September is traditionally the start of many things such as school, sports, and fall weather. It also celebrates “Better Breakfast Month”, which is on track for starting our day in the right direction.
The meal that seems to bring the most controversy is breakfast. Some people firmly believe they can’t start their day without it. There are others who can’t even stomach the idea of eating in the morning. The truth is every BODY is different!
Most research indicates that eating breakfast is the best approach to health. With benefits such as:
Eating more nutrient-dense foods (increased overall intake of vitamins, minerals, and fiber)
Having more energy throughout the day
Eating less overall daily calories due to being less hungry
Better focus and ability to think
On the flip side, some individuals report that eating in the morning causes issues for them such as indigestion, fatigue (post-prandial blood drops), and even being more hungry throughout the day after eating breakfast.
As a dietitian and nutrition coach, I firmly believe in listening to your body and creating healthy habits that support what works best for each individual and their lifestyle. There is never a one-size-fits-all approach to diet.
No matter when your first meal of the day is here is how to build a better one:
Prep the night before. Seriously you are much more likely to eat something that’s nutrient-dense when it’s ready to go.
Don’t sweat making a breakfast full of variety. If you like 4-6 different things for breakfast that are healthy, go with it.
When you wake up drink 12-16 ounces of water. Whether you eat breakfast right away or not, dehydration overnight is a real thing that can cause a decrease in mental and physical performance.
Make your first meal of the day high in protein and fiber-rich foods. Focus on whole foods such as eggs, yogurt, fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, dairy, or dairy alternatives. It’s an opportunity to power-pack your nutrition.
Reframe “breakfast” foods. Any nutrient-dense meal counts. It can be leftovers for last night’s healthy dinner with maybe an added egg on top. This is a great way to also keep sugar low. Starting the day with sugary foods is not a great idea and can send your energy and hunger on a roller coaster.
On that note, here are some of my savory favorite recipes for that first meal of the day
Breakfast Rice Bowl with Fried Egg+Greens+Avocado + Better Breakfast Hash (Paleo)