Is Breakfast the Most Important Meal of the Day?

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Mmmmm….This is one example of a quick throw-together, hormone-balancing breakfast that I regularly eat…

  • A salad of organic greens: an Italian romaine mix and arugula in an raw apple-cider and olive oil vinaigrette
  • Warmed wild-caught sardines (out of a tin)
  • Hot curry cauliflower rice 

And, no, I was not in the kitchen all morning “cooking”! I do a lot of batch cooking—as in “cook once, eat twice or three times!). Everything on my plate consists of leftovers! Except for the wild-caught sardines, which I popped out of a tin and into a saucepan, along with the leftover curry cauliflower rice. It took less than 1 minute to rewarm. (over high heat!).  Also: I don’t have a microwave; I rewarm food, using the stove.

Maybe you don’t consider yourself a “breakfast eater”….does it really matter if we eat breakfast or not?  If you are struggling with low energy, weight management, an autoimmune disease (like Hashimoto’s, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, MS, etc.) and/or blood sugar issues…then, yes, breakfast actually does matter.

There’s been much debate through the years about breakfast, with experts asking: “Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day?” The pendulum, which has swung back and forth, is now planted in the “no” camp.

In my experience, personally, as someone managing an autoimmune disease (Hashimoto’s) and, professionally, as a functional health coach, I roundly disagree. Your first meal of the day, whether you eat it at 7:00AM or at 11:30AM, frames the rest of your day. WHAT you eat affects how much you will consume later (via meals or snacks);  how much sugar / caffeine you will crave; your mood (more or less anxious / depressed); your overall energy; and, how easily you fall asleep / stay asleep.

So, it’s less a question of WHETHER you eat breakfast, or the timing of your breakfast; it is more about WHAT you eat at your first meal of the day. This is, ultimately, what affects hormone balance.

An often overlooked reason why we can feel constantly hungry, low energy and/or experience cravings is because the body is not receiving NUTRIENTS. If you are eating typical, grab-and-go breakfast foods: bagels, muffins, protein bars, commercial smoothies, commercial protein shakes, store-bought yogurt, cereal or instant oatmeal….your body is NOT being nourished by macronutrients and micronutrients from natural, whole foods. These types of on-the-run “breakfasts” are all variations of highly processed foods loaded with sugar, additives, preservatives and other mystery ingredients. Eating this type of “food” triggers a negative hormonal cascade that leaves you feeling foggy, tired, cranky / hangry and in constant need of a sugar fix.

The key to eating balanced, whole food meals? Make it a priority in your life. It starts with you. Experiment: try one real food breakfast 1x / week and see how that feels compared to your regular breakfast.

Choose wisely.  Some healthy, hormone-balancing real food breakfast ideas below.

Broccoli Collagen Smoothie Bowl with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Blueberry-Cauli Smoothie
Zucchini-Tarragon Frittata
Spiced Ground Lamb and Veg Ragu with Zoodles
Spicy Ginger Turkey “Noodle” Soup
Quick and Easy Pho

Hi, I’m Kathryn Matthews. As a Board Certified Functional Health Coach, I help clients reclaim their energy, vitality and well-being. I want you to feel empowered about taking charge of YOUR health! To learn more, see About Kathryn.

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