It’s often said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day; most of us are doing our best to start the day in a healthy way with that first meal. The trouble is, some so called “healthy foods” that are “part of a complete breakfast” are secretly nutrient-poor sugar bombs. So, what is the best breakfast?…
Here are two breakfast offenders that may be doing more harm than good – and a few tips on what to eat instead to get your day off to a metabolism-boosting, feel-good start!
orange juice – made with real fruit and full of vitamin C…right?…right?…
The truth: Orange juice is a staple in many kitchens, normally in the pre-packaged, pasteurized variety. There are a few issues with starting your day with a cup of OJ – as with all juice, all the fiber has been removed from the fruit, leaving you with nothing but water and fruit sugar. Because of this, it’s easy to consume the equivalent of a whole lot of oranges worth of sugar (many more than you’d ever actually eat) without the stabilizing fibre to slow down the absorption of glucose into your body. This can send your blood sugar soaring, which is never a good thing but is especially bad first thing in the morning.
But what about all the nutrients? I’m sorry to say that all of the benefits that exist in whole oranges – namely a whole lot of vitamins and enzymes – are incredibly sensitive to heat and light and are completely destroyed in the process of pasteurization. Sadly, all we are left with is high sugar, nutrient poor water at the end of the day.
Love your orange juice? Stick to the fresh squeezed kind, or just eat an orange!
breakfast cereal – whole grains on a mission to make you hungry again in half an hour
Most of us are probably past our Captain Crunch days (I can’t say the same for my husband) but when we ask our BB mommies what they’ve had for breakfast, cereal is a common answer. Even if we’re trying to do our best by choosing cereals with “whole grains + fiber”, there is still an incredible amount of added sugar in most cereals. Don’t be fooled by healthwashing and pay attention to serving sizes which are often much smaller than the amount of cereal you will actually pour into your bowl. Raisin Bran actually contains signifigantly more sugar than Fruity Pebbles, for example!
Really craving a bowl of carbs in the morning? Try sticking to real whole grains (like quinoa porridge, oats, or one of the Bob’s Red Mill cereals)… and control the added sugar yourself by using maple syrup, honey, and real fruit to amp it up.
better breakfast options – real food to help you get those #bbresults
We like to encourage our clients to make protein the focus of the morning meal for a lot of reasons, but the main one is that the right amount protein will help keep blood sugar levels in check, trigger the feeling of satiety, and actually keep you full until lunch.
Stick to whole foods!
- Eggs are always a great option cooked any way – try scrambling them with your favourite veggies for a hot breakfast in 5 minutes flat, or…
- Breakfast meats can be a good option if you make sure to stick to naturally raised preservative free meats.
- Green smoothies (focus on the “green,” a.k.a. vegetables) are a great option if you are rushed or don’t have a huge appetite first thing.
- Last night’s leftovers don’t have to be for lunch – it doesn’t have to be a “breakfast food” to be breakfast.
And in true BB form, enjoy it all with a side of delicious coffee, but try to keep it under 2 cups for the sake of your nervous system. Now try telling that to our trainers!
Kristen Spencer trains at the BB locations in Trinity Bellwoods and Liberty Village. She is a mommy to Nate, nutrition nerd, and lover of life in the city. You can book Kristen for completely customized in-home BB personal training and nutrition consulting, and be your fittest ever!