Guidelines for a healthy start to the day

 Happy Tuesday yall!
The next couple posts are going to be a few quick tips for eating healthfully, organized by time of day. These are general tips and remember to check with your doctor/dietician for recommendations specific to you.
Guiding principle if watching weight or losing weight: Protein at breakfast is a must. Aim for 20-40 grams depending on your weight. Fat is also a must, as it is satiating, but be aware of how much you are incorporating into meals. Limit carbs to low or moderate, such as 0-40 grams.
Guiding principle if maintaining or gaining weight: Same as above, though more fat and carbs may be appropriate depending on your lifestyle and goals.
  • Begin the day with water and aim to drink 2+ (women) or 3+ (men)  liters of water daily. This helps with hunger levels and junk cravings. Sometimes we think we are hungry or crave sweets when we are dehydrated.
  • If you have issues getting the bowels moving, drink a large (16-24oz) glass of hot liquids on an empty stomach first thing after waking. This could be coffee, tea, hot water with lemon or a combo. Sip your beverage while sitting and relaxing and give it a good wait. BM within 30 minutes or your money back.
  • Do not force yourself to eat if you are not hungry. Bring it with you to work if you need to – but don’t wait until you are starving!
  • Sit down to eat and don’t multitask!
  • Breakfast emphasizes protein and fat. A lower carb breakfast is CRUCIAL for setting up the rest of the day for success. This is because a high carb breakfast starts the blood sugar and insulin roller coaster ride, which can mean energy dips and carb/sugar cravings until you got to bed that night.
  • Many people have a hard time eating vegetables at breakfast, but if you can, do! Vegetables have satiating fiber to help keep you full for longer and tons of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants with numerous benefits.
  • Low carb breakfasts are egg based dishes with cheese and/or veggies. Moderate carb options are greek yogurt or sensible portion of whole grains (such as a half cup of oats) or fruit (such as 1 banana + half cup berries in a protein smoothie). Note that tofu is moderate in protein but also has a moderate carb and fat content.
  • If ordering breakfast out, try to find the highest protein and lowest carb option. Good options are omelettes and scrambles. Feel free to request ‘light cheese’ ‘cooked without oil’ and/or ‘egg whites instead.’  You can usually add in extra veggies or substitute bready products for fruit, or toss out the bread/tortilla.
  • Note: Athletes, very active people, those seeking to gain weight, and those with certain genetics may require more carbs to feel their best or meet their goals. This doesn’t mean a bagel or donut is a good idea, but bowl of oatmeal or whole grains could be appropriate. Avoid sugar and processed foods regardless.
  • Remember that a cup of whole milk is 150 cals so a large large latte can be 300+ calories. Be aware of how much milk or cream you are adding to coffee, if you are watching your calorie intake.
  • Try to buy grass fed whole fat dairy products. At least avoid fat free.

Breakfast Ideas:

  • A quick meal is 2 egg whites + 2 whole eggs = 28 g protein, with a sprinkle of cheese or salsa and handful of chopped vegetables. (All whole eggs if you need the calories.)
  • You can also bake ‘egg cups’ at home for on the go breakfasts and snacking.
  • Paleo pancakes made with 2 tbsp coconut flour whipped into 1 egg + 2 egg whites with a 1/4 tsp baking soda and vanilla extract cooked on a buttered pan on the stove.
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup oats cooked, then whip in 1-2 egg whites for protein, and top with nut butter or coconut for satiating fats.
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt with a handful of berries
  • Protein shake with 1 frozen banana + half cup berries, 1 scoop protein powder, almond milk to thin, and tbsp nut butter blended.
  • Chia ‘pudding’ topped with a handful berries
  • Leftovers from dinner
  • Eggs, tofu or leftover protein with some cheese/veg in 1-2 small corn tortillas for breakfast tacos
  • Half an avocado filled with a scrambled egg/tofu/tuna.
  • 1 cup beans and 1/4-1/3 cup whole grains, with cooked veggies and a tbsp chopped nuts

Any feedback or post requests are totally welcome. It’s hard to write any recommendations when everyone is so vastly different – given their goals, lifestyle, conditions, and genetics!

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2 thoughts on “Guidelines for a healthy start to the day

  1. Thanks for the post! I don’t like eating breakfast because I never know what to eat. But I do have request post: do you have any quick lunch recipes or advice for someone who isn’t skilled at cooking? I’m getting tired of salads and turkey sandwiches for lunch because that’s the easiest and quickest way of making food when I have a busy schedule. Thanks!!

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