By Maxlife Therapies, Barefoot & Pregnant
Eat Breakfast Daily:
If You're Not Doing It, Then You Don't Know the Impact!
I know you've heard this a thousand times. I also know you have trouble doing it!
Whether I am coaching people on weight loss, pregnancy or managing a life-threatening disease, my clients MUST commit to this practice before we do anything else!
That's how vital it is. Here's why...
Your breakfast habits affect every hormonal and physiological pathway in your body and sets everything in motion - good or bad!
When you go to sleep at night, you go into fasting mode. For 6-8 hours you give your body permission to spend less time on digesting and breaking down, and more time to restore and repair. The nutrition we have received during the day does it's magic as we rebuild tissue, cleanse the liver, restore cellular health, and much more.
During this time, your blood glucose levels drop. Insulin has effectively shuttled energy from your evening meal into your muscles where it is stored until you need it for later. While you are sleeping, you are expending very little energy, so you don't use this stored glucose as readily as you do during your active hours.
When you wake in the morning, your glucose levels are still low. Granted, you have this stored energy in your muscles, but your brain needs energy very quickly. As soon as you open your eyes, the brain is saying "give me energy so that I can walk, talk, think, move".
In order for you to function, the brain needs to function.
You can imagine that for pregnant women, this daily habit is even more critical!
During pregnancy, the baby is relying on a steady supply of nutrients through the blood stream. So when you skip breakfast, your baby gets less too!
I know this is a compelling argument, because you want to do what's best for your baby.
But you also need to do what's best for YOU! Without the needed fuel to operate effectively, your body goes into the following destructive chain of events:
- You break down muscle, causing you to lose lean muscle mass.
- Your metabolism slows down and interrupts normal hunger cues - if you're "never hungry", then you are at risk for inadequate calories.
- You increase stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, which can impact the fetus, as well as a nursing baby.
- You lower your blood sugar to the point where cravings for sugar and caffeine are unavoidable.
When you do BREAK the FAST, you set your body up to perfectly orchestrate functions that result in optimal health in the following ways:
- Supply your brain and muscles with immediate energy to perform critical tasks and maintain more mental clarity.
- Maintain lean muscle mass since your brain won't need to steal "energy" from your muscles in order to function.
- Maintain a healthy body fat percentage throughout pregnancy, and become more efficient at burning fat post-pregnancy.
- Better mediate stress and avoid debilitating adrenal fatigue.
So let's get started.
You should aim for a good balance of protein, whole grains and fresh fruit, with as much variety as possible.
Here are some quick and light breakfast ideas for those who need to inch towards this health-habit:
- 2 sticks of low-fat string cheese and 1 apple or fist-size piece of fruit
- 1 cup unsweetened oatmeal (instant okay) with ½ c milk, 1 T. walnuts, 1 t. honey or real maple syrup. If you're in a real rush, make it at home and re-heat it at work to eat at your desk.
- 1 piece whole grain toast or English muffin w/1 T. peanut or almond butter
- 1 whole-grain breakfast bar (2-4 grams of fiber per serving) with one hard-boiled egg or piece of string cheese.
- 6 oz. Greek yogurt - packed with protein and low in sugar and fat - plus 1 cup blueberries, raspberries, strawberries or blackberries.
- ½ cup low-fat cottage cheese and 1 fresh peach or 2 nectarines
- One UltraMeal Smoothie (See Recipe)
If you have morning sickness, eat whatever you can keep down. I struggled with this for my first four months of pregnancy, so I know it's not easy. One month all I could stomach was watermelon and organic tater-tots! I just made sure to choose healthy snacks later in the day to make up for any protein or nutrients lost first thing in the morning.
Remember, you need to eat within 30 minutes of waking to avoid low-blood sugar and the other chain of events. Once you get behind the eight ball, it's hard for your body to re-calibrate.
If you are not accustomed to eating breakfast, you can get into the habit by planning the night before. This way you don't have to deliberate over your choices in the morning when you are rushed, tired or managing a tricky tummy.
Remember, small changes every day, and soon breakfast will be a natural part of your routine!
Mango Tango Smoothie:
Blend the following:
1/2 cup milk (can substitute with rice, soy or almond milk)
2 scoops UltraMeal Plus Shake powder or Jay Robb Whey Protein powder
1 t. vanilla flavoring (such as Frontier brand)
1 cup frozen mango
¼ c. plain or vanilla, cow, soy or goat yogurt (optional)
Other fruit combinations include:
½ c. strawberries and 1/4 frozen banana
1 c. frozen blueberries or mixed berries
½ c. frozen cherries and ¼ frozen banana