Okay warriors, let’s dish about breakfast! We’ve heard it said that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” And although that adage is older than me, you cannot argue with sound wisdom. It is absolutely true. If there is one meal that is crucial, it is the one in which you break your fast after not eating for [hopefully] at least eight hours of good sleep. Since we are over stimulated in our culture, and you’re all hard working, I know you are not sleeping well. But, let’s just pretend.
I only have a few rules or boundaries when it comes to food. These “rules” (more like, suggestions) are clearly tailored to me, but I do believe they are general rules that would greatly benefit everyone. I am no expert, just stuff I’ve learned as a nursing student, and from personal experience with food issues.
7. VEGGIES AT EVERY MEAL: Yes, I do this. My go-to veggie is raw Spinach. I will add a handful to every meal if I didn’t have time to make another one. I prefer the dark leafy greens, because they’re the better ones, but I must eat a balanced meal for all my meals! I’m a stickler about this.
6. SNACK SMART (and often): I eat at least 2 snacks a day. Sometimes 3 when I’ve had a busy and active day. Every snack must have protein with it. (This will be a blog post soon).
5. NO/LOW SALT: Everything in this country is OVER salted. Sodium although crucial to the body, eaten in inappropriate amounts contributes to hypertension. Salt is a vasoconstrictor and it increases chances of heart attack and stroke. You don’t have to be obese to care about these things. Everyone who eats too much salt is at risk. I do my best to cook with fresh herbs and spices and no salt. Simple changes you can make to avoid salt is to cut back on salty snacks (chips, pork rinds, jerkies, etc.), choose unsalted nuts, don’t eat canned foods, stay away from deli meats and fast food. Or limit these things as much as possible.
4. NO RECREATIONAL SUGAR: (cakes, pies, cookies, etc.) my body doesn’t need it. Yes, I can have it if I wanted to, because in Jesus I am free for freedoms sake and I can eat anything I want. Yet I chose not to, because it is really bad for me. Not just physically, emotionally and mentally as well. Yes, I do think that people can eat a slice of pie and it just be pie. They can eat it and move on and that’s great! If you can do that, then good for you. However some of us have had such broken relationships with food that pie can’t just be pie anymore. It becomes love, or acceptance, or validation. So some of us, need to just say no, always. Nevertheless we can’t handle “always” or “forever” so just for today, no sugar. And the rest is in God’s hands.
3. NO CAFFEINE: Yes, I said that. Caffeine contributes to high blood pressure. Not only that, but it has some negative effects on the brain. I too like coffee and when I really want some, I will simply have one cup of decaf even though “decaf” isn’t really caffeine free. (There is about a tenth of caffeine in each cup). Not to mention that chocolate has caffeine in it too. So, it can get tricky to stick to this rule. I do it to the best of my ability. But for sure I avoid regular coffee, and sodas of all kinds. I’m trying to be good to my heart, thus these choices.
2. WATER: I cannot stress this one enough. It may be tied for number one actually. Anyway, drinking enough water will make a huge difference in your life and diet!!! (more on this subject in a later blog).
And that brings us to my most important rule.
1. EAT BREAKFAST!!!!!!
I am telling you, it is absolutely crucial to eat breakfast every day. In dealing with diabetes, and for non-diabetics, you don’t want to deal with blood sugar spikes or drops. Having felt what both of those things feel like, I will tell you, it’s awful. When your blood sugar spikes, or drops, to me it actually feels the same. It’s like an inner feeling of your blood pulsing and you feel warm or clammy and just sickly uncomfortable. I hate it. One of the issues is not just eating breakfast but people eating the WRONG foods for breakfast. When you break the fast and eat something sugary like a donut, you’re causing your insulin to spike. Your pancreas works harder and you set yourself up for crazy insulin numbers all day. Crazy spikes and drops causes your pancreas to overwork and thus how we get type 2 Diabetes. Yes, genetics plays a role, but Type 2 is caused mainly by habits and environment.
Anyway, so we must be wise in our breakfast choices! My go-to breakfast is an egg white spinach omelet with a small slice of pepper jack or jack cheese, wrapped in a corn tortilla. The corn tortilla has 11g of crabs, therefore, I am eating a healthy breakfast with only 11g of carbs! If I am really hungry I’ll have a small piece of fruit with it (which increases my carb count, so I must choose wisely!!) or I avoid the tortilla and eat some other form of carbs, like fruit or grits. But when I am in a hurry, I make this quick on the go breakfast and I am set till elevensies. That’s my first “snack” of the day. I’m a Lord of The Rings girl, so my food alarms actually read like a Hobbit’s phone would! (see the picture below).
Anyway, I am writing this post because on Sundays I usually wake up too late to make breakfast, and I must counsel my own heart and tell myself all of this stuff! This morning I opted for a snack instead of breakfast. I had half a banana and some almonds. Sunday has a totally different schedule than my whole week, and so I always have to adjust eating on this day. Today, I made the mistake of not prioritizing breakfast. I wasn’t hungry after eating the snack, I was fine. But that is not a good habit to have. I must eat breakfast.
From the ages of 12-22 my body was starving. I wasn’t only overweight, I was also malnourished. It has been such a hard thing to change those habits. I still often struggle with it! So, when I tell you to eat breakfast, I mean it! Eat breakfast! It sets you up for healthy eating and meals throughout the day! It’s seriously the most important meal of your day! Choose wisely too! Don’t pick sugary snacks for breakfast. You’re worth it! Make the effort. Feed yourself the way you would if you were cooking or feeding someone super important and special to you! You wouldn’t give your significant other a measly piece of toast for breakfast. You’d cook some healthy delicious meal because that’s love. So, love yourself well and eat BREAKFAST!!
Here’s my actual phone alarms. All my life, I have been known to skip meals. True story. To this day my mom still asks me if I am eating. Yep, 400lbs, and skipping meals. Trust me, it adds to being overweight. Anyway, here’s a picture of what I do to keep myself on track. I set all these alarms. In order to eat well and get my metabolism going, I have to eat! We have to eat, in order to lose weight! So, don’t skip meals! And especially don’t skip breakfast!
*Hobbit schedule because I love Lord Of The Rings.