Breakfast Is My Nemesis!
This is probably not what you expect to hear from the Holistic Nutrition lady… but alas it’s true. For as long as I can remember breakfast has been my nemesis!
When I was a kid (hello child of the 80’s) my mom would try to entice me into breakfast by letting me have the sugar conveniences, frosted flakes, pop tarts, ego waffles drowning in syrup and even then, when breakfast was basically desert, I didn’t want it.
As I have grown up I have learned a lot about nutrition and my body. The most beneficial thing I have learned is that my body is unique to me. After years of trying to do the right thing, subscribing to whatever the nutritional diet of the year was, I have finally settled into the comfort of my own bio-individuality, the concept that the perfect diet for me is unique to me.
The thing about every diet, detox and nutritional fad that has ever been in the lime light is that it HAS worked… for someone. That does not, however, mean that any diet will work for anyone. The only way to find what works really well for each of us is to try different foods, at different amounts, sometimes at different times of the day and to track what the effects are.
I personally love keeping a food-mood-reflections journal, writing down what I ate and did each day, what time I did it, as well as what other things were going on. It’s a pretty great way to start to notice our patterns, like when our energy sags in the day, when we feel stressed or anxious, when we crash and become hangry.
There are multiple food-mood apps you can install on your mobile phone that can help you track your day. I prefer to keep a physical notebook with columns for morning, mid-day, late afternoon, evening and night time. In each column record what you ate, what time, how much and how you felt both body and mind immediately after eating and about an hour later. The more information you record the better. Pay attention to your mood, energy level or any other physical symptoms you may experience.
Keep a space on each page to write down relevant things that happened through your day, anything that may have been stressful, exciting, boring etc. Lastly, start to track foods that you crave as well as how much water you consumed.
By keeping a log like this for a few weeks you will be able to look back and see definite patterns that may help you draw some clear lines between the food you eat, times you eat it, activities you are engaging in and how this all effects your mood and energy level.
When I started to use the food-mood journal I learned remarkable things about myself. For years the first time I would eat anything in the day would be lunchtime. This was mostly because I would be working away and powering through until this obvious break in my day. I would flood my body with caffeine in the morning (oh the natural appetite suppressant of coffee) and put my head down into my work. When I finally arrived at lunch I would be starving!!
Using my food-mood journal helped me realize that I usually had an appetite at about 10am, so I began to plan for this. I started to be much more aware of my morning coffee intake and as often as possible attempted to start my day with a warm lemon water before any coffee or tea touched my lips.
I began to plan for the first glimmers of hunger by packing with me morning glory muffins, green juices, smoothies and nuts. On the mornings that I’m working from home I can really indulge, having any of the old faithfuls from above or even make myself a scramble or breakfast burrito!
These foods are of course the ones I have picked because I have done the work, done the personal experimentation and weaned out the food that don’t sustain me or fire me up. This gives me more incentive to put more love and attention into the foods that do.
The most important thing I have gained from this is seeing how having breakfast ready and with me truly transforms my day. Instead of waiting until noon to eat, when I would likely be grumpy and seriously low on blood sugar, I can savor the first meal of my day as soon as my body begins to ask me for something. The experts weren’t lying! Breakfast is the most important meal. I was just interpreting this advice in a way that never felt like it fit for me.
The best part about feeding myself something in the morning hours is that I make better lunch choices as well, and therefore better afternoon snack choices and dinner choices. I didn’t have to buy any books or follow any diet programing; I just had to pay close enough attention to what and when I was feeding myself and how it made me feel. Of course I didn’t want the packaged and processed breakfast foods from my youth, they didn’t give my body and brain what I needed. What I needed was to find real food that settled my system and made me feel bright.
Our bodies are amazing and I truly believe that given half a chance they will heal themselves. By paying attention, tracking what I liked and what made me feel the best I have been able to draw the lines for myself to see the affects of my own ‘Real Food Journey’… I never thought I would be a breakfast person, but I guess was wrong.