I used to think this way, back when I was on the diet yo-yo express. But after a nutritionist told me I had to make the time to eat breakfast, I made it a regular part of my day. After a few years, and now after counseling my weight-loss clients, I've realized why breakfast is so important:
- It sets up the tone of your entire day. If you start out the day with bacon, eggs, and hash browns, what's the likelihood you're going to be in the right frame of mind to eat healthy the rest of the day? On the other hand, a breakfast of brown coconut rice with pecans and raisins (recipe below) will make you feel so good you'll want to keep eating healthy all day.
- If you don't eat breakfast, you're more likely to overeat later. In one study, researchers found that when people skipped breakfast, they had a stronger response to pictures of fast foods and desserts than people who had eaten a healthy breakfast. It's like a little light goes off in your brain that says, "Must eat everything with butter and sugar now." You can avoid that by starting the day off with a balanced meal.
- Breakfast is addictive. If you're like me, and don't feel hungry first thing in the morning, just get yourself in the habit of eating breakfast within an hour of waking every day. After a week or so, your body will be so used to it, you'll start waking up ready to eat.
If you're always on the go, and have to rush out the door, you can bake some muffins to keep in the freezer, or in a pinch, grab a gluten-free snack bar. Most snacks bars have too much sugar for me to recommend for breakfast, but if you have to go that route, Larabars are one of the better options. And before you run out the door, grab a banana or an apple too!
For a while I was addicted to having gluten-free toast with natural peanut butter and almond butter. I couldn't decide between the two, so I had one with each. Sliced bananas would be a delicious addition here!
If it's the weekend and you have more time, you can make pancakes or waffles. Leftovers freeze easily, and can be toasted for a quick breakfast on the weekdays. (Just watch your portions here...)
Have you noticed yet that I like sweet food in the morning? If you want something savory, some of my clients have been making their own egg sandwiches with english muffins, an egg, and turkey bacon or a slice of low-fat cheese. They even freeze them so they can have them throughout the week. There's no need to spend the extra money to buy them at Starbucks (although of course, if you're eating gluten-free, you couldn't do that anyway).
If, like me, your tastes tend more towards hot cereal in the morning, you can make an easy breakfast with amaranth, gluten-free oats, quinoa, pureed sweet potatoes, or brown rice. I love adding fresh or dried fruit and nuts or seeds to my hot "cereal."
Quinoa with Sunflower Seeds and Blueberries
Pureed Sweet Potatoes with Dried Cranberries and Sunflower Seeds
Amaranth with Dried Cranberries and Walnuts
I needed to use up some coconut milk this week, so I made Coconut Hot Rice Breakfast Cereal. I've been eating it cold for the sake of convenience (I'm pressed for time in the morning), but it's best reheated before eating.
Coconut Rice Hot Breakfast Cereal
1 cup brown basmati rice
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup pecan pieces
- Bring 2 cups of water to boil in a pot. Add the raisins, rice, and coconut milk. Bring to boil again, then lower heat and cover the pot. Simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the rice starts to get too dry, add a little extra water to keep the bottom from burning.
- After 40 minutes, turn the stove off and add the pecans. Stir. Put the top back on and let sit for 10 minutes.
Stop by What Can I Eat That's Gluten Free and Real Food Wednesdays and Healthy Green Kitchen for more healthy recipes!