Balanced Living

Good Morning, Sunshine!

Posted by Arja on March 9 in Breakfast, Smoothies and Shakes

Your alarm clock goes off (either in child or electronic form), you jump out of bed and hit the ground running.  You’re trying to beat the clock to get out the door and grab whatever you can to eat on the go.  By 10:30 you are hungry, a little irritable, and find yourself reaching for another quick snack (a muffin, doughnut, cookie) to get you through until lunch.  Does any of this sound familiar?

By now it’s no secret that breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day.  After fasting all night, your body needs some complex carbohydrates, good quality protein and healthy fat to get your metabolism up and running at full speed again.  Unfortunately, many people start their days with a breakfast filled with sugar, refined flours and poor protein choices (if any at all!).  A breakfast like this sends you blood sugar skyrocketing, and by mid-morning it has plunged back down leaving you frantically reaching for whatever you can to boost it back up again setting your blood sugar levels up for a roller coaster ride all day long.

Mornings can be a busy time for people and that doesn’t leave a lot of time for food prep.  Keep it simple, and prep whatever you can in advance to make your life easier.  Some quick, healthy breakfast options could include:

- Plain Greek yoghurt (high in protein) with a few tablespoons of large flake oats that have been soaked in milk (cow’s dairy, almond, rice, goat, or other alternative).  Top with a teaspoon of chia seeds, some fresh fruit/dried fruit and a teaspoon of maple syrup.  Or, substitute the soaked oats for a few tablespoons of homemade granola.

-1 slice whole grain toast with a boiled egg (boil eggs in advance and keep in the fridge), and some fresh fruit (apples, pears, kiwi, etc.) on the side.

-No sugar or very low sugar, multigrain cereal (think Nature’s Path Heritage O’s, Heritage Flakes, or other high fibre equivalent) with milk (alternative or cow’s milk dairy) topped with fruit

-Oatmeal (plain, no sugar added) with chopped apples and dried fruit drizzled with a teaspoon of maple syrup (not always the fastest option, but can be portable)

The last thing I want to talk about is smoothies.  This is my hands down favourite quick and healthy breakfast.  You’d be amazed by what you can put in a blender and still come up with a tasty, satisfying breakfast that sustains you for hours!  The key is to include fibre, protein and healthy fat because fruit alone will not keep you going and will spike your blood sugar.  You can wash your greens and prep your fruit the night before.  Here’s a delicious version that I love to drink:

Morning Sunshine Smoothie

2 leaves kale, washed, tough stem removed and torn into a few pieces
½ medium banana
¾ cup fruit of choice (fresh or frozen) – I love strawberries, blueberries, mangoes, or a mix!
1 tsp chia seeds (or some ground flax seeds, or hemp hearts)
1 scoop protein powder of your choice (unsweetened, no added colours, flavours, or artificial sweeteners)
1 cup liquid of choice (almond milk or other unsweetened alternative works well here)
¼ cup no sugar added pure fruit juice (POM, mixed fruit puree)

Optional Add-Ins
-flax seed oil
-lecithin granules
-any other whole food that interests you

Step 1 - Dump everything into your blender and start pulsing until mixtures starts to break down and liquefy. 
Step 2 - Once everything seems to mostly liquefied set your blender on low for around 30 seconds and then increase to high for another 30 seconds to finish it off. 

If you haven’t ever added leafy greens to your smoothies don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.  You could always start out with a handful of baby spinach which has an extremely mild taste, but honestly, raw kale will not overpower the taste of your smoothie and it’s soooo good for you!

No matter what you choose to eat in the morning, just make sure you’re getting a mix of complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats and you can’t go wrong.  If you start the day with a healthy breakfast it sets the stage for the rest of your day! 

arja pennanen lytle c.n.p. n.n.c.p certified nutritional practitioner

Arja is a Holistic Nutritionist with a passion for balanced living. She loves to help people sleep better, think better, feel sexier, and just generally feel better by putting the focus on eating foods that make you feel good. Arja uses whole foods, lifestyle adjustments, herbs, and some supplements to help people feel their best and achieve their health and wellness goals.