My friend Heidi e-mailed me last week and asked for some ideas of a baby step she could take towards healthier eating for her family. I wrote the Food Challenge in April and challenged you all to eat the way I think is ideal and healthy, but didn’t think about the fact that the whole thing might be overwhelming to you! I am an all in or all out person. =) I don’t like doing things half-way. When we started with the GAPS diet, I was all-in, so I cleaned out my pantry and gave the food away that didn’t fit the diet. I know it’s more expensive that way, it’s just the way I work. =)
For those of you who don’t waste your family’s food jump all in like me, I am going to start sharing some baby steps towards healthy eating. Pick and choose what works for your family. This one is hard (believe me, I used to *llooovvveee* sugar!), but I believe that out of all of the changes we’ve made, this one has impacted us the most.
I don’t just mean sugar cereal like Fruit Loops and Trix (if you’re determined to eat those, at least save them for dessert!). I mean foods that turn into complex sugars in your body. Avoid breakfasts like:
~Leftover Birthday Cake or even, dare I say, Pumpkin Pie!
So what do I suggest you eat, you might ask? =)
My family mostly eats eggs for breakfast. That may sound boring to you, but it’s not boring to us. We make eggs with different kinds of veggies and/or meats and/or cheese. We make quiche. We make frittatas. We make eggs with salsa, cheese and “sour cream” (we eat Greek Yogurt for sour cream :). We make fried eggs, scrambled eggs, hard boiled eggs. Omelets are nice.
So what do you do if you don’t have enough eggs? Or if you’re just sick of eggs?
Sometimes we’ll have cheese & apples for breakfast. Or pumpkin seeds and fruit. Or nuts and fruit (for those who can). Or just bacon and fruit.
We have smoothies almost every morning, and this solves the early-morning-sweet-craving. I love sneaking things into my kids’ smoothies. When they needed it, they got prune juice. Lately, I’ve made 2 of my kids each gain 4 lbs by sneaking some immune support supplements + coconut oil into their smoothies every day! =) Veggies are GREAT in smoothies!
If we make muffins, I make them with coconut flour and sweeten them with honey. I do make pancakes, but my recipe is really this simple:
1 banana mixed with 3 eggs in the blender (I will make 4 times this recipe). This is pancake batter, and you cook it on a griddle just like normal pancakes. You can add vanilla for nice flavor, too. We drizzle honey on top or put berries on top, or eat them plain.
If you can tolerate grains, go with whole grains only. No packaged breads. No refined flours. The fiber in the whole grains will tone down the effects of the grain turning into a sugar in your body. To help your body digest the grains, soak them overnight in water with a little bit of whey. You can make oatmeal with honey and fruit, or whole grain bread from soaked grains. You get the idea.
Kimmi Harris had a great post about “Nourishing Breakfasts” on her blog a while back.
The reasons I am so much in favor of avoiding sugar for breakfast?
~This has been the #1 factor in keeping my weight healthy. I noticed it years ago–I would go through phases of eating what I fed my kids (pancakes, waffles, cereal, etc.) and I would gain weight. So I would try just eating eggs for breakfast for a week, and I’d lose weight. Trust me. It works!
~I’m not hungry until lunch time. Neither are my kids. We avoid snack time completely. When we ate sugary breakfasts, my blood sugar was on such a roller coaster ride that I would have to sneak bits of chocolate out of the pantry just to bring it back up to survive the morning. Goodness!
~It keeps everyone’s moods better! I’m not saying it makes us sinless humans (uh, no!), but this certainly helps make our days a little more peaceful!
~I think breakfast really is the most important meal of the day! Eat protein! Eat veggies! Avoid sugar or foods that turn into sugar! =)
If you need a reminder of how healthy eggs are and why it is not bad for you to eat them every day, see my posts on Eggs.