STOP SKIPPING BREAKFAST
If you would of had a conversation with me about breakfast 2+ years ago, I probably would've told you I never had time for it. And although I don't necessarily think I was totally lying when I said that, I also know that there were other reasons that went even deeper than that as to why I was skipping "the most important meal of the day".
I've touched on this topic before, but I think in order to really put this post into perspective, I need to elaborate a little more. I come from a past of eating disorders. From when I was in seventh grade to about a year ago (and even now to a certain extent), I was constantly worried about my body. Yes it did come and go, but it was always something lurking in the back of my mind. I was always either counting my calories, overly exercising, or just simply not eating anything at all. This skewed image of my body in turn led me to having an extremely unhealthy relationship with food, which brings me to breakfast. Although my diet (or lack there of) was always changing, one thing was always constant, and that was skipping breakfast. I used to think that if there was one meal I could skip easily it would be that, which was weird because I LOVED breakfast food. I didn't understand that by skipping this meal, I in turn was essentially setting myself up for failure, binging, and weight gain.
We're about to get scientific here so bare with me. The first meal of your day is important for multiple reasons. Glucose (Blood Sugar) - When you eat food, just two hours after you wake up, it effects the way your body metabolizes glucose. This is important because when you eat, your glucose level rises, your pancreas produces insulin which then shuttles glucose to your cells, and then that is what is used as energy. Basically, if you aren't eating then your body isn't producing insulin, which then can result in your body not getting the energy it needs. Timing - "Because the time between dinner and the next morning's meal is the longest your body goes without food, breakfast has an effect on you that's different from any other meal" (ConsumerReports). This is one of those things that never really clicked with me, until recently. Eating, after you've essentially been fasting for 7-12 hours, is what your body needs to kickstart your metabolism. This is essential so you're able to burn calories efficiently throughout the day. Think about it, if you are keeping your body from producing the blood sugar it needs to run, how do you expect it to perform even the most basic tasks throughout your day. Nutrients - I've talked about carbohydrates and the importance of them before, but I'm going to do it again. Breakfast is the PERFECT time to get your carbs in. Whether that be from fruits, vegetables, or grains, these all contain carbohydrates naturally and will allow your body to normalize itself. When you A. skip breakfast and/or B. have a low carb breakfast, you are setting yourself up for overeating later in the day. Like I said previously, carbohydrates are full of sugar, starches, and fibers which will keep you fuller for longer and also help in the food choices you make during the rest of your day.
WHAT DO I EAT?
I decided to add this above photo because I really think it puts into perspective how and why my relationship with food has changed so positively within just a year. The photo on the left was a year ago in March when I was being very restrictive with how much I was eating and consuming high amounts of animal products. A normal breakfast (if I made time for one) was turkey bacon and scrambled eggs with sharp cheddar on top. That's it. Now, fast forward a year later (photo on the right) and I am eating as much fruit, bread, healthy fats, potatoes and or vegetables as I want. Before I took this photo, I had eaten TWO pieces of toast. I know it seems silly but this is/was a huge deal for me. It really solidified in my mind that food is not the enemy, and as long as you take care of your body, your body will in turn take care of you.
Now, to the fun part. What does a normal breakfast usually look like for me? Of course being the crazy that I am, I am always documenting what I'm eating. Below I show you some examples of what I love and how eating breakfast can be simple and fast, without sacrificing flavor.
Toast is ESSENTIAL in my life, I blame this on my mom. Depending on the day, and if I have a ripe avocado or not, I will either have my toast sweet or salty. My favorite bread is Ezekiel Bread, but any whole grain bread will do. I then just chuck on top whatever I have laying around. Sometimes I do peanut butter and jelly, or avocado, and sometimes even hummus. It really just comes down to what I'm feeling that day, but one thing that is constant, I always have two pieces.
Here we have the classic bowl of cereal. My favorite kind is the Kashi Island Vanilla Whole Wheat Biscuits. Not only are they ADDICTING, they are also vegan because they do not contain gelatin, like most other wheat biscuit cereals. Just throw in some (optional) blueberries, bananas, and almond milk and you're to go.
Some of my other favorite breakfasts include oatmeal, smoothie bowls, hash browns, or just simple fruit. If you would like further information about any of the above let me know in the comment section below!
I hope this post gives you a little more information about why breakfast (specifically a vegan one!) is so incredibly important. It not only has helped change my relationship with food, but has honestly just made me an overall healthier human being. If you have any other questions regarding me and/or my journey, feel free to email me (under the contact tab above) or shoot me a message on Facebook. I would love to talk about it more with you! I hope you all have an amazing weekend and HAPPY EARTH DAY!
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