Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, not just for kids, but for us adults as well.
Why is breakfast important?
It is an awesome way to help with weight control. Seriously! When you choose a healthy breakfast, with proteins and complex carbs, you give your body proper fuel to work with, so that when lunch and supper roll around, you're not a ravenous animal willing to attack anything that doesn't eat you first. You'll make better choices in what you eat. You won't be dragging through the morning (unless you haven't had much sleep, and then no amount of food will help that), looking for a sugary pick-me-up. You'll have energy and stamina to be productive in whatever tasks you have. You won't be starving by lunch, and willing to grab a Snickers bar for a quick boost, but instead be able to take the time to enjoy a nutritious meal.
I've been guilty of this, skipping breakfast and choosing to chug espresso by the mug full instead, or neglecting to keep adequate breakfast items in the house. Some days I've gotten so wrapped up in tending to the family's needs I've neglected to tend to my own. During the winter months and on weekends, I'm up making from scratch biscuits and gravy, pancakes and eggs, baked french toast (or Dutch babies), and so on, and with the wildness of our tribe, I get sidetracked. But, I need to eat too.
|Oats before harvest|
This past month, my own breakfast has returned. I now start the day with a cup of old fashioned rolled oats. Yes, the kind you cook a while on the stove. Since I'm the only one in the house that enjoys oatmeal, I make enough to last 3 to 4 days and keep some back in the fridge. To my cup of oats, I add in milk and a piece of chopped fruit. This week has been pears and a dash of cinnamon and splenda. There's the protein, complex carbs, a little fruitiness, and sweet. It's just enough to help stave of hunger pangs and stop the ravenous monster that lurks within that seeks out the Hershey's bar. This allows me to have a small lunch and supper without eating everything in sight.
There's a growing movement that takes the stance against grains, but I choose not to follow it. Why? Our bodies need the complex carbs that are found in whole grains.
This helps stabilize blood glucose and keep spikes and crashes at bay. It provides the energy needed to do long term tasks through the day. It's like a marathon runner who needs fuel to last more than the first feet. Whole grains provide the carbs that last for the entire marathon, instead of short bursts. I've learned much about what each food group and fuel is needed, especially for those who have diabetes and must watch intakes down to the last unit of each. But..to each their own, right?
There are benefits to adding whole grains to your breakfast, or diet in general. According to the Whole Grains council:
The benefits of whole grains most documented by repeated studies include:For folks who choose a gluten free style, there is a list of whole grains that are naturally gluten free, found at Whole Grains Council. You'd be surprised the amount of whole grains that are listed!
- stroke risk reduced 30-36%
- type 2 diabetes risk reduced 21-30%
- heart disease risk reduced 25-28%
Other benefits indicated by recent studies include:
- better weight maintenance
- reduced risk of asthma
- healthier carotid arteries
- reduction of inflammatory disease risk
- lower risk of colorectal cancer
- healthier blood pressure levels
- less gum disease and tooth loss
Don't bypass your first meal of the day, and enjoy the benefits of breakfast!
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