Aug 1, 2011

Back to School: Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  It jump starts the metabolism after a night's rest from food (hence the name, break + fast).  With a full belly and balanced blood sugars*, breakfast enables one to think clearly and soundly for hours.

I'm one of those people who just isn't hungry when I wake up.  If I were to choose the breakfast hour, it would be about 10 or 10:30 - that's when my belly asks for food.

However, if I don't eat anything until 10:30, the hunger pangs growl in my tummy like a bear after six months of hibernation.  Hungry horns hit me very suddenly mid-morning and it's not convenient to stop and eat breakfast then.  I'm not very nice mean when I have hungry horns.

So most days, I force myself to eat breakfast with my children.  I want them to create the habit of eating nourishing food first thing.

While breaking the fast in the morning is important, how you break the fast is just as important. Eating real food is paramount.

Please please please DON'T:
 - serve boxed food - especially boxed cereal.  Boxed cereal is not food.
 - serve fruit juice - dilute it with 1/2 water if you must drink juice.  It causes spikes in blood sugar that will only crash in a few hours.
 - serve carbohydrates, exclusively

Please DO:
- serve real, nourishing foods
- serve protein and healthy fats that help stabilize blood sugars for hours
- think ahead.  Most nourishing meals require a bit of planning.

My breakfast favorites:

1.  Baked Oatmeal - This is my all time favorite breakfast and after school snack.  It is nourishing, has healthy fats (coconut oil or butter), protein (I usually increase eggs from 4 to 5).  Best of all, I can make it ahead and usually double or quadruple the recipe.  Here's how you can package it for the freezer.  I've even added up to 2 cups shredded zucchini to each batch (instead of using the apples that it calls for.)  My son thinks I'm the bomb when I sprinkle chocolate chips on the top.  We eat it with heavy cream poured over the top, or on special days I'll whip the cream.

2.  Soaked Granola with coconut oil.  My husband eats this every day of the week. He likes it with dates and shredded coconut.  I like it with nuts.  We both like it with either milk or plain yogurt.

3. Soaked Oatmeal - here's how Kitchen Stewardship, The Nourishing Gourmet, Nourished Kitchen, Naturally Knocked Up and Passionate Homemaking do it.  C'mon, all the cool kids are doing it - why aren't you? :)

4. Soaked Whole Wheat Muffins with butter on top!

5. scrambled eggs with nitrate-free bacon

6. kefir or yogurt smoothie made with raw pastured egg yolk, coconut oil and frozen banana

7. quiche - for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

8. cottage cheese and fruit

9. natural peanut butter on toast

10. other nourishing breakfast ideas from Nourished Kitchen and The Nourishing Gourmet (whose recipes are often frugal).

The Schwarzbein Principle: The Truth About Losing Weight, Being Healthy, and Feeling Younger-Julie

{*A book that help me understand the importance of maintaining healthy blood sugar levels (and more) was The Schwarzbein Principle: The Truth About Losing Weight, Being Healthy and Feeling Younger.  It is an excellent book and can be borrowed from the Central Arkansas Library System.}

This post is a part of Monday Mania and Real Food Wednesday.

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