Breakfast fuel!

Hi! I’m Alex! I’m a nutritionist who is fiercely passionate about health, food, wellness… and breakfast.

BREAKFAST! Gosh, even the word is beautiful. It is the (delicious) fuel that replenishes your body after a long nights rest, and gives you the energy and momentum to tackle your day head on. After all, if you don’t take care of yourself first how can you possibly try to take on the rest of the world?!?

So how come so many of us opt to skip this fantastic meal all together? I’ve heard it all.

“I’m just not hungry in the morning”

There is no rule which says you need to eat a 3-course meal for breakfast. If you wake up without much of an appetite have something protein rich (a small portion at first) I can almost guarantee that once you begin to eat consistently in the morning, your body will come to yearn for it (this is a good thing!) Replenishing your fuel stores after a long night sleep is exactly what your body needs to reset and kick into gear for the day ahead!

“If I eat breakfast I’m hungrier throughout the day. If I don’t eat I can suppress my appetite better”

Eating is not a punishment, nor is it something we should strive to avoid. Many people think that by skipping meals we can “save on calories” leading to weight loss. There have been numerous studies which prove quite the opposite. Calorie omission can do some serious damage to your metabolism and mess with your blood sugar. This can lead to poor food choices throughout the day, increased mindless snacking, and over-eating once lunch / dinner finally rolls around.

The fact is our bodies NEED to eat- quite simply our food is our fuel and calories are energy. No matter how much we try to suppress this basic human need our bodies will not stop reminding you that you NEED TO EAT ( hunger pangs, mood / energy fluctuations, etc).

“I don’t like breakfast food”

Eggs too boring? Add some salsa, avocado, and sautéed spinach to the mix! Plain yogurt no fun? Try throwing in some nuts, cinnamon, and fresh berries! The message here is great creative! Think outside the box if standard breakfast dishes bore you. Plus, who is to say leftovers can’t be breakfast? Ever tried re-heated sweet potato breakfast hash? Mmm…

“I don’t have the time”

Everyone has the time. It’s up to you to MAKE time! Go to bed earlier. Prep the night before.

The key in all of this is not simply just to eat, but to eat smart. Keep breakfast simple and healthy. Avoid the processed, sugary dessert-like breakfast cereals, muffins and bars at the grocery store and opt for protein rich whole foods like eggs, nut butters and whole grains.

Remember, breakfast is exactly that: it’s what breaks your 7-8 hour sleepy time fast and reminds your body that you love it. It enables you to reconnect with yourself and your environment. It’s your reset button.

Tomorrow morning I encourage you all to get up and hit your reset buttons – start fresh, and treat yourself to a delicious, nutrient rich breakfast.

** STUDIES –

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23512957

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9537627

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22178258

Guest post by Alex Nucci, Nutritionist

 

Learn more about breakfast smoothie tricks here!

picture source

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Perfect treat for the fall – PUMPKIN SPICE MUFFINS! Big shoutout to Genuine Health for their fuel (protein!) Have these muffins with a delicious iced coffee!

Ingredients:

  • 1 scoop protein powder (Vanilla fermented proteins+ by Genuine Health or 3 tbsp Omega Nutrition pumpkin seed powder)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil
  • ¼ cup banana
  • 5 organic, free-range eggs
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ¼ cup mini chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life brand)
  • ¼ cup pecans, chopped (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400.F
  2. Add pumpkin puree, coconut oil, and banana to a food processor and process until smooth
  3. Add eggs to a large bowl and whisk until frothy
  4. Add the pumpkin and banana puree mixture to the bowl with the eggs and whisk until smooth
  5. Add the baking soda, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, and coconut flour and whisk until smooth
  6. Grease a muffin tin with a dab of coconut oil and fill each tin with the muffin mixture
  7. Sprinkle pecans (if using) over the top
  8. Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until lightly browned and set in the middle.

Adapted from Sonnet’s Kitchen

image source by Michelle Strong

#GenuineHealth #3nutrition #protein #powder #muffins #fall #spice #pumpkin #recipe #pumpkinspice

 

Surviving September (Tips)

We’ve been dreading it for months, the weather is getting cooler, there’s more traffic on the streets, school lunches need to be made again…yes, September has arrived. I’m as sad as you.

