Updated: Jan 28, 2021
Breakfast is not really something we really take care or value in our culture. There are people who are not hungry and do not eat breakfast, those who need coffee to start the day, those who assume that it has to be sweet and those who prefer a sandwich with bacon
What is a good breakfast? Are you the coffee type, the yogurt and fruit or eggs and bacon?
What would be a good breakfast?
At dawn the sun rises (yang) leaving the night (yin) behind. The day starts, the light arrives, the activity, and what prevails is the yang energy. This energy will reach its maximum capacity at noon when the sun is highest.
We often eat late for dinner and this creates unnecessary digestive work at a time when your body has other tasks to take care of. Therefore, neither the digestion is done as it should, nor the tasks of the night. This will have an effect the next day. It is possible that we wake up tired, with less energy and that we need some stimulant to start.
The night is the time to process the day. During our sleep there is a great activity in the liver, lymphatic system, lungs and nervous system, to integrate what has happened during the day and prepare us for the next day. In the morning, if all these processes have gone well, we will wake up energetic and ready to start a new day.
With the morning light, melatonin levels drop, we wake up and there should be a need for food. Since the morning has a yang energy, the type of food that is best for us to take is a somewhat yang food that enhances this dynamic and active energy. Thus we start the day with force, and we allow this force to be maintained throughout the morning until lunch time.
These are the best choices:
-Carbohydrate with low glycemic index. This is wholegrains.
-Something creamy that stimulates the stomach due to its liquid content
-A small portion of protein
-A serving of vegetables
-A touch salty
What we should avoid for breakfast is:
-Refined carbohydrate, due to its high glycemic index.
-Taking refined carbohydrate along with fat (eg pastries, croissant)
But what happens with fruit that so many people eat for breakfast?
Fruit is cooling and refreshing, because fruit by nature is yin, it has a relaxing effect. What we normally want in the morning is to "activate". What we want is to kick start our digestive capacity and fruit is not the best for that. Fruit and yogurt is a combination that really doesn't work well, it taste good... but your digestion will not appreciate it very much.
What about smoothies and juices? Like fruit, they steal heat and digestive energy from the body. They are purifying and in this way they are appropriate when what we want is to eliminate toxins or fat. They are better suited for Spring or Summer, but definitely not for Autumn and Winter.
Yogurt, being a yin food, has also a cooling effect on the body.
All that that being said, it's not about eliminating these foods completely, but about understanding their effect and using them correctly. We will then take into account: the season of the year, the activity that we are going to do in the morning and the energy that we need. What do we want: to refresh or cool the body, to purify it or to get ready for action?
Best Breakfast suggestions
We need to change the concept of what breakfast is and understand what our body needs. Here are some suggestions:
-Cereal creams or porridges with rice, quinoa, millet, oats. Using wholegrain with long cooking that gives a creamy consistency, provides hydration and is easy to digest. The creams can be cooked with small amounts of dried fruit, a little cinnamon stick, or lemon peel.
In spring and summer they can be accompanied by red fruits, in winter and autumn by compote (apple or pear).
They can be served with toasted seeds and nuts.
If possible, we limit the use of sweeteners in porridges to keep the glycemic index low.
-It is very healthy to have something cooked in the morning, as it stimulates digestion, generating heat and activating our body.
-Vegetable Soups with seeds or nuts.
-Vegetable broths with miso.
-Buckwheat crepes with grilled or steamed vegetables that we already have cooked
-Vegetables from the day before
-Bean patés such as hummus
-Vegetable stew with pulses that we already have cooked (autumn and winter option)
The list is long but this gives you an idea of the many possibilities for breakfast and without needing to prepare it in the morning, but rather:
-We use leftovers we have.
-We prepare the cereal porridge in advance and enough for 2 or 3 days. This keeps well in the refrigerator. You just need to heat it, adding some water or vegetable milk.
We might not be drawn to this type of breakfast initially, especially if you are into coffee and croissant, but if you want to boost your energy and health these are great options. Give yourself time and give your body time. As you introduce healthier guidelines and improve your digestion, your need for food in the morning will change.
The great advantage of the breakfasts suggested here is that they keep us energized all morning. We generate stable energy, both physical, mental and emotional, without the typical mid-morning slump, which we normally cover with some sweet, coffee or anything else that gives us quick energy.