their diets, yet to break down protein into amino acids (cells can only absorb amino acids) requires a strong digestive system and sadly most people struggle with their digestion. Following the fruit, a good source of protein could be a nut butter on some sprouted bread. I like the Ezekiel brand or Manna, which is found in the freezer section of most health food stores. Any bread made with sprouted ancient grains (quinoa, amaranth, millet) are good options. Raw, organic almond butter is a good source of protein and potassium. For clients that do not like to eat very much after a workout or before lunch, this combination of the fruit and butters are perfect. Sun butter is a good choice as well.
For those clients that prefer a little more food , especially more protein, lightly cooked, organic poached eggs, or eggs cooked in olive or coconut oil, eaten with raw veggies or mixed greens are perfect. Having the eggs with some vegetables will offer some digestive help coming from the fiber, minerals and enzymes in the greens and other vegetables.
Sweet lovers and those that stick to a plant based diet, might prefer the following recipes:
Chia Seed Pudding
- 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 4 large almond milk ice cubes
- 2-3 pitted Medjool dates
- 2-3.5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- Fill an ice cube tray with almond milk. Freeze until solid. You can use leftovers in smoothies in the future.
- To make the pudding: add 3/4 cup almond milk into a high speed blender. Now add the rest of the ingredients, including the almond milk ice cubes.
- Blend on the highest speed until super smooth. Enjoy! You can chill it in the fridge, but will thicken even more.
- 2 large avocados-peeled, pitted, and cubed
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3-4 pitted dates
- 1 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1/3 cup coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 pinch cinnamon
- Place all ingredients in a blender, blend and enjoy!
For those clients that really love their hearty and filling breakfasts, I would offer this Buckwheat Pancake recipe taken from Brenden Brazier’s, The Thrive Cookbook
Buckwheat, despite its name is not even in the wheat family. It contains eight essential amino acids and is very high in Manganese, Vitamins B and E and some Calcium. It has a nice mild flavor, but be sure to buy the unroasted form.
- 1 cup buckwheat flour
- 1/4 cup ground flax seed
- 1/4 cup hemp flour
- 2 tsp. baking flour
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 banana
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup barley flakes
- In a bowl mix buckwheat flour, flax seed, hemp flour, baking powder and cinnamon.
- In a food processor, process the banana and water while slowly adding the dry ingredients until mixture is smooth.
- Lightly oil a pan with coconut oil and heat over medium heat. Pour in pancake batter to desired pancake size and cook for about 5 minutes or until bubbles begin to appear. Flip and allow to cook for another 5 minutes.
About the Author
Frances Michaelson is president of exercise equipment company Muscle Up Inc., a licensed naturopath and a personal trainer. She is passionate about helping people attain optimal health through proper diet and exercise. A self-described health-o-holic, she motivates others to move well and eat well to keep their bodies’ cells dancing and singing. Based in the West Island of Montreal, Frances is a frequent conference presenter, is the author of BYOB: Bring Your Own Band and Replenish, Regenerate and Rebuild Your Cells, blogs for Total Gym exercise equipment, and is a regular contributor to IHRSA’s “Ask an Industry Leader.” With her broad knowledge base and over three decades of experience, she is widely recognized as a leader in the health and fitness field. Frances is committed to helping others make positive lifestyle choices that create stronger bodies, healthier minds and more fulfilling lives.