A Healthy Start to Your Day

bowl-of-oatmealBreakfast comes from the two words “break” and “fast” it is the meal we have when we are breaking the fast from not eating at night while our body has been resting and cleansing and repairing our systems.

Some people skip it, some drink a quick coffee and shoot out the door, others make a meal of it and some have a quick slice of toast or bowl of cereal or porridge with fruit and yoghurt and get into their day.

How can we make it a good sustaining nourishing start? When should we eat actual food in the mornings?

What are some of the healthy breakfasts recommended in our good books like the Body Ecology Diet or the Gut & Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) or by Dr Libby in her Real Food cook book?

I quite like Donna Gates Body Ecology approach to breakfast in that she thinks like a Hobbit – I’ll explain more as we go on - so let’s start with that one.

Upon waking she recommends a glass of water and taking any supplements you are taking then. (This is that time to rehydrate the body after the night with no fluids).

She breaks breakfast into an “early morning” breakfast and a “brunch”. Brunch being the meal you eat when you actually feel hungry and is more substantial than the early morning breakfast option.

Her early morning breakfast suggestions are basically energising drinks such as Vitality SuperGreens powder mixed with green coconut kefir water and some Stevia to sweeten as a tonic to get you going. This would be the time you would have your green powder smoothie or green drink or other liquid healthy options to get you going. (Dr Libby has some great smoothie recipes to try – Green Smoothie, Blueberry Green Smoothie, Almond Date Shake, Banana, Berry & Coconut Smothie and so on).

Second breakfast (Hobbit-speak!) or brunch is then the mid-morning time when you feel hungry and your body wants to eat some actual food. Depending on your metabolism and activity level you might need a bigger feed earlier or you might feel best when you eat actual food around 10-11am. (You might want to skip the smoothie and just have a proper brunch once you are hungry).

Donna Gate’s “brunch” choices are things like:

Grain “Brunch” is basically grains like quinoa or millet that have been soaked overnight and you make them into a porridge or soup with stevia or salt, water, and vegetables and or sea vegetables to taste. She has some tasty recipes in the book. Things like quinoa hash and vegetable based recipes mixed in with soaked buckwheat or millet to make tasty fritters cooked in ghee (refined butter) and so on. Some are savoury and some more sweet to suit all tastes.

Adding vegetables to breakfast is a new idea except for the spinach we sometimes have with mushrooms and tomatoes in the traditional bacon and eggs or salmon.

The body loves the combination of these gluten free soaked grains and vegetables to start the day – especially with some tasty ghee to lift the mood and heal the gut.

Animal Protein “Brunch” would be things like soft eggs not overcooked and with soft yolks so you get the goodness with or without ocean vegetables (sea weeds strips or pieces).

1 egg white to 2 yolks is the recommendation for soft scrambled eggs.

Donna recommends you have vegetables, but not starches or grains with animal proteins and if eating actual animal protein – salmon, chicken, beef and so on then it is best eaten between 11am to 2pm.

Just as a point of interest I have been trying this and I notice sleep quality goes up and the body feels great digesting animal proteins earlier in the day rather than with the last meal at night. It is a different approach to usual, but definitely makes life lighter on the digestion and better on the sleep.

So what about the GAPS diet by Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride – the Russian doctor who works out of Cambridge UK mainly with people with gut health related issues? What can you have for breakfast once you are on the full GAPS diet having completed the introduction phase with all the lovely broths?

Dr Natasha recommends the following breakfast choices:

  • Eggs cooked with sausages (best gluten and preservative free from organic butcher – made only with pure minced meat, salt and pepper). She also recommends the whites be cooked and the yolks not cooked. She recommends a mixture of raw fresh and cooked vegetables to go with the animal protein. Tomatoes, avocadoes, salad greens. Salad should include cold pressed olive oils, perhaps sprouted pumpkin or sunflower or sesame seeds with the salad. Drinking some warm homemade meat stock with the breakfast is recommended to help digestion. A lot of her book talks about the value of these bone broths and how to make them to heal the gut so the stock is the nourishing parts of the minerals and nutrients from the bones cooked slowly with vegetables added later. She also talks about adding cultured vegetable juices to broths to help digestion.
  • Avocado with meat, fish or shellfish, vegetables raw or cooked, lemon and cold-pressed olive oil. Again serve a cup of warm meat stock as a drink with food. I guess you have to make a good supply of broth and store it in the fridge/freezer to do this.
  • Homemade soup with sour cream and meat.
  • Pancakes made with ground nuts like almonds. Delicious with butter and honey, or as a savoury snack. There are also recipes for ground almond flour muffins, fruit cakes and breads in her book which are mostly gluten free and more for someone who has healed their gut and doesn’t have problems with yeast, bloating or candida and can tolerate some honey or flour foods.

Dr Libby the NZ nutritionist recommends for breakfast:

  • Poached eggs with greens
  • A gluten free grain muesli recipe with buckwheat, amaranth, millet and seeds there is a version that is soaked overnight in coconut water to make a Bircher style soaked gluten free muesli. Looks very nice!
  • Berry quinoa porridge
  • Herbed scrambled eggs
  • Breakfast hash with mushrooms – this one is cooked in coconut oil
  • Roast vegetable frittata
  • Hashbrown potatoes – involves Agria potatoes, kumara and tasty veggies
  • Pumpkin pancakes with maple pecans and coconut yoghurt

The recipes for all these are in her book. There are lovely photos and very simple to follow recipes.

Well that has definitely got me feeling hungry! I hope you can find something to suit your lifestyle and taste buds and health. Enjoy!