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?
We have always known that KNOWING where our food comes from is really important...but it was still cheaper to get 2 dozen organic eggs from Costco. Just being honest here!! Sue me.
BUT, when a friend of ours (Sara) said she raises chickens and sells their eggs I knew we had to get on her list. We eat SO. MANY. EGGS. Seriously. It's ridiculous. We go through about 6-8 eggs per day. Yes. SO. MANY. Haha!! We love them though and so does Eli, so we have them for breakfast pretty much every morning.
As soon as Sara's chickens started laying eggs she messaged us (this last weekend) and said she'd bring 2 dozen to church the next morning and I kinda jumped for joy. My older sister, Sara (as well....weird)....raised chickens for a short time in Colorado so we had tried pasture raised chicken eggs before and they were SO good. Here's a picture of me holding one of her chickens a few years ago:
However...do you know WHY it's important to know where your eggs came from and what those chickens ate? To quote one of our favorite podcasts, The Model Health Show
"You are what you eat ate."
By that we mean any animal product you're putting into you body, you're also ingesting whatever THEY ATE as well. So choose your animal sources wisely!
Sara's chickens are pastured...meaning they have full access to outdoor area that is fenced for their safety. This is much different from "free range" which simply means according to the USDA the chickens have "access" to the outdoors for at least 50% of their lives. ALSO, don't mistake "Cage free" for being all that great...if they came from a big factory farm those chickens were probably just cooped up in a barn with a thousand other chickens...not technically in a cage per se...but not roaming free and able to eat whatever they want. "Cage free" and "Free range" aren't necessarily better...even though we all get misled by the terms sometimes. I know I did!! That's why knowing where your eggs come from (if you have that ability) is really important. Click here for a great article explaining more about this.
Sara's chickens are fed non GMO feed with no soy and it's basically organic...just not certified organic yet because she gets it from farmers that are in the process of organic certification. Her chickens also get fresh fruit and veggies all the time and they add kefir, whey etc...when available! They also forage and eat bugs and weeds in their pasture and they sometimes reserve feed until the end of the day to force them to forage more which means they get more variety in their diet! Genius! That's why the yolks are so yellow (see picture below).
Here are a few pictures of her beautiful chickens and her toddler terrorizing a few of them...or maybe they're terrorizing her, I can't tell!
And now the big reveal...we wanted to do a side by side comparison of the organic Costco eggs and Sara's pasture eggs...check it out. Can you tell which is which?? We won't leave you hanging...the one on the left is the pasture raised egg and the one on the right is the organic, cage free egg from Costco.
SO...if you don't have the option to pay a little more for quality eggs...that's fine!! I just challenge you to think about the foods that you eat ALOT of on a daily basis and think about slowly starting to swap IN a higher quality version!! Your health will thank you in the long run!!
Last weekend my parents were in town for a quick visit so we spent all day on Sunday with them and my brother's family. We went to church, went to brunch and then spent the afternoon hanging out by the lake where their new house will be built next year! Our brunch adventures this week took us to Victors on Water in Excelsior, MN...right off of Lake Minnetonka. This tiny town has so many cute shops, restaurants and coffee shops...I love it!!
Anyway...this was our first time to Victors and everything was just spot on. The food, the service, the atmosphere...we will definitely go back!! The picture above is what Dan had and it was the Polenta Benedict w/ asparagus, king crab, poached eggs and parmesan fondue....and obviously an arugula salad on top. He loved it. I had the Pork and Vegetable Hash with two eggs and toast. It was delicious and I ate every single bite. I also had a bloody mary that was seriously good. One of the best I've had in a while! Great flavor and thick...which I like.
My view at lunch...isn't he cute?? And miraculously, Eli slept in the Ergo the entire time. It was LOVELY!!!
And then we ended the afternoon/evening with some time on the lake, some naps and cuddle time and then some sushi. Sundays are my FAVORITE!
Oh and YES, we would highly recommend Victors on the Water. Go check out the weekend brunch and then walk down by the lake and enjoy the view!
We love eggs!!! We eat them daily, which means we cook them daily. We like our eggs over easy to over medium, there is just something about that runny yolk that just makes eggs so good. I'm not sure where I picked up this trick on cooking the perfect over easy egg but it is so awesome and easy to do. You don't have to worry about breaking the yolk open when you flip it or try to get them out of the pan. Once you master it, which won't take long, you will have a super simple way to cook your eggs perfectly every time.
The Cook & The Coach
Healthy is a LIFESTYLE.