Breakfast is often referred to the most important meal of the day. Some people get this concept some don't. Breakfast for a lot of people actually looks lot more like dessert. Just yesterday we were in a local restaurant and watched a guy sitting in the booth across from us enjoy waffles à la mode. Really, ice cream for breakfast on top of a sweet bread, topped with liquid sugar and whip cream. Why is that even an option for breakfast? Seriously!!!
They all look pretty delicious don't they!
You might recognize that waffles à la mode isn't an ideal breakfast but do you know why?
#1 - The obvious one is this type of breakfast is packed with sugar. I don't think I need to explain why the sugar in this amount is bad.
#2 - We love our fat but we also love getting it from quality sources and this type of breakfast is also extremely fat dense. This combination of high fat and high sugar/carbohydrate is the reason we have the obesity epidemic that faces us in this country. The calorie density is through the roof when you combine sugar and fat, our brains just don't know when to say enough is enough when you combine those things.
#3 - Breakfast is also a unique meal. If you look at it's name "Break - Fast" this is the meal that breaks what is likely a 8-10 hour fast depending on when you last ate the previous night. It is because we are in this fasted state that our body is primed to absorb more of the energy that we provide it.
This happens mainly due to us being more insulin sensitive after a fast. That means that your body will easily transport blood glucose (carbs) into cells. Now if you worked out at 6 a.m. and you then consume a carb dense breakfast that carbohydrate/glucose will get transported to muscle tissue. That's a good thing! If you roll out of bed and have an Ego waffle, bowl of cereal, or a bowl of oatmeal topped with brown sugar and raisins, that carbohydrate will likely get stored in fat cells.
#3 - Lastly, a meal like those mentioned so far is lacking almost all nutritional value. In general, color is a sign of a food's nutritional value. If you didn't cook a waffle, that whole plate would be white = zero nutrition.
When you combine combine, calorie dense, blood sugar spiking, and nutrient poor all together in one food/meal you are either having one hell of a treat meal or trying to develop diabetes.
How do you upgrade your breakfast?
#1 - Eat a balanced meal or for some a lower carbohydrate meal depending on how sensitive you are to carbohydrates. Balanced meal means getting equal amount of calories from protein, fats and carbs. The one that is hardest for most is the protein source. Some of our favorite ways to add protein to breakfast is egg whites, protein powder via a shake or pancakes, or meat of some kind. Studies have even shown that a protein dense breakfast will help stave off hunger throughout the entire day, meaning less snacking and more calories consumed.
#2 - Add some vegetables! Yeah we said it veggies for breakfast. Not only does this up the nutritional value the meal it also adds some fiber. Try to make 1/3 of your plate a veggie! Our go to is sauteed broccoli slaw or steamed broccoli. By adding fiber you you slow down the digestion process and therefore will avoid blood sugar spikes and as much of that energy getting sent off to fat cells.
#3 - Keep it simple. The morning can be a tough time to put a fancy breakfast together. Why do you think cereal is a breakfast staple, convenience. So just make something else that fits the above criteria convenient for you. For a long time this meant have a shake for breakfast that was balanced nutritional and loaded up with some greens to get veggies. Overnight oats that contain some extra protein, greek yogurt with berries, or egg muffins.
#4 - Find something that you like and works for you and stick with it. Variety is important for diet but that means throughout the day, not day to day. Breakfast for us is almost identical 5 days a week, eggs, broccoli of some form and plantains. Find what works for you.
The common thread that connects all these tips, is having a plan. That starts with maybe building anywhere from an extra 5 minutes up to 20 minutes to prepare an upgraded breakfast. It means having some healthier options stocked in the fridge, freezer and pantry. It means knowing ahead of time what you are going to make or meal prepping earlier in the week.
We would love to hear what are your go-to breakfast options?
I've been smacked in the face with this concept a few times in the past month so I took it as a sign that I needed to write and share my thoughts.
Is Obesity Contagious?
We think of a lot of diseases to be contagious, the flu, a cold, but what about obesity? The American Medical Association back in 2013 actually changed it's stance on obesity and it is now classified as a disease. If you go to the CDC website it actually states that 36.5% of Americans "have" obesity. That word "have" struck me when I read it.
Philosophically that is a whole new ball game. Now a person isn't defined by being obese, they "aren't" obese they just "have" it. If you have something you can get rid of it, right??? That's good news! If you have it, does that also mean that you can give it to someone?
In 2007 researchers from Harvard published an article in The New England Journal for Medicine, The spread of obesity in a large social network over 32 years, that explains these concepts. Some things that stood out were, if you have a friend that is obese that you would be 57% more likely to obese yourself. The study didn't show that obesity was connected to geographical location. For example if you have a neighbor or coworker that is obese they won't rub off on you as much as someone which you actually have a close relationship.
