Wednesday, March 2, 2011

My Favorite Breakfast

Shaun T. of the Insanity Workout Videos...
This week, I'm going to tell you what my favorite breakfast is, but before I begin, I want to share my big news...

Today marks my first official week as part of the website Paleo Plan is a meal planning subscription service for people who are eating the Paleo diet, and I recently joined them as the blogger and content/resources creator.  For those of you who are thinking about going Paleo and want to have your hand held through the process, Paleo Plan is the site for you.  There are also some fantastic recipes on the site that are free, so if you're looking for some new ideas for meals and snacks, check it out.  This turn in my career is sort of a dream come true - I'm gonna get paid to write!  Don't worry - I'll still be writing here every week, too.

On the topic of meals and meal planning, I vehemently believe that eating a solid breakfast is THE most beneficial thing you can do for yourself every day.  I've actually been experimenting with this phenomenon in my own life lately.  I eat a hearty egg-based breakfast almost every single day.  However, this week, I've had 2 instances when I didn't eat my normal breakfast.

One time was when I was super late for a morning appointment and I could not make a good breakfast.  The other time was yesterday morning when my boyfriend punched me awake at 6 am to do some asinine workout video he told me I had "committed" to doing with him.  I never committed to anything.  Regardless, there I was at 6 am fighting to stay awake after only 6 hours of sleep.  Having never done any exercise beyond a push-up out of bed at 6 in the morning, I was in no state to be embarking on a 60-day "Insanity" workout program.  You may be saying to yourself, "6 hours? That's how much sleep I get every night.  Working out at 6am?  I do that all the time."  Well, I DON'T.  I like my 8 hours of sleep, my late nights, and missing sunrises every morning.

So of course, having told all of my clients that they must eat breakfast before working out in the morning, regardless of what time it is, I had a little bit of sprouted seed and nut "cereal" with almond and coconut milk for breakfast.  Really bad idea before jumping around at a psychotic pace for 30 minutes.  The moral of the story is that I slept for almost the entire day.  I was groggy, nauseous, grumpy and low energy.  Maybe this is a bad example, considering the circumstances.  The other time it happened this week, though, I felt the same way - I was not myself at all for the entire day.  I felt headache-y, super low energy, grumpy and easily agitated.    

Some of you are saying to yourselves, "But I'm not even hungry in the morning - I must just not NEED breakfast."  What you need to understand about breakfast is that when you wake up and you're nauseous and/or don't feel like eating, it's because your blood sugar got so low during the night that your adrenal glands started secreting hormones like cortisol.  The cortisol stimulated the release of your stores of glucose into your bloodstream so that you could survive the night.  The other hormone that was secreted while you were sleeping was adrenaline, because that's what happens when your body senses an emergency situation (super low blood sugar).

The reason you woke up in the morning nauseous or apathetic about eating is that adrenaline, as you know, does not make you feel like eating.  It makes you feel like vomiting.  Ever narrowly evade a car crash and immediately say, "I could really go for a Big Mac right now"?  No, adrenaline makes your digestion slow down so that the emergency parts of your body (muscles, heart, etc.) can work better and faster.  No matter who you are or what health conscious Colorado city you live in, it's very likely that your blood sugar is so poorly managed by your diet that your adrenal glands have to manage it for you.  And you probably wake up in the morning and stimulate your adrenals to shoot out even more cortisol by giving yourself a ritualistic oral injection of caffeine...   Do you know what that constant supply of cortisol in your circulation gives you?  Among other things, abdominal fat.

Good health starts with breakfast.  If you eat a decent breakfast of protein, fat and complex carbs, you're starting things off the right way, avoiding blood sugar crashes, and thus, cortisol and adrenaline secretion.  If you eat something super sugary or full of refined carbs like, let's see, cereal, bagels, pastries, bars, fruit juice, doughnuts, etc., your blood sugar spikes, then quickly plunges back down and the hormones are secreted again.  If, after the good breakfast (protein, fat, complex carbs), you then have a good lunch (protein, fat, complex carbs), a good snack (you get the point) and a good dinner, you will probably wake up in the morning hungry like a normal person would after not eating for an entire night.  You should try it sometime.  Here's the recipe for success:

Veggie, Egg, Bacon Scramble
(15 min total prep/cook time, feeds one hungry person)

  2 Jumbo Pasture-Raised Eggs
1 Tbs Organic Coconut Oil
2 Slices Organic Bacon
3/4 C Sliced Shiitake Mushrooms
1 C. Chopped Organic Kale
1/3 C Diced Organic Jicama
1 Pinch Sea Salt
  1. Put bacon in toaster oven or in a pan on medium heat to cook for about 10 min while everything else is being prepped/cooked.
  2. Place large sauté pan on medium heat (medium-low with a non non-stick pan) with 1 tbs coconut oil in it.  
  3. Chop or dice kale, mushrooms, jicama on large cutting board.  (Do not make them perfect.  You're racing to get these things chopped before the oil in the pan burns.)  Line 'em up on the board and toss them in with the now hot oil in pan.  Spread the veggies out and cover pan for about 3 min.
  4. Keep stirring them until they're softer but still colorful (about 3 more minutes).  Add pinch salt.
  5. Add eggs - just crack them into the pan.  Break yolks with your spatula and mix them up with veggies evenly.  Let it all cook for about 1 minute. 
  6. Stir for about 2 - 3 more minutes until everything is evenly cooked (eggs should no longer be runny).
  7. Take out your bacon, cut it up and add to the egg mixture. 
  8. Enjoy
This meal is packed with protein (about 19gm), good fats (eggs, coconut oil & organic meat fats) and complex carbs (veggies).  You could add a few blueberries for that little bit of sweet we all love in the morning.  If you're not a coconut oil fan, do this with olive oil.  Whatever you do, just eat your breakfast.

Until next time. 

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