Ideally you want to include protein in your morning meal. A high carbohydrate breakfast will be digested faster and leave you hungry again long before lunch. Many typical morning foods are high-carb: cereal, toast, pancakes/waffles… Most processed cereals have less nutrition than the box they come in anyways. Skip em’!
Opt instead for a shake/smoothie that includes a scoop of protein powder. My favourites are Vega and Progressive Nutritionals. Throw some avocado or hemp hearts for healthy fats! There are a bajillion smoothie recipes on this website. I’m hooked on this one (with a scoop of vanilla protein powder!) right now though!
In my experience consulting for clients with nutritional concerns I have found a few common reasons why breakfast isn’t something that happens:
“I can’t eat first thing/I’m not hungry”
The elixir of the morning gods: Coffee. When surveyed, 64% of adults reported they drank coffee the day before. Health Canada advises keeping ones daily caffeine intake below 400mg or three cups of coffee, though that was often exceeded. Caffeine is an appetite suppressant, and many (especially those who skip a morning meal) do manage to consume a hot beverage to kick start their day. While that earthy aroma might help get you out of bed, it’s not going to help you get your metabolism rolling for the day like something solid will.
Try: Have a glass or two of water upon waking & a small meal. Once you’ve eaten something indulge in a rich cup of joe!
“I don’t have time”
Personally I am the furthest thing from a morning person, I definitely understand the time crunch in the A.M.! Rushing around the house like a madman trying to get all the things I need together before leaving is probably pretty entertaining to watch. Having a meal that’s already prepared and just needs to be consumed is ideal for me. Breakfast could be leftovers from dinner the night before that just need to be heated, could be hard boiled eggs already peeled and ready to eat with a piece of fruit, could be a smoothie with the dry ingredients already sitting in the blender (magic bullets are ideal for this as you can set up the weeks worth of smoothie dry ingredients in the multiple cups!).
Try: Think ahead & do as much as possible the night before. This is key to ensuring breakfast fits into your rushed morning.
“I have an upset stomach when I wake”
This is more common than you probably think it to be! Small meals are key for a sensitive stomach. Pre-digested breakfast ideas such as smoothies or soft foods like oatmeal will be easier to take. Give it some time too: don’t expect to scarf down a huge meal the second you sit up in bed! Allow your body to wake up a bit first. If food is totally off the table, sip on a lil’ something first.
Try: Sipping a mug of warm (not hot!) water spiked with a wedge of fresh lemon (organic if you can!) will stimulate your digestive juices. A slice of ginger root will help to calm nausea as well. A touch of raw, local honey to sweeten your new morning bevy will top it off nicely!
Approach this like a goal: identify specifically what you would like to achieve and narrow down how it’s going to happen for you. If that approach doesn’t work, try a different angle! Everybody has different challenges in the morning (and levels of consciousness!). Troubleshooting what is most difficult for you and brainstorming solutions will inevitably point you in the direction of a full belly in the morning.