"Obesity is a social disease. And it needs a social cure." - Dr. Mark Hyman
I love this line from Mark Hyman, "Obesity is a social disease and it needs a social cure." Unfortunately the population of the United States is heading in the wrong direction.
As of 2015 70.7% of Americans over the age of 20 are considered overweight or obese. If 71% of the population had a virus that was slowly killing you every government agency and medical professional would be hysterical in finding a cure. What gives? Why are people complacent about the disease of obesity?
I think it comes back to this being a social disease. If you walk down the street or through your office building and 7 in 10 people you walk past are overweight, doesn't that skew your perception of what is normal? Now instead of comparing yourself to the cover model on the magazine, I think people are comparing themselves to the people that are overweight or obese. The thought likely goes through their head either consciously or subconsciously, "Well at least I'm not as fat as that person, so I must not be that bad."
Then you have the people that use the genetic excuse as a crutch. The same study mentioned above found out that if a sibling became obese it raised your chances of becoming obese by 40%. So if your friend, that you have no similar genetic information as becomes obese it increases your chances by 57% but a family member only 40%. Wouldn't that suggest that obesity is more of a nurture disease rather than a nature disease?
Why does this matter?
Being overweight and obese can have serious health consequences. It can lead to things like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, gallstones, cancer and increased joint pain. Not all overweight people will develop these diseases or will report negative biomarkers but it does raise your risk.
There is also a direct correlation to how overweight a person is and their activity level. So once you get trapped in the cycle of being overweight it becomes more and more difficult to lose weight. Your activity goes down, you burn fewer calories, you pack on more weight.
What do we do?
First thing I think we need to start treating being overweight or obese as a disease that needs treatment. It can't just be the way a person is... It can't be something we ignore thinking it is just a benign condition without consequences.
What actions do we need to take?
I believe as individuals we need to support people where they are at! Whether they are fit and lean or morbidly obese, we need to be there for a friends, family, and neighbors. We need to be encouragers! We can't wait for someone else to take action, you need to be the one! The one that gets moving! The one that cuts out a lot of the junk food! The one that eats more veggies! Do it with joy! Be contagious with your healthy behaviors!
That's why I love so much what we do! We get to be those influencers! More importantly we try to encourage others to pay it forward, to pass along what they learn and share with the people they care about.
We need to be interjectors of positivity and health into the cycle that people get stuck in. If you feel like you are stuck, find people that are going to lift you up and believe in you. Find someone that won't let you fail, aka stop!
Lastly, as a society we have become overweight and obese! It will only be as a society that we can solve this problem. We need to reset that trajectory that our country's health is on currently. Health can and needs to become more contagious than obesity! If you are ready to help be part of the change, share this post, reach out to a friend in need, or reach out to a friend that can help you!
We wanted to switch it up for you guys this week and give you a great breakfast option for a meal. I know we've focused more on dinner type meals but everybody loves breakfast, right? This would be a great dish/meal to throw together Saturday morning for the whole family. Feel free to scale the spice level to the people for which you are cooking. You could also double this recipe and have leftovers for the entire week. This recipe will give you about 3-4 servings of the hash.
We really love our breakfast hashes because they are super easy to prepare and usually just involve throwing together whatever ingredients are available. Some easy swaps even with this recipe would be to use regular potatoes. You could also throw in some leftover taco meat from last night. We love adding greens to our hash, so some spinach, kale, or chard would be a great add on to this dish. If you want to go vegetarian you could easily leave the bacon out of this dish and you still get a serving protein and veggies. So many options!
If you are new to hashes, start with this recipe and feel free to venture out and get creative with ingredients you like. The key is adding veggies to your breakfast. It is easy to add fruits and breads to breakfast and start your day on the sweet side and also high in carbohydrates and low in protein. This is one of the keys that we promote with our coaching clients to burn fat and manage hunger throughout the day.
This meal is brought to you by the Suedbeck pantry!!! One thing that has changed around our house is having quality ingredients around so that we can throw together healthy meals from things we have laying around. Yeah it might take a little more creativity but that's fun right. This recipe was actually inspired by a recipe we have on our 5 Day Clean Eating Guide that we use with our Clean Eating Groups. If you want more information about those feel free to click CONNECT and reach out to us whichever way you feel the most comfortable.
Growing up my mom used to always make enchiladas and it was one of our favorite meals. No offense to my mom but her recipe hardly resembled a traditional enchilada. They were delicious probably due to the cream of mushroom soup that she put in them, along with the hormel chili and white flour tortillas. To my mom's defense, she really didn't know how to use the internet to find a traditional recipe or a healthier option for making her recipe. She also didn't have much of a Mexican influence when it came to food. The closest thing we got to Mexican food was Taco Johns... :)
So I decided to take this favorite childhood dish, and eliminate the processed foods and add a couple more components. I really hope you all enjoy this because we certainly did. You could smear this black bean sauce on a car tire and it would be delicious.
Black Bean Sauce
The Cook & The Coach
Healthy is a LIFESTYLE.