I was having coffee with my friend Karen Siebert who is the head nutritionist for New Seasons Market when I mentioned to her that I often did not feel like I had the energy that I felt I should. She asked what I was eating for breakfast to which I replied “a healthy, home-made smoothie.” I smugly went on to detail the ingredients – organic non-fat yogurt, a little juice, blueberries, banana, mango, vanilla, ice, and water – to which she replied “so you are having sugar for breakfast. That is your problem.”
I was taken aback. I don’t know much about nutrition and hadn’t thought too much about it. “Mongo like food!” was about the depth of my understanding. But my morning smoothie seemed like a pretty healthy mix, especially compared to bacon and eggs or Fruit Loops. But she was right. When I thought about it, very little protein and lots of sugar and carbs.
She explained that she was working on a book titled “Breakfast Saved My Life” that explained just how important breakfast is (“the most important meal of the day” – another phrase that we’ve been bludgeoned with since kindergarten). I was skeptical, but she explained that ideally, you should be taking in ~24 grams of protein for breakfast in the morning, preferably within 2 hours of rising. To put that in perspective, and egg has 6 grams. I was probably getting 3-4 with my “healthy” smoothie.
So I immediately began to focus on a high protein breakfast, which has turned out to be a bit of a challenge (unless you are the kind of person who can wolf down 4 eggs for breakfast. But lately I’ve routinely been getting around 15 grams of protein for breakfast and have noticed a huge difference.
In the past I would start out strong in the morning (probably a sugar burst), and then start to crater around 10:30 or so, feeling tired and hungry. To combat my flagging energy, I would usually start munching on something – usually something bad to hold me over until lunch. What I’ve found is that by consuming sufficient protein in the morning, I can push hard until 1 or 2 in the afternoon before feeling like I’m hungry again or that I need to refresh/refuel.
It is a small change that has made a significant difference in my life and my productivity!
Please share your experience!
Have you tried this?
What do you eat for breakfast?
What high-protein foods to you eat for breakfast?