A concern I hear on a regular basis from my clients is how to maintain or resume healthy habits when chaos ensues.

Here are some tips on how to keep connected to your healthy diet in September!

Bulk Up:

A great method I really appreciate is prepping all or some of the meals ahead of time (see picture below). This method takes a little upfront effort, but think about how seamless your week would be!

I hear a lot of concerns about the month of September from moms in particular. Kids are back to school, extracurricular activities have started again and dinner is just barley being squeezed in. Think about prepping and freezing some meals ahead of time (now), so when the madness ensues you are ahead of the same.

Map It.

Here is how I do it:

Here is analogy that I like to use. Pretend you were going to spend 2 days driving to Florida for a relaxing vacation on the beach. In order to get there you’d need to plan your route, book a hotel to stay in for a night, make reservations at some restaurants you have never been to before and perhaps pack some snacks and some games/books for a little entertainment.

While you reroute, after having done all the initial prep work, would it make sense that you would change your route for no particular reason? Rebooking new hotels and restaurants would just be a pain in the butt and, not to mention, a waste of time. Once you have made your plan, the odds of sticking to this are very good. The same goes with food prep. If you lay out a plan ahead of time, the odds of you straying for this are pretty low.

Here’s how I do it:

Everyone might have their own method, but this works best for me.

Step 1. Make a list of 7 different dinners you would like to have. Take into account busy nights of the week (i.e. don’t plan to make a roast on the same night you need to drive your kids all over hell’s acres).

Step 2. Write down the groceries needed to make these meals. Tip: Plan to make extra portions so you have left over’s for the next day. Buy groceries for the whole week in one trip.

Step 3. Put this list up on the fridge so everyone in the household knows what to expect for meals.

Step 4. Put this list in a file folder and reuse every 4 weeks.

Simple.

What I like most about this is that the thinking, during the busy week, has been eliminated. If I follow my plan, I know what needs to be pulled out of the freezer the night before, I know if I need to prep something ahead of time and I feel like dinners go off without a hitch.

Slow Cook It

My crock-pot is probably my most favourite piece of kitchen equipment (other than my Vitamix). It makes life so simple (yet tasty). I’m always on the hunt for simple crock pot meals that I can prep the night before and turn on in the morning before I leave for work. With the conveniences of modern technology, presto dinner is hot and ready for my husband and I 8 hours later. At this point, I quickly toss together a salad if needed and enjoy a healthy meal.

You too can experience ease in the kitchen during the dreaded dinner hour.

Buy It:

I know, I know…you are super mom and you’d rather make homemade meals for your family. I get it, I also prefer to do this, but alas I have come to the conclusion that I am not a super hero, so cut yourself some slack and join ranks.

I agree that bought foods probably contain some ingredients we wouldn’t necessarily pick ourselves but I would argue doing this is better than picking up fast food or creating a ton of stress and drama over getting a dinner on the table.

We are all busy, so don’t be too proud to purchase on the odd really busy night. Here are some healthy suggestions to consider:

  • Rotisserie chicken with sides like bean salad, vinegar based coleslaw and grilled veggies (all of these items can be found in most grocery stores in the pre-prepared counters)
  • Opa! Greek food is one of my favourite go-to meal ideas. Find a local restaurant you can pre order from; I usually order a large salad with souvlaki chicken and tzatziki. Yummy!
  • Grocery store buffet tables: here you can choose from grilled fish, hard boiled eggs, marinated tofu and all kinds of sides to satisfy the pickiest of eaters.

Relax in September with these fun snacks!

Berry + Pancakes

Good morning! Ready for breakfast? Spread some faux (but healthy!) Nutella spread on these pancakes to make a complete meal!

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1tbsp ground flax

Directions:

Combine all ingredients together except for berries.

Mix well and add to a warm pan with 1/2 tsp coconut oil, making 5-6 inch sized pancakes

Once cooked, top with berries and enjoy

Makes 1 serving