Does this picture of breakfast food look healthy? It may look appealing and tasty, but it provides little to no nutritional value.
If you are like many people, your morning time does not allow for the preparation of a healthy meal that will satisfy your hunger and provide the nutrients you need for starting your day.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day because you are literally breaking a fast from not eating since the night before. Your body has not eaten in quite a few hours – perhaps 10 or more. So what you put in your body is extremely important.
Many people start off their day with coffee and something processed with a lot of carbohydrates in it and little protein such as toast with jam, a cinnamon roll, pop tart, blueberry muffin, or bagel with cream cheese. Even fruit is of little help when it is produced from a conventional source and accompanies the likes of such processed, sugary foods.
Sound familiar? A breakfast like this will fill your body with toxins and wreak havoc on your blood sugar levels. Over time, consuming this type of breakfast will cause weight gain, mood disorders, insulin resistance and eventually Diabetes and heart disease.
By contrast, traditional, whole foods are just what nature ordered. They contain the right amounts of fats, proteins, cholesterol, and other vital nutrients to help balance out our weight, mood, blood sugar, blood pressure, and organ system health. Fat soluble vitamins only found in whole foods with fat help the body to properly absorb and use nutrients for good health.
If you are suffering from health problems, making a switch to whole, traditional foods can help you to eliminate sugar cravings, hunger, mood swings, weight problems, headaches, and other problems that lead to chronic disease and illnesses of all types. And the perfect place to start is breakfast!
Ask yourself this important question…what do you normally eat for breakfast in the morning, and does it satisfy your hunger and keep you going until lunch? Or, does it leave you hanging and feeling hungry in an hour or two…or even worse, sick and jittery?
Why I changed my breakfast habits
Years ago I used to eat garbage for breakfast. My typical eating choices were a cup of tea with a slice of processed bread and peanut butter. Sometimes I’d eat cereal and milk or a sugary yogurt (my favorite brand was Yoplait…one of *the* most unhealthy yogurt products you can eat) with my cup of tea. I never felt satisfied but I didn’t think I had time for anything else. By 9:30 or 10 a.m. I’d start feeling shaky and sick. I couldn’t understand what could possibly be the matter. Usually I was at work, so there was nothing else to eat until lunch unless I had brought something from home (which I hadn’t), or if someone happened to bring bagels or muffins into the break room to share. Invariably, I’d be starving and cranky by lunch. And most of the time my lunch wasn’t nutritious either. So by the time dinner came, I was starving again and hadn’t really eaten anything substantial all day.
When I discovered how different I could feel by preparing a nutritious breakfast, I finally made the connection that making those choices to eat garbage all those years had damaged my health and made me feel lousy. Now I eat a nutritious meal each morning.
What’s nutritious and what’s not? Here’s how to transform an unhealthy breakfast into a healthy one:
Breakfast 1: cold cereal and milk with orange juice and toast becomes:
- whole grains (soaked overnight) such as oatmeal or millet, cooked the next morning with
- real butter melted on the top and mixed into the cereal
- whole milk (raw milk is a plus!) or plain whole milk yogurt (home-made from raw milk is a plus!) poured over cereal
- fresh fruit of your choice (blueberries, blackberries, bananas, strawberries)
- freshly ground flax seeds (optional)
- a bit of raw honey or real maple syrup
Breakfast 2: a bagel and cream cheese with coffee or orange juice becomes:
- sprouted, whole grain bagel or bread (we use Silver Hills)
- real butter (we use Kerrygold) – grass-fed Irish butter)
- raw melted cheese from grass-fed cows) or spreadable fresh goat’s cheese and cow’s cheese mixture
- scrambled eggs from pasture-raised chickens (optional)
- your choice of fresh fruit
Breakfast 3: frozen breakfast sandwich from your freezer, local coffee house, or work kiosk becomes:
- sprouted, whole grain bagel or bread with real butter
- raw melted cheese
- over-easy or scrambled eggs from pasture-raised chickens
- real bacon, or ham, or sausage from pasture-raised hogs or grass-fed beef or game (we sometimes use Organic Prairie products)
Breakfast 4: pop tarts or toaster strudel, orange juice, and milk becomes:
- Fancy French toast made on sprouted grain bread dipped in egg mixture from pasture-raised chickens, cooked with plenty of butter
Put on a plate and serve with:
- plain, whole milk yogurt
- your choice of fresh fruit
- freshly ground flax seeds (optional)
- a drizzle of real maple syrup and a glass of whole milk (raw is a plus)
Breakfast 5: scrambled eggs and toast becomes
- omelet or scrambled eggs with real butter
- chopped broccoli and avocado slices (vegetables for breakfast? Yes! Get used to the idea of incorporating these colorful, nutrient-dense foods in with your breakfast meals and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how good you feel!)
- diced onions
- garlic (optional)
- shredded raw cheese
- topped with salsa made from organic ingredients (home-made or store bought)
- sprouted grain toast with real butter
So what’s the secret to making these breakfasts a success? Budgeting, planning, and a little research. Decide where you’d rather spend your money – on cheap, industrial food that is quick and convenient and then pay later with poor health, low energy, doctor bills, and missed time at work or school, or making an effort to prepare home-made versions of some of these foods or locate good, wholesome foods that are locally produced or sold at your health food store, farmer’s market, or from a local food grower or farmer.
Other ideas for healthy breakfasts items: Try plain, whole milk yogurt with fresh fruit and freshly ground flax seeds, or hard-boiled pasture-raised eggs with sprouted grain toast spread with real butter and raw almond butter, or home-made pancakes with sprouted whole-grain flour spread with plenty of butter and fresh fruit with plain whole milk yogurt and perhaps a bit of real maple syrup or raw honey. Left over grass-fed meats or poultry are fantastic with eggs or in omelets and hash-browned potatoes.
