What Makes Up a Healthy Breakfast?

I am happy to have Justine Keyserlingk as our first guest blogger on our site!  Enjoy 🙂

Nutrition: What Makes Up a Healthy Breakfast?

 

 

 

 

3 Important Points:

I share 3 key tips to help clear up some questions you may have on “the most important meal of the day” And a yummy recipe!!!

1-How important is breakfast?

You have been fasting for 8 hours or more. Your body needs to be refuelled asap. (*see note below re: nutrition around early morning workouts) Your primary nutrients should be slow digesting carbs and protein – to keep you full longer and get into your system slow and steady until your next snack/meal. Great examples are whole grain toast topped with a couple of eggs, or bran buds with fresh fruit, ground flax and low fat greek yogurt. BUT I have to admit my favorite breakfast, the one I have almost every day is my Power Breakfast Oatmeal (see recipe below)!

* if you workout first thing in the morning, it is important to take in something before-hand. The more intense the workout, the more important this is. Your main focus at this time is quick accessible fuel, in other words, something that will get right into your system to fuel your body for your workout yet not make you feel heavy, i.e. simple digesting carbs. Examples are an orange, freshly squeezed juice or berries. In other words, keep your whole grain toast or oatmeal for post-workout as these are slower digesting grains and may sit in your stomach for longer. What you eat after your morning workout is even more important. – This is where protein, complex carbs and fibre, will play a huge role at refuelling, repairing, and keeping you feeling full until your next snack/meal.

2-Macronutrient ratio

Macronutrients are our body’s sources of fuel. They are Protein, Carbohydrates and Fat.  At breakfast, emphasis should be on protein, complex carbs (eg. whole grains, steel cut oatmeal), along with fibre. Synergistically these will satisfy proper nutrient requirements as well as keep you energized and feeling full longer; compared to, for example, the nutritionally void chocolate croissant from Starbucks ;).  Yes fat can play a role in breakfast in moderation but must be of a good kind, such as nuts or nut butter (all natural), pesticide free eggs. NOT processed cheese, egg mcmuffins, croissants etc.. Just as not all calories are created equal, same goes for all macronutrients – especially when it comes to fats, as saturated and trans-fats play a big role in promoting heart disease.

3-Calories

Yes it does depend on your size, & activity level, however everyone should have an actual breakfast “meal”. I have my oatmeal breakfast almost everyday (recipe below) and mine usually comes out to about 300 calories. If I do an early high intensity strength workout I would add a bit more of each to make up for expended calories. But the main point here is the QUALITY of calories. As mentioned above, my 300 calorie nutrient packed breakfast will fuel me and keep my energy up and hunger down much more than a croissant: 300 calories void of nutrients and piled with heart damaging saturated fat. Point being , again, that not all calories are created equal!!

Justine’s Power Breakfast Oatmeal recipe

•Cook up oats (not instant & steal cut if possible) according to package instructions

•Mix in 1 scoop of chocolate whey protein –I like Isoflex Whey Isolate Chocolate flavor (or “Vega One: All-in-One Nutritional Shake” is a great tasting vegan choice)

•Mix in half a banana thinly sliced, a pinch of cinnamon (adds a lot of flavour) and a spoonful of Natural Peanut or Almond butter (optional)

•Make sure to mix all ingredients in when oatmeal is hot. Banana and nut butter will melt in the oatmeal and flavours will all meld together for a yummy chocolate peanut butter banana dream

Happy eating!

Written by Justine Keyserlingk CNP, CPT (Certified Personal Trainer and Nutritional Practitioner)

You can check out her website at: www.justgetfit.ca