Don’t forget the vegetables in your egg creation – whatever you have around – zucchini, broccoli, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, garlic, or mushrooms. If you find that big breakfasts are just too much, limit your portions to smaller servings. You can still eat a healthy breakfast with good foods that isn’t too overwhelmingly large.
Don’t forget to cook with healthy oils such as real butter, extra-virgin olive, coconut, and palm oils. Good lard from pasture-raised hogs is amazingly healthy and tastes great, too.
Eliminate the grains
If you’ve had health issues in the past, try removing grains from your meals and concentrate on high-fat and protein choices with some fruit or vegetables. You can eat all of the above foods just as described and omit the grains. Grains can be the culprit of a wide span of health problems, and especially the way our culture eats them with such frequency and in their processed forms – which are nothing like people throughout history before the modern era consumed them. For some grain-free meal ideas, read Go-grain free & still eat delicious, healthy meals
With a little bit of planning and variation, in no time you can create a menu of delicious and nutritious breakfast choices to switch around so you are not becoming bored with meals and you are giving your body the best there is to offer for optimal health.
Once you have located the sources for your healthy food and worked into your personal routine, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without healthy food – especially when you discover a new sense of energy and well-being. Some of the foods you’ll have to spend extra money on up front; in general, healthy, organic food tends to cost more than processed, industrial food. But the money you’ll save on your health care costs later will be worth it.
If you are diligent, you can save money on organic and local foods by clipping coupons, watching for sales, bartering, volunteering to work at farms or make deliveries in exchange for food, and supporting local agriculture by purchasing from your neighboring farmers. Local foods travel less distance so that part of the cost is normally reduced for selling the food (and it’s better for you and the environment).
Some of these foods can be made more healthy just by a few minutes of advance preparation such as soaking your organic grains overnight in filtered water and a bit of whey from real milk or yogurt, kefir, apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice. These substances help break down phytic acid activity in grains that renders them indigestible and damaging to the digestive tract (think IBS, Crohn’s disease, grain intolerance, and allergies). Many people who are allergic to grains find that they can consume soaked and sprouted grain products with no problem at all.
What’s the bottom line?
Budget your finances and make time for your health! These makeovers really pack a nutrition punch..not to mention, they are delicious! With a little bit of planning and variation, in no time you can create a menu of delicious and nutritious breakfast choices to switch around so you are not becoming bored with meals and you are giving your body the best there is to offer for great health. Next time you go into the kitchen to make breakfast, consider these alternatives to the boring, nutritionally-bankrupt foods you’ve been eating…and make healthy eating the new order of the day.
8 replies on “Breakfast Makeovers – You Really Can Rise And Shine!”
Found you from Real Food Wednesdays…love the ideas here! I’m still trying to help my husband as he mourns the loss of store bought breakfast cereals (even though he snuck in some Kashi the other day). I will try putting some of these into practice.
Thank you for great ideas! We have been transforming our eating lately. I think the high cost of real food does intimidate, but I have found that the more real food I eat, the less I need to eat to feel full and satisfied. Same with my kids. And food prepared at home is certainly cheaper than junk eaten out 🙂
Once people actually start to eat real food, they discover that 1) they need to eat less to get full 2) the food tastes infinitely better, and 3) their health dramatically improves. It’s really very simple. Yes, it costs more, but there are *always* ways to cut corners and save money on your real food (ideas I mentioned above such as clipping coupons, buying local, bartering, and watching for sales). For instance, there are certain products I buy that are really expensive at our local health food store but are much less expensive at one of the chain grocery stores. So even though it is further away from my house, I plan my trips and go there once a month and stock up on items that are much cheaper. Some of them I can freeze and then I have food for weeks or months, and I have saved a lot of money.
Great suggestions! When there were two of us in the house we could bust out fried eggs and toast on a work morning, but these days I’m back to dinner leftovers for breakfast. I have been making myself a lunch every day for three years and now I’m adding the habit of making a second “lunch” at night to be my breakfast. I grab a snack of bread and butter or a smoothie first thing and then have my first lunch at work at 9:30 or 10 and my second lunch at 2 or 3. This keeps me sane until I get home at 7 for dinner.
Alyss – good for you! That’s exactly what I do when I know I’m going to be away from home for pretty much any reason. I prepare something in advance to take with me or use leftovers for various things. I actually like the food I bring better than almost anything I could buy or eat at someone’s house. Most of the time when I do cave in and buy something or just eat whatever someone is serving, I end up regretting it and wish I would have spent the extra time preparing my own food. It’s so worth it! I hope your efforts continue to pay off!
I love my local farm eggs, cooked in coconut oil, with the runny yoke for best biotene absorbtion.
Have you tried sprouted milled flaxseeds? Thats what I usally put on my homemade raw milk yogurt. The energy is amazing! 🙂
Hi Amber – hey, do you have an e-mail or web site? I’d love to correspond with you sometime.
I do eat flaxseeds from time to time. The ones I have are organic, from Spectrum (I’m not crazy about the brand, but I’m looking for another brand). I have checked in my local health food store for bulk, and I’m always hesitant to buy them in case they aren’t fresh. And I don’t think I’ve ever seen sprouted flax seeds in the bulk section, but I am going to check again.
I keep my flaxseeds in the freezer and grind them in my homemade yogurt when I eat them, and they are really tasty! I really should start eating those again. What brand do you buy? Or do you buy them in bulk?
These are some really great breakfast options. I did a similar post a few months ago! http://www.leftoverqueen.com/2009/10/05/breakfasts-of-champions
Